I was recently in Texas, and one of the things I enjoyed was a good, Texas-style margarita.  I’m not much of a drinker of alcohol in general.  It’s fattening, wastes calories and makes me feel bad, so I only imbibe once in a blue moon.  However, when the opportunity to enjoy a good Texas-style margarita presents itself, I will usually give one a try, even if I can’t finish an entire drink.

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Last night, John and I decided to walk down the street to the new taco restaurant that replaced Marie’s pizza on Division Street. We’re both taco enthusiasts, and we hoped they would have good margaritas. Stella Taco did not disappoint.  We strolled the brief block and a half from our home, and were greeted when we arrived, by sidewalk chalk and bistro tables.  We preferred to eat inside, however.

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The one and only thing I do not like about Stella Taco is that it has counter service rather than waiters.  However, the staff does take the food to each table, so that’s not so bad.  We poured over the restaurant’s many vegetarian options, placed our order, and found a table.

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I began the meal with a hibiscus lavender margarita.  It was nice and tart, very light, and made with an excellent, premium tequila.  The glass was rimmed with a spicy chili salt.

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My husband, John, enjoyed a new lager that he’d not had before.

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We split an order of nachos, for starters. They were unlike any nachos I had ever tried. These were made from thin, house-made corn chips (with the restaurant’s own blend of spices, turning them into a kind of homemade Dorrito), green chile queso, black beans, green onion, queso fresco and mild sauce. They were light and delicious, without the cloying melted cheese usually found on nachos.

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John ate something called a “Guadalupe Bowl.”  It contained the perfect blend of house-made corn chips, green chile queso, black beans, green onion, queso fresco and mild sauce.  He offered me a bite and it was good.  The balance between sweet, savory, hot and mild, was perfection.

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We are both excited about this new restaurant.  I marveled at the fact that it was the first time since I’d left Texas that I had been served truly Austin-style street tacos and REAL margaritas.  Shortly thereafter, the restaurant’s owner (or manager?) (whose name escapes me) stopped by the table to say hello.   As I was chatting about how good everything was, he said the magic words.  He let me know right away why I love the familiar flavor of everything so much.  THIS RESTAURANT MOVED HERE FROM AUSTIN!

“Hey! I was just there!” I said.

He said, “Aren’t you glad you’re back in Portland?”

“Yes,” I said , …if not for one thing……”

“Aren’t you glad to get out of that heat?” he asked me.

“Indeed…..it was hot in Texas.  Really hot.”  😉

Stella Tacos – 30th and Division.  503-206-5446

Go there.