Monday, February 16, 2009
Quick Take: Por Que No on Hawthorne
At first it seems silly, like putting a sweater on a Husky or taking wine to a dinner at my brother's. After all, our neighborhood is teeming with taquerias, bursting with burrito carts and swimming in salsa rojo. And there's even the original ¿Por Que No? right down the street on Mississippi.
But trying to get a seat at that tiny closet of a restaurant on a cold winter night is like the people I know who were thinking about going to the inauguration at the last minute. In other words, fuhgeddaboudit. Always hopping, even on early-in-the-week nights, we just can't seem to get there early or late enough when things (might) slow down.
Shrine to curandera Maria Sabina, practitioner of the velada, or healing ceremony.
So the new place, bigger by two or three times and with a large patio out back, makes more sense even though it's several times farther away. And not to mislead you, because it's busy, too, but the tables turn over quickly and we haven't had trouble getting a spot, even with a party of four at peak dinner hour. Plus, if you decide you have room for another taco or one more margarita, they have a second register for reorders so you don't have to stand in line. Brilliant!
I've raved the food before, so won't bother repeating that their carnitas are mind-boggling and the chicken asada is stunning (oops, did it again), so I'll just say that Bryan Steelman and his chef, Josh Kimball, work hard to take advantage of local, organic products whenever they can. And the renovation of this former upholstery shop has been a model of sustainable development, using recycled materials and the latest energy-saving technologies.
The next time you want some great chow and, at the same time, want to support a place that's at the forefront of Portland's enthusiasm for DIY green development, you can't miss by going here.
Details: Por Que No on Hawthorne, 4635 SE Hawthorne Blvd. 503-954-3138.