Reviews

Star Rating:

***** El Brasero Mexican Cart is rated 4.4 out of 5 stars, based on 48 reviews!

  • *****

    This is my go-to Mexican food cart in my neighborhood! Their food is great, PARTICULARLY the chips & guac! The guac is seriously good, give it a try.

    The only negative I have is they take a looong time. That being said, you can rest assured the food is fresh!

  • *****

    Very surprised by the average star rating here. I think this place is great and the best burrito in the close-in SE area. Don't sleep on the braised lamb. The al pastor is good too. Also those breakfast burritos! Don't sleep on those breakfast burritos either. The only reason I don't give this place five stars is that I think everything is about $1 too expensive which makes it hard for me to tip. Authentic-ish, family owned and operated, traditional cart fair, nothing fancy, a huge variety including vegetarian and vegan, what more could you want?

  • *****

    After a night of weekday drinking, this place was calling my name. And I answered. Huge burritos for $9.50? Sold. Do yourself a favor and get the al pastor burrito with their hot sauce and you won't be disappointed. Not only will you be full and happy, but your mouth will be numb from the homemade hot sauce. Pro tip: relax by the fire pits and eat your burrito because it'll make everything that much better.

  • *****

    Such delicious vegetarian burritos! They even have non-meat, non-bean protein options! I'm always impressed with how tasty their food is. I've never had a negative interaction the staff either. Highly recommended.

  • *****

    I don't really LOVE Mexican food but my brother brought me here and we got the chicken burrito and oh man was the flavor on the chicken amazing!! Now I'm back to bring my boyfriend here because he loves Mexican! This thing is huge!! (That's what she said)

  • *****

    The most flavorful hispanic food for the best price!

    The most flavorful hispanic food for the best price!

    The most flavorful hispanic food for the best price!

  • *****

    Dusty here... What can I say about El Brasero? Probably a lot. It's amazing. Better than amazing.

    Ok, so, although born in Portland, I was raised in Phoenix. Phoenix has some amazing tacos and other Mexican foods, but sadly, Portland does not. There's great Chinese food, but not great Mexican food, BUT, El Brasero is GODDAMNFINGAMAZING. Their street tacos have no other cart coming close. You like burritos...well, as a former 423 pound food-oholic, they are so big (and so godddamn tasty), I can't finish one now. It's that huge. It's like the forearm of the Mountain from Game of Thrones.

    The tacos, amazing, and how everything is mixed, almost divine. The street tacos are my favorite though. Pollo with pico, some lime, and a dollop of sour cream...simply divine. Their fish taco's...glorious. And although I am not vegan, their vegan options, I'm told...best in Portland.

    The staff is friendly, and always with a smile, and in most cases, they remember your name, even after your second order. El Brasero is situated in the far corner of Cartopia and it's been there for years. They are always open, and always serving THE BEST tacos and burritos in the metro area.

    Go there...you won't be sorry.
    Except at the noon hour...it's usually pretty busy and it's a 2 person operation. If you go when it's busy, relax, have a Coke, sit at the tables...be patient. It's worth it!

  • *****

    I'm a regular over here. What can I tell, I chose my new apartment based on the proximity to this food place.
    Amazing veggie burritos (and you know that Mexican food doesn't have much veggie options in general). This place has bomb mushroom burritos in town! They are huge! They are delicious!
    My wife loves their fish tacos (orders them every time ).
    The wait can be a bit long sometimes, but what you expect from such a popular place?!
    Oh yeah, they actually know my name, so that's pretty cool. Such a personal service
    Love from Alex and Olga

  • *****

    Dusty here... What can I say about El Brasero? Probably a lot. It's amazing. Better than amazing.

    Ok, so, although born in Portland, I was raised in Phoenix. Phoenix has some amazing tacos and other Mexican foods, but sadly, Portland does not. There's great Chinese food, but not great Mexican food, BUT, El Brasero is GODDAMNFINGAMAZING. Their street tacos have no other cart coming close. You like burritos...well, as a former 423 pound food-oholic, they are so big, I can't finish one now.

