Tag Archives: tacos

Seth vs. 27 tacos — The Aftermath

When we last left you, Seth was about to attempt the 27 taco challenge.  We showed up with dozens of people to cheer Seth on.  The rules are simple : 45 minutes to eat all 27 tacos.    Reporters on scene asked Seth what was on his mind in the moments before started the challenge and he simply replied “Strategy”.

Did he succeed?  Did he remain undefeated in his career of food challenges?  Watch the video and find out :

Seth got off to a great start, but eventually could eat no more than 17 tacos.  10 tacos under the mark.  But he was valiente.  He never gave up, and he deserves our honor.

So where do we go from here?  There are rumors of people around our office who want to break 17.  Also Seth wants to improve his time on the Wing Coop 11 challenge and continue is Risk-like domination of the Salt Lake Valley by having his photo up at the Redwood Road location of Wing coop like it currently presides at the location in Olympus Cove.

Finally, we leave with some photos of the celebration of the occasion :

Crowd #1 of friends and co-workers around Seth watching him mid-challenge.

Crowd #1 of friends and co-workers around Seth watching him mid-challenge.

Crowd #2.  Jon throws up some horns while taco enthousiast Ethan gives a very polite wave.

Crowd #2. Jon throws up some horns while taco enthousiast Ethan gives a very polite wave.

This man has one thing on his mind : STRATEGY

This man has one thing on his mind : STRATEGY

Tacos in the News

In the last 7 days,  slctacos.com has been mentioned a few times in Salt Lake City newspapers.  Several people have asked me for links to these articles and as I am a journalist, I am obliged to share this news.

Here they are :

City Weekly

IN This Week

REVIEW – El Habanero (the stubborn side of the table)

El Habanero

3500 S 8146 W

2 stars out of 5

As i’ve had time to let this “settle”, my opinion on the place just kind of hit the shitter. Not that it was glowing to begin with, but the more i thought about it, the more “meh” i felt. So take me with a grain of salt here, and understand i have a sense of humor that may not “jive” with yours too. So if you are for some reason offended by my dislike/mocking ways, you might want to skip reading this post in particular :). So tell me if you don’t agree. I’m cool.

one of the amish things?

one of the amish things?

So it’s a grey day outside. Its dark and smoggy. Oppressive and cold. Unwelcoming and uninspiring. Kelly picked me up from work as we were very excited to head out to try this stuff called Cochinita Pibil, which is basically a marinated pork dish. I’m stoked about it. I think i’m about to have my mind blown. My expectations are pretty high! So, as i was saying, Kelly picked me up and we headed out to this place, west of salt lake, i’m sure it has some fucked up name and is a cool place to live, but i guess it’s not appealing to the young and timid type who just wanna rock out and have a good time, like me. Well let me be the first to tell you and assure you that in this area apparently, they have education out here. And vinyl fence strip Manufacturers. And a few cul-de-sacs with nice houses but no trees Lots of places that look like meth houses too. Kinda creepy if you ask me! I smell inbreeding. There was even a horse or two. Apparently people subject themselves to living out in this fringe area of an already fringe shit-hole.

She Daisy?

She Daisy?

So after we passed many archaic things, such as a dilapidated strip mall and a scary gas station, we reached El Habanero. The parking lot is small. The exterior looks decent enough. We go inside and immediately see one of those Amish heater contraptions. I have a feeling i’m in for something cool.

Creepy Girls

Creepy Girls

The inside greets us with a “wall of fame”. There’s some creepy shit up here, let me tell you. Besides that, there’s a large L-shaped bar with the drink fountain and waitresses busy as bee’s. We are kindly greeted and seated. I notice the place looks pretty clean and maybe even recently remodeled. I also notice a lot of white people. Not that this is a bad thing, but it’s not necessarily a good thing when you see Bo-Diggity Dog Josephestein with his broseph, Todd the copy machine expert chilling during their lunch hour away and hitting up this place rather than TGI Friday’s (because there isn’t one even nearby!) . So i’m not impressed with the clientel necessarily. Nothing against you guys who were there. I just like want to appreciate what my Mexican and South American friends enjoy.

Chips and Salsa

Chips and Salsa

So the tortilla chips and salsa. Whoa. Warm. Crispy. I bit into one and broke some old man’s ear drum the sound reverberated so loudly. Damn tasty. Refills on the chips were 95 cents. About 10-15 chips a bowl. Not to be a stingy guy, but come on. Talk about gouging.

