Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Cruz Room

Cruz Room is located on NE Alberta Street in Portland, Oregon.

My family and I searched for a dinner spot that had smaller portions, and naturally I wanted a spot for my customary beer thirty. Cruz Room, with its taco and side dishes menu, offered that.

For beer, I grabbed an Elysian Immortal IPA. Solid IPA choice.

The tacos are on the small side with corn tortillas. You can get a plate of 2-3 tacos with one side to save money. Individual tacos are $3.50, which, despite getting a decent amount of filling, still seem a bit pricey.

We got a 2-taco plate and a 3-taco plate, each with one side, to share. First, my thoughts on the tacos:
  • Green Meanie: Verde pulled pork braised in tomatillo chile sauce and topped with roasted tomatillos. Pretty good, actually.
  • The Jerk: Sweet-spicy braised chicken topped with fresh mango slaw and fresh cilantro. I personally hoped for more spice here, since it seemed to promote jerk chicken...a generally spicy protein.
  • Phuket Part Deux: Thai-braised chicken finished with coconut milk, citrus zest, topped with peanut slaw and garnished with roasted peanuts. Another fave, good use of peanuts here for texture.
  • Sweet Caroline: Apple-braised Carlton Farms pulled pork topped with honey mustard slaw, dill pickle, and jalapeno relish. Pork was tender but could have used more flavor. Good slaw.
  • Can't Bahn Me Love: Beer-battered lemongrass tofu, with Banh Mi cabbage slaw, spicy mustard aioli, green onions, cilantro, radishes, and jalapenos. Decent here; cilantro took more center-stage at the end of the day.

We got the Tots a la Cruz and the Asian Salad as sides. I loved the crunch of the Asian Salad (jicama FTW), but perhaps it could have been drained a bit (lots of liquid at the bottom of the bowl). The tots were also good and had acceptable heat (which means normal people should notice it).

Good service overall. Happy hour likely would be the time to stop here, but we came just after that time (4 to 6:30 PM daily). There are also some spicy cocktails here that I'd be interested in.

Head to Cruz Room for tacos and booze! 7/10

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