Taqueria Nueve: Restaurant Guide 2014

727 SE Washington St., 954-1987, taquerianueve.com.

[RE-BOTA] During its original run, which lasted the duration of Dubya's presidency minus a few months, Taqueria Nueve was known as one of the best upscale Mexican joints in town. A lot has changed since, especially in the Portland food scene, and yet T9 returns to its place in line. You may remember the $8 house margarita—it's still a brilliant alchemy that's sweet, tart, salty and as thick as a barrel-aged stout. You're also encouraged to try the Caesar salad con ceviche ($10.25), topped with Cotija, anchovy, garlic and, on our visit, delicately marinated and fleshy white lingcod. Fish changes frequently here—sometimes in the middle of dinner service. The tacos are still the reason to come. Sure, they're pricey: $3.25 for chicken or vegetarian roasted poblano, $4 for lengua or wild-boar carnitas, with asada, brisket and cochinita pibil priced in between. They're worth it, especially the smoky asada and extra-juicy carnitas. The other must is familiar from less tony environs: tres leches ($7) made with a spongy cake infused with sweet milk and covered in an eggy meringue frosting with sugared dwarf strawberries. MARTIN CIZMAR.

Pro tip:

If you want to enjoy Taqueria Nueve for the price of Por Que No, order Tecate with lime ($2) and two cochinita pibil tacos ($3.25).

5-10 pm Tuesday-Saturday, 5-9 pm Sunday. $-$$.