155 SE Vista Avenue
Gresham, OR 97080
Hours: Sun/Mon 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Tue – Sat 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Lunch money: $$
Just off (very busy) Powell Boulevard on a quiet side street in Gresham is a little burnt orange colored house thatâ€™s been transformed into one of the best Mexican places in the Portland area. No joke. Seriouslyâ€¦no joke.
Arriving at Agave Azul was a little confusingâ€¦um, which oneâ€™s the right door to enter? Um, is it OK to park on that street, there’s no parking sign? Use the side door and, yes, there’s plenty of FREE parking…even on the street. (Living in Portland can make you parking sign crazy, but this is Gresham.)
But once inside we were quickly seated and handed our menus. The dining room was tiny, very clean, sparsely decorated and (surprisingly) kinda empty considering it was primetime lunchtime on a Wednesday. (Note: there is also additional seating in the adjacent bar/lounge area through the saloon-style doors.)
Starting off, they offer a unique complimentary appetizerâ€”a soft bean taco with a side of fresh salsa hot sauceâ€”instead of the typical jumbo-sized basket of chips and salsa. We were, again, a little confused by this at first, but then realized it actually makes some sense. How often does your entrÃ©e arrive at a Mexican restaurant and youâ€™re already too stuffed full of chips? If youâ€™re like us, that happens a lot!
While the complete Agave Azul menu is expansive, we were determined to stick to the lunch menu and its super cheap pricesâ€”most dishes run about $6(!)â€”and we were absolutely NOT disappointed. The lunch menu was quite varied with your typical Mexican fare: tacos, burritos, lots of meat and seafood optionsâ€¦even the pickiest eater will likely find something to happily chow down on.
We ordered the tacos de pescado (fish tacos, duh). The two tacos were piled high with grilled white fish, tomato, onion, cilantro, lime and crÃ¨me fraiche. We gobbled them both up in record-setting speed! OMG GOOD! The flavors and texture were mastication perfection on a doubled-up corn tortilla!
Our lunch buddy went with a beef burrito with mole sauceâ€”and it was massive! Weâ€™re talking seriously substantial.
The portions were on the large size, which can be expected at most Mexican joints, but it wasn’t too overwhelming. Of course, with food that delicious, neither of us had enough left over to warrant asking for doggie bags.
The service was exceptional from beginning to endâ€”attentive, but not pushy. Our food came out super quick, but we never felt rushed. Our check for two people was less than $15! Not bad for a satisfying, belly-filling meal.
Sure, itâ€™s a little off the beaten path, but it’s certainly unique in its shabby Mexi-chic charm and the food rivals some of the better-known Mexican restaurants in Portland. It might just be our new fave aprÃ¨s-ski spot after a long winter day of skiing and boarding on Mt. Hood.
GO! Just go and taste for yourself! We just wish we’d been off the clock so we could try one of the margaritas!
– Excellent food
– Lunch menu is very affordable
– Great service
– Could use a slight ambiance upgrade
– Might be hard to find if youâ€™re not familiar with the area
– Wish it were closer to our house!!