    The tacos, amazing, and how everything is mixed, almost divine. The street tacos are my favorite though. Pollo with pico, some lime, and a dollop of sour cream...simply divine. Their fish taco's...glorious. And although I am not vegan, their vegan options, I'm told...best in Portland.

    The staff is friendly, and always with a smile, and in most cases, they remember your name, even after your second order. El Brasero is situated in the far corner of Cartopia and it's been there for years. They are always open, and always serving THE BEST tacos and burritos in the metro area.

    Go there...you won't be sorry.
    Except at the noon hour...it's usually pretty busy and it's a 2 person operation. If you go when it's busy, relax, have a Coke, sit at the tables...be patient. It's worth it!

  • *****

    I don't know why I haven't left a review already. Cartopia as a whole is awesome. I went at night recently and it was poppin. El Brasero just happens to be my favorite cart/go-to there.

    I'm not vegetarian or vegan, but I enjoy vegetables, so these options are nice. I really like their Nopalito items. I got some nopalito street tacos last night and they were SLAMMIN. The Asada were great too. I have yet to try their Horchata, but maybe next time.

    The sauces are amazing. I feel like most trucks and taquerias use the same sauces, but these sauces feel and taste like they're made in house. The green sauce tastes like a whole serving of vegetables.

  • *****

    The burritos are the size of my forearm and only $8. Vegetarian and vegan safe, including an horchata option. I'm here a lot because of this :")

  • *****

    I had one of the best burritos ever at this place last night! Their Chicken Fajita burritos are magical!

  • *****

    Dope little court yard with fire pits plentiful sitting surrounded by 8 different food carts. Absolutely enormous burrito for great price. Wife loved the vegan soyrizo and the plentiful vegan options. Friendly service, good food, good ambiance at a good price!

  • *****

    This place is awesome! Never before have I had the shredded lamb option which is great in the burrito they offer or the torta. They also have huge breakfast burritos. Honestly, this place could compete in LA. It's our go-to in cartopia.

  • *****

    Late Thursday night after watching The Woods Brothers at the Crystal; I needed some food for my soul filled high. It began with Uber and ended up here. The people couldn't of been nicer and the food could of been better. I had 6 tacos and the al pastor burrito bowl. This was just a early AM optimistic attempt to kill myself via food truck. I had the chicken, steak, and pork. The highlight of everything was the al pastor tacos. It's the only thing I would get again. The red sauce was fire and I enjoyed it. The green sauce was meh. 4 stars; there is better tacos in town, but not at 1am.

  • *****

    Super Torta with chicken was awesome, easily two meals worth of food. A little greasy, but still really tasty with good spicyness.

  • *****

    This is probably my favorite mexican food cart. Great veggie/vegan options, good customer service and the portions are great. Sometimes they're very busy though and the lines can be long. Overall, good food at an affordable price and the atmosphere of the setting is very lively.

  • *****

    Best burrito and most flavorful meat in town. Dunno what all these other honkies are complains about

  • *****

    Whenever I get tired of El Brosero, because I eat there so often, I get to thinking there must be better burritos around town. I've gone through that phase many times but I just end up back here. I love both the Chorizo and Veggie Chorizo. The cactus burrito is also to die for. Salsas are consistent and spot-on for the kind of cuisine they serve. Keep it up guys

  • *****

    What a great mexican food find. I haven't had mexican food this good since I lived back in california, 5 years ago. I grew up eating home made tortillas and mexican food from scratch, and this has been the closest meal I have found to home made. The only reason for minus one star is the guys working there are not super friendly, they are nice, it just seems like they are not happy to have customers. But the food tells a different story.

  • *****

    they have answered the call for quality vegan burritos!
    and they're open frequently!

    love the chorizo, under $7 with guac, yum!

  • *****

    11pm dinner on a Monday night. Great fish taco, decent pastor. 5 dollars.

  • *****

    These negative reviews are weiiird to me, especially the ones from vegetarians. My BF and I got the veggie burrito with vegan chorizo two nights in a row...OK, three. We live two blocks away, leave us alone! Every time, we've been blown away by how fresh and delicious these burritos are. Oh, and their homemade salsa is ridiculous! They give you a variety to take away with you- one was incredibly hot, but one of them was faaantastic. I am more than happy to pay $7 based on the quality and tastiness of their burritos. 3 delicious experiences in a row can't be an accident, people! Service was quick but not this-isn't-freshly-made quick, ya dig?

