REVIEW – Diego’s (Provo)

Taco enthousiast Jason stands in front of Diegos Taco Shop in Provo at the outset of our Taco Showdown

Taco enthousiast Jason stands in front of Diego's Taco Shop in Provo at the outset of our Taco Showdown

Diego’s Taco Shop
45 W 300 N
Provo, UT
(801) 377-4710

3 out of 5 stars

OK, so I started hearing about this place out of nowhere.  First, I read about an ex-Provo singer\songwriter writing ballads centered around a love for this restaurant.  Then I read in the annual “Best Of Utah 2009” in the City Weekly issue that this restaurant had earned their award for “BEST MEXICAN [RESTAURANT] IN PROVO”.  Let me share briefly what they had to say :

We suspect the real reason Utah County earned its Happy Valley nickname has something to do with the region’s bountiful supply of top-notch restaurants—especially Diego’s. The modest-sized Mexican eatery is home to some of the best tacos anywhere in the state. Really, everything on the menu is a hit, from Al Pastor and Carnitas to quesadillas and burritos all topped with a fiery green avocado salsa.

With a recommendation like this, I had to try it to I sounded the taco alarm to assemble a Taco Showdown and several of my favorite taco enthousiast amigos jumped in Taco Force 1 and Taco Force 2 and set a course for Provo.

In this photo, taco enthousiast Jason is visibly amped to try the tacos while taco enthousiast Dave is slightly more reserved.

In this photo, taco enthousiast Jason is visibly "amped" to try the tacos while taco enthousiast Dave is slightly more "reserved".

Upon arrival at Diego’s Taco Shop, I laied everything out on the table.  I told the woman behind that counter that we were taco journalists who had traveled from Salt Lake City after hearing legendary reports about their tacos.  For some strange reason she didn’t take us very seriously. Perhaps it was because we were not carrying our taco journalist credentials or since we don’t dress like your typical run-of-the-mill taco journalists?  At any rate, I ordered an Al Pastor and a Carnitas and sat down outside to prepare myself for what I was hoping to be an experience that might remove some of the unpleasant taste of Provo, Utah.

We waited outside for a bit and briefly considered getting tattoos at the tattoo shop next door.  I, like yourself Dear Reader, was also surprised to see such a thing in Provo.

Jason holds my tacos to be photographed in optimal lighting conditions as the sun sets

Jason holds my tacos to be photographed in optimal lighting conditions as the sun sets

Finally, our tacos arrived and I started testing out the Al Pastor.  I was immediately underwhelmed.  Normally I like an Al Pastor full of flavor unique to the marinade recipe of the taco preparer.  Instead, I was met with a taco which was not unappetizing but did not stack up the explosion of flavor which I typically expect from an Al Pastor.  My fellow taco journalists looked to get an early idea of my review by the look on my face.  Instead, I continued eating quietly and started work on the Carnitas taco.  This taco was better but once again I could no longer hide my expression showing that I was a little bit disappointed.  Had the shop not been hyped by musicians and other journalists, I would have been able to enjoy these a bit more.  But given the hype, it was almost crushing that these tacos were to be filled under “middle of the road”.  It was even more crushing that the road we found ourselves on was in the middle of Provo.

Taco enthousiast Ryan (blackground, black shirt) is seen contemplating the menu while the rest of the crew prepares to order

Taco enthousiast Ryan (blackground, black shirt) is seen contemplating the menu while the rest of the crew prepares to order

But don’t despair.  The Taco Showdown doesn’t end here.  We also visited another location in Provo.  A location which is clearly a favorite by many slctacos.com fans given the number of comments we have received about its Provo location alone.  Read on and follow us on the dramatic conclusion of this taco adventure.

Its clear that taco enthousiast Amanda is not going to let Provo get her down and she happily poses as we leave Diegos in search of better tacos.

It's clear that taco enthousiast Amanda is not going to let Provo get her down and she happily poses as we leave Diego's in search of better tacos.

Taco enthousiast Ryan takes a large bite as taco enthousiast Quinn wonders if anyone around recognizes us as taco journalists \ rockstars.

Taco enthousiast Ryan takes a large bite as taco enthousiast Quinn wonders if any of the Provo locals recognize us as rockstar taco journalists.

5 responses to “REVIEW – Diego’s (Provo)

  1. Pingback: TACO SHOWDOWN — PROVO ATTACK!!!! « SLC Tacos

  2. The only one I would get from Diego is the fish taco…. it’s actually decent….

  3. you’re probably not up for another provo trip anytime soon, but next time you’re down that way check out “la villa.” it’s in the shopping(?) plaza at the bottom of the state st. hill next to a dollar store and some hair academy. it’s pretty legit and cheap too.

  4. Thanks liz. I’ll have to check that place out next time I’m in Provo. And you never know… A Provo trip can strike when you least expect it…

  5. Pingback: Gastronomic Salt Lake City » Restaurant review round-up 06/12/09

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