Tortas and Tacos at Güero

A former taco courier service delivers Yucatan flavors and addictive masa-packed sandwiches.

By Benjamin Tepler June 26, 2013

A special bolo with rice, pinto beans, charred tomatillo aioli, salsa roja and a fried egg

From inside a gleaming Silver Streak trailer on Southeast 28th Ave, a flowing, golden-haired Alec Morrison flattens a mix of masa and mashed potato, folds a grilled jalapeno inside and pan-fries the fluffy round to a golden crisp. It’s the centerpiece in a crave-worthy disc-shaped torta sandwich at Güero, a taco courier-turned food cart serving freshly pressed tortillas, bright Yucatan flavors and killer tortas.

Morrison is the “Güero” (slang for a fair-skinned, blond-haired gringo) that gives this cart its name. He and co-owner Megan Sanchez spent months dipping into the Yucatan peninsula’s crazy culinary melting pot, honing their palates and locking down recipes for Taco the Town, a short-lived bicycle-powered taco delivery service that debuted in Portland earlier this year. Now they’ve entered the world of food cart-dom, parked in a cozy pod strung with colorful flags, handmade signs and tiny succulents cozying up to cart neighbors Wolf and Bear’s and Captured by Porches.

Handmade signs adorn the cart.

From a tiny menu of Southeastern Mexican tacos, tortas, and bolos (heaping bowls of rice, beans, and slow-cooked meats), the huarache torta is a good place to start. Pitch-perfect torta bread from Vancouver’s Veracruz Bakery sandwiches a thick slice of huarache, cilantro-flecked roasted tomatillo aioli, and a tomato—tamarind stew spiced with rosemary. I’m sold. From the short list of $2 tacos, go for the Carnitas al Güero simmered in lime, whole oranges and deeply spiced with cinnamon and cumin. A generous squeeze of habanero-carrot salsa is critical: sweet, neon-orange puree ringing with chile heat and fruity tang.

Güero may not serve the best tacos you’ve ever had, but they bring Yucatan creativity, dedication to detail, from salsa to signage, and a serious hangout factor in one of Portland’s best cart pods.

113 SE 28th Ave
Tues-Sun, 11:30-9pm

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