Review: El Buen Sabor offers an authentic Oaxacan food experience

Originally Posted on Emerald Media via UWIRE

El Buen Sabor Taqueria is located at 650 Blair Blvd. in the food wonderland that is the downtown Whiteaker area. Located right next to two other Latino food spots — one a market and the other a sit down restaurant — El Buen Sabor is not without competition. Just down the road lives the acclaimed Eugene favorite, Tacovore. But, what El Buen Sabor can offer that the others can not is an authentic Oaxacan food experience.

A customer orders from the El Buen Sabor Taqueria on Sixth Avenue and Blair Boulevard in Eugene, Ore. (Sarah Northrop/Emerald)

Tacos are the most popular item on the menu, understandably so — El Buen Sabor makes their own handcrafted corn tortillas. According to employees, the pork meat option is both the customer and restaurant favorite because of its juicy, yet crispy texture and its rich, savory taste. The tacos are topped with cabbage, caramelized onions, cilantro and a creamy guacamole sauce. Mild green salsa, lime and radishes are offered on the side — all of which are highly recommended toppings.

Another intriguing item on the menu is the gordita. Traditionally, a gordita is two masa pastries stuffed with some combination of meat, cheese and any number of other toppings. The gorditas served at El Buen Sabor follow this tradition and execute it well. The gorditas are filled with a choice of meat (pork, beef or chicken) and feature Oaxacan style cheese, beans, lettuce, caramelized onions, sour cream, guacamole sauce and medium red salsa on the side. Because El Buen Sabor makes their tortillas in-house, the gordita’s masa pastry tastes kind of like an oversized fried corn tortilla — in a really good way. For hungry customers, the gorditas are definitely the way to go.

The El Buen Sabor Taqueria on Sixth Avenue and Blair Boulevard in Eugene, Ore. (Sarah Northrop/Emerald)

The atmosphere at the food truck is surprisingly nice. There is a small wooden patio built out from the side of the truck that is covered by an awning. A wooden bar table surrounds the inner edges of the patio where the gourmet tacos can be eaten while sitting on a rustic-looking stool. Two large tables are positioned in the middle of the patio so more customers can dine in.

El Buen Sabor is a popular community spot where people speaking Spanish and English can have a friendly chat with the familiar faces that work inside the truck. Signs addressing the community and advertising different social services and non-profits adorn the walls of the patio in an effort to help inform the patrons of different resources that are offered nearby. It is clear that the owners of El Buen Sabor care about more than just their customers’ empty bellies.

Some of the other dishes that El Buen Sabor has to offer are tlayudas — a traditional Oaxacan dish similar to what Americans call “Mexican pizza” — and blandas, another traditional Oaxacan staple on the menu. Blandas are tortillas that are lighter in color, hence the name. The menu also includes classics like quesadillas, burritos, tortas and nachos.

To wash down the meal, El Buen Sabor has imported “Mexican Coke” in the old-school glass bottle to make the experience more authentic. El Buen Sabor nails the mix of authenticity, gourmet flavors and low prices to make the truck a great local option for real Oaxacan food.

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