Los Portales

Los Portales (2405 Holloway St.) may look like a run-down burger stand from the 70s, but make no mistake — it’s a full-fledged taqueria.

This awesome sign is posted right next to the covered park bench situation for those who’d like to eat their take-out as soon as possible.

The drive-up window is on the right, and the walk-up window is up front, next to the menu. After ordering, I tried to look as casual as I could while frantically soaking up all the amazing smells coming out of the kitchen.

This is all the information they have posted — no hours or prices — but it gracefully gets the message across.  I usually hate superfluous quotation marks but for some reason I loved the “menu.” I got two tacos (lengua and pastor), a carne asada gordita, and an horchata for $9.

The pastor was delicious — smokier and slightly sweeter than other pastor I’ve had, and definitely the highlight. I can imagine the pastor burritos (which come highly recommended) being fantastic.  The lengua was better as a template for the red and green salsas (both of which were terrific) than as a taco filling — it didn’t have much flavor compared to other lengua out there.  Sadly I didn’t specify corn tortillas, so I got reheated flour tortillas.  Gringos like corn tortillas too!

The gordita was almost exactly like a torta (refried beans, asada, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, and queso) and was really good, although the asada was way fattier than most other asada I’ve had in Durham. Not to mention the fact that it was super messy — good thing I got to take it back home.  Have you guys tried their burritos?

Published in: on September 25, 2008 at 5:23 pm  Comments (5)  


  1. Never eat a taco on flour.

  2. I got a torta de pollo and a gordita de pastor from here on Sunday, 10/12. I was starving because I hadn’t eaten breakfast at 1:30pm, so when my food came out of the window, I ate both these items. I didn’t eat another bite the rest of the day. The torta is huge. The gordita is very filling. Both were delicious. The red salsa at Los Portales is very spicy and unique. It’s so good, I’d put that stuff all over my Thanksgiving dinner.

  3. This place is gone now–big For Lease sign in the window.

  4. Is it the same Los Portales that recently opened in the shopping center across from Southpoint mall?

  5. I wondered that same thing. If the new Southpoint joint is from the same folks at the old Holloway Street location, it gonna be good.

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