Every chance I get to dine outside downtown, I'll take. During these hot summer days, the temperatures at night in the shaded sunset can't be beat. La Margarita Express is a little Mexican restaurant across the street from the bus station with a few tables on the sidewalk just outside the front door. The night we went, there were more people eating outside than inside. The servers got a table for us right away and brought out a basket of chips and salsa while we looked over the menu. Being my first visit, I always like to order something that seems safe. For $9, the Tacos a la Mexicana were a tasty choice. The soft corn tortillas were filled with large portions of steak marinated in a guajillo sauce. The guajillo is a dried Mexican chili that is mildly spicy and somewhat tangy, adding mouth watering flavor to every bite of these tacos. Topped with asiago cheese, onions and cilantro it was a great part of the meal. The rice and beans on the other hand, were sort of flavorless and unremarkable. Not that you would expect the sides to overshadow the main entree but you would hope that they would be comparable. La Margarita Express also serves bottles of Mexican beer and pictures of margaritas for $20. Perfect to cool down with as the sun goes down, downtown.
515 Chemeketa St. NE