Amelia's: Restaurant Guide 2014

105 NE 4th Ave., Hillsboro, 615-0191, ameliasmexicanfood.com

[GUAC THIS WAY] Amid the office parks and strip malls of Hillsboro, there are countless hidden culinary treasures, including this tiny family-run Mexican spot that serves traditional eats in a cozy, colorful environment. The thick, housemade tortillas that come from the kitchen are hefty constructions built to handle the sauces and salsas that accompany the dishes. They're especially good for sopping up the drippings from the cazuela de bistecisa ($14.95), a herculean platter of thinly sliced and marinated steak flanked by a pile of nicely spiced chorizo and a grilled cactus leaf. Rice, beans and creamy-cool guacamole show up as well, on the off chance that you still have room left in your belly. A slightly "lighter" option is a nicely prepared chile relleno ($11.95), the poblano encased in an airy batter that is a good foil for the salty, tangy cheese enclosed within. Save a little room for an ever-changing roster of dessert tamales ($3.95), including one filled with mango jam. BRIAN PANGANIBAN.

Pro tip:

Unless your dining party is huge, skip appetizers. No one goes hungry here.

10 am-8 pm Monday-Thursday, 10 am-9 pm Friday, 9 am-9 pm Saturday. $$.