Next came the menu. Standard white-people fare. I think there may have been a hamburger on there. Anyway. The thing to try was the Pork marinated in Hate Sauce.

Ze Menu

Ze Menu

The plate arrives and i’m a bit worried. A giant slosh that looks like sloppy-joes appears before me with a side of red onions, beans and rice and a piddly little side-salad. I fear for my intestines. And for my soul and what sins I’m about to commit against humanity.

Death Taco

Death Taco

Now, don’t get me wrong. I can appreciate a sloppy joe. But tell me that’s what i’m getting! There are ISSUES with this meal… I don’t care who you are, but the pork was far too acidic to be palatable for me. There were some what appeared to be pickled, but i’m not sure, red onions. I thought they would help balance this out and let me TASTE the taco. Didn’t help. So I resorted to piling the beans and rice in too. Let me just explain how painful it was… I was sweating. I was giving Kelly looks of “I don’t know if I’m gonna make it” type of looks. I didn’t think it was right for this to happen. Maybe it was an off day..? It really could have been good. I don’t know what else to say. I ate a lot of my plate, but i left a lot left over. The best part of the meal was the horchata, but it was obviously a straight pre-mixed type dealy-o. If we had been stuck in the wilderness and there was no source of fire or warmth i would resort to rubbing this on my body to stay warm. Might smell good. It may also burn off your skin. I actually challenge one of you to eat an entire plate of what i ate without flinching in pain at some point from the acidity.

Did i get my point across about that? I know i will be told this is how it is prepared, a result of the pork’s preparation. But i can’t forgive making it available to eat in that form. Maybe if there was more of a balance to the acid from the marinating, but you could not even taste the onions through it. I don’t think you’d be able to taste anything through it to be honest.

So this is why i trash on you and take out my anger on you. I’ve had a bad week, and i think you can do better. That’s the bottom line. This dish could kick ass, but it needs someone tasting this slosh before it is touted as the best thing on the menu! Seriously. Not to bash. I have nothing but love for the taco.

My shitty iphone photography

My shitty iphone photography

I must also say, i really do need to give this place a second, maybe a third and fourth chance. I really would like to try the carne asada based dishes, and steer from this pork mess. I must also state that i have an allergy to pork. So yeah, might want to disregard me and take a chance for yourself? I would like to try this dish at the Red Iguana… I have not tried it and hear it’s amazing. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. Say no more?

I spent the rest of the day wanting to die. To have the sun explode and rain fire on me. Put me out of my misery… Still i search for you. Actually, i have some very good things to say about a taco joint, but i NEED to go there again and take pictures and record things a bit better. And take my girlfriend with me too. And we even have some REAL street taco stand reviews coming. I apologize they are slow coming in. The weather has kinda been crappy lately and that keeps most of us from getting out… Until next time. Goodbye, cruel world.

REVIEW – El Jaripeo (the other side of the table)

El Jaripeo Restaurant

1259 South Redwood Road

3 stars out of 5

This sign out front..

This sign out front..

My review follows up the other side of the table, on our visit to the new El Jariepo Restaurant, located where La Hacienda used to reside. I have fond feelings of the building used, and the old murals inside. However, this is a review of El Jariepo, so i’ll try not to let it’s past inhabitants relinquish any ill feelings towards El J.

The interior, is straight up mid-west diner. It’s a pleasant combination of colors. Yellow, brown. Big new mural on the wall. It’s not a looker. Let’s get that out of the way up front. It might even be considered intimidating to some. But don’t let it’s exterior, or interior push you away from this little treasure.

I don’t know much history on anything Oaxacan. I do know, that it usually means it’s going to be good, though.

el-jaripeo-003

Chips and Salsa

I was blessed with a wonderful friendly (and in english, which was unexpected) greeting from a cool dude probably in his 20’s, and a bowl of chips and salsa. Of course, Kelly had told me the story of reading about the dude in the Slayer t-shirt. It turns out of course, that this is the same guy. Dude. Friendly, helpful, excited and a great waiter. I wish i remembered your name. As, you should be addressed, because you kicked so much ass you were actually wearing a Slayer tshirt today, as well, underneath your “uniform”.

I looked at the menu. I was pleased. The previous owners, after La Hacienda, were a group called Guelaguetza. These previous occupants were VERY much, if not the same in feel as the current cooks. The last mole i had tasted similar, if not the same as the last restaurant. Oh, and i must tell you what i ordered.

