What Happens When Your Low-Key Taqueria is Named One of Bon Appetit's Best New Restaurants

When you read, “the best tacos we’ve had all year” from a publication like Bon Appetit, you know you have to have one of those tacos.

And when West Dallas’ Trompo received this praise last week, taco-eaters of Dallas had the same thought.

“Before Bon Appetit we were doing about ... 30 to 60 transactions a day,” says Trompo co-owner Luis Olvera. “Now we’re doing about 120 transactions an hour.”

Olvera operates this modest spot on Singleton Boulevard just West of Trinity Groves with his godson/cousin/close friend Carlos Olvera.

The tired duo uses the phrase, “Before Bon Appetit” often these days.

“I mean, we eat five tacos a day,” Luis says.

"We did before Bon Appetit,” Carlos counters.

The reason they may not be getting their taco fill is because they’re working constantly just to keep up with the demand. They said they’ve seen an hour wait for the now-famous tacos. Their hours, which may seem laughable to them now, were 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. They’ve decided to use the barbecue model and close when they sell out of food, which lately has been well before 10 p.m.
“We tried a couple of things,” Luis says. “We cooked as much as we could, stayed here until 2 in the morning; and then realized that it doesn’t matter how much we cook; it’s going to sell out, at least right now.”

They tried closing from 3 to 5 p.m. to prep for dinner.

“We opened our doors and sold out by 7,” Carlos says.

They said they then took to social media, apologizing to their regular patrons.

“Our customers are very, very loyal, and they really, really love our product," Luis says. "Our biggest angst was with the fact that I would get 15, 20 text messages from our regulars, 'Aw man, we’re so happy for you, we’ll try again tomorrow.' That was devastating."

Saturday, they opened at 11 a.m. and sold out by 3 p.m. They did the same prep work for Sunday. They opened at 11 a.m. and sold out by 12:30 p.m.

“It makes you feel you’re a novice, you’re new to the game,” Luis says. “It makes you feel unprepared, unprofessional; it makes you feel like you don’t have it under control.”

The long waits and early closings for excellent tacos may continue a while. The business pair don’t plan on sacrificing anything in a post-Bon Appetit world, even after the magazine bestowed another honor on the taqueria yesterday: Taco of the Year. But, they say, another Trompo location may be in the works.

Trompo, 839 Singleton Blvd.
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Taylor Adams has written about the restaurant industry for the Dallas Observer since 2016. Now the Observer's food editor, she attended Southern Methodist University before covering local news at The Dallas Morning News.