7.24.2007

Royal Envy


Certainly nobody enters the restaurant industry with the idea that their concept is going to fail. Even the most masochistic of individuals would not subject themselves to such rejection. That said, we've all heard that awful statistic which plagues this industry; that as many as 80% of restaurants fail in their first year. Though it seems this statistic cannot possibly be true it is undoubtedly the result of a cold hard fact: this is a tough business.

It goes without saying that we hope we can avoid becoming part of this statistic. Not only do we hope to "make it" but our goal is to become a neighborhood fixture, something that is able to serve generations of families. But how does one achieve such a task? What are the different elements that separate the "good" restaurants from the "great" ones? As far as the restaurant industry goes, one simple measure of greatness relies on the creation of "the regular." The regular is the patron who above all others you can count on to return to your establishment, who get to know you and vice versa, who become personally invested in the success of your business. If you are lucky enough to get enough of these people around you might just be able to create something timeless. Case in point: King Burrito.

Established back in 1970 this North Portland fixture has, for better or worse, become a staple of our diet. Granted, this is NOT health food and you probably won't find one of their menus posted on Portland Food and Drink but visit this establishment any night of the week and you will likely find a line of hungry "Regulars", tickets in hand, faithfully waiting to pick-up their orders.

Top Five Reasons Why We LOVE King Burrito:
1. To date, this is the only place we've been able to find that has the skill, ingredients, and level of craftsmanship to pull off the infamous "queso' con guacamole y chile" (cheese quesadilla with avocado sauce and green chile salsa) which we first (and always and forever) fell in love with at Leo's Taco Truck, in Eagle Rock (LA), California.
2. The authenticity of flavors as the result of fresh ingredients prepared daily, such as pico de gallo, salsa verde, salsa picante, escabiche, and guacamole.
3. This is definitely a family run place, and on any given night you might find yourself staring across the counter at one of the owners. Might I also add that this is by far one of the hardest working families we've ever witnessed. Open seven days a week from 10 AM to 11 PM. And did you notice that they've been open for 37 years? 37 years!!! Enough said.
4. The value and the price (yes, there is a difference). We consistently walk away "fully full" AND for under $10 for the both of us. Please, if anyone out there knows where I can get more bang for my buck, please write me and let me know. We are hungry, and on a budget.
5. The temporary tattoo dispenser. Though Ali is already on her way to having two sleeves, we still do love us some fake tattoos. They make you look really cool when you go bowling, and people can't tell they're fake from far away.

King Burrito
2924 N Lombard St
Portland, OR 97217
(503) 283-9757

6 comments:

georgethinker28 said...

I love the King, and I am glad to see you feel the same way.

Ali & Evan said...

George,
Perhaps we'll see you at the King sometime! Thanks for writing!!!

LeLo in NoPo said...

Love King Burrito: horchata. Mmmmmmmmm.

Vicki Jean said...

If you venture into St. Johns, try Taqueria Santa Clara, in the Tienda Santa Clara (next to St. Johns Booksellers). On the weekends, sometimes, you get the most delish avocado sauce. The tinga is great, and most of the time, the huarache is too. And, they have a raft of specials for the weekend.

I need to visit King soon.

Amy Stoner said...

That is a dang fine tasty eating establishment. My fave is the carnitas tacos...so good!

My hubby and I live right down the road from your soon-to-be new cafe and we are VERY excited about it opening! So, good luck and we will definitely check it out when it opens - and taste the new ice cream!

The Guilty Carnivore said...

I was surprised - for a time - by King Burrito. Somehow most of their offerings seemed too unnecessarily greasy to me.

I wholeheartedly endorse VJ's suggestion (though it's La Tienda/Taqueria Santa Cruz) a couple miles west of KB.