WORTHY BREWING TAPS & TACOS

Food: () There’s a taco for everyone on the wide-ranging but limited menu

Service: () Counter orders are delivered to tables by gracious servers

Atmosphere: () Intimate cantina has pop-art photos of celebrity “rebels” on walls

More Info

Location: 806 NW Brooks St., Bend

Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day

Cuisine: Mexican street food

Price range: Tacos $4.75 to $6, other dishes $2 to $10

Credit cards: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Kids’ menu: Quesadillas or fried potatoes, $3.50

Vegetarian and gluten-free menu: Try the Frida Kahlo taco or the Tulum taco salad

Alcoholic beverages: Worthy Beer, wine and tequila

Outdoor seating: Shaded patio

Reservations: No

Contact: worthybrewing.com, 541-678-6268

For more area restaurant reviews, visit bendbulletin.com/restaurants

Worthy Brewing likes to frame itself as a rebel in the world of craft brewing.

Hanging on the walls of its new Taps & Tacos bar, an intimate cantina on Brooks Street alley in downtown Bend, are arrest photos of about 20 celebrities, retouched in pop-art style.

“Bad” boys and girls, living and dead, from the fields of music, film, literature and entertainment, are a part of the gallery. They include Muhammad Ali, David Bowie, George Carlin, Johnny Cash, Jane Fonda, Woody Harrelson, Jimi Hendrix, Ken Kesey, Marilyn Monroe, Jim Morrison and Frank Sinatra.

“Rebellion comes in many forms,” suggests the menu. “Which one are you?”

Do I have to choose? In that case, I guess I’m The Red Headed Stranger, namesake of what may be my favorite taco on the Taps & Tacos bill of fare.

Exotic tacos

Worthy Brewing Taps & Tacos opened June 30 after months spent renovating a former cafe and shop space. It’s a welcome, budget-priced addition to the downtown dining roster, at once casual and inviting.

Tacos here are $5 apiece or three for $12. Thus, when I visited one early evening with my dining companion, we were able to sample six different tacos between us.

Although there is not a disappointment among the half-dozen, it is no surprise that we differ on many of our favorites. But we both love The Red Headed Stranger.

Served open-faced on a lightly grilled flour tortilla (made in Bend by the Tortillaria Reyes), this taco is built around shredded chicken prepared in “Tex-Mex” style with green chilies. Topped with melted Monterey Jack cheese and tangy guajillo-chile ranchero sauce, it is served with chopped lettuce, cilantro and radish — and it’s delicious.

We also agree on The Mayan, made with grilled carne asada (skirt steak) in a mole verde sauce. It’s finished with cabbage, radish, cotija cheese and lime on a corn tortilla.

My companion is a fan of the vegetarian Frida Kahlo, a work of art worthy of the enigmatic artist. With slices of sweet potato as its main ingredient, this taco (on a corn tortilla) includes roast poblano pepper, Oaxacan cheese and a tomatillo-avocado relish.

The Pancho Villa, named for perhaps Mexico’s most notorious rebel, has a heaping helping of slow-roasted cochinita pork, marinated in citrus juices. I thought the meat was a little dry. It came with black beans, pickled red onion and cilantro on a corn tortilla.

The Aztec, also on a corn tortilla, featured beer-braised short rib, moist and delicious, with Fresno chilies, tomatillo-avocado relish and a smear of Mexican queso cheese.

At the back of the cafe, the Blazing Glory Salsa Bar offers a selection of enhancements that include a delicious salsa fresca, as well as serrano, chipotle and verde sauces, among others.

Seafood and salad

The Sea of Cortez taco is a seafood option with a handful of battered and lightly fried rock shrimp. Served on a flour tortilla and dressed in a spicy carrot-habañero sauce with a drizzle of crema, it is served with green cabbage and mango pico de gallo.

Unfortunately for my friend, that pico includes minced green bell peppers, and she is sadly allergic. (It also appears in The Zapata, a more traditional fish taco with seared red snapper.) Our server replaced it with another Sea of Cortez taco, made without the pico de gallo — but I thought it lacked the flavor that the pico might have provided.

The issue arose again on a lunch-hour visit, when we ordered a cup of tortilla soup ($5) and a Tulum taco salad ($10). That same mango pico with green peppers was a salad ingredient.

Our server was more than accommodating, bringing a second pepper-free salad and allowing me to enjoy the original, which otherwise would have been thrown out. It included chopped fresh romaine lettuce, pickled red onion, black beans, avocado, corn kernels, radish, toasted coconut and a creamy cilantro-lime salad dressing. And with a choice of any of the salad proteins, we chose the carne asada, which again was delicious.

The tortilla soup was a thicker broth than I’ve had elsewhere, and its tortilla strips were hidden on the bottom of the cup. But the flavor was excellent, with an ample amount of chicken in the brew.

Also on the menu is horchata ice cream ($5.50) from Addy Mac’s Bend creamery. It’s served with spiced chocolate and salted peanuts. I haven’t tried this, but sweets lovers rave about it.

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

21128984