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?
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.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.