Tag Archives: recession

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once and a while, you could miss it.”

I have a confession to make. It has been over six months since I’ve partaken of our sacrament; the street taco. The economy swept away my job, and with it the desire or monetary means of supporting our scene. I feel bad about it. I haven’t been able to go out and sample the wonderful food on our streets. I haven’t had a chance to check out the Chowtruck. I’ve been self consumed and wrought with doubt, fear, depression, financial problems, and all the things that can happen in a deep and long recession. I know that is has affected many, many, many others in the community too. They probably feel the same way i do. Just looking for a glimmer of hope, and a good feeling.

So, being a “basement” chef myself, i pulled up my sleeves and decided i wanted to cook. I love cooking. There’s nothing better than creating something amazing out of otherwise normal things. So with that in mind, over the weekend i scrapped up some change from the empty growler jug, and went out and bought some of Rico’s homemade tortillas. The tiny ones that are made fresh that you can pick up at the local markets. I picked some onions from the garden. I dug some old hamburger meat from the bottom of the freezer, and i started to assemble bowls of condiments and toppings. I fried up the tortillas quickly on each side in a skillet and spooned on some crumbly burger meat. I also threw some frozen corn into a cast iron skillet and made a bit of a roasted corn salsa type creation. I topped it all off simply with the green onions and some cheese. I wasn’t going for authentic, or trying to replicate what i might find at a taco stand, but just going over my food influences growing up, and how my mother made her version of tacos. I found a quiet place by myself and ate a few. It felt wrong to be doing this alone. I had cooked up all the tortillas and there was plenty of stuffing for more, so i called my mother up to share them with me. We both felt better after. It clicked in me that life can me simple. Life can be a taco. Love can be like a taco. Uncomplicated, enjoyable in it’s simplicity, and can give you the feeling of a warm hug that lingers around long after.

While I still am lowered to that of a 2nd class citizen who has had to move back home and swallow his pride, i still get a real sense of peace when eating a good taco. I hope some luck and opportunities come my way soon, so that i can get back out on the streets and enjoy the tacos and the love all of these hard working people provide. Innovation is happening in the foodie community. People are coming up with new ideas, and new presentations and different twists on street food in our community. It makes me proud to see such changes and to see how that people are starting to come around, and be less afraid, less intimidated by these little palaces of what i like to call “the other soul food”. So to all those out there working hard and cooking up all of this love, I salute you. Our friends from the south have brought us so much and are very much a part of what America is about, and i for one welcome our taco overlords.

So if you can’t go out and buy a taco from one of the dozens if not hundreds of mexican and south american influenced restaurants, markets, and food carts, scrape up some change and make some for you and your friends. It’ll make you and everyone else feel better. If at least, for a little while.


noyen / nairb

REVIEW – Tacos Don Martin (in Sugarhouse!!!)

Tacos Don Martin stands as a guard which watches over the glorious Sugarhole in Sugarhouse.

Tacos Don Martin stands as a guard which watches over the glorious Sugarhole in Sugarhouse.

Tacos Don Martin

Highland Drive and roughly 2150 South

(right in front of the Sugarhole in Sugarhouse; across the street from the library and Barnes and Noble)

3.5 out of 5 stars


Slctacos.com is back.  I apologize for a bit of a lull in taco journalism, but since last year I was nearly robbed of my entire summer I decided to grab the summer of 2009 by the reigns to make sure I could enjoy it as much as possible.

But this post is not the true miracle I want to talk about this evening.  Tonight I want to talk about how dreams come true.  Some of you remember that I have lamented the fact that while in the past there was a pre-SUGARHOLE taco stand in Sugarhouse.  I actually scribbled this on the top of my Christmas list to Santa :

“a taco stand in sugarhood”

Christmas has come early for this young man because now there street tacos which are walking distance from his home!  What else could you want?  You wanted a burrito?  Tacos Don Martin has you covered.  Oh, you want a vampiro?  Tacos Don Martin has those too!  Excuse me, you wanted a full plate of asada? Done.  Tacos Don Martin is back.  It may very well be the driving force which revitalizes the heart of Sugarhouse.


The SUGARHOLE in March, 2009.  Notice the lack of buildings, but more importantly notice the lack of TACOS!!!

The SUGARHOLE in March, 2009. Notice the lack of buildings, but more importantly notice the lack of TACOS!!!

Years from now, our children will be sitting in class and learning about history.  They will learn about the settlers of the Salt Lake valley and they will learn about how Obama made good on his promise in 2011 for every child to have his own jetpack.

Even more importantly, they will learn about the magnificent return of street tacos to Sugarhouse.  They will read about the events leading up to this : Wallstreet greed, credit shortages, recession, and finally SUGARHOLE.  Finally they will read about the singular event which changed Sugarhouse as we know it and ultimately ended the Recession in the United States.  This event is the return of tacos with the opening of Tacos Don Martin.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  You are a taco enthusiast and you want to know more about the tacos.  Taco Enthusiast Dr. Wilkin was the same way when I called him up a few weeks back.  He was chomping at the bit to try out the tacos at this new stand, so we decided to make a date of it.  Dr. Wilkin is a medical doctor and the only thing he loves more than saving lives is eating tacos.  Dr. Wilkin leads a fast-paced life of medical breakthroughs sprinkled with miraculous events of saving the lives of orphans.  Since his time is precious, I was sure to be on time when I walked down the street to his home for our taco adventure.


FILE PHOTO : Dr Wilkin on another taco.  He works hard, but he plays even harder.

FILE PHOTO : Dr Wilkin on another taco adventure. He works hard, but he plays even harder.

We arrived at the taco stand on a beautiful summer evening as the sun was setting over the rugged shores of the Sugarhole.  We looked over the menu for a bit and decided to get down to business.  Here are a few items on the menu and their prices.  This is definitely one of the cheaper places to dine in Sugarhouse :

Tacos – $1

Vampiros – $1.50

Plato de Asada – $6

For those curious of what styles of tacos served here, the list is as follows :

Asada, Al Pastor, Carnitas, Pollo, Cabeza, Buche, Barbacoa, Chicharron, Birria, Lengua, Tripa


Dr Wilkin unwinds at the taco stand while other taco goers try to jump into the frame amidst serious taco journalism

Dr Wilkin unwinds at the taco stand while other taco goers try to jump into the frame amidst serious taco journalism

Our tacos were good.  For some reason I didn’t take any photos.  Maybe I was starving.  Maybe I was giddy that there was a taco stand in Sugarhouse.  Maybe I was laughing with a fellow taco customer next to me and the stand owner  when some other “gringo” walked away with paying.

At any rate, I enjoyed the Carnitas and the Barbacoa most.  The Al Pastor was also tasty and I will definitely order it again as I continue to revel in street food in Sugarhood.

Tonight I stopped by the stand and had a quick Barbacoa taco while I asked the stand owner how business was going.  She said that it is up and down.  Some good days and some very slow days.  I was surprised when she told me that her busiest time of the day is at lunch.  I would have assumed more people at night since I often see quite a few standing around when I drive down Highland.  If you want to make an order to go, or have them cater a party, you can call the number above and they can set you up with some delicious treats.

Reading the lettering on the stand at Don Martin, you wonder to yourself if they can live up to the claim of serving up street delights “a la altura de su buen gusto“.  In this humble reporter’s opinion, I believe that they do make delicious tacos at the height of your great taste.  Sugarhouse is back on the map!