Horchata
1 carne asada torilla taco
1 chorizo tortilla taco
1 Burrito Zapoteco

The Horchata

The Horchata

The Horchata: This is different stuff, folks. It’s delicious and soothing, but it’s not your cool down splash of sweet that you might be used to. The horchata we have here is THICK. It was topped with fruit, nuts and some sort of fruit jelly. It was also not very cold, despite the presence of ice. This may be the drink’s fault. Loved it, however. You must try this if you think you’ve ever tried “different” horchata. This is the stuff.

The Tacos

The Tacos

Carne Asada Taco: Standard street taco fare. I found the meat to be a bit too dry, and a bit too processed, with smaller pieces than what i would have liked. Accompanied with onions, cilantro, tomato and slices of radish, this was a tasty taco. The tortilla was fantastic. In fact, it blew away the rest of the taco. Good stuff, but you can do better.

Chorizo Taco: See above… really not much to expand upon, other than the meat was even more dry and chopped up… I can’t wait to tell you about “The Special Place” that Rose Park is blessed with… anyway!

The Burrito Zapoteca... Damn

The Burrito Zapoteca... Damn

The Burrito Zapoteco: WOW! This thing is freaking HUGE. Hopefully, by the time you read this i will have pictures uploaded. Basically, this was a massive burrito in a tasty, massive tortilla. The filling consisted of roasted cactus, chicken, rice and was covered in an amazing, almost too rich, mole. It was like chocolate sauce. It needed salt… It was good!?! I’m confused here as i really enjoyed it, but it could have been better. I think i may even have the suggestion! If the mole were used sparingly, it would actually add to this, overall. The meal was fantastic, and i ate every bit that i could, sans mole, and a bit of tortilla. Oh, and i must also tell of you the wonderful cheese that is sprinkled on top! Let’s focus on the cactus here, because really, this is the shining star of glory and hope in this burrito. The chicken is okay, but i have had so much better. The cactus, however is special and tasty and a unique suprise of splosions of taste blasting all over your mouth. It took me about half-burrito to get to it, but once i found it, i was in love. I want to try more cactus dishes here.

Overall: This place is cheap in price and is just on the border of something special when it comes to it’s food. The torillas and chips are FANTASTIC. The ambiance is chill and friendly and the food is pretty unique. I think overall, the Red Iguana has a definite plus over this place, but you can’t say you’ve tried em’ all until you try this little jem. I think i would like to return and try some of the other dishes. What i tasted of what Kelly ordered was quite different. There was an overall feeling of bland..  but there is salt at the table! The salt helps! Really, i’m not joking. I liked this restaurant, but i was not blown away. I have a review in progress on one of the best restaurants i’ve ever been to, and i hope putting these two places side by side will explain the trancendental feeling of an amazing meal. It was okay, it just wasn’t the best food-sex i’ve had.

death, and tacos

I wanted to take a few minutes and introduce myself to the site. I will be here to help The Taco Master, Paco, with lots of taco content and taco related fun. My name is noyen. My name is nairb. Some will call me brian. I will be whoever you want me to be. Sometimes, i am someone else entirely. Sometimes, i feel like a lion chasing a butterfly.

Some of the things to look forward to in the taco future are:

The Virgin Taco Stand Experience – Only taco stand virgins need apply. We’ll hold drawings periodically to take a random being out to a taco stand of our choosing, documenting your every thought, movement and possible bowel-movement. But let’s throw that pre-conception out the window. Street tacos will not make you any more prone to getting sick or food borne illness than anything else! Someone would have to blast one off in your mouth with a slap of day old raw chicken carcass for you to get sick. In fact, taco stands in Salt Lake City generally have far cleaner food inspection reports than chain food establishments, because they are under such scrutiny. It is an injustice to hassle our street taco gods. Sure, there is violence associated to them in the media. The media are not worthy of addressing. We’re not that stupid. Anyway. TACOS! I LOVE THEM. I think you should too.

Band vs Taco – Here we will team up with local, national, and international bands and take them out for a taco and a good talking to about the first single off their new album(s), but more importantly; do they like tacos? Before i support a band, i need to know how they feel about tacos. Here, we will help you make an informed decision on how you have nocturnal emissions about. Hopefully during the upcoming Sundance festival we will have some interesting names and faces appearing at taco stands throughout the valley. If you are in a band, an artist, a business owner, or a taco lover, send us a shout and we’ll work things out! You can even buy us tacos, because the economy has hit us pretty hard and i havent been able to afford a taco a day. Times is rough. Let’s all share.

