Bunk Sandwiches consistently puts out some of the best food in the genre in Portland, so when owner Tommy Habetz announced he was opening a Tex-Mex restaurant (of which there is very little in the City of Roses) we were all over it. Trigger opened backed in October and then in December started serving lunch. Wifey and I checked out the NE Portland spot, just a couple doors down from Toro Bravo, a short while back.
The entrance is off the sidewalk, down a few stairs and into a basement type of space underneath the Wonder Ballroom. However, if you have trouble finding it it may be only because you are blind.
The interior is fairly warm and inviting, surprisingly well-lit in the daytime. We haven't gone back for dinner yet, but it's probably much darker. This was also the first weekend it was open for lunch, so we were just about the only ones in the restaurant.
I'm a big fan of the decor. While old Westerns played on a flatscreen behind us, this wall interspersed groupings of air plants with sand and oil. I had one of these growing up we bought at the Portland Saturday Market and for a short time I'd flip that thing over continuously, trying to create pictures. These ones I left on the wall.
We opted for a light lunch, starting off with the fried chicken taco with smoked onion salsa and queso. It came with some very tasty pickled carrots and a lime to squeeze. The chicken was nicely cooked and had a nice crunch, but it didn't stand its ground against all the other bold flavors.
Next up was the nachos. Wow, just wow. These are made with charred brisket ends, cheese, beans and tomatillo salsa. This picture doesn't show it, but the plate comes with large chips nicely spaced out and each chip topped with an equal amount of each topping, making it perfect for sharing among a group and also quite filling. What this picture does show is the absolutely fantastic char on the beef.
We can't wait to go back to Trigger because everything on the menu look fantastic.
Dog-friendly? We went in December and they didn't open until October so if they plan on having outdoor seating it wasn't ready yet.