Tucked between a tire shop and Mr. Phil's Bar-B-Que & Catfish, a new taqueria is bringing sublime Monterrey-style street tacos to the hungry people of West Dallas.
Trompo opened quietly last weekend with a small but robust menu of authentic, flavorful northern Mexico street food. Owner Luis Olvera left his gig as a Montessori specialist to open a taqueria in the neighborhood where he was born and raised.
"They're straight-up Mexican street tacos — no guac, no rice, no beans," Olvera says. "There's nothing fancy on them. It's what you would find on any street stand in Mexico."
First-timers may have a hard time finding Trompo, as its only indicator is the logo on the front door. The restaurant was supposed to open on Jefferson Boulevard, but issues with his original landlord forced Olvera to look elsewhere. And thus, he settled on this quiet corner just down the street from Trinity Groves. The space is minimal — very minimal. Aside from a menu, one tall metal table and the kitchen window where you order, the rest of the room is stark white and wide open. The interior will likely evolve, but this place isn't about flashy interior design — it's about straightforward, no frills, damn fine food.
On the evening taco menu (the daytime menu is a bit lighter and differs from what's served in the evening) you'll find tacos and quesadillas, all made with three simple fillings: trompo (pork), bistek (beef) and a fantastic vegetarian option made with roasted poblano peppers and paneer. Tacos are topped simply with cilantro and white onion and served on corn tortillas. During the day, you'll find guisos on fresh, house-made corn and flour tortillas.
Wondering why the trompo at Trompo is such a curiously bright red color? Unlike southern Mexican street tacos, often made with citrus, their northern Mexican contemporaries are coated in several types of paprika before they're roasted on the trompo, a vertical rotisserie, Olvera says. For meat-eaters, this flagship meat is a must-try at Trompo.
As good as the tacos are, don't miss the quesadillas ($3.85), which come on a big flour tortilla coated on the bottom with perfectly melted whole milk mozzarella cheese. We tried the Gringo, which comes topped with trompo, and it immediately changed our perception of what a quesadilla can be. These open-faced beauties are light, flavorful and addictive.
If you can't make it to Trompo but find yourself catching a show at The Kessler, come with an appetite: Olvera sells tacos at every Kessler show. These cheap but flavorful tacos are a great addition to Oak Cliff's already robust and varied food offerings.
Trompo, 839 Singleton Blvd., facebook.com/oakclifftrompo