Typically, my Sunday consists of staying inside and prepping my mind & body before a busy week. However, I stopped by at downtown on 23rd off of Burnside to do a few errands. I was hungry and was tempted to go and have lunch at the Pearl District…but normally (especially on Sunday’s) a lot of the locations don’t open until later in the afternoon. I needed something that would be open around noon and not require for me to pull up to a drive thru.
The Matador was a location that caught my eye and had been a while since the last time I was there during their Happy Hour. I remember this was the location where I tasted a White Peach Sangria for the first time and fell in love. Obviously, this was the drink I ordered. What originally drew me in about this location was the design. It’s a very Spanish style and the metal artwork is breathtaking.
Their website describes their restaurant as follows, “The Matador was created to offer an experience like no other! Featuring made from scratch Mexican cuisine and hand crafted cocktails along with the most diverse selection of Tequilas anywhere!….Every plate on our lunch and dinner menus is inspired by authentic Mexican fare and influenced by new American cuisines. Our bold recipes are scratch-made from quality, uncommon ingredients that enter our kitchen raw.” Interestingly enough, I actually do like Tequila and I’m looking forward to tasting the variations they have in stock on my next visit. I hear that on Tuesdays their Tequilas are half off!
I’m not a fan of pico de gallo, so I was really happy to see their salsa was blended and had good flavor. I’m a sucker for chips and salsa! I ordered their “Mix & Match Lunch” special which you have an option of either choosing two items or 3 items of the following: tacos (corn or flour), soup and/or salad. I opted to taste their braised chicken thigh taco (flour tortilla), accompanied with their chicken tortilla soup and their clementine salad.
The portion served was really good and I would suggest going in on an empty stomach and not consume too much of their chips & salsa (addicting!), so you can have space in your stomach for the good stuff. The drink was a bit on the higher price (around $8-$8.50), but the serving size made up for the price. It’s a drink that will definitely last while you’re eating and socializing. I had to chug mine at the end due to time, but it was a good, lite, and refreshing drink.
The atmosphere in the evenings (especially on Friday nights and weekends) are a bit more packed, but makes the restaurant come to life with their seductive Mexican-style. Whether it’s to eat or hangout with friends and have a drink, it’s a place that will make you want to come back.
Food Descriptions (according to their menu) —-
*Braised Chicken Thigh -Tomatillo-serrano salsa, garlic crema, habanero sauce, pico de gallo (I asked not to include P.G).
*Tortilla Chicken Soup -Roasted chicken, vegetables, fire roasted corn, avocado, tortilla strips, cotija, cilantro.
*Clementine & Arugula Salad – Agave vinaigrette, cucumbers, queso fresco, toasted pepitas.
*White Sangria – white wine, peaches, oranges, pineapple, cinnamon, and sparkling orange juice.