By the time the swifts had finished their nightly retreat into the chimney of Chapman Middle School, we had all worked up an appetite. Well past our regular dinner time, the prospect of a thirty minute trek back to Cedar Hills to fill our bellies and satiate our thirst seemed like a daunting task, and an unfair request for the little ones. Fortunately, we were already in northwest Portland, where eating options abound like the aforementioned swifts in a chimney.
We piled into the car and drove up and down NW 23rd, enjoying the interesting citizens, fascinating landscaping and architecture, and the plethora of eating options of Nob Hill (or Uptown, or the Alphabet District. We’re nothing if not flexible here.) Of course, with a large group, including one vegetarian and several children, it was not easy for us all to come to a culinary consensus. We passed a number of Italian places, some Indian places, Tex Mex, Burger joints: but they all had something missing until we came across Santa Fe Taqueria.
Billing itself as a “kid-friendly Mexican spot with a counter-service dining room and a boisterous adjoining cantina”, Santa Fe Taqueria offers sidewalk seating, a wide open dining room, and a menu which pays homage to all kinds of South American cuisines. Looking at the menu (a large, black chalkboard printed with neat white chalk), the decent prices and variety of options stuck out to me. I enjoyed a Brazilian Wrap (wet) while my wife ordered the Cariribean Prawn Wrap for her and a couple of tacos for the kids. The vegetarian in our group enjoyed the hearty veggie wrap and, of course, all the adults enjoyed margaritas. The free chips and salsa helped to stave off the hunger until the food arrived—which, even with our large group, did not take long.
The food tasted authentic and fresh, and the experience was even more enjoyable thanks to the location. NW 23rd the Alphabet District/Nob Hill/Uptown provides some of the best people watching in the city. After an evening spent watching birds, a night spent watching people while eating authentic cuisine and enjoying drinks responsibly, indeliable memories were created, as was a cementing of why living in Portland is so great. There’s always something to do, any time of night. Whatever tickles your fancy, you can find it here. NW 23rd offers just a taste and Santa Fe Taqueria (located at 831 NW 23rd in Portland, Oregon) offers some of the best tastes around.