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El Trompo grows in Barrio Logan

New taco shop specializes in Tijuana-style street tacos

A new Barrio Logan shop, decorated with artwork
A new Barrio Logan shop, decorated with artwork

The sight of a trompo spinning on a Tijuana street corner is usually accompanied by a crowd, and the same appears to be true in Barrio Logan. At least, so suggests the early popularity of Tacos El Trompo, a new taco shop at the corner of Logan Avenue and Cesar E. Chavez Parkway.

Place

Tacos El Trompo

1879 Logan Ave suite C, San Diego

“El trompo” is the name given the vertical rotisserie oven cooking the pork dish al pastor, the so-called “shepherd style” that resulted by the intermingling of Lebanese immigrants with Mexican cuisine in the early 20th century. Marrying cultures does have a way of producing such delights.

The trompo at the center of Tacos El Trompo

Thin cuts of marinated pork are stacked high on the spit, typically topped with a pineapple, then slowly cook as they turn endlessly before radiant heat, thin chunks hacked off from the outside in. Places like Tijuana’s open-air Taqueria Franc will position a trompo front and center, partly to attract customers, but also to facilitate access. Because the crush of customers clamoring for its al pastor tacos at dinnertime can quickly turn as hectic as Black Friday at Walmart.

A beef birria taco at El Trompo

El Trompo’s trompo doesn’t sit out on the street; it turns within the kitchen of a small shop in a small strip mall. Barrio Logan’s newest Mexican restaurant sits only a couple doors down from its oldest, Las Cuatros Milpas. If nothing else, the proximity drives home the idea that this neighborhood was already pretty well set for tacos when El Trompo opened here two months ago. Nevertheless, whenever I’ve made it by, a steady stream of customers have come through ordering breakfast, burritos, tortas, and even soups.

An al pastor taco at El Trompo

But as the Trompo name suggests, start with an al pastor taco. These $2.50 street tacos may not inspire the sort of midnight madness witnessed at Taqueria Franc. However, they will save you a border crossing, and if the past week of my life is any indication, they quickly become addictive. They’re nothing more than a pair of made in-house corn tortillas, plus diced onions and a thin dressing of guacamole over the rotisserie pork. But add salsa to taste, and you get three or four bites of savory bliss.

If you don't dig on swine, add a beef birria taco, or chicken or carne asada. but be warned, al pastor tacos have a way of making other tacos seem inferior. Tacos like this are the reason we keep eating street food.

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A new Barrio Logan shop, decorated with artwork
A new Barrio Logan shop, decorated with artwork

The sight of a trompo spinning on a Tijuana street corner is usually accompanied by a crowd, and the same appears to be true in Barrio Logan. At least, so suggests the early popularity of Tacos El Trompo, a new taco shop at the corner of Logan Avenue and Cesar E. Chavez Parkway.

Place

Tacos El Trompo

1879 Logan Ave suite C, San Diego

“El trompo” is the name given the vertical rotisserie oven cooking the pork dish al pastor, the so-called “shepherd style” that resulted by the intermingling of Lebanese immigrants with Mexican cuisine in the early 20th century. Marrying cultures does have a way of producing such delights.

The trompo at the center of Tacos El Trompo

Thin cuts of marinated pork are stacked high on the spit, typically topped with a pineapple, then slowly cook as they turn endlessly before radiant heat, thin chunks hacked off from the outside in. Places like Tijuana’s open-air Taqueria Franc will position a trompo front and center, partly to attract customers, but also to facilitate access. Because the crush of customers clamoring for its al pastor tacos at dinnertime can quickly turn as hectic as Black Friday at Walmart.

A beef birria taco at El Trompo

El Trompo’s trompo doesn’t sit out on the street; it turns within the kitchen of a small shop in a small strip mall. Barrio Logan’s newest Mexican restaurant sits only a couple doors down from its oldest, Las Cuatros Milpas. If nothing else, the proximity drives home the idea that this neighborhood was already pretty well set for tacos when El Trompo opened here two months ago. Nevertheless, whenever I’ve made it by, a steady stream of customers have come through ordering breakfast, burritos, tortas, and even soups.

An al pastor taco at El Trompo

But as the Trompo name suggests, start with an al pastor taco. These $2.50 street tacos may not inspire the sort of midnight madness witnessed at Taqueria Franc. However, they will save you a border crossing, and if the past week of my life is any indication, they quickly become addictive. They’re nothing more than a pair of made in-house corn tortillas, plus diced onions and a thin dressing of guacamole over the rotisserie pork. But add salsa to taste, and you get three or four bites of savory bliss.

If you don't dig on swine, add a beef birria taco, or chicken or carne asada. but be warned, al pastor tacos have a way of making other tacos seem inferior. Tacos like this are the reason we keep eating street food.

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Looks good!

Aug. 13, 2019
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Jan. 4, 2020

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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