Best Mexican Food in Portland – and more

Best Mexican Food in Portland – and more.

We were in Portland Sunday – up at 2am to drive down in the Fiat, there to root for Will in the Portland Marathon. He finished in a laudable 4:01:02, his best marathon time yet. His physique has changed so much in the past couple of years on his quest for fitness through marathons and various iterations of triathlons that it is literally a challenge for both us and friends who root for him to identify him on the course. I am pretty sure now that people who see us together for the first time presume he is adopted!

Will’s efforts and changes to his lifestyle make for interesting reading. For more, see

A tradition we have developed for these events consists of a meal at a Mexican restaurant near the finish, where Will celebrates with the largest Pina Colada they serve, and we pay for the meal for the three of us and whomever has come along to root for him. This time it was a friend of his by the name of Michelle.

In this case, we found, with some difficulty, a hole in the wall place by the name of Santeria. (703 SW Ankeny St.) Santeria is a real hole in the wall sort of establishment, with a long bar, a few tables, charmingly tacky decor, and the front door open to the lightly misting air. Things began poorly, as they were out of some of the ingredients to make a Pina Colada, so Will ended up with a concoction of rum and various fruit juices he and the bartender devised. But the food! Oh my!

Best Mexican food ever! I had a pork-based concoction and when it arrived, came in the shape and size of a small log draped with sauces in bands of white, green, and red. It was amazing, and enormous, and I have been dining on sumptuous leftovers since.

Santeria has a bar on one side and few tables along the wall. The space in between leads to a door to the restrooms. Through the door I found myself in a pitch black dark bar that Santeria abuts, and I meandered through it to find the small men’s room.

A while later Susan took her turn, and when she returned she urged, with great glee, that everyone must visit the rest rooms. It seems the bar is actually a stripper bar!

I don’t pay much attention to the interiors of dark bars, nor do I spend much time in them, but really – how could I not notice? I returned for a second visit, and sure enough, the young woman in repose on the bar surface appeared to be clad in a thong, a very small bikini top, and little else. In my defense, if one is needed, it was 1pm on a Sunday afternoon and there were no customers, but still…

As we left I strolled around the corner to see the entrance to the bar, and sure enough, “Mary’s Club” was advertising its “all nude review.”

If per chance you are in Portland and want some terrific Mexican food, I recommend you visit Santeria. If you happen to enjoy stripper bars, you can combine the two and order your food from there!

Fun day!

About david

I am a 73 year old motorsports nut who lives in Snohomish, Washington. After a 31 year career as an English teacher, I segued into a self-created job in the motorsports business. Now retired, I was involved in customer relations for Ride West BMW in Seattle, after almost 10 years of similar work for the Cycle Barn MotorSports Group. I own, at the current time, a Triumph Rocket 3 (2020) and a 2016 Ford Focus ST. What else would you like to know?
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