Monday, June 9, 2008

Taqueria El Porton

Well, it's been a while since I've had the chance to blog, but it's good to return with a restaurant review. Taqueria El Porton is an authentic Mexican restaurant in downtown Bloomington. Although it's considered a hole in the wall (my favorite), it's clean and well maintained inside.

Becka and I ate there on Sunday during our 12+ mile bike ride, and I had no way to take pictures. I liked the place so much, however, that I returned this morning and got the exact same meal so I could take photographs. It was worth it.

(On Sunday) I started my meal with a Negra Modelo which was very cool and refreshing. Becka ordered a horchata that was from a mix and had a slight "off" taste. Kinda tasted like a candle shop smells, in my opinion, but it was still good and unbelievably huge! I'm guessing 32 oz, and it was only $2.50.

The waitress promptly delivered the complimentary chips and salsa. The chips were very thick and crunchy with a minimal amount of salt. Perfection. Two salsas came with them; salsa roja and a moderately spicy roasted tomato salsa. Both were delicious and homemade.

Becka ordered the Burrito Asada, and reported that it was very meaty and cheesy. Half of it filled her up. Although I did not try it, it looked delicious. I attempted to order a small order of Menudo, but they no longer make it. Very disappointing, although I would bet money that on Sunday mornings the cooks whip up a batch for all the employees.

I ended up ordering a Lengua Taco, a Chorizo Taco, and a Sope al Pastor. The Lengua (beef tongue) was super tender; probably the best I've had in Central Illinois, and the Chorizo was also tremendous, if not a bit greasy (nothing unusual here). The tacos were assembled traditionally with two tortillas, a heap of filling, and cilantro and onions; a style I believe is know as "con todos" (with everything). Some lettuce and tomatoes would have been nice, but they were still excellent. The sope (fried masa "boat") was homemade and had great masa flavor. It's far better than the pre-made sopes that many taquerias use. The pastor (pork, shepherd style) was excellent, full flavored, and succulent. Sopes are sometimes hard to find around here, so when you see them on the menu, go for it.

(L to R) Sope al Pastor, Chorizo Taco, Lengua Taco

Taqueria El Porton is just damn good Mexican food. You can't go wrong!

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