Tag Archives: tacos

Taco a Day is in full force!

A couple months ago I accidentally stumbled onto the blog of an incredibly talented taco journalist.

Well, he is back in force trying different tacos each day during the month of May.  Go check out his adventures, photos and taco findings at http://tacoaday.com/!

“Best Street Taco Connoisseur” awarded from City Weekly

Sometimes a taco journalist asks himself if all the long nights at the office are worth it.  He may wonder if he is reaching his audience and whether his hard hitting journalism might be hitting too hard or not hard enough.

If he is lucky, then on days like today a taco journalist is proud to learn that he is named the “Best Street Taco Connoisseur” in print.  City Weekly has published their annual “Best of Utah” issue and your truly has received this award.  There are hundreds if not thousands of people who deserve this award so I am humbled to have received this honor, which is only slightly lesser in grandeur compared to the coveted Congressional Medal of Tacos.

With this honor comes responsibility and I know I have work to do.  I want to extend thanks to everyone who reads this site and to everyone in the world who loves tacos.

Here is what City Weekly said here in the presenting of the award :

Best Street-Taco Connoisseur
Kelly Peterson, SLCTacos.com
We all have our food passions, but not many turn those passions into an invaluable resource for others. From a simple mission statement that he summarizes as, “I love tacos!” Kelly Peterson has set out to chronicle the restaurants and street vendors who serve up Salt Lake City’s finest collections of meat, cheese and condiments wrapped in a tortilla. Reviews and taco-related ephemera are part of the regular blog postings that have given fellow tacoficionados an invaluable way of guiding their gastronomic wanderings.

BLOG – tacoaday.com

Go here.  Now.

http://tacoaday.com

How did I never hear about this blog before?  Moments ago I stumbled upon this incredible treasure written by a modern day hero whose site simply reads :

this is an account of when I ate a lot of tacos.

Last year (in the face of some adversity chronicled in his “Dear Haters” post) he set off on a quest  :

in May I travelled around Salt Lake and Utah County and I ate tacos every day. now I just eat tacos most days.

These posts are hilarious.  Not only is there a 7 gnome rating scale employed, but also a percentage likelihood in returning.  So much data.  We could generate so many box and whisker plots from this.  I better go start analyzing all of these “tacometrics” as this gentleman puts it and generate some reports in R.

Gnome holding a taco from tacoaday.com

I’ve already started chewing through these posts.  Some are expected (Chunga’s) but some I have not heard of.  Such discoveries are possible when a man sets off on a vision quest.  He finds wonders that the rest have never dreamed of.

I will be posting more gems from here, but make no mistake — we want this person to write with us here on slctacos.com!

REVIEW – Taqueria Lupitas

Tacos at Chevron! A true Christmas miracle. Que vista de milagros!

Taqueria Lupitas
500 S West Temple (southwest corner, at the Chevron gas station)
4 out of 5 stars
Tacos are $1 each

My Christmas gift came early this year.  One week before Christmas I got a voicemail from taco enthusiast Tyler.  He told me of a miracle I could not believe.  There are prophecies and tales of future events, but when it comes to tacos I take them very seriously.  They are sacred.  But Tyler knows that tacos are sacred so this could be no prank.  This was serious business.

He told me that there was a brand new taco stand right across the street from where he and I work.  What?  Really?  A taco stand visible from our office?  Seconds away?  If this were true, then a true Christmas miracle was about to unfold.

I hadn’t been in the office much due to Finals week so I decided to try the stand (if this miracle truly existed) the next time I was in the office.  This week as I walked into work I saw the glorious vista featured above.  A taco stand at the Chevron station.  You bet I heard angels singing.

Taqueria Lupitas has been open for two weeks now. It is named after the cuñada of the two owners.

I arrived at the taco stand the same time as two other women who work at the hotel near my work.  I knew I had to get an al pastor like I do at each taco stand.  And I can’t say no to barbacoa either.  Still, I wanted some expert opinions.  Were these women veterans of the 2-week-old Taqueria Lupitas stand? I slapped on my taco journalist hat… BECAUSE I WAS ABOUT TO FIND OUT!

I haven’t spoken Spanish in months, so my words tumbled out in a mess, but I was still able to find out that the women had been coming t0 the taco stand since its opening.  If I had one more taco to be allotted, they suggested I try the asada.  Not to be missed, they said.  They also laughed at my Spanish because I sound super gringo these days.

I walked up, ordered and set in on some intense taco journalism to find out how this Christmas miracle came to be.

As you can see, I was hungy and already took a bite of the asada. Also featured : al pastor and barbacoa.

