Being a resident of San Diego for four years made me a Mexican Food enthusiast. Once, I woke up to a half eaten burrito on my nightstand. And my cell phone was inside of it. After living so close to the border (... I accidentally drove to Mexico, multiple times) it's surprising that my favorite Mexican food would be found here in Portland.
Por Que No is about half a block from my apartment, and remains one of the first places I take visitors (and locals ... and myself, when I'm a little hungover). The line stretches around the block for nearly every hour it's abierto but I insist it's worth the wait.
The restaurant itself is in a small stucco house, and the inside is decorated down to an inch with string lights, banners, and icons. Seating is limited, but usually not a problem, thanks to sidewalk tables and a garage patio. Por Que No was one of the first businesses to open on Mississippi Street - in it's current "revitalized" incarnation - and the owner's family are long time North Portlanders. The servers split tips with the kitchen 50/50 (almost unheard of in the restaurant biz), which is just one more reason this restaurant embodies the community attitude I love about this city.
eat : pescado tacos. cornmeal crusted white fish, cilantro and pineapple.
drink: agua fresca margarita
do: sidewalk chalk in the sunshine.
a little locals tip : don't order a burrito (not on the menu!) or sit down before you've ordered at the counter.
Por Que No Taqueria is located in North Portland on Mississippi and Fremont, with a second location on SE Hawthorn
(photos) on film with pentax k1000