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La Fogata


Yes, it's one of those suburban strip mall, big margarita joints. I don't
mind that type of food, in fact I crave it every now and then (luckily NYC
isn't so highbrow in the Tex-Mex department–there are plenty of
salt-on-the-rim, chips-and-salsa places to choose from). But Portland's west
suburbs actually have a Mexican population, hence "real" Mexican food. I saw
taco trucks in parking lots and read about tiny tacquerias in Hillsboro, my
mom's environs.
It just wasn't right to be so close and not even get to try the regional
offerings. But my sister is vegetarian (they're fine people, but the worst
for food exploring) and I didn't have the urge to get my mom and husband in
the mood. Trekking out on my own wasn't really an option since I didn't have
a car or any solitary time to spare.
This was hardly a culinary getaway. I was there from NYC, my sister from
England on short notice to see our father who'd unexpectedly been put on
life support. Hardly festive and appetite inducing. And in a way La Fogata
was wholly appropriate. My dad was a most un-Mexican Mexican. He loved these
sorts of Gringo-filled combo platter restaurants. He didn't speak Spanish,
though he must've grown up on at least some traditional Mexican food. I'm
guessing he wanted to be more American and he did a pretty good job (he was
exactly like Hank Hill if he were Hispanic). I wouldn't mind being a little
less, but honestly I wouldn't argue with a scalding hot plate of oozing
refried beans with a thick skin of pepper jack cheese and a nice crisp
chimichanga, authentic or not.

La Fogata * 3905 SW 117th Ave., Beaverton, OR

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