  • *****

    you know, i've been back a few more times and gotten burritos (carnitas) and they've been really good. the carnitas was crispy and not at all fatty, and the proportions of the "guts" were just right. no too much of one thing.

    all i ask is no rice, and please wrap it to go in aluminio, porfavor.

  • *****

    Very excellent breakfast burrito. I must admit that I would not have eaten at this particular food stand considering all the other famous food stands that surround it, but it was the only one open that served breakfast. The burrito was cheap and was filled with lots of cheese, potatoes, egg and chorizo. I enjoyed it very much.

  • *****

    I got the chicken fajita burrito and it was delicious. Just the right amount of crunch left in the veggies. A substantial burrito that tastes amazing left over too.

  • *****

    I went again and had a plain ol bean burrito. YUM! it was very plain - really, just beans and cheese, but it tasted like AMAZINGNESS.

  • *****

    If you want a good burrito, go earlier in the day. In the evening, these guys' burritos become skimpy on the main ingredients and use iceberg lettuce and flavorful rice as filler.

    During the day, however, I'd recommend the carnitas and the machaca burritos -- big, tasty, and quite filling. The green salsa is quite spicy; it burnt on the way out. The red salsa is more savory. Oh, and their tamales are good, too.

  • *****

    In the beginning my relationship with El Brasero was a mixture of indifference and frustration. I mean really, seven bucks for a veggie burrito? Seriously? But I kept handing over those hard earned dollars because, honestly, I'm rather lazy and this cart is mere blocks from where I've been staying.

    Than last night everything changed: I returned home tipsy and hungry and overwhelmingly in need of burrito sustenance. I headed over to el brasero, and decided to branch out a bit and try the green chile chicken burrito.

    Holy smokes, was that burrito good. I actually busted out my happy burrito dance for the first time in years when I finished that sucker, it was that good. El Brasero, you rascal, you proved to be quite a revelation.

  • *****

    Being from Chicago and having late night mexican restaurants all over the city I had to see how the tacos held up in Portland. I ordered one taco for $1.50, great price! When the taco came out it was meat, onion and cilantro on two small tortillas with some lime on the side. This is how it should be! Simple, cheap, street food. The taste was just as good as it looked. The onions and cilantro both tasted fresh and the meat was cooked perfect. This is a great cart to hit up if you have been drinking down the street at Roots or Lucky Lab. The only downside is how long it took. It shouldn't take more then five minutes to make a single taco.

  • *****

    Food:
    Likes: Meat tacos they sell for $1.50. Reasonably priced. Numerous curious named vegan/vegetarian burritos. There are Cactus, Zuccini, mushroom fajita and such. Vegetarian menu burritos cos $7 and they are unique. You probably won't find them anywhere else. I think that they have good savory flavor and this is coming form a meat lover.

    Not so much: chicken and beef fajita burritos. It was lacking flavor and among the least favorite.

    When the weather is good the entire lot which consists of 5-6 food carts stays busy until about midnight and you will easily see 50-100 people.

    If you show up during busy hours, you can expect your order to take 30-40 minutes.
    If you go late at night when its not so busy, 5-10 minutes.

    It is a small food with one or two guys working with limited cooking space. Food is actually cooked fresh rather than assembling like Chipotle, so the delay is understandable.

  • *****

    This review is about THEIR TACOS, which are the best-priced delicious meal within walking distance of my apartment. I LOVE THEM!

    I first tried this place over a year ago when my stomach started growling after all the coffee I had consumed next door at Tiny's Coffee. My friend and I simply hopped over the fence of Tiny's outdoor deck and under the canopy of the El Brasero cart to check out the menu.

    Now, keep in mind: I am not what you'd call an "adventurous" eater- in fact, I'm really picky, especially when it comes to condiments. I'm not a fan of huge juicy, messy burritos, and I despise sour cream. I like to taste the solid ingredients inside of my tortilla- not have them swimming in a sludge of melted cheese and other creams.

