If you find yourself near BWI Airport and you’re jonesing for some Mexican food, Los Portales off of Aviation Boulevard just might do the trick.
Tucked in the corner of a tiny strip of sandwich shops, Los Portales offers hearty Tex-Mex food at very reasonable prices.
*A quick side note, right next to Los Portales is Aviation Deli which deserves your attention as well if you are in the area for lunch. It has an almost cult like following among the office personnel in that area, if you don’t believe me just try and place an order during lunch. *
Los Portales menu offers you a wide enough array of options to satisfy any sort of Tex-Mex craving you could have. If you can’t make up your mind, the ala carte menu allows you to make yourself a veritable smorgasbord of treats.
Any Tex-Mex experience must always begin with dips. Los Portales gives you a huge serving of house chips and fresh salsa, but we all know that you cannot go to a Tex-Mex place without trying the guac. The guacamole is fresh and smooth, it’s seasoned with a mild mix of spices to just accent the flavor of the avocado enough. As far as guac’s go it’s pretty good. Next we ordered the queso fundido dip because #cheese, it was a mild disappointment. The dip itself is smooth, but it lacked any punch from either the chorizo or the cheese itself. I still ate the whole thing, but that’s because I’m a big boy who can’t say no to cheese products. Don’t judge me.
This was not my first dalliance at Los Portales, often times I’ve ordered the carnitas and I’m always left fully satiated and amazed by the sheer amount of food you get for thirteen dollars. It’s insane. Honestly, if you just order dip and split the carnitas it’s a ton of food.
This time around I ordered the house special which is the Chile Verde, it’s slow cooked pork again with peppers and house spices. The Chile Verde is served with rice and beans as well AND tortillas. To say it’s a lot of food is an understatement.
The Chile Verde was solid but not spectacular, again the pork lacked a bit of a punch but it was still very satisfying. The star of the show for this plate is the rice and beans as the rice is fluffy and flavorful, while the creamy re-fried beans are well prepared. The addition of the tortillas while optically overwhelming, are welcome as they help merry the whole dish together.
I finished the dish and felt…stuffed, which is how I think you want to feel after a Tex-Mex meal. Overall, Los Portales is not spectacular, but it’s also not bad. The service is friendly and the pricing is reasonable, the vast menu options make for a hit or miss experience. If you order the right thing (like carnitas, quesadillas, enchilidas, burritos, etc.), Los Portales might always be great, but if you mix it up (like I did) you might be left with a different experience.
Overall Grade: B