Friday, March 6, 2009
Last Saturday's lunch at Por Que No, yum-yum
First let me say that I must return to Por Que No, at 4635 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd., to take more photographs of the guacamole you see in the photo above. Perhaps I'll capture the green better next time. I did get a great photo of those margaritas, though!
Second let me say that I'd already been to Por Que No on Wednesday a week ago, at lunch with my friend at work Sarah. That's when I first saw the guacamole and realized I'd been a fool, a 100 percent fool, to forget my camera. That little bowl of green looked gorgeous! So gorgeous in fact that I decided to try it. You see, I've never, ever been a guacamole person. The few times I tried it in other Mexican eateries, I found it to be oily and flavorless. However, I took one look at that little bowl and realized that I'd be an even worse fool if I didn't at least try it. I mean the chips looked perfect, too.
I'm here to tell you that I couldn't get enough of that edible perfection. That's not totally true. I got plenty, sharing it with Sarah who had bought it for us--she'd eaten lunch there the day before and knew already just how good it tasted! And then I thoroughly enjoyed a carnitas taco and a pollo verde taco. All in an hour, including driving and parking time, in Sarah's vehicle.
Back at work, I couldn't stop thinking about that guacamole and the carnitas taco, the most flavorful of the two, to me anyway. So when my friend from work Marsha and I were talking about where to eat lunch on Saturday after the Architectural Heritage Center lecture about local architect Joseph Jacobberger, I naturally suggested Por Que No. She'd recently read a article about it in the Oregonian and smiled, saying, "OK!" (You too can read that same article in the link above, right under the photo.)
So on a sunny and sort of cold Saturday afternoon we rode the 14 bus and walked a couple of blocks to get in line to make our order, looking around at the interesting walls decorated with exotic keepsakes and vivid paint while we stood just inside the front door.
Peek-a-boo! There I am in the bottom of that mirror.
On the counter to the right stood gigantic glass jars filled with brightly colored fruit juice drinks--I missed them in this photo; yes, another good reason to return. When a relaxed, happy-looking man with curly hair and friendly, sparkling eyes asked, "Would you like something to drink while you wait?" I figured he meant something pink or yellow from one of the jars, but when he answered my, "What do you have?" with a list that included margaritas on the rocks, I blithely answered, "Yes!" "Salt?" he asked. "Just a little," I answered. He then turned to Marsha who grinned and said, "I'll have what she's having." Oh, somewhere in there we both ordered the pint-sized ones! (The recipe's at the top of that Oregonian article, the one you can read if you click on the Por Que No beneath the photo.)
Both hungry and thirsty, we ordered our food and invited ourselves to sit across from each other in two empty seats at a four-top table. The two ladies by the window graciously agreed to let us do that. Moments went by and the drinks arrived, followed by the guacamole and housemade chips that I had ordered for the two of us. We sipped and dipped and smiled and talked--after I took the photo. I'd remembered by camera! Somewhere in there, it dawned on Marsha (and me, to tell you the truth) that additional non-margarita-liquids were needed, so she said, "I'm going to get us some of that juice," and stood up as I said, "I'll take the pink one."
(Just now at Por Que No’s Web site, I found out their official name is Aguas Fresca.) Tasted freshly sweet and vivid.
A few minutes before our food arrived, I took this photo of the sign out front. When the man I was convinced must be the owner came to check on us, I showed it to him. He told me about the fluorescent bulbs he's substituted in the building's original sign, so I decided to be sure to get a shot of it from the sidewalk.
I took several bites of one taco before I remembered to take a photo. And I don't know which one I'd already taken a bite out of or which one is on the right--I had ordered the carne asada and the pollo asado, but I do know that the one on the left is the carnitas. It's still my favorite one--I saved it for last.
On our way out, when we bussed our table towards the back of the restaurant, Marsha noticed the open back door. I followed and came out into a charming back patio. "This will be so great in warm weather," I exclaimed. Marsha agreed.
I'm wanting to go back to Por Que No to eat again, before too long, not just to take another photo of the guacamole, but I have to get the green just right. I think it'll depend on the light coming through the windows. It'll probably take more than one visit.