Living in Hood River, Oregon, an hour east of Portland, we have pretty much tried all the restaurants in the surrounding areas of White Salmon, Bingen, The Dalles, Stevenson and Vancouver. Surprise, surprise! Just for a lark, we took the hour drive to Camas (just east of Vancouver) and found Camas, Washington's Nuestra Mesa, a small, family-owned Mexican diner with authentic food, fresh ingredients and attentive employees. The location is on the tree-lined main street in town (which we had never before turned off the 14 highway to investigate). A very picturesque little town, for sure, with it's old-timey street lights, boutique hotel and turn-of-the-century buildings. Nuestra Mesa's interior features high brick walls and wooden tables that wisk your mind south of the border the moment you walk through the door. All that aside, the food was terrific. I had a taco salad with chicken ($14 and worth it) that was a garden in a taco shell, with enough ingredients for two hungry people. My wife had two tacos ($3.50 each), fish and carnitas. Lots of delicious fish and the carnitas was good (not as good as the ones at Michoacan in Odell, Oregon... but what is?). Maybe one of other tempting choices next time (chorizo, pollo, etc.). The beer was cold, the service friendly (the owner is the host?) and the experience made our trip to Camas well worth the three hours we spent going through the nearby antique shop, tattoo parlor, clothing and shoe stores. We will definitely return soon, if nothing else, to just to step back in time, have a great meal and drive the Washington-side highway along the mighty Columbia. Wow, what a beautiful part of the world this is.
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