Taco Flash Mobs – Look for these coming in the spring! These have happened in the past have been a hit. Small in size, yes. Ambitous? That was the point. Many friends were made, and babies were born under the Taco Moon. And many more taco babes shall be shat forth into humanity.

As for my formal introduction, i was born in the year of the taco, 1976, in a small town called Topeka, which almost sounds like Taco Eeka! Located in a very flat state, much like an uncooked tortilla, Kansas feared me and my carnal desires for tacos, and quickly ejected me to Germany, where not a taco was to be found. Only sausage. And i wanted no part of this sausage festival. I wandered aimlessly through life, passing through countries such as Japan and Canada. Not a taco was to be found. Only eskimos holding crepes and filled with chef boyardee like substances to be passed off as tacos. These were not tacos. I was not fooled.

17 years passed. I found myself confronting two fates. 7 years in a jail cell in Tokyo, Japan (charged with seeking the taco without a license) or a free ticket to Salt Lake City. I chose the free ticket to Salt Lake City. It took me a few years to say “This is the Place”, but it happened. It happened just like it does in the movies. I was down on my luck, had no money, and my girlfriend was cheating on me with a gay dude. I was shooting heroin and sleeping on hardwood floors. Then, out of the blue, a kind man named Paco, dressed in fancy robes and cloths, frolicking down the street, passed me by and i just got up and followed him. Just like Forrest Gump. Just like that full on retard moment. He pranced and cartwheeled for many miles until reaching a strange place i had never seen before; a taco stand on state street. And not just one, but many. And there was music, and sights, and smells. Oh, the joy. Oh, the heaven. I am still chasing that high.

I will save the play by play chews and swallows for a later article, but let me tell you. My balls danced. My ass got into the mix. It was a pornographic taco party in my mouth. Ever since, as i just said, i have been chasing the taco. Loving the taco. Trying to wrastle that crazy taco into submission. To hold it’s magic in my hands just a little bit longer. Just long enough that i can feel it in my soul. Long enough that i don’t just swallow it whole and ignore it’s simple, complex beauty.

So, here i am. Here to write poetry to the taco. To spread the good word. To get you off your ass and not just walking, but running to the street taco stand nearest you. Inspired. Invigorated. Passionate. 2009 is the year of the taco. We have the technology. We can do this.

Tacos al Pastor

Tacos al Pastor

Tacos al Pastor

Anytime I try a new taco stand, I always try the Tacos al Pastor.  To me, they are a good indicator of the overall quality of the tacos there.  There are some restaurants in Mexico which are dedicated entirely to this style of taco and in Mexico City it is practically an institution.  However, nearly every time I order one of these someone asks  me what a Pastor taco is and why it is called that instead of “pork taco”.

Let’s dive right in and learn more.

First of all, “al Pastor” means “sheperd style” and many sources cite that its origins come from Lebanese immigrants who arrived in Mexico during the 1960’s and with them came the Shawarma.  Today, tacos al pastor are made from pork  shaved from a spit much like a Shawarma sandwich, a Gyro or a Doner Kebap.

Shaving off some pork into delicious tacos

Shaving off some pork into delicious tacos

After marinating the meat, it is cooked on a rotisserie with a pineapple on top.  The pineapple provides a very sweet flavor which can be nice alongside some strong cilantro or salsa. The marinades are the real unknown factor as you go from stand to stand.  Different regions in Mexico have different recipes for their pastor marinades and these recipes also vary at each restaurant or stand.  These recipe secrets are highly guarded and they also make each taco pastor unique and a reason to come back to that establishment.
These tacos are also often called “tacos de trompo” named after the trompo which is the cylinder that the meat rotates on while slicing it off.  Also, when you see a gringa offered on a menu, this is similar to a pastor, but instead it is served on a wheat tortilla with cheese.  I ordered a gringa once in Puebla on accident and it was one of the greatest things I have ever tasted.

So there we have just one example of a mezcla of different cultures (Middle East meets Mexico) which results in a very delicious treat.  We’ll come back and talk more about tacos al pastor and I will let you in on a little secret : where to mind my absolute favorite tacos al pastor in Salt Lake City.  Stay Tuned.

Taco enthousiast Ethan shows how to properly care for properly care for tacos al pastor while dining at the yet-to-be-disclosed establishment which makes the best pastor in town.

Taco enthousiast Ethan shows how to properly care for tacos al pastor while dining at the yet-to-be-disclosed establishment which makes the best pastor in town.