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Boulevard Tacos (the old El Burrito Loco)


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#1 tammi

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 04:26 PM

I've been waiting to get my teeth into one of their tacos and really check it out. It looked like it would have been open already, but today on my way home there were people picketing. "Honk if you support B. Loco" Dont buy tacos from Siamak Lofti" Isn't Siamak just the a-hole the landlord? I think what happened stinks but whats the deal? Is this "his" taco shop?


Boulevard Tacos
1942 N Portland Blvd, Portland
cross street Denver

#2 tammi

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 06:02 PM

Since I started this post I've been doing some research and I can't find anything to point to this landlord having anything to do with this new taco spot other than owning the building. Forgive me, but if this is the case then those picketers are bigger assholes to screw with the new owners who will have possibly a bad experience themselves.

#3 polloelastico

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 07:00 PM

Since I started this post I've been doing some research and I can't find anything to point to this landlord having anything to do with this new taco spot other than owning the building. Forgive me, but if this is the case then those picketers are bigger assholes to screw with the new owners who will have possibly a bad experience themselves.

Well the name is pretty stupid, that's worth picketing, though it's only marginally worse than "the crazy burrito". I assume the called themselves "Boulevard" after Portland Boulevard, but it's no longer named that...by that logic they should have called it Taqueria Rosa Parks or Get in the Back of Bus or sumpin'.

I think the beef was that the building owner jacked up the rent x3 or something and it forced El Burrito Loco to close up shop. Pretty dickish move, but I guess that's the biz. He probably marketed it as a turnaround taco joint and got someone to bite.

I agree, it's lame to picket the new owners...maybe they should have picketed before El Burrito closed up shop? Maybe cause that stupid ass bar next door to go out of business - I was waiting for Thai Ginger to-go one time and the only beer they had was PBR on tap and Bud in the Bottle. Unconscionable!
“Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.” — George Carlin

#4 mrg

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 07:20 PM

Here's a little more background -

CLOSED

To all our customers
First, I'd like to thank each and everyone for dining with us for 16 long years. But the sad news is, we are being forced to close our business due to the owner of the building. He wants us to vacate the premises by July 31, 2007. We hate to close the doors to you at this location. But you may visit us at 3126 N.E. 82nd Ave. across from Madison High School (503-252-1343). We would appreciate it if you would not dine here in honor of El Burrito Loco. I feel we were robbed of our business and you continuing to dine here would support the building owner if he try's to open here with our same food recipes. Thank You once again. Hope to see you soon!!!

The Original El Burrito Loco owner's


I stopped by this evening to try to pick up a burrito, and saw the place emptied out, with the owners hanging out at the door. It appears, according to the owners, that they've been forced out by their landlord. They're asking folks to please:
1. Do buy food at the Burrito Loco on 82nd, across from Marshall High
and
2. Don't buy food at whatever goes into their new space.

The Mercury has more details.

(there's a thread about Burrito Loco's closing on Portland Food and Drink Discussion Forum)

#5 ExtraMSG

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 07:50 PM

Unless they've got more than the claim they were "robbed" because their lease ran out and they didn't like the new rent, I side with the building owner. I wasn't a big fan of El Burrito Loco to begin with, so viva Taqueria Detras del Autobus.
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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#6 doit

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 07:58 PM

We live within licking distance of this place and have been wondering what's up. We tried El Burrito Loco once and never went back. If Sit-Down-For-Your-Rights Taco ends up having good food, we'll eat there. I think it's a bit absurd to ask people to avoid the new place just because you got hosed by the landlord.

#7 sfspanky

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 08:23 PM

There are always two sides to every story. That being said, maybe the EBL owners had a legit beef with the landlord, but to tell people to not patronize the replacement business is absurd. It is kind of like saying "I got screwed, so let's screw someone else to settle the score".
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#8 tammi

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 06:08 AM

Yes... My thoughts as well! I'll be eating tacos there as soon as they open. Hope they are better than EBL :)

#9 cdevs

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 01:46 PM

One thing to rent to a new restauranteur, but quite another if the building owner is, to paraphrase, stealing their recipes and running his own shop.

I for one was a fan of their machaca burrito, less so of everything else about the place. But prices were good, hours were long and service was fast. The taqueria scene has come a long way in Portland since those guys opened in the early '90s. Their competition was Acapulco's and Macheesmo Mouse back then! Sorry to see them get screwed, allegedly.

