Leading up to September's Best of Dallas® 2016 issue, we're sharing (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes, the Dallas entrées, appetizers and desserts that really stuck with us this year.
Trompo's beginnings were rocky. Owner Luis Olvera started by selling his spit-roasted northern Mexican street tacos at shows at The Kessler, with the goal of opening a taqueria in Oak Cliff, where he grew up. He found a space on Jefferson, in the same building as Small Brewpub, but wound up in a dispute with the landlord and had to find a new space, Olvera says. He finally settled on a small, nondescript, out-of-the-way location off Singleton that opened in April. Things ramped up slowly, Olvera says, with the taqueria doing about "30 to 60 transactions a day," Olvera says.
Then, Bon Appetit came along.
When the magazine named Trompo one of America's best new restaurants in August, the sleepy taqueria was suddenly overwhelmed with hungry taco-seekers. Suddenly, instead of 30 transactions a day, Trompo was doing 120 transactions an hour. There were, of course, the requisite debates: Are these tacos really the best? Are they too expensive?
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Is Trompo worth the hype?
After some careful research into the matter, we can safely say that yes, these tacos do deserve the accolades. Dressed simply with cilantro and onion on corn tortillas, the namesake taco steals the show with bright red pork that's juicy and flavorful, its color a product of hours roasting on a vertical rotisserie coated in several types of paprika. The fresh, flavorful salsas are just the icing on this phenomenal taco cake (can that be a thing?).
In the era of best-of listicles and food media echo chambers, a lot of restaurants don't live up to the hype. Trompo is the exception.