Making the drive from Portland to Seattle and intended to visit McMenamin's again for okay food and iffy service. But hey, it's tradition.
We then admitted how unenthusiastic we were, so I pulled up a mobile app to see what else was in the area. Of the several highly-rated options, we chose La Tarasca and were so glad!
This is REAL Mexican food. Not cheese-laden, Americanized. Not upscale, decorative. This is fresh, flavorful food you'd eat at someone's house in Mexico.
We arrived around 1:30pm to find a few tables open in this fairly small place. The crowd was a good mix of, well, Gringos and Hispanics -- always a good sign.
When the server came to our table, she said, "Mama made XYZ for today's special." Guess what? That really IS Mama in the kitchen.
Why eat rice & beans with all these great options? So, we went straight to solo items. Between us, we had tacos adobada, sopes (one potato; the other adobada), posole, and another item of which I can't recall the name.
Everything was good! Delicious flavor, chewy or tender where appropriate, and nicely presented. (Yummy marinated carrots arrive at the table when you sit down too.) The service was friendly, the ambiance basic, but charming, the prices VERY reasonable and, right, fresh, tasty, authentic food.
We'd definitely go again -- especially to have the adobada sopes -- and to try the tamales, which I later read are very good. Yes, La Tarasca is our new lunch tradition for the drive from Portland to Seattle!
P.S. If you need further encouragement: this place gets 4.5 stars on Urbanspoon, Yelp, and Yahoo, -- and a 28/30 on Google. Also, the actor, Salma Hayek took her entire film crew there for a meal when she was last in the area.
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