Restaurant Reviews
On Friday night, Bart and I went to Tacqueria Nueve, 28 N.E. 28th, one of the two rising stars listed in the Oregonian's Diner pullout. The place was full and there was a long wait, even at 9 p.m. (They close at 10 p.m.) We finally got a table at about 9:45 p.m. We started with appetizers: grilled shrimp with a guacamole tostada and a nopalitos (cactus) salad, which really was a tostada. Both were excellent. "They were like nachos, but really good," Bart said, as he sipped his creamy Hale's. After consuming those two items, I couldn't wait to have our entrees. Bart ordered the chile rellenos plate and I just ordered a carnitas taco, which on the menu, was annotated as being wild boar. Very exotic. We got the food and were slightly disappointed. The carnitas was extremely dry, but still edible. Granted it was the end of the night, but still...The chile rellenos came with rice and beans. The cheese inside was good, but the chiles should not have come sitting in the pool of pineapple sauce, which was too sweet. May have been better if the sauce came on the side. The overall atmosphere and ambience was all right, but the decor and environs were bordering on tacky. The furniture and some of the accoutrements were stereotypical of a Mexican restaurant.
Rating=2 out of 4 stars

Other recently visited restaurants:

Delta Cafe
Still one of the best bangs for your buck. Great southern-style home cooking with large portions that will send you home satisfied and ready for a nap. Kitschy/hipster atmosphere. My favorite is the fried chicken. Rating=***

Fairly new restaurant that presents a nueve latino menu. The drinks are creative and spectacular except for the blood orange concoction that I tried recently. Great modern/minimalist design inside with good music too. Very nice mood and ambience. The food was excellent, but not many vegetarian options. The sopes were delicious and so was the red snapper. Rating=****

Portland's only Cuban restaurant. I love everything about this place! Always a huge wait since it's so small, but well worth it. Lunch seems to be the real value since all the same things are offered as at dinner, but a few bucks cheaper. Highly recommend the pork and the tostones. Rating=****

Cafe Castagna
Right next door to Castagna, its more upscale, expensive sibling, Cafe Castagna was impressive and enjoyable. Fresh ingredients and a very nice space. Had a great chickpea, chard, and chorizo soup! Rating=****

Still dying to try: Fratelli, Mother's Bistro, Caprial's, Fusion, Paley's Place