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After getting its start in Tigard, the taco truck is adding to its fleet along Highway 99W

COURTESY PHOTO: LA REAL TAQUERIA - La Real Taqueria has expanded its operations from its Tigard headquarters to include a truck parked on Portland Road in Newberg.

A popular late-night destination among Tigard residents before the pandemic — and still a staple of indulgent Mexican cuisine during the pandemic — La Real Taqueria is expanding its reach in the Willamette Valley by opening a location in Newberg. La Real serves its take on cheesy, meaty, flavorful concoctions that pay homage to owner Erick Sánchez's roots in Jalisco, Mexico.

"Newberg was a perfect location for us," Sánchez said. "We opened up the first location in Tigard about three years ago, and we had been looking for a second location. We decided to go for it and establish a location in Newberg, and the turnout has been good so far."COURTESY PHOTO: LA REAL TAQUERIA - La Real Taqueria specializes in cheesy, meaty concoctions that pay homage to owner Erick Sanchez's roots in Mexico.

Sánchez has been in the restaurant business for more than 15 years. He owned a restaurant in Tigard before selling it three years ago to pursue the La Real food truck. He's found more success in that avenue because food trucks are "easier to manage" and often more popular, especially among the late-night crowd.

"We definitely want to get into the late-night food scene in Newberg now that we're there," Sánchez said. "We are open until 10 p.m. now and in Tigard, before the pandemic, we were open until 3 a.m. to catch the crowds coming from the bars and stuff. Now we just play it by ear and wait until things get back to normal before we stay open that late again."

The food ranges from unique concoctions like the quesatacos — a cross between the quesadilla and taco — to more traditional favorites like burritos and tortas. Consommé (beef broth) plays a central role in many of their dishes and can be ordered as a side. Fans of the concoction say it rivals any great soup one could find in the area. With onions, cilantro and pulled beef swimming around in the flavorful broth, Sánchez says it is the perfect introduction to the traditional cuisine offered at La Real.

"I'm from Jalisco, so a lot of the recipes come from there," he added. "Right now we are getting into opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Tigard as well, with a lot of traditional food from Jalisco. I am partnered with my brother-in-law and my wife on the food trucks."

Sánchez said he looks forward to the spring and summer, when the pandemic is expected to be better with more people vaccinated and the weather will be more conducive to a food truck environment. Outdoor seating should be filled with people showing up from bars, from home, or even from the 99W Drive-In down the street.

So far, the turnout at the truck has been encouraging, and Sánchez said he looks forward to getting to know Newberg in the coming months as he and his employees serve up La Real's signature dishes.

"We have been really impressed with how accommodating the Newberg community has been of us, especially just starting out," he said. "Nobody really knew we were coming and it's been a much better turnout than expected, as we introduce ourselves to Newberg the way we did in Tigard."


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