My girlfriends and I were long overdue for a girls night out, so we deciding on a happy hour at Cha! What a great outdoor dining destination on 21st and Everett. This restaurant is perfect for summer time because it has a fantastic outdoor ambiance. There are tables lining the streets, but also an entire covered area with a neat fountain as the focal point (it was not running tonight, but I imagine it would be really cool).
If you couldn't already tell by the name, the cuisine is Mexican. It is authentic with fresh, organic ingredients. Our waitress brought us out chips to start, but with a flare. It was a pile of blue corn tortilla chips with black beans, mexican cheese and guacamole on top. A very nice change from the traditional chips and red salsa.
Next, we ordered our drinks and we all got margaritas (of course), but not the traditional margarita - a hibiscus margarita! This was their daily special and I was sold the minute she said it. I am not a huge fan of the traditional margarita but I loved the sound of this one. $5 on their happy hour menu, which I thought was a pretty good deal. Also, for those who are not a fan of tequila, they will substitute it for another type of liquor.
For our food, we all ordered different small plates. We started with the chicken and potato taquitos. I have never had potatoes in Mexican food, but such a nice flavor with the salsa verde. I ordered the enchiladas de mole poblano and then the others ordered picaditas, nachos and pastor tacos (pastor is pork).
My enchiladas were pretty good, but I wish there were some more garnishes. It was just a chicken filling topped with onions and cilantro. Although, the mole sauce was very delicious - it was a perfect combination of rich chocolate and peppery spice. The nachos were a good size and came with pork or vegetarian. The corn chips have got to me homemade, they were so crunchy and fresh. I did not try the picaditas but they were loaded with sauteed vegetables and served on corn cakes. A great option for a vegetarian. The tacos also looked delcious, but spicy (take a look at the picture - covered in yummy red sauce).
Overall - great for outdoor seating, vegetarian options, service was great, happy hour with food and drink specials
Cha Taqueria and Bar
305 Northwest 21st Avenue
Portland, OR 97209-1141
Monday - Thursday 4-6
Friday, Saturday, Sunday 3-6
Late night Friday & Saturday 10 - 12