My husband left a page open in Firefox for me earlier this week. A restaurant. A gluten-free restaurant no less. One I hadn’t heard of. One that was just a short bike ride from our house. I asked on our Gluten-free Portland facebook group if anyone had been there, and how on earth did I miss it? Well, it’s apparently only a few months old, but still.
Opened by the Fuego de Lotus cart folks.
Venezuelan inspired, traditional Arepas topped with Latin American inspired street food.
I found the following online, though the actual author’s name isn’t attached, he’s a friend of the owner (he?) and helped with the opening…
“TEOTE means the end of the journey. The end is where you are confronted with truth, where you rest and reflect. We are providing a space for community to come together, build and flourish. TEOTE will be hosting storytelling nights, bringing back the oral and ancestral tradition of sharing stories, we also invite you to feed the fire by making an offering of our chocolate to the fire.”
It’s one of those order at the counter places. We arrived at 6pm on a Saturday and it was virtually empty save for a few folks out on the back patio. I assume it will be busier later. The back patio is a bar and has a lovely fire pit. Made me want to make a date with some friends to hang out there. It also appears that a bar is soon to be opening upstairs as well.
The restaurant bills itself as “all allergen and gluten-free, as well as locally sourced.” It is, indeed gluten-free (with the exception of the beer) but not allergen free, if you consider dairy an allergen. They butter the arepas and include queso fresco on many dishes, and cheddar and other dairy products in the Sunday brunch. That said. they were very accommodating when we requested no dairy on anything.
My son started with a blackberry sage agua fresca. Fresh juice with sparkling water. It was served with 2 big fat blackberries floating on top. I wanted to snap a pic but they were already in my kid’s belly before I could turn on the camera.
The menu looked great. I am always particularly happy to see that I can get gluten-free and ethically sourced meat. For dinner I got one of the larger plates, grilled Fino ribs. Painted Hills flanken ribs marinated in a serrano chili and cilantro sauce, served with beans, rice, salad, fried plantains & arepa. The meat was delicious and fatty (a little too fatty for my taste but I’m fussy like that, my husband loved it) and the arepas absolutely perfect. It didn’t show up with plantains but we had gotten them as an appetizer. They were starchy, not sweet, and served smothered with a delicious slightly tart and slightly sweet verde sauce.
My son and husband both got the arepas. I wish I had too because they were absolutely fabulous. Next time.
Pabellón $6 Shredded Painted Hills flank steak sautéed with peppers, topped with black beans, verde sauce, plantain red chili sauce and queso.
The best thing though, about the restaurant was the décor and vibe. Everywhere you look there’s something lovely and bright. So glad it’s nearby!