Portland >Food & Dining > Taco House Original
3550 SE Powell Blvd, Portland, OR | Directions 9720245.496848 -122.627402
Mon. - Sun. 11am - 10pm
Neighborhoods: Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Program, Creston - Kenilworth
Best Mexican – my parents raised me at this restaurant and now i am raising my kids there! we live in Vancouver and make frequent trips a month to our favorite place. the guacamole is THE BEST!!! you cannot find any other like it. (unless you like the junks, like all the original guacs. have) you will love this one. i don't like that the prices are going up and that they charge you for an extra plate. (redicilious!) BUT we love the food and are always satisfied with them, (most of the time!!) We do have a favorite waitress!!!
Tacky fiesta of horrors – I'm not going to say the food was bad. It was okay - although not great at all. The customer service, however, was abysmal. When we arrived, one of the benches of our booth was dirty and we had to clean it off ourselves. After that things went alright until our drinks started running low. I waited 5-10 minutes for a refill on my drink - or even for a waiter to walk by so I could ask for one. And even then I had to flag down a different waitress and request it - or more accurately, interject my request into the conversation she was still carrying on with another customer several booths away. Waiting this long might be mildly excusable if the restaurant were packed and the staff overwhelmed with customers, but we were one of only 3 or 4 parties in the restaurant at the time including our own.
The same waiting routine happened again after we finished our meals and had already informed our waitress that no, we did not want to try a dessert. At this point most restaurants would promptly bring you your check and allow you to continue your evening elsewhere, but instead we waited again for another 5 or 10 minutes to get our check.
I had remembered this being a nice place to get good Mexican food, but my opinion has now changed drastically. The food was bland, staff incompetent, and price was not in line with the small serving sizes. I will not visit this restaurant again, and I would encourage you to avoid it as well.
OMG – I can't believe the reviews here. Yes, it isn't authentic Mexican, but how can you NOT resist the guacamole. It is THE best guacamole in Portland. As for decor, so what!!! This place is an institution in Portland. My daughter was raised on this food. It was a meeting place for me an various friends that I met throughout the years--that I was surprised to find out had the same interest as I in their food.
In the 34+ years that I have been enjoying this restaurant, I have had a couple of upset stomachs...but only because my system was not up to par, not because of the food!!! For those of you that experienced a reaction to the food and have been going for many years, I can't believe you'd give up on this place.
And obviously the staff must be happy. The 82nd Street location had staff that worked from the time I started eating there in 1974, up until the mid 90's. And today, I see staff that have been around since the 1990's ...most probably the successors to those that retired in the 90's.
I will always be a loyal fan of this institution. I have too many memories and too many acquaintances that share the same passion for this place. If only they would release the recipe for their guacamole.
This is Port-Mex food! – It's interesting reading the reviews to see how most if not all long-time patrons rave about OTH, and some newbies can't handle it. This is not Tex-Mex or authentic Mexican food, but the first Mexican style food in Portland, 1960's style. My parents loved it, my sisters and I love it, my daughter loves it, and my grand-nieces and nephews love it. You just have to get used to the heavy chili powder enchilada sauce that stays with you for a day or so, and then you get hooked. I like the beef tacos because they have a lot of crisp lettuce and cheese in addition to the beef in a large shell (but not all-beef like some seem to want). If your taste leans toward traditional Mexican food or Tex-Mex, you might not like it, but if you like some variety in your food choices, go there! I like a lot of different styles of South-of-the-Border foods, but the Original Taco House will always have a special place in my heart (can't eat the OTH enchilada sauce every day, though). About 80% of my daughter's friends that she takes there like it if that helps you decide to give it a shot.
Awful!!! – My husband and I were in the area and looking for a dinner spot. We saw the OTH. Having driven by this place many times over the years I had always been curious. Since the parking lot was full we thought it must be great place. Think again. The salsa was flat and tasted like canned tomato sauce. The refried beans tasted processed like they were from a can and reheated. The rice was sticky an horrible. The steak in the tacos did not taste fresh. This was a very disappointing experience and to top it off the waiter charged our card for someone elses meal.
