From The Desk Of Scott McCaughey: The Taquerias Of Portland, Ore.’s Alberta Street

scottmccaugheylogobMinus 5/Young Fresh Fellows frontman Scott McCaughey has been blurring the distinction between his two bands for a while, to the point where many of the songs on either group’s LPs would be appropriate for the other. Both return this week with new efforts: the Minus 5’s Killingsworth and the Fellows’ I Think This Is. The tunes are more divergent, with Killingsworth featuring a heavy alt-country vibe and I Think This Is being a typically funny garage-pop workout. When he’s not fronting his own combos, McCaughey is a sideman for R.E.M. and Robyn Hitchcock, the latter of whom produced I Think This Is. McCaughey is guest-editing this week. Read our Q&A with him.


McCaughey: Portland is known for nudie bars, Nike, Powell’s Books and let’s not forget the Shins, Decemberists, Quasi, Viva Voce, Dandy Warhols, Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks, Modest Mouse, Richmond Fontaine, M. Ward, Menomena, Sleater-Kinney, etc. Yes, the music scene here is awesome, and that isn’t the half of it. But almost as important (and intertwined perhaps?) is the abundance of most-excellent taquerias and taco wagons in this fine city. In my old neighborhood, I could walk to any of three Alberta Street establishments within a couple minutes and be in burrito heaven. For a while, there were also two carts camped out in the same eight-block strip. This was actually ridiculous and certainly not fair to the rest of the universe. So on your next journey to Portland (it’s on the way to everywhere!), check out La Bonita, La Sirenita and Don Pancho on NE Alberta—or any of the hundreds of other bean-and-carne oases scattered about the city. They will treat you right.

One reply on “From The Desk Of Scott McCaughey: The Taquerias Of Portland, Ore.’s Alberta Street”

Scott is right about our little mobile Tex-Mex scene — Don Pancho in particular is amazing, and he didn’t even get to NON-Alberta neighborhood places like Esparza’s on SE Ankeny (one of the best jukeboxes in town, too). The PDX: it’s about indie rock, coffee, cycling and… mobile taquerias.

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