How can you not like a place that sells Mexican food and worms? Especially when the tortillas for the substantial tacos are hand pressed and the choice of toppings includes lengua (tongue).
The worms? Well, they’re just the bait to get us in the door at Dora’s Deli, a lunch counter, mini-mart and fishing supply shop alongside Old Highway 12, on the ramshackle western outskirts of Walla Walla, Washington.
Dora herself is at the till, patiently explaining all our options (bountiful burritos, tortas, quesadillas, etc., enlivened with kick-ass, house-made salsa). While we’re pondering, she dashes off to answer the phone: “Worm ranch. How can I help?”
We retire, with groaning plates, to a shaded picnic table overlooking the busy road. While we contentedly munch, a steady stream of cars screech up to the door and occupants pile out for a quick feed or takeout. No worms to go, though.
1186 Wallula Avenue, Walla Walla, Washington
Daily 11 am-6 pm
On the other side of town, just across the Oregon border, the highway-side Mexican theme continues with a food truck boasting $1 tacos. Bomb Tacos is indeed the bomb, the double-tortilla tacos loaded with crispy meat, grilled onions and generous squeezes of throat-puckering salsas.
We chat through the truck window with owner Alma in the couple of minutes it takes for our lovely, light lunch to be prepared. Once again, we head to an umbrella-covered picnic table just metres from a secondary highway.
The cost of four delicious tacos for two? A little over $4. The experience? Priceless.
85392 Highway 11, Milton-Freewater, Oregon
Monday to Saturday 11 am-9:30 pm. Closed Sunday