Parrilla Grill

Food: () Subtle misses in some blends, but ample portions and creativity are winners

Service: () Assembly line of servers is cheerful and precise in making perfect wraps

Atmosphere: () New space is as modern and roomy as west side is rustic and intimate

More Info

Location: 706 NE Greenwood Ave., Suite 100, Bend (also at 635 NW 14th St., Bend)

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Cuisine: Pseudo-Mexican

Price range: $6 to $10

Credit cards: American Express, Master Card, Visa

Kids’ menu: Several $3 and $4 choices, including peanut butter-and-honey tacos

Vegetarian and gluten-free menu: Design-your-own options for dietary requirements

Alcoholic beverages: Beer, wine and margaritas

Outdoor seating: None at midtown, although west-side Parrilla has a spacious patio

Reservations: No

Contact: parrillagrillbend.com, 541-617-9600

For more than 16 years, since it opened in late 2000, the Parrilla Grill on Bend’s west side — at the southwest corner of the “Phoenix Roundabout,” opposite the Victorian Café — has been a beacon of creative, budget-priced “wraps” and a major supporter of community endeavors.

A champion of bicycle commuters and local musicians, it remains that way today. But now, it has an accomplice, a midtown store on NE Greenwood Avenue.

Open fewer than three months, the shop opposite the former Erickson’s Market hasn’t quite inherited the “fun factor” from its older sibling yet, although the smiling staff here tries hard to keep things light. Perhaps the neighborhood isn’t as hip nor the modern premises, with its high rafters and outdoor adventure photos by Pete Alport, as funky.

But the production line of a half dozen attendants are glad to let you know they’re still “wrappin’ fatties” — a truly eclectic selection of oversized and decidedly non-Mexican burritos — and staying committed to a “Keeping It Green” initiative that assures locally sourced ingredients and respect for the environment.

Parrilla’s wraps have more in common with Japanese, Indian, Mediterranean and American regional cuisines than with Latin. There are “classic” choices, to be sure, as well as tacos and quesadillas, but the vast majority of menu items are major departures from traditional south-of-the-border fare, despite the constant presence of flour and corn tortillas.

Backporch Coffee Roasters and Emerald City Smoothie are other tenants of the new building, between Seventh and Eighth streets. Parrilla Grill took over the lease in April from a previous short-lived tenant, Taco del Mar.

Global inspiration

These are the seven menu choices (from among nearly two dozen) that I’ve had occasion to try in recent weeks.

Smoke This Wrap ($10): Despite the suggestive name, there is no “herbal” substance enclosed, other than spinach. House-smoked wild salmon is rolled with rice, pickled red onions and chive cream-cheese smear; cheese, mild salsa and aioli may be added.

The fish was perfectly cooked, making for a delicious burrito.

Bombay BombBurrito ($9.50): I added marinated “chancho” pork (a Peruvian-style adobo) to a blend of ginger-banana chutney, bamboo shoots, purple cabbage and green curry sauce with rice. On the servers’ suggestion, I topped it with chili-corn salsa, mild gorgonzola cheese and wasabi vinaigrette. In retrospect, I would not again choose the wasabi, as it injected sushi-style flavor to Indian food; perhaps a peanut sauce would have been a better choice.

Fajita Burrito ($9): This is an imitation of a Mexican fajita plate with meat, sauteed bell peppers, onions, black beans, rice, cheese, sour cream and roasted salsa. I had it with chicken, but beef, pork, salmon, shrimp and even tofu are available. It was good, but I prefer the real Mexican version.

Fettucine Alfredo Wrap ($9): To me, this one is a carbohydrate bomb. But a young friend of mine liked it: “It sounds weird, but it was pretty good,” he said. He enjoyed the flavor of the house-made Alfredo sauce on sauteed noodles. His order came with chicken, olives and Parmesan cheese.

Teriyaki Wrap ($8.50): Although the house teriyaki sauce was more sweet than savory, this blend of chicken with purple cabbage, bamboo shoots and rice was enhanced by a pineapple salsa. It also came with lettuce and cheddar cheese.

Falafel Wrap ($7.50): Designed for the vegetarian palate, this wrap features fried medallions of Eastern Mediterranean chickpeas on a bed of romaine lettuce and shredded carrots. My dining companion enjoyed it with Greek tzatziki sauce, but she rejected the cucumber-jalapeño salsa as too spicy. She requested just cucumbers, but Parrilla had none — so she settled for pineapple salsa and enjoyed her falafel wrap.

Ono Grilled Fish Tacos ($8): Three grilled fish tacos made with Hawaiian ono (also known as “wahoo”) were served in soft corn tortillas with spinach and shredded carrots. Ono is a wonderful fish, but it almost swam away in a dressing of herb aioli, cucumber-jalapeño salsa and pico de gallo. Next time, I would request: Go easy on the sauces, please!

The restaurant’s preferred rice blend, served with most dishes, is a blend with cilantro and lime. I’m not sure where this leaves folks who are repulsed by the flavor of cilantro (of whom I know several). I’m sure there must be a rice alternative.

More choices

What’s left to try? Apart from children’s dishes like PBHTs ($3) — that’s a trio of steamed peanut butter-and-honey tacos — these are some on my future list:

The Red Headed Step Child Wrap ($7.50 with house-smoked chicken) is a new way to eat wings, as it comes with Buffalo sauce and ranch dressing, as well as black beans, spinach, rice and chili-corn salsa.

The Wrap of Khan ($6.50 without meat) highlights Thai peanut sauce, along with rice, cabbage, bamboo shoots and a spicy smear of chili beans.

The Jambalaya Wrap ($8) offers a mix of shrimp chicken and Andouille sausage in a very spicy Louisiana Cajun sauce. It’s served on rice with cheese, sour cream and chili-corn salsa.

The Enter the Dragon Wrap ($6.50 without meat) is a good vegan choice. It has a stir-fry of carrots, broccoli, purple cabbage and bamboo shoots with vermicelli noodles, and can be topped with Thai peanut, green curry or teriyaki sauces.

— John Gottberg Anderson can be reached at janderson@bendbulletin.com.

17393958