I spoke to Antonio and his brother who are from Michoacán, Mexico.  They told me while cooking that the stand has been open for 2 weeks now.  When asked if they had any difficulty opening up a taco stand on the property of the gas station, they laughed and said that was the easy part.  In fact, the gas station is very glad to have them but getting the license from the city was not a fun process.  They told me that it went on for such a long time that they were losing hope that it was going to happen, but finally they got it and they are fully licensed by the city.  I should add that their stand is one of the cleanest I have seen in SLC.

I asked about the clientele they have since they are on a busy road (500 S) which is a main route to leave downtown SLC and jump onto I-15.  They told me that much of the business comes on foot, especially from my office building and from nearby hotels.  Still, they told me that they’ve laughed because there are other taco fanáticos who come rushing over.  In fact, they have many customers who have slammed on their brakes upon noticing the stand and screeched into the parking lot to snag a load of tacos for their commute home.  Business, they tell me, is going very well so far.

Antonio said he had to laugh when I ordered the barbacoa.  He said that their gringo customers can’t get enough of the barbacoa which is a sentiment not shared by their latino clientele.  Antonio mentions that he loves that the stand is well frequented by gringos and latinos alike.

A listing of the items offered at Taqueria Lupitas

As my tacos arrived, I was  nervous.  What if they weren’t good?  What good would a taco stand be across from my work building if they were not super bien rico?  Luckily, they were very delicious as were the salsas and fixins.  My new amigas were right to recommend the asada.  It was savory, juicy and my favorite of the bunch.  The barbacoa was good as well.  Not as good as other taco stands, but very tasty.  The al pastor was honestly nothing to write home about.  Not nearly enough flavor.  Not as spicy as what I was expecting. Maybe I caught them on a bad day and of course since I am so close I will definitely be trying it again.  I will keep you posted.

As I left, I told them how happy I was to have a taco stand so close to work.  In fact, I had to tell them, “En verdad, este carrito es mi regalito de Navidad.” (Truly, this taco stand is my Christmas present).  My new amigas burst into laughter as did Antonio and his brother working the grill.  They laughed, but they also new my sincerity.

As I left after we had a good laugh, Antonio asked me “Pues, nos vemos pronto?”

Yes, Antonio, I will be back very soon.

Taco Documentary!

Hey everyone!

Sorry things have been so quiet here at SLCTacos lately, but it was all in the name of science.  Unfortunately it was not taco science but rather towards my Master’s degree in my first full-time quarter of graduate school.  I’ve got a few weeks off now so expect at least one review.

In the meantime, we have received news of a very cool documentary about taco stands in Austin, Texas by a Mr. Robert Lemon working towards his Ph.D.  Dr. Lemon (as I will start referring to him) is also a food geographer and he brings us this very cool documentary about what the taco scene is like in Austin.

What do you think?

“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.

Regards,

noyen / nairb

Rumor Confirmation: “Chow Truck” in Salt Lake is real.

I have yet to try this out myself (being somewhat impossible to do at the moment), but i have heard much chatter around twitter and on food blogs about a new taco truck appearing in parking lots around Salt Lake City and Park City, Utah.

The “Chow Truck” everyone has been talking about.

So I am not here to review this mobile dining experience, but to tell you that, YES, it does exist. That, and you can find out more information about them at their website and follow them on their twitter page to find their location.

I plan on trying everything on the menu as soon as i am back in the area and hopefully get a chance to talk to the people behind this truck as well. It looks interesting to say the least! In the meantime go out and try them yourself and let US know what YOU think of them and their menu. We’ll post your reviews here. We would love to know your experiences and what you think this adds to the street taco scene in Salt Lake. It looks like they are trying to mimic what Kogi Tacos did in LA to light a fire and create a new and trendy, hipster driven clientele.

Meanwhile, taco enthusiast Kelly is reportedly on the case and will have a first impression review of the Chow Truck. We will have it posted here shortly. I am curious what our taco enthusiasts think and we’ll see how they hold up to our beloved traditional taco stands. I am wary of a hipster douche bag over hyping so i hope i am not let down by all the chatter generated around this truck so far. It has been reported that many monocle wearing men in turtlenecks, overpriced REI gear, as well as men in girls jeans and “ironic” mustaches with key chains hanging from their belts are showing up at the seemingly long list of “hip” places to park (Twilight Lounge, REI, Eggs in the City, etc), but we will let the food speak for itself and hopefully get an interview with the owners.

Until then, eat everything like it’s a taco.

Yours truly,

noyen