    So, I ordered the tacos. Simple. Only $1.50 each, and plenty of meats to choose from. Soft shell, perfect amount of meat (I've tried the beef and pork- both excellent), garnished with onions and cilantro, with a small slice of radish and lime on the side. And salsas upon request, of course!

    THEY WERE AMAZING! EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED! AND ONLY $1.50 A POP! Last time I was feeling ravenous and ordered four, but I could only finish three.

    Obviously, your taste preferences may vary. My boyfriend prefers a burrito loaded with all kinds of junk, and that kind of thing is much more pricey (and probably not as tasty) at El Brasero. But when I'm craving a straightforward little taco that I know will please me anytime, the El Brasero is my #1 pick!

  • *****

    I've only eaten one thing here, and it was on special:

    Once upon a time the dude in the window stuffed a jackload of mexican cheese into a ground up corn exterior. He proceeded deep fry the living crap out of it and produced a crispy and super melty mystery prize which he called a quesadilla.

    It was pretty great until a pocket of cheesy goodness at the bottom of the shell exploded onto my lap. Fortunately my lap did not affect the flavoring at all.

  • *****

    I wanted to hate this place, no really! I absolutely wanted to hate this place.

    I had driven by the carts a million times and glared up at the sign. AUTHENTIC MEXICAN FOOD it promises, VEGAN OPTIONS. What what what, Back up? There is nothing Vegan about authentic Mexican food. Authentic Mexican food has lard and cheese, the end. I had my mind made up - this place had to suck.

    One drunken evening, when quality of food tends not to be an issue, I decided to give El Brasero a go. I was blown away, this was one tasty burrito. In the morning I was skeptical and blamed my love for the burrito on my beer goggles..or beer stomach I guess it more appropriately labeled. In search for answers I returned - stone cold sober - to settle it once and for all. Another home run by El Brasero! My burrito was once again fabulous, authentic even. I snuck a bite of a friends taco which was likewise mouth watering. The salsa was nice and spicy with a solid flavor too it.

    I wasn't so shocked before to see the low reviews for this place previous to trying it. Post second dining experience I am blown away that this place gets such a bad wrap. It's open late, it's consistently good and they even bend the laws of authenticity to cater to the vegan population.

    To the naysayers I have this to say - El Brasero, is 4 star worthy in my book!

  • *****

    It is only 4 stars and not 5 because I realize that I am not making a standard order. I ask for gf and vegan zucchini and get a beautiful healthy and substantial lunch for the low low price of 7$ I am a little surprised that the place only gets 2 stars with yelpers. they seem super busy consistent and good at what they do. It is a burrito cart after all, and they have fresh veggies. Which is cool. Right? They are not super into chatting but so what. Again it's fresh grilled zucchini. No complaints here. I have eaten here more than almost anywhere in Portland not because it is 'wow amazing' but because they meet my needs and are consistent cheap and there. Good job guys!

  • *****

    Whoaaaaaaa. can you say, cognitive dissonance??? The 2.5 cume seems so punitive!

    Granted, the chulita @ the window of this unassuming taco truck was kinda hard w/herself, all churlish and sh*t. Did any of these punitive pin heads ever stop to even consider maybe she has a reason-- or heaven forbid, a point for all that mad attitude??? So far as ive seen, Every one of the carts in that court-- save Pyro-- had grouchy staff. Yet The battle lines seemed inexplicably hardened in this bastion of "celebrate diversity"..... the antagonism is there, its palpable, even a dope like me couldn*t miss it...

    But dag, these are some mighty decent grinds, ese! How you gonna throw out the bebe w/the nasty-arse bath water??? Their nachos failed to impress, but everything else i*ve tried there--- quesadillas, tortas, tacos, etc etc, were bueno, son! The machaca was particularly good-- hey i*m no expert, it*s just my 2 cents. Still. Sheesh. They are at least the 3rd best cart in that entire court, by my count....maybe 2nd best...

  • *****

    The beef tacos were surprisingly delicious. I had three of them, and this place doesn't skimp on the onions and cilantro! The lime and red hot sauce (by request) amped up the flavors. And accompanying radishes to boot. Those tacos were a welcome end to a wonderful late night!

