Portland >Food & Dining > Esparza's Tex Mex Cafe
2725 Se Ankeny St, Portland, OR | Directions 9721445.522295 -122.637590
Neighborhoods: Buckman, Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Program
Bright colors, festive tchotchke, and plenty of tequila make this old-school Tex Mex favorite along 28th Avenue's Restaurant Row a fun stop for heavy eats like the wild boar quesadilla, Oregon Trail enchiladas (served with mashed potatoes no less), and big fat chile rellenos.
Game + Mexican = buffalo enchiladas or venison tamales. Sì por favor. Funky decor and a salsa so good you wanna drink it.
Excellent! – Best Mole-try the "Dirty Bird".Great service!
Esparza's Is Da Place – Great TexMex food. Great service. Great atmosphere. Moving in next week!
I thought things were bigger in Texas! – Not hungry? Want to throw away $6.95 plus tip? Enjoy a lunch special at Esparza's! You'll leave hungry and annoyed.
Viva Esparza's – what ever failures may arise on occasion should be forgiven regarding this delightful place. The food is REAL. enjoy.
BLAH. – First of all, the service here was very slow. It took quite some time for the server to even get us two menus. He was friendly enough, but seemed to spend a lot of time chit chatting the ears off of the other customers who were sitting outside with us. After perusing the menu, the roughly $10 minimum price on each meal gave us the idea that the food would be well worth the price...not so much. While the margarita my boyfriend ordered was tasty, I can't say so much about the meal. When our meals finally arrived, they were, for lack of a better word, blah. The rice and beans were exceptionally bland, and my tostadas were covered mostly with shredded lettuce and a very minimal (hardly existent) spread of cheese underneath. My boyfriend's meal, which was even pricier than mine and included actual meat, was just as bland! In the end, we were disappointed by the $30 bill after having eaten something I could have ordered for $3.50 from a cafeteria. Good, but not good enough.
Decent food, decent service – I had lunch at Esparza's on 5/19/09. I ordered the boar nachos and a Negra Modelo, and enjoyed the complimentary chips & salsa.
The boar nachos were very tasty, and the house guacamole was some of the best I've had in PDX. The house salsa was flavorful, and the chips were first-rate.
Service was quick, friendly, and attentive.
First time visitors be warned---if you're looking for vegetarian or vegan options, go somewhere else, for Pete's sake. This is Tex-Mex, not friggin' Olive Garden. The offerings can be pretty spicy, too, so if you like bland, Taco Hell is your friend.
Overall, I enjoyed a decent light lunch with pleasant service for not too much money. I'll be back again.
Meats gallore!! – The server was great. Fast, kept the water, sodas and cocktails full... The menu is not friendly for the vegetarians(beans with lard and rice with what I am guessing with chicken broth)... the waiter worked with me making some fine quesadillas.. The salsa was good as well as the chips... A great place for meat eaters.
Food ok, bartender cool, server rude – I went to this place to meet a friend that lives in the hood. Waited at the bar for him bar while I had a tequilla and chips & salsa, which were killer. Bartender was cool and filled me in on the place. Place has got its own style that for sure, I enjoyed the puppet show above the bar. Friend got there and we sat and had Boar nachos, pretty damn good. Our bald headed server was just kind of rude though, but I will say the service was very prompt and quick. Had Chicken enchiladas with pepers and onion, I didn't care for the chicken at all, dry and chewy. Friend had something off of the special board that was pretty damn good.
Eat at your own risk.. :( – I had been meaning to try Esparza's for a long time, since I live in the neighborhood. I heard rumor they made a great breakfast burrito, so on Valentine's day, my friend and I decided to try give them a shot. The service was friendly and relatively fast, so no complaints there. I don't like taxidermy very much, so the numerous small animals hanging from the walls were a little unappetizing. some people are into that super cluttered look, so I don't take points off from that either.
However, other than a couple items in the appetizer section, anything on the menu will cost you $10 minimum. Therefore, I expected better quality than an Ole Ole, for example, that I go to down the street. Not so. I ordered the Tumbleweed (chicken enchilada with rice and beans). The sides were bland and had zero spices. The enchilada sauce was much too strong, and it overpowered the rest of the meal. It tasted alright at the time, but both my dish and the mexican sausage and eggs my friend ordered were very rich, and neither of us felt very good for the rest of the day.
In fact, that evening my stomach started feeling really tight and uncomfortable, and the following day I figured out I contracted a food illness from the doctor. I am unable to write the dreaded "F___d P_____ing" phrase here, but that's exactly what it was. It's been three days, and I am still in the thick of feeling horrible, missing two days of work.
Eat here at your own risk.
Just OK – I went to this place for lunch with my husband, who goes once a week or so because it's close to his job. We both ordered the Tex Mex pork burrito, his came with beans and I got the rice. The chips are thicker than most places which was kinda nice, they're very crunchy, but also very greasy. The salsa that came with the chips was great. The two servers who helped us were very friendly. Our daughter really liked looking at all of the stuffed animals on the wall and the marionettes over the bar. The burritos seemed more like enchiladas to me, covered with sauce and melted cheese, but whatever. There was a good amount of meat in the burrito and it had a good flavor, spicy but not too spicy. The beans and rice however, were very bland, no seasonings to speak of at all! I would go back and try something different because the staff and atmosphere were good and the prices were reasonable.
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