5.17.2018

Los Tres Potrillos for Tacos - Phoenix Oregon near Ashland

                         The Three Ponies Talking About Tacos
While on a trip to Ashland in  S. Oregon, to visit my mom for her 75th birthday, I had a serendipitous foodhist experience.

There are many Mexican food restaurants, cafes, etc. in the state of Oregon. Some of them famous, many of them authentic. Very different from the Cali-Mex or Gourmet-Mex of places like LA and San Francisco (still favoring Burritos! - forehead slap)

I've been excited to try a few new places on prior visits, but the Mother of the Mother of Tacos does not enjoy Mexican food! Her favorite food is salad. Is that a food? Well... sometimes there's lettuce on a taco, so.... To be fair, she's extremely healthy and peppy for her age!

Still, I felt the need to drag her to something 'hip' and so we found ourselves in a tiny, boutique, authentically DELICIOUS, Indonesian restaurant early on a Friday night. Blue Toba reminds me of my very own Bistro Magico because it's tiny and it's pretty much a one-man-band of a cool dude cooking up creative, clean, affordable food. The dude and a helper, that's it. 3 tables. I wonder if Jonathan Gold has eaten here.

Pastor Taco with Crudite Salsa
Wait... isn't this a taco review? It is! I promise. We enter Blue Toba at 5:30pm on a Friday, we are a party of 3. Two tables are taken and the third is for 2 people only. What to do. The two guys at the bigger table were very friendly, shared their table, their food and their taco tips! It turns out they are two actors from LA up in Ashland performing at the OSF - the big theatrical attraction to this tiny town 12 miles N. of the California-Oregon border!

I could tell from talking with Christopher Salazar that he knew his tacos. Like me, he wasn't terribly impressed with the stuff near the theater, but he recommended Los Tres Potrillos which happened to be on the way to the airport in Medford. He explained that potrillos means ponies; a word I'd never come across in 5 years of studying Spanish and 5 years of living in Mexico and I'm a total horse lover and recently wrote a YA Novel about horses! What the heck. HAD to go and so I did.

It was raining on the way to the airport. The unassuming taco joint was on a very short main drag of the 99 that goes through Phoenix. It's on the corner, well-marked and plenty of parking! I got my food to go and could only order two items on the run but I loved what I had.

Undressed Pastor - Lots of tender meat
The pastor wasn't your traditional LA/Baja trompo with pineapple affair which I truly adore. It was very tender, nicely grilled pork - it wasn't red, I'm not even sure there was any achiote present, but it was still so fresh and tasty. Tortillas, fresh and tasty. Price: $1.35. The revelation was the salsa bar. I actually saw a salsa I've never seen before! What? Yup. I'm calling it Taco Salsa de Verduras in Spanish and Crudites Salsa in French/English.

The salsa was a finely chopped mix of carrots, radishes, peeled cucumbers, tomato and cilantro. I'm pretty sure there was no onion...  but you could add onions and chiles for a spicy version. It was fresh and crunchy but not marinated in that vinegar way at all - maybe some lemon, oil and salt. Delicious on carne asada as well. I'm working to perfect the recipe and when I do, you'll see it here.

Tasty Tostada of Carne Molida
The second item I ordered was a comfort food indulgence - a ground beef tostada. Look mom! It's a salad. I was trying to create a crispy taco vibe - it got soggy pretty fast and the tortilla tasted a little funky and was probably too thin BUT the rest of the ingredients - very fresh.

Honestly - judge a place by it's tacos. Very clean and comfy inside. Extensive menu plus breakfast all day. Lots of people have blogged and written about this place but it's also a popular name for a taco spot so check to be sure which one you're reading about!

The day after we met the boys, my mom and her cousin saw the other actor at the table, Eduardo Enrikez in Destiny of Desire. He was so humble at dinner, he did not boast that he was one of the leads. Extra bonus, extremely cute AND had his shirt off for some of the show - making two 75-year-olds giggle and say 'We know him!!!!'

Wherever you may roam, follow the authentic food and/or the tacos! You will always have an adventure and meet wonderful people.

Los Tres Potrillos
102 S. Main Street, Phoenix, Oregon 97535
Open Everyday 8am - 9pm
541-897-4373

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