  • *****

    My review is only based on the one chicken tamal I had here...so I can't speak for the other items on the menu. The chicken tamal was hot, tasted fresh, and delicious, even without salsa (which is offered on the side). I'll definitely be back again for that!

  • *****

    This is by far our favorite food cart in Portland. Every time we think to try something new we always end up back here. Our go to is the carnitas burrito or the breakfast burritos. Other than that, I cannot really recommend anything else. The tacos are good, but I've had some bland ones.
    Definitely a place to check out for burrito lovers!

  • *****

    Not sure why this place has such a low score on Yelp?! I think the food is above average for a late night drunk cart.

  • *****

    To be honest, this place looked sketchy & the place my friend & I wanted to eat was closed, so we decided to try it out since we both love tacos. We each got a chicken & beef one & we both really, really like them. The dude was really nice & we waited just a few mins for our food to be cooked & they we're pretty busy. And the green sauce they gave us with our tacos looked fresh & was really yummy.

    I would of given 5 stars, but the tacos had way, way to much salt in them. But I can't complain since the tacos were only $1.5) each

  • *****

    Seriously? 2 stars? Screw all you hipsters who want a gourmet burrito after you got drunk on pbr all night. This place is solid. Been coming here since I moved here in 2009, from CALIFORNIA. I know a good late night burrito. Chili rilleno burrito is top notch. As is the carnitas, asada, pastor, and chicken. I've eaten here probably 20 times, I routinely have my customers pick up food for me here while I'm working late night. Just do it.

  • *****

    Great service. Great food. The lady is so kind and I thoroughly enjoyed my experience. Despite so many bad ratings, I think everyone is giving this truck a hard time. The lady is aware of some of the service discrepancies and is doing her best to work them out, but from my personal experience, it was amazing.

  • *****

    Hooray for late night burritos! Even better- late night, friendly, cheap burritos! I wish they served breakfast burritos all the time, but with so many things on the menu, they probably have space and storage limitations. The food itself is unexceptional but satisfying, and I love the atmosphere at Cartopia.
    I've had El Brasero's basic bean-n-cheese, several of their breakfast burritos, mushroom fajita burrito, and I think a few of their tacos in the past. All have been tasty. It takes a while to prepare them, but that's standard for Cartopia carts. Lots of demand.
    I also appreciate it that they tell me they've run out of one of the ingredients in case I want to change my order, rather than leaving it out and hoping I don't notice. Great service.

  • *****

    Why does this cart have such a low rating?!?!

    I see many complaining about items being out, or some of the fancier stuff not being great. I've never had food spilled on me, or an incorrect order here. My experience is limited, however, because I only ever order the bean & cheese burrito. Sometimes two, depending on how much drinking I have done beforehand. No regrets. This place has my favorite B&C burrito in the city, and is my favorite cart in this pod.

    The wait here is usually pretty long late at night and on weekends but you can't really complain because the Hawthorne food cart pod is a blast at this hour, might as well be a block party. If you are the sober person who can't deal with the wait at 2am, you're doing it wrong... go next door to High Dive and grab a quick shot. Or go during the "off-hours."

  • *****

    Yummy, dig the enchiladas. These out of town "portlanders" need to chill with the harsh reviews. You're not paying 50$/ plate here. Good, quick eats, late.

  • *****

    This place seems to have a lot of bad reviews from quite a few years ago. I've been here a couple of times and it is pretty decent Mexican food for the Pacific Northwest. The burritos are a decent size and they are pretty quick. Located in the current Cartopia :)

  • *****

    They have a vegan and vegetarian friendly menu. Awesome. I was worried that since I started my pescetarian diet recently, that they wouldn't have anything of interest to me. Howeverrrr, I ordered the soy chorizo breakfast burrito and it was Awesome! For $8, the burrito was HUGE... Like Chipotle burrito with everything in it huge!

    When it came to service time, there were like 4 orders ahead of me, but it only took about 10 minutes for the food to be ready. I can't speak for the other menu items, but my mates said the food was ok (maybe the meats aren't marinated enough or something..). Again, large portions, so you'll definitely get your fill. I would probably pass on the salsa though as its not very good.

    The area it is located at has plenty of seating and a few firepits for warmth. A nice place to hang before going out or after hours.