In this fifth largest city of Oregon whose major employer is Intel, among other high-tech companies, almost one fourth of the population is Hispanic. It’s not surprising, therefore, that a commercial district has developed in the city’s southeast portion to serve this demographic. One of the most popular Mexican restaurants is Taqueria Hermanos Ochoa’s that has been in operation since at least 2009.
It’s difficult to miss. On approach, the L-shaped building immediately catches your eye, dressed in vivid colors of tomato, mustard and canary yellow. Inside, the dining area is very cramped, one entire wall covered in numbered pictures of the menu items. Choosing was difficult because of the large variety from which to choose. You can also order meats by the pound, such as carnitas and barbacoa. The special-of-the-day was printed on a sheet of paper on the order counter. For beverages, you can pick from a variety of beers, all iced in a bucket at the counter, or a good range of Mexican sodas. There is also a salsa bar.
We had lunch with another couple who joined us for a short stay in Portland.
The order of tasty barbacoa was generous with tender, stewed chunks of beef and accompanied not only by rice and beans, but guacamole, chile toreado, shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes and sautéed bell peppers and onions.
Tender and crispy on the outside, the carnitas was both stewed and fried, a very good version. The same ingredients as the barbacoa plate accompanied the pork, with the addition of diced cactus. The refried beans of both were generously sprinkled with cotija cheese.
This is the first time in a long time my wife and I had fried tacos (tacos dorados). Four crispy tortilla shells were filled with carnitas, then squirted on top with sour cream and cotija cheese. For extra flavor, the carnitas in the tacos and in the plate above were mixed with lardoons of chicharrones (pork skin).
Another way to order tacos is individually, as we did with a diced chicken filling. Unlike the fried tacos, these were served with double soft corn tortillas.
The food here is very good and authentic, what you would expect in service of the large Latino population in the city.
Tip: Don’t miss this supermercado only a couple blocks away. You won’t regret it.
Taqueria Hermanos Ochoa’s
943 SE Oak St
Hillsboro, OR 97123
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