Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Happy Tummies at Stella Taco (for under $10!)
Loving a good happy hour, I've been wanting to indulge in Stella Taco's offering. I always enjoy their tacos (and especially when they're just $2!) however, I've never actually been inside and eaten there. My experience has always been with take out that Dan brings home after the workday.
Located just a few blocks from where we live, you can find Stella Taco on the corner of 30th Avenue and Alberta Street. It marks a pivotal spot in this quintessential NE Portland arts district in that I think it's where the good food starts.
The interior couldn't be more inviting - it's well lit, boasts high ceilings, a cheery modern design and an overall casual, laid back vibe. Since we're now always dining with our little one, I must mention that Stella is super family friendly and throughout the course of our visit, I noticed several families with young kids. There's plenty of room between tables so you won't feel crowded and they even have a fun little activity corner for the kiddies.
To no one's surprise, we came for the happy hour tacos which only go for $2 a pop between 3-6 p.m. Note that not all tacos are $2, just the street tacos, but rest assured that there's plenty of variety to go around.
Tortilla Soup - Feeling the chill from the outdoors, I was ready to cozy up to some nice, warm soup. It seemed to be the special of the day so I thought it would be made fresh and I was right. Loving the chunkiness of the soup, it was packed with lots of hearty ingredients such as shredded chicken, black beans, greens and crispy tortilla chips on top. There was also lots of cheese on top, which gave it that extra dose of comfort and Mexican flavor.
Tacos - While you can only choose the soft street tacos as part of the happy hour deal, there are 8 varieties to choose from. Whether you're a meat eater or a vegetarian, there's plenty of excellent options for you. I was half tempted by the veggie offerings but in the end went for the meatier pork Colombiano and the shredded brisket. Out of these, the former was my favorite, as the meat was most tender, dressed with some homemade chile sauce and topped with crispy tortillas. The brisket was good too but a bit on the salty side. If I had to do it all over again, I think I would go for the carnitas instead.
Service and Cost:
Ordering at the counter and then hanging up our number on their handy-dandy ceiling hooks, the service at Stella was pretty, well...stellar. We didn't feel like we waited long for anything and loved the attentive folks who cleaned our plates and at the same time made us feel welcome and relaxed to stay a while.
Costs are amazing for the amount of food you get. It must be said that the tacos are incredibly filling and stuffed to the very top of the tortillas. The soup was on the generous side as well, and depending on how hungry you are, I think you can walk out quite full for under $10/person.
Stella Taco - 2940 NE Alberta Street, Portland OR 97211