Mi Mero Mole at 5026 SE Division in Portland, is one of those nondescript little places that we passed virtually every day, but until recently, had not tried.
Mistake. I wish I’d known how good this place was before now. I’d not had a decent plate of truly good Mexican food since I left Texas!
Let me just say that any place that would serve a fresh plantain margarita is ok in my books! Touted as one of the top five margaritas in Portland, this drink is comprised of:
2 oz reposado tequila
3/4 oz lime juice
3/4 oz spiced plantain syrup
(Shake with ice and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass – salt rim optional).
This margarita is light and refreshing….different….and leaves notes of cinnamon on the back of the tongue. Delicious!
The overall ambiance of the restaurant is very casual. Cement floors…booths…sort of dark inside. The noise levels are pretty high due to the less-than-perfect acoustics. Thankfully, the food is amazing, so one doesn’t notice so much.
They specialize in guisados. In Mexico, guisados are cooked dishes that especially include stews and stir-fries. Mi Mero Mole is one of the few Mexican restaurants that I have encountered that serves genuine vegan and vegetarian options that do not contain things such as “pork oil”. The first night that we went, I tried the vegan mole.
Served with a side of black beans and rice and a few chips, this dish did not have much eye-appeal. Fortunately, one does not eat with one’s eyes. The taste was fabulous….albeit, it tasted more like a curry than a mole, but it was still very good. The menu said that the dish was to have green beans in it, but from where I sat, it was just mole sauce over spuds. Still, it was delicious.
John had a taco a la carte….with rajas con crema….that is, roasted poblano chili peppers with sauteed onions in a sour cream sauce with mushrooms and other goodies like fresh lime and pickled onions on the side.
John’s dish was fabulous, and that is what *I* ordered the second time we went. HE ordered a big salad the second time we went. Why anyone would order a caesar salad in a Mexican restaurant is beyond me…..but John is from PA, and they do things a little differently there….so I’ll excuse him this time. 😉 Actually, I tasted his salad and it was good!
This is a meat-oriented restaurant, so they offer a lot of traditional Mexican pork and fish dishes….some sausage and smoked duck. They also have a wide selection of microbrewery beers and designer cocktails.
The most unique characteristic was their willingness to serve great vegan and vegetarian options that go far beyond the vegetarian fare that is typically offered at places like this. These options were wonderful, and I’m so glad to have found Mi Mero Mole!
I am looking forward to trying the Hongos en salsa de Guajilto…mushrooms stewed in a red chili and cream sauce…or the Tinga de Calabacites, which is stir friend summer squach, online, tomatoes and chipoltle. Oh…and they serve killer guac and chips there, too!
Our tortillas are made fresh using ground nixtamal rather than commercial Maseca. Everything we serve, including our moles, salsas, rice, and beans, are made from scratch.