The life cycle of food trends in Portland goes something like this: An international comfort food shows up in earnest at a modest food cart or storefront; similar spots pop up and a favorite among the Instagram foodie set emerges; then someone with tattoos and deep pockets sands off the edges and sells it to Portlanders who rarely journey farther east than I-205.
The birria boom is on the cusp of Phase 3—and the persistent traffic jam outside Birrieria La Plaza signals that it’s the chosen one at the moment. Birria is a rich and aromatic consomme that’s used in every step of production at this bright red food truck, located in the parking lot of a neon-green discount store.
Tacos, quesadillas and tostadas are all familiar offerings that gain a new (and messy) dimension of juicy flavor when dipped in the deep red birria. Load up as many as you’d like à la carte, or go for the Plato La Plaza (includes a mulita) if you’d like to sort out which item pairs best with the broth.
Seating options are limited to a pair of picnic tables and a small shed lined with bar-style accommodations. Glenfair Park is a few blocks away if you’re looking for a more peaceful place to enjoy your platter—but judging by the commotion surrounding La Plaza, it’s clear the birria is all that matters.
600 SE 146th Ave., tacoslaplaza.com. 10:30 am-7 pm Wednesday-Friday, 9:30 am-7 pm Saturday, 9:30 am-5 pm Sunday.