The tacos at Cinco de Mayo Taqueria in Woodburn, Oregon, are pretty nice (especially the juicy and crisp-edged carnitas) but what haunts me are the memelitas, served four to plate for five bucks.
If you crawl out of bed on a rainy morning and can't quite face the crowds at Woodburn's outlet malls yet, these little masa rounds will revive you: they're rich without being heavy, fried without being too greasy, and filling without being overwhelming. The crisp edges reminded me a bit of Chinese scallion pancakes, and that's a good thing, since those are another one of my favorite hangover-friendly foods.
The outer crunch of the underside of the memelita gives way to warm, sweet corn flavor, heated just slightly by the creeping burn of the red salsa on top. (Bite into the grilled jalapeno served alongside if you dare.) A cooling crumble of fresh cheese and silky slices of ripe avocado add to the comfort factor.
The sopes—a heftier, thicker cousin of the memelita—come topped with moist pork and piles of shredded lettuce, cheese, and crema, but the memelita doesn't really need all that adornment. It's not complicated food, but it's pretty perfect.
Cinco de Mayo Taqueria
450 N 1st Street, Woodburn, OR (map) 503-981-9000
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