By Steve Elder | CNA Media Team
They make the tortillas at Taco Pedaler by hand. One at a time.
The philosophy of the taqueria and bar at 5427 N.E. 42nd is to prepare food by hand, using locally sourced ingredients. Taco Pedaler doles out meaty, vegetarian and vegan tacos; quesadillas; rice and beans; salads; chips; and guacamole. Beer, wine and a full bar are on premises.
“We try to shop locally whenever we can,” said owner Melanie McClure. “We get vegetables from local farmers markets, and eggs, chicken, beef and pork from local producers.”
The restaurant is Melanie’s second brick and mortar location in Portland. Since 2015, she’s had a one at 2225 N.E. Broadway. The 42nd Avenue location is just south of Killingsworth, where Pollo Norte was. There’s a Tibetan food cart next door.
Melanie started out in food service by pedaling, literally. Since 2011, she’s had a fleet of three-wheel cargo bikes. Each tricycle has a grill between two wheels in front of where the passenger/cook sits and pedals. Just Google: taco tricycles.
Melanie is from Silverton and – although she attended community colleges in California and Oregon – she had no formal culinary training. She’s worked in food service from Alaska, down the West Coast to Baja, where she crossed the Gulf of California to Mazatlan and traveled overland south to Belize.
“Everywhere we went heading south we saw tricycle food vendors. I figured it might work in Oregon,” she said. Now she has a fleet of five trikes she sends to parties and street fairs. Three came from Mexico. Two were flown to Portland and one came by rail. Melanie has a young child and lives nearby in the Cully neighborhood.
Taco Pedaler’s Concordia location seats about 25 inside, but considerably more outside in the soon-to-be-heated patio. Plans include a fire pit and children’s play area there. Onsite parking is available.
Both Taco Pedalers are open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Happy hour is Monday through Friday from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. “We want to be a neighborhood hangout,” Melanie said. Visit their website at: https://www.tacopedalerpdx.com
Steve Elder, is an inactive lawyer, a developer, activist and old grouch.