Since last August, I’ve moved six times, couch surfed while writing my thesis (don’t recommend it), rented a room from a middle-aged stranger (I don’t suggest that either), left the country for a stint or two, and signed a nine-month lease on my first apartment mere weeks ago. All of that has complicated any possibility of attaching the word “home” to a physical space. My only solution so far has been to locate home in my senses – in the sights, touches, and sounds of the people I love, in the tunes of familiar troubadours, and in the tastes I go searching for when I feel I’ve floated an inch too far away.
Here in Portland, one of those tastes comes from a taco truck. Through every one of those six moves, in the midst of piles of cardboard boxes and a stubborn queen-sized mattress inexplicably free of handles, I’ve been able to ground myself with a burrito from Taqueria Los Gorditos, on the corner of SE 50nd and Division. They’re even a bit homier than your typical food cart, having expanded to a full covered patio with tables and chairs. This is the place to go for cheap, amazing food close to campus – tacos are only $1.50 and their GIANT burritos start at $4.50. I’m not making claims about “The Best Burrito Ever” or gesturing wildly to the giant menu of amazing vegan/vegetarian options featuring great soyrizo vegan nachos. I’m not going to wax poetic about the mysterious superiority of their beans and rice, or describe the mind-numbing delectability of any meat option you choose (they’ve got carne asada, pollo, carne deshebrada, pastor, lengua, cabeza, encebellados) or tell you to CHOOSE THE CABEZA despite any Google searches that might steer you away. You won’t regret it, but I didn’t tell you that.
Nope. I’m just going to say that these guys are consistently delicious, friendly, and they happen to be located a few blocks from a house where I once lived. That house is no longer home, but I’m telling you, a bite of that burrito still most certainly is.
Taqueria Los Gorditos
Location: SE Division and 50th (NW Corner Lot)
Hours: Mon-Sat 11-8 (Closed Sunday)
Phone: (503) 875-2615 – Call in orders are welcome.
And for your listening pleasure, a few songs about the romance of the often unobtainable “home”, from some great bands old and new.
“Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
“Good To Be Home” by The Everybodyfields
“Not at Home” by Peter Broderick
“I was Young when I Left Home” by Antony and Bryce Dessner (Bob Dylan cover)
“I Ain’t Got No Home In This World” by Woody Guthrie
“Home Cookin'” by The Band
“Coming Home” by The 88