Great food for the price – I cannot believe the things I'm reading here about The Taco House. In 40+ years, I have never had a negative experience at Portland's oldest and best Mexican food restaurant and I have never talked to anyone who has. I have certainly never been made ill by the food. The last time I ate there was less than 1 week ago.
Over the years, I have ordered everything on the menu at least once and have not found anything that was not good quality for the price. The food served may not meet the high standards of food snobs, but is tasty, well made and affordable.
My wife and I typically share a Deluxe El Picador, a large nacho with either chicken or beef and covered with cheese, refried beans, olives, guacamole, sour cream, onions and cilantro.
Bottom line: Good food at a reasonable price and a great place to meet friends and family.
Taco House...More Like taco heaven....Love it – New to the area, and a friend told me to visit this place. Delicious! Try the el-picador for the most wonderful nacho ever. I have been back many times since my first visit. The service is always great, and the price is right. Try this Portland taco palace if you want yummy food!
sickening – my bf and i both threw up and were hideously gastro for 24 hours after we ate our $50. dinner.
our pitcher of margueritas had two drinks in it - with no apologies.
our food smelled bad and tasted worse.
this used to be a great place.
i can't imagine why you'd want to go there, unless you're looking for a case of disentary.
Take your worst enemy as long as you bring your own food. – Imagine, say, someone from Outer Mongolia finding a beat-up Mexican cookbook with all the recipes torn out. He might look at the pictures and try to make that food. He might not know what the guac is made of, what filling the tacos might have, etc.
Tonight I had a tamale that might as well have been filled with camel meat, and my wife's tostada may just have had muskrat. Maybe that sounds harsh, but considering my meal tonight, I feel it's pretty apt.
We had a tostada, a pork tamale and a shredded beef enchilada. We ordered a side of guac and chips came with the meal. The chips were decent, but the salsa was canned. Everything else was so soupy that there was essentially no flavor or texture difference between the tostada and the enchilada. The rice and beans were covered with so much red sauce that I'm not kidding, I had to use a spoon.
The meal we had taught us the important lesson that low quality ingredients and incompetent recipes prepared badly result in, not surprisingly, terrible food. While we were trying to force down some of our meal, I told my wife that the Mexican cooks can't be blamed, because they prepare things as they're told. Still, it is startling how bad the OTH must be if not even a touch of quality rubs off on their food by virtue of osmosis from the Mexican cooks.
Some of you may say that I have a bias towards authentic Mex. That is not the case. I know Cal-Mex (which OTH is supposed to be) as I was born there and have a place in LA. This ain't no Cal-Mex. I often frequent an Ameri-Mex joint that is stunning ,and to call OTH americanized Mexican food is a little like calling a dead cow a stallion.
The prices are also unreasonable for food of this type. Most of the ingredients were obviously canned, and for canned beans I can go to Food4Less.
Instead of spending $25 at the OTH tonight, I should have eaten a fistful of stale bread and paid a guy to slug me in the stomach, I'd be better off. Nausea, and a smaller wallet.
Not Tex-Mex – Good place to eat quantity not quality. Very good price range. But we need to get some cooks here who know Mexican food or Tex-Mex. The location is good for driving, right off of SE Powell. Coming from Texas and enjoying lots of Mexican Food, and can definitely say, "This was not Tex-Mex." The server was friendly, and new the menu inside and out. I was impressed with that. Additionally, the server explained how to get what I wanted from the menu since the selections were pretty much limited to Burritos and Tacos. You can get other things like enchiladas, tamales, chalupas (they called them something else), but it is on the combination menu and it'll cost you. Margaritas had very little tequila. :(
Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Facebook to see what your friends are up to!
Do you have a review of Taco House Original on your blog? If you include the Citysearch image link (shown below) in your post, we'll automatically link to your review from the business profile page. Here's how our Linkback system works:
The Linkback system is free and automatic. It's really that easy.
To link to our business profile page, copy the html below to your web page.