Our taco-obsessed city might have just gotten the ultimate gift: a new Mexican restaurant that invites customers to order their tortilla fillings by the pound.
Todo, located at 1935 SE Hawthorne Blvd., is the latest pandemic stop-gap measure to grow into a full-blown business.
Veteran restaurateur Marco Frattaroli and his longtime chef Fernando Aquilera came up with the concept during the initial lockdown. A vacant space next door to Cibo, originally leased to expand Frattaroli’s Italian diner on Southeast Division Street, was repurposed as a space to create taco kits for would-be diners stuck at home. The meals proved so popular that Frattaroli and Aquilera decided to expand the menu and opened Todo this past June.
Aguilera, who’s originally from Mexico City, has worked with Frattaroli for 17 years. The two decided to develop a simple lineup of dishes for Todo, focusing on high-quality meats and ingredients as well as traditional cooking methods.
Fillings include tinga de pollo, carne asada, flash-fried rockfish, pastor, cochinita pibil (pork slowly braised in banana leaves), and vegan picadillo. An order comes with a stack of tortillas and your choice of accompaniments, like pico de gallo, crumbled cotija, onions, cilantro and lime. If a few pounds of taco innards aren’t enough to fill you up, there are plenty of affordably priced sides, from pinto beans to birra broth to guacamole. And for those who find taco assembly too taxing, you can make a meal from a short list of small plates (quesabirra, ceviche, nopalitos salad).
“Our menu will expand as business grows,” Frattaroli stated in a press release. “We expect to evolve, just like cuisines evolve over time. Take quesobirria. This street food from Tijuana is a mashup of a quesadilla and the traditional birria soup from Jalisco. It’s a modern creation that was only recently popularized and we’ve got it on the menu. So we’ll see where the cuisine leads us.”
The bar menu features classic cocktails with a modern spin, such as a margarita made with Pueblo Viejo blanco tequila that’s dispensed from an old-school slushie machine—a drink you should probably just order repeatedly during what looks to be a sweltering last few weeks of August.
The short, curated wine list was developed by Frattaroli’s longtime friend-turned-partner Tim Edwards, a wine industry veteran and owner of Signal Station Pizza in North Portland.
“The first restaurant I ever went to in Portland was Bastas,” Edwards says, referring to Frattaroli’s iconic Northwest Portland restaurant, which closed in 2017. “I’d grown up in the restaurant industry and Marco had truly created a family with both his customers and staff. That’s the way a restaurant should be and that’s what Todo’s about.”
The 4,600-square-foot building used to house four separate businesses. It now seats 120 guests and is decorated with a mural. There is also a sidewalk patio and a balcony for private events is currently in the works. Frattaroli built all of the tables, bar stools and 45-foot terrazzo bar himself, pouring the concrete and grinding the showpiece smooth to reveal his collection of semi-precious stones
Todo is open 5-10 pm Monday through Saturday and 5-9 pm Sunday.