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PDX Mexican or other cheap eats

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I'm going to Portland on my own for the weekend for a friend's wedding, and figured I may as well do some eating while I'm there. I was wondering what people's recs are for cheap eats in the downtown area (I'm staying near OSU, and will not have a car). If there is heavenly Mexican (burritos or fish tacos) I'd love to hear about it as I'm coming from NYC, which has really mediocre at best Mexican.

Also if there are any other street food/cheap eats specialties of Portland, please let me know.

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  1. Not OSU, PSU.

    I think you posted on LiveJournal, but for some reason my post never got put up. It was pretty in-depth, but I'll try to repeat a little here. Poptopia had the best advice that I saw there.

    First, downtown isn't the best for cheap eats. However, there are many carts. But they won't be too active on the weekend. But you can get an overview of the two major "pods" of them here from a bloggers recent report:

    http://mmm-yoso.typepad.com/mmmyoso/2...

    And there's a google map of most of the downtown carts here:

    http://www.speakeasy.org/~aeschright/...

    I don't think many of them are especially good, but then again, good cheap eats are slim downtown.

    My favorite spot is Karam for Lebanese. Really good falafel. Maya's Taqueria has acceptable fish tacos. Someone recommended El Grillo, but it's barely worth it. I think people like it as much because it's divish vibe and being attached to a strip club.

    The food stands at the Saturday Market aren't that great, but there are some tasty options at the Portland Farmers Market, which is pretty much on PSU campus. If nothing else, lots to taste as far as fresh berries, cheese, and the like.

    Also near/on PSU campus is Thanh Long for pho and Hot Lips for pizza. Not the best around, but pretty good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: extramsg

      Yes I did post on LJ! Thanks for your responses here -- somehow I trust Chowhounders a bit more for food advice, and the links/maps are great. I'll try to check out Karam.

    2. Cha Cha Cha near the PSU campus serves up cheap, large portions of very good Mexican food. It is a (local?) chain. Other than that I would check out the downtown carts.

      1. Karam is definitely the best ME in downtown. http://www.karamrestaurant.com/direct...

        Hot Pot City (if it isn't way too hot for soup for ya) is near PSU: http://www.hotpotpdx.com/

        VooDoo Doughnut: http://www.voodoodoughnut.com/

        But don't necessarily limit yourself to around PSU, because the streetcar and buses will take you most places you'd want to go!
        http://www.trimet.org

        1. Just north of downtown and Burnside is an area called the Pearl District which offers some pleasant wandering and some decent cheap eats.

          Pearl Bakery NW9/Couch- good sandwiches on great bread.
          Mio Gelato by PowellsBks on 11th - panini (i like the sopressata), gelato.
          ChaChaCha at 12/Glisan - Mexican mentioned above.

          1. I'd actually go down to Mayas Taqueria over Cha Cha Cha, but that is just me. Neither are all that fab, but they are cheap. If you like Thai, Thai Peacock downtown on Oak has served up some great cheap noodle dishes the last 2 times I went.

            Ironically, for just good basic ethnic eats in Downtown PDX, it isn't the best area. Well, what about the food carts? Anyone know which one has the best Mex? That would not be a long walk at all.