#10 PDX_Hops

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 02:40 PM

I'm still trying to make up my mind on this one. I live less than 3 blocks away. EBL was the first meal we had after moving into our house back in April of '99, and we probably had it at least once a month all the way up until they closed. Loved several of their menu items (machaca/carnitas/carne asada burritos and special quesadilla immediately come to mind) and REALLY loved having such cheap, satisfying food a 5-minute walk away. My wife and I- both with hearty appetites- could get stuffed for less than 10 bucks. I feel sorry for the EBL guys, but I sure loves me some walking-distance Mexican food, too...

I've noticed the picketers out a couple of times over the last few months. Maybe I'll stop to chat if I notice them again soon to see if I can get more details.

#11 tammi

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 02:41 PM

Hmmm :)
cdevs, where did you hear this?

#12 cdevs

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 08:12 AM

post #4, five before mine...

#13 tammi

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 08:22 AM

Missed that little tidbit. Still it's sketchy. What kind of "recipes"? Carne asada tacos, and bean and cheese burritos come on!

#14 PDX_Hops

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 12:51 PM

I just drove by and noticed the "Open" signs for the first time. There were 4 or 5 picketers outside- couldn't tell if anybody was eating inside.

#15 tammi

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 03:40 PM

I stopped and spoke with two of the picketers. Apparently the owner of the building is also the new owner of "Boulevard tacos" 2 of the old cooks from EBL work there and are using the same recipes. That is pretty f*(^$%. I opted to get my snack elsewhere today. I'm glad I got the story straight because I was about to give the picketers a piece of my mind! Whew!

Oh and there was nobody eating inside. Many people were asking questions and moving right along

#16 myswandive

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 04:30 PM

I stopped and spoke with two of the picketers. Apparently the owner of the building is also the new owner of "Boulevard tacos" 2 of the old cooks from EBL work there and are using the same recipes. That is pretty f*(^$%. I opted to get my snack elsewhere today. I'm glad I got the story straight because I was about to give the picketers a piece of my mind! Whew!

Oh and there was nobody eating inside. Many people were asking questions and moving right along


Thanks for getting the scoop, Tammi.

EBL made the first burrito I ever had when I moved to Portland in 2002. That was when North Portland seemed far away and scary from the safety of my Belmont apartment. And yet, I "weathered" it for their asada burrito. I loved that place, as much for the atmosphere and colorful clientele as the food. Boulevard Tacos from the outside seems to have all the authenticity and charm of Chipotle.

#17 tammi

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 06:18 PM

Unless they've got more than the claim they were "robbed" because their lease ran out and they didn't like the new rent, I side with the building owner. I wasn't a big fan of El Burrito Loco to begin with, so viva Taqueria Detras del Autobus.

Yeah..Sorry to seem like I'm obsessive about all this (it's clear I am, and I never liked the place anyway it sucked) but it seems like a big Whaaaa from EBL. If the lease was up then the owner can do what he or she wants. If you want to own your restaurant then buy the building.... Pretty simple. Today when I spoke with the 2 guys they kept saying "they only gave us 30 days notice" well if he broke the lease, then there would be legal rights but it's pretty clear that isn't the case. I may go but a friggin taco there afterall. Why the heck does this bug me? B) Also the guys said "He stole 2 of the cooks" You can't steal people. This isn't shanghi tunnel it's Blvd taco's. Truth be told I wanted a great taco shop close to home. I was hoping this could be just that...Maybe

#18 ExtraMSG

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 08:26 PM

The 30 days notice thing sounds like BS. Was the lease coming up in 30 days? If so, then they had plenty of notice because, duh, they hadn't signed a new lease or an extension. If not, then perhaps the landlord did something shady to get out of the lease, in which case he may be a slime.

I do think it's slimey to basically let a lease die so that you can profit from their concept and their established clientelle. Especially if you are using the expected profits as reason to finally fix the place up after years of complaints by the leaseholder. I don't know if any of this is the case, but if it were, it might sway me.
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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#19 doit

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 09:40 PM

Breaking news from the Sentinel, north portland's actually-not-so-bad neighborhood paper. Check the video for the EBL owner's side of the story.

#20 ExtraMSG

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 10:00 PM

"He goes over to our 82nd store and steals our cooks -- offering them more money. That's wrong."
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole & Kenny & Zuke's