Local institution Tortilleria y Tienda De Leon is moving to Southeast Portland




For over two decades, Tortilleria y Tienda De Leon has been a beacon for incredible Mexican cuisine on NE Glisan, just on the border of Portland and Gresham. It’s a one-stop shop for Mexican groceries, plus a slew of homemade treats: fresh corn tortillas and salsas that are also wholesaled at stores like New Seasons, and a bar with some of the best carnitas and chiles rellenos in town. But at the end of this month, the family business will close and reopen in a new home in Southeast Portland. October 30 will be the last day of Tortilleria y Tienda De Leon at 16223 NE Glisan St; the old location will turn into a halal grocery store and meat market. On November 1, De Leon will open the doors to its new location at 4512 SE 28th Ave.

“We were able to buy the property – here [the rent] was quite high,” says owner Lucy De Leon, whose parents, Francisca and Anselmo De Leon, founded the business and still worked at the store every day before the pandemic, well into the 1970s and 80s. is a bit sad to leave Gresham because those were my roots too, but it will also be a new chapter for us.

At the new De Leon, expect the same fresh corn tortillas and homemade salsas (we especially love the rich orange habanero), which will be made on-site for wholesale and also available direct to the public. The hot bar, too, will continue to operate, with even more rellenos peppers stocked in the crate, as well as carnitas, carne asada, rice and beans, tamales, tacos, breakfast burritos with chorizo ​​and potatoes, and vegetarian options like cactus salad. The famous guisados, like the cactus-spiced red pork, will continue to simmer in the case. (Try one over a chili relleno.) Food service will also be available.

This location, however, will not have a grocery store, but it will be have an outdoor seating area. The production of tamales will also increase. Already, Tortilleria y Tienda De Leon could make up to 15,000 tamales in an order for school districts like Portland, Beaverton and Hillsboro. (Lucky kids.) Over the holidays, New Seasons could order 30,000 of them. The new shop will be able to produce even more tamales just in time for Christmas, with flavors such as pork, chicken, jalapeño cheese, chicken in banana leaf and vegan tamales.

After 23 years, Tortilleria y Tienda De Leon still has many of its same loyal customers. “I see customers who came here when they were kids. And now they bring their own kids,” says Lucy.

“I’m so grateful to the community that built our business…but we’re still here, six miles away, delivering the same taste, the same love that we put into our food.” And in other good news? While the old location closed at 6 p.m. every night, the new location will be open seven days a week until much later, possibly even 10 p.m. Guisado lovers, rejoice.

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