La Calaca Comelona Restaurant

Farewell Letter

To my dear customer, staff, and friends,

Some of you may know me, Patricia,  and other’s may only know my beloved restaurant, La Calaca Comelona.  But to all of you who have supported, participated and enjoyed this ‘Hungry Skeleton’ all of these years I would like to send my deepest gratitude and love during this time of transition for our restaurant.

As many of you may already know, we have decided to close La Calaca.  She has been one of my greatest accomplishments, and greatest joys these last twenty-three years and it has been because of you all that La Calaca came to be known as one of the first, and one of the best Mexican Restaurants in Portland.   Throughout our many transitions, moving from SE 12th into our current location at SE 23rd and Belmont.  Developing one of the best patio experiences in the city.  Creating a space where traditional Mexican cuisine could debut and then become adopted staples our urban culinary landscape.  Becoming a pinnacle of female, and Latina-owned businesses and becoming an example for future leaders in the private business space.  La Calaca Comelona began as a small, family run business, navigated primarily between myself and my son Andres.  And we have grown into a culinary, and cultural staple in our beautiful city.

Over the years, we have deeply enjoyed your joy in sampling our many experiments.  From our signature spicy Vampire cocktail, to some of our staples like blackberry mole, cochinita pibil, chiles en nogada, and even our grasshoppers, we were fortunate to be able to provide you an experience in food that went so far beyond just the simple Mexican food that was known at the time.  To be able to dress a table without chips and salsa for all of those years, was a testament to the trust and the love that we felt from our community, and we relished the opportunity to share our food and our heritage with you.

As many of you know, the landscape has changed significantly since the pandemic. And food and dining continues to change.  The struggle that many small family restaurants have felt or continue to feel during this time post-pandemic has hit our small business particularly hard and we have made the decision to set our sights on new opportunities.  We believe that this transition will allow La Calaca to stay in all of our hearts and memories as the giant she once was, and allow us to focus on bringing our flavors directly into your kitchen with our specialty line of La Comelona Salsas ( found in local open-air markets and specialty grocery stores.  We hope that in this way, La Calaca Comelona may continue to bring joy to you and your families. And that we may continue to share with you the complex flavors and recipes, that have been handed down for generations by Mexican chefs and their mothers and grandmothers before them.  It continues to be our wish, that in sharing their story with you, their legacy will continue to grow and develop in new ways while still holding central the importance of family and community, and sharing in delicious food together.

It has been an honor and a privilege to share our table with you for all of these years.  I will miss those warm patio evenings.  The dancing candles and bright marigolds adorning our altar every November for our Dia de Muertos celebration.  Enjoying a warm bowl of pozole each fall, and a spicy margarita each summer.  Adding new art to my Frida tribute wall, or sharing the history of Guadalupe Posada and his traditional skeleton etchings.  And mostly I will miss the joy that you found, and shared with me at our special place.

Thank you all for the memories, La Calaca Comelona bids you all a very fond and loving, farewell.

Con cariño,

Patricia Cabrera