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This West Dallas Taqueria Is Among America’s Best New Restaurants, Bon Appétit Says

Bon Appétit announced its list of 50 nominees for America’s Best New Restaurants -- and one of them is a family-owned taqueria in West Dallas.

The Trompo taco shop, next to a tire shop in the La Bajada neighborhood, has quickly become a Dallas foodie sensation. Thanks to the magazine mention, business has skyrocketed.

Inspired by a Mexican spin-top

So how did Trompo get its name? After a rotating spit of meat in the restaurant. It resembles a Mexican spin-top, called a trompo.

“We do Monterrey style street tacos,” co-owner Luis Olvera says. “We specialize in the taco de trompo. These tacos are something that we grew up eating. The gringa, campechana, trompo, it’s all around.”

Olvera’s family is from Monterrey, Mexico. They took the classic citrus al pastor recipe and substituted paprika as the marinade. It gives the pork a dark pink color.

“One of my uncles, my business partner’s dad, had a really good recipe that was from one of the original families in Monterrey that was doing this 15 to 20 years ago,” Olvera said.

Credit Gus Contreras / KERA News
"Trompo taco" at Trompo.

'That's so beautiful'

Olvera opened the restaurant on Singleton Avenue in April after operating out of his backyard and the Kessler Theater for a while. He didn’t think it would take off.

“I had no idea that it could do anything more than feed drunk people,” Olvera said. “You know, now Bon Appétit, like Bon Appétit, why? That’s so beautiful.”

And if you’re a vegetarian, Trompo’s got you covered. Olvera makes a quesadilla filled with an Indian cheese called paneer and poblano pepper.

'It's family'

At this taco shop, the most fulfilling thing isn’t filling bellies, it’s working with family.

“It’s not just another dish, it’s not just another taco,” Olvera said. “It’s a little more than that. It’s family, and that’s what we’re sharing -- we’re sharing family.”  

Olvera says the attention from Bon Appétit is nice, but he’s focused on slinging out as many tacos as he can -- and making them as good as he can.

A popular place

After the magazine mention, Trompo has been overwhelmed with customers. Many days, they've been selling out of tacos after just a few hours. Some customers aren't happy with the long lines, but the restaurant says it appreciates their patience.

The restaurant posted onits Facebook page: "We love tacos, and we love taco lovers, thank you!"

Since the publicity, Trompo is looking for "a few great people to hire," including cooks and dishwashers. 

Gus Contreras is a digital producer and reporter at KERA News. Gus produces the local All Things Considered segment and reports on a variety of topics from, sports to immigration. He was an intern and production assistant for All Things Considered in Washington D.C.