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Blue Palate on the Road: La Tarasca | Blue Palate

Blue Palate on the Road: La Tarasca

by Lindsay Sauve on October 20, 2011 · 0 comments

MmmmmmSometimes a blogger has to take something back. A few posts ago I wrote about how the best Mexican food could only be found 500 miles south of Portland. Well, that was before I stumbled upon La Tarasca in Centralia, Washington. In my defense, I didn’t write anything about what lies north. Now I am.

La Tarasca is a tiny oasis on Main Street in Centralia, tucked among the vacuum repair shops and abandoned storefronts of this tiny farm community. It’s a family-owned and operated business. Based on reviews in Yelp and Trip Advisor, this tiny cantina has attracted fans from up and down the northwest states.

I ordered the carnitas, which were slow-cooked rather than fried and packed with flavor. Peter had the chili verde, which was bright green and tasted like fresh chilies.

Homemade tortillas, people. It’s all I really have to say, but I’ll go further. The beans and rice were perfect cantina style, served on a big hot plate. While La Tarasca does not serve free chips, they do a tangy, spicy verde salsa to pour over your entree or tortillas and pickled carrots that I ate like they were candy.  For dessert, we tried the flan. A little too thick for my liking, but the flavors of caramelized sugar and creamy custard were a perfect finish.

There are a couple of other reasons to visit Centralia: Olympic Club (the coolest McMenamins yet), antique shopping, historic murals. If you are inclined, you could make La Tarasca your only reason.

Photo credit: J. Zay

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