There are few Portland eateries more fit for a sunny summer afternoon than El Rayo Taqueria, just over the bridge at the intersection of High and York. Every year, as the dreary Maine spring starts to give way to warmer weather, El Rayo converts some 50% of its parking lot to a planter-fenced patio. Queue the live music, picnic tables, umbrellas, and cornhole, and you have the perfect summer setting, long before the first taco and beverage hit the table.
For Meredith and I, almost every visit to El Rayo boils down to the same core parts – a Dos Equis, chips and guac and fried plantains to start, one fish taco for her (which she splits into two), and two (or three) fish tacos for me. Don’t get us wrong, there are plenty of fantastic things on the menu (the bowls, the burritos, the other tacos, and definitely the Mexican-style corn on the cob), but there is just something special about the El Rayo fish taco. It’s probably the fresh ingredients, the large slices of avocado, or the homemade chipotle sauce, but long story short, they’re spectacular.
I’m going to regret doing this, because I already hate waiting for open picnic tables on the gorgeous days, but I strongly recommend that the next time the sun comes out, and you find yourself in Portland, grab a seat, a drink, and a taco, and kick back to enjoy the Maine summer.