The Original Taco House – Portland, Oregon

In my last post, I wrote about eating before we hit Voodoo Doughnuts, and said I would tell about it in a later post. So here it is.

Taco House OutsideYes, there are probably more “authentic” Mexican food restaurants, but the Original Taco House was the first Mexican restaurant in Portland that was open year round, so how can it really be beat?


David really loves The Original Taco House so when we recently had an opportunity to be in the area, he followed his nose and took us right to it. Actually, he ate there about 30 years ago when he was living in Portland. At that time it was cafeteria style, where you got your tray and went down the line picking out what you wanted.  You can see from the pictures that it is still set up like that, but now it is regular sit-and-serve style.


It opened in 1960, owned by Gene and Natha Waddle. They also owned and ran Waddle’s restaurant located in Jantzen Beach just off I-5. Waddle’s restaurant is now gone, but the Taco House is now ran by the Waddle’s grandsons.

On my first visit I was apprehensive. There are so many foods/textures/spices I don’t like. So when I asked the waitress what was in the burrito meat, she brought me a sample so I could see and taste. I really appreciated that because other places when I have asked that they said nothing else was in it and when I got it it was filled with peppers and onions. Note to restaurants – peppers and onions ARE something besides beef. So I ordered and devoured a beef and bean burrito and David thoroughly enjoyed his Mini Grande Tostada. Josh was in heaven with the huge enchilada and taco combo.


The restaurant is decorated in typical Mexican restaurant fashion, although the fireplace at the end of the room is a little out of place for the décor. But, hey, in the Pacific Northwest, not many of us are going to complain about a fireplace.


The staff is very friendly and helpful. The portions are HUGE and delicious. You can get as bland as you want, the way I eat, or as spicy as you like. There’s quite a variety of foods, even gluten-free if you need it. Of course I added a Strawberry Daiquiri to my meal, a drink so cold the outside of the glass was frosty. Yum!


(Photo by Brandy Kirkendall)

While it may have to compete with tons of other Mexican restaurants in the Portland area now, it says a lot about a restaurant if it still sticks in your mind 30 years later. The only problem now is that David wants to eat there every time we go to Portland!

The Original Taco House has three locations, two in Portland and one in Vancouver. This one is located at 3005 SE Powell Blvd. Portland, Oregon. It’s open every day from 11am-10pm. (503) 234-6401

Categories: Food, Wine, Cider, Keatons Out and About, Oregon | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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