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It seems to me that there are two kinds of taco trucks. The first, which are most of them, serve up decent food made with mass market ingredients and dry tortillas. Then there are those few trucks that knock your socks off with their juicy meats, house-made tortillas, and so many sauces you need an extra plate. El Cuate (the twin) food truck is the latter; it’s food that makes you want to move to Mexico.

When I went the owner, Ricardo Lopez (aka el cuate), his wife, and two of their kids were cooking in the truck. Based on their recommendations, I ordered the fish taco and adobada torta. As I waited for my food Ricardo gave me a tour of his garden, planted right there on the street corner! The produce he grows on the corner, along with more from his garden at home, are used in the food. Now that’s love!

I’m usually an exclusive taco kind of girl, but after eating El Cuate’s torta, I’m going to be ordering tortas regularly. Soft, grilled bread stuffed with spicy pork, smashed pinto beans, huge pieces of avocado, tomatoes, organic greens, onions, pickled jalapeños, cheese, and chipotle mayo. It is a flavorful, messy heaven . The Pacific rock fish taco was also delicious. Next time I’m going to get their house-made burger, which I hear is a contender for the best burger in town. Thank you Lopez family for cooking up such tasty food!

LUNCH AT EL CUATE HOOD RIVERPIN

LUNCH AT EL CUATE HOOD RIVERPIN

LUNCH AT EL CUATE HOOD RIVERPIN

LUNCH AT EL CUATE HOOD RIVERPIN

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I love pFriem Family Brewers. The food and beer are truly fantastic, but it’s the vibe that really draws me to visit again and again. The friendly service, huge windows that flood the space with light, large outdoor patio, towering fermenters, and gorgeous wood and metal decor combine for a home run every time.

My family enjoyed a lovely dinner at pFriem a few weeks ago. The place was hopping when we arrived and it felt like everyone was celebrating. We shared, and loved, the crispy rockfish with fries and burger with fries (you can never have too many fries, right?), and drank the Helles and Vienna Lagers which were perfect for the warm weather. Afterwards we played across the street at the park with friends well into the evening and watched the sky change colors with happy, full bellies. Another home run for sure.
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After adventuring in the outdoors I often crave Mexican food. So after a family hike at Punchbowl Falls we headed to Michoacan Sports Bar & Grill in Odell for lunch. It’s casual, very family friendly, there’s usually soccer on the TV, and the food is amazing. Especially the carnitas, ooh the carnitas. I learned this last visit that the owner arrives at 4am everyday to start the insanely flavorful pork and that the recipe is a closely guarded secret.

I ordered the plate-sized carnitas huarache thinking I’d bring some home for dinner and ended up eating the whole thing. It was certainly too much food for me, but when something is that good I just can’t help myself.

LUNCH AT MICHOACAN ODELLPIN

LUNCH AT MICHOACAN ODELLPIN

LUNCH AT MICHOACAN ODELLPIN

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When I want to get dressed up and eat something special I head to Celilo Restaurant & Bar. You don’t need to dress up of course, but the quality of the Pacific NW food and drink, exceptional service, and plush interior make for a fantastic experience. So when my 37-weeks pregnant self met up with my 35-weeks pregnant friend for lunch, we headed to Celilo.

I can’t seem to consume enough salmon these days, so I easily decided on the house made salmon burger with green salad. The burger was fresh and flavorful with a spicy aioli sauce and sandwiched in tasty bread from White Salmon Baking Co. My girlfriend chose the kale and squash salad, which was absolutely beautiful topped with pomegranate and shaved cheddar cheese. Thank goodness she also ordered a side of the house cut fries. Thin and crispy with some skins attached, they were devoured in no time.

LUNCH AT CELILO RESTAURANT BAR HOOD RIVERPIN

LUNCH AT CELILO RESTAURANT BAR HOOD RIVERPINLUNCH AT CELILO RESTAURANT BAR HOOD RIVERPIN

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I love eating out for lunch on the weekends. Weekend breakfasts are for pjs, weekend dinners are for quality family time, but lunch out is just right. And lunch at Broder Øst is really, really right.

Broder Øst specializes in Scandinavian food, and ever since I studied abroad in Denmark I have a special appreciation for Scandinavian cuisine. Similar to what my host family ate every weekend, I had the Gravlax Smørrebrød, a slice of rye bread piled high with a creamy shrimp salad and topped with cured salmon. I also ordered a side of the most amazing crispy chard and kale with apple cider vinegar and chili flakes. My girlfriend loved her salmon fish cake sandwich and potato leek soup too. I could very happily eat this food everyday. Skål!

LUNCH AT BRODER ØST HOOD RIVERPIN

LUNCH AT BRODER ØST HOOD RIVERPINLUNCH AT BRODER ØST HOOD RIVERPIN

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