Portland >Restaurants >
Mexican >Catalina's Mexican Restaurant
517 NE Killingsworth St, Portland, OR | Directions 97211-325845.563213 -122.660044
Daily 11am-10pm ; Open 7 Days
Neighborhoods: King, Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods
I have lived in this neighborhood for about 5 years and finally just tried Catalina's last night. What a find! The food is simple, fresh and tasty. The salsa actually has flavor and the chips are thin, crisp and warm. The atmosphere is quaint, cheesy mexican with the requisite video poker machines in the back, but it is clean and in good repair which speaks to the pride the owners take in this little hole in the wall place. The restaurant is in a decidedly seedy block of Killingsworth but don't let that keep you away. The food was good and inexpensive and the service was absolutely terrific. I had the chile rellenos, 2 huge pieces that were delicious and served piping hot. The margs are also good (and cheap) and they have HH from 4-7 with the margs priced at $2.50, Coronas for $2 and tacos for $1, can't beat that!! I look forward to going there again.
We loved it! – Wow, what a pleasant surprise! We stumbled on this treasure because of Restaurants dotcom. It was about 2pm on a weekday when we arrived and only 2 tables were occupied in the large dining room. That was a concern...so I asked several ladies how the food was. They said 'delicious!', so we decided to try it. We are experts when it comes to knowing good Mexican food...and this place gets 2 thumbs up from us. We will definitely be weekly regulars from now on! Eddie, the owner, was so friendly and everything from the chips and salsa to the main courses and flan were awesome! Try it...you won't be disappointed!
AMAZING vegetarian selection – This place is amazing. If you love real Mexican food, you'll love what you get here. The service is good (helpful, polite without pestering) and the food is even better. The atmosphere feels so much more authentic than most Mexican restaurants. If you're used to americanized, chain restaurant "Mexican" food, then this isn't you're place. If you appreciate the taste (and feel) of the real stuff, you're going to love it. Enjoy!
The Most Authentic Restaurant In PDX. Period. – If you like real mexican food, this is the place you've been searching for. I grew up a few hours from the mexican border, and i know good mexican food and this place is the only place in town that serves it up properly. The tortillas alone are worth the trip. All the food is made from scratch, the salsa is great, and the portions are generous. We've tried the beef and chicken, and they have one of the largest vegetarian selections I've seen at a mexican place. We also grab their huge and awesome $4.50 burritos for take out all the time. No matter what part of town you're in, Catalina's is worth the trip.
Bland and Dry – So I went with my girlfriend, she had to tamales and I had the chicken fajitas. She couldn't finish hers and thought she was gonna have problems keeping it down. Mine was dry and bland, and somehow greasy as well. The steaming hot portion came out 5 minutes before the rest of it, effectively defusing the "wow hot fajitas" moment. It was fast, but we were the only ones in there at 6:30pm... If this is the best mexican food in portland, as other reviews have said, either something changed or that is really sad. Or maybe option 3, just the owners and employees posting ridiculous reviews. Currently awaiting montezumas revenge :(
Craveable – I go here often and am more than a bit amazed that the local newspapers continually leave this restaurant off their radar. Catalina is great because it offers authentic Mexican food without the fancy frills of other restauants and you can get down on some delicious plates for under $10. Chile Rellenos are my go-to plate (in fact just thinking about it right now makes me want to roll down there and have it for breakfast) but the burritos, tacos, and pork chops have all found their way into my stomach as well. Unlike the seeminly established norm of poor Portland service, the service here is prompt and the couple (who I presume own it) are extremely hospitable and create a jovial atmosphere. I haven't tried the take out window but with so many positive experiences with their main menu I can't imagine quicker, cheaper, to-go food from Catalina is the formula for anything but success.
Just Like Home – The first time I ate at Catalina's I was so amazed at how much it tasted like my grandfathers cooking. I took him there and he said it wasn't as good as his but it was good. Which in the eyes of my grandfather is as close to amazing as you'll ever get.
Most Authentic Mexican food in PDX – I have to admit catalina is my mom, i can honestly say eating at her restaurant takes me back to childhood, it is like eating at "home" i think it is awsome that she has been able to keep our family recipes and has taken to next level for all to enjoy. I enjoyed reading the reviews good and bad. I highly recommened the ck fajita burrito enchilada syle/ green sauce, the spinich and lg prawn burrito enchilda style with geen sauce and the Flan all her food is made from scratch and she has a great vegitarian selection. I think is worth at a visit i look forward to feedback.
Squeaky-clean Killingsworth mainstay serves standard Tex-Mex and sumptuous Baja soul food. – In Short
A big-screen TV and jukebox full of Spanish-language hits in the bar draws cowboy hat-sporting Latinos and other locals taking advantage of happy hour specials; the dining room is usually packed with families. House-made tamales stuffed with chicken, shredded beef or vegetables and covered with slightly sweet ranchero sauce are arguably the best in town. Fish dishes are divine, especially the avocado garnished seafood cocktail, whole fried tilapia and the pleasantly tart seviche.
The BEST in Portland – The service leaves something to be desired (although if the owners are around it is GREAT) and the ambience is a little cheesy, but that is MORE than made up by the quality of the food. It was AMAZING! My new favorite mexican restaurant in Portland.
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