664 N. Freedom Blvd.
5 out of 5 stars
In 2008 I first ate at a little restaurant called Chunga’s in Salt Lake. That night I met the owner Gilberto who is an incredibly nice gentleman. We ate and laughed. I even cut a cake with them that evening and found a plastic Jesus inside. That night Gilberto told me that he hoped I enjoyed the food since he was already planning to open a second location in Provo.
I fell in love that night with the delicious array of tacos and other offerings that Gilberto and his crew were serving up and I vowed that night to travel all the way to Provo (not a small feat for those less brave) to visit his location there to ensure the same level of quality and write a review of the location.
Let me just skip ahead and tell you that the tacos you get at this Provo location are the same delicious tacos we have come to know and love from the Salt Lake location.
I arrived at the restaurant with my taco enthousiast amigos as part of the second and final round of a Taco Showdown of taco restaurants in Provo. The first round was not bad, but failed to live up the taco hype we had traveled for. My amigos seemed a bit nervous. Were we about to end this taco adventure on a high note? I could tell from their demeanor that they were not sure how this was all going to turn out. However none of the taco enthousiasts in our crew had eaten at either Chunga’s location below.
Once again I ordered an Al Pastor and a Carnitas burrito to hold the variety of tacos constant to compare to the other round of the Taco Showdown. Meanwhile my fellow taco enthousiasts ordered a full battery of tacos ranging from the lengua (tongue) to the Al Pastor to the nopal (cactus). We sat down and sipped on our delicious fruit aguas and watched Mexican soap operas on the TV as we waited for our tacos to arrive.
I sat back and watched my compatriots as they took their first bite of the Al Pastor. I sat back and watched them taking their first bites of an experience which reminded me of first bites of a true Al Pastor I had on the streets of Mexico city. One by one they started smiling and it was clearly agreed that this taco adventure was a complete success. Our trip to Provo, although treacherous, had not been in vain. It was immediately decided that there was no contest as to the winner of this particular Taco Showdown as it was evident that Chunga’s was the winner.
We tried a few of the different tacos available at Chunga’s. The nopal was another crowd favorite and taco enthousiast Quinn and Jason ordered a few more at the counter to prolong our taco experience as long as their stomachs would allow. Although he is probably not ready for the famous 27 Taco Challenge at Chunga’s which was attempted by taco enthousiast Seth, Jason was the winner of the most tacos eaten trophy. I can’t remember how many he ate in total, but I certainly do remember being impressed.
As we left the restaurant, we were presented coupons for a free taco. We had not mentioned that we were taco journalists, but still we were treated and fed like kings that night. The great folks at Chunga’s are always warm an inviting — no matter whether you are a taco journalist or not.
So the next time you are in Provo dropping off a family member at the MTC, stop by Chunga’s. Treat yourself to a taste of real Mexico City. It’s a lot like Provo… Just with a few more people…