Discovering trompo tacos in Houston that’ll make me cry

Discovering trompo tacos in Houston that’ll make me cry

Chron taco columnist Marco Torres finds awesome trompo tacos at Tacos Regios El Coquis in north Houston.

Chron taco columnist Marco Torres finds superior trompo tacos at Tacos Regios El Coquis in north Houston.

Mark Torres

Because the previous saying goes: A method to a person’s coronary heart is thru his abdomen. If that is the case, I’ve undoubtedly fallen in love with numerous taqueros and taqueras all through my life. For some folks, meals is just a method to gasoline the physique. For others, like myself, meals is sacred: a treasure handed on between generations of household and pals, and a method to create neighborhood whereas celebrating the present of life, love and, in fact, tacos.

Have you ever ever taken a chew of your favourite meals and been immediately transported to a cherished reminiscence locked deep inside your mind? It occurred to me as soon as in Mexico Metropolis. I used to be strolling the streets and stopped for dinner at just a little hole-in-the-wall taqueria close to El Zocalo, the place I ordered a plate of tacos al pastor. I watched the grasp taquero in awe as he sliced and shaved the marinated pork onto a duo of corn tortillas, repeating that magic 5 extra instances.

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Chron taco columnist Marco Torres teared up eating al pastor tacos in Mexico City that reminded him of his late mother, Rosie.

Chron taco columnist Marco Torres teared up consuming al pastor tacos in Mexico Metropolis that reminded him of his late mom, Rosie.

Mark Torres

As soon as in my arms, I showered the tacos with salsa verde, cilantro and lime. My mouth watered as I inched the taco nearer to my face, anticipating the ecstasy I used to be about to expertise. One chew become two, two into three, and the taco disappeared straight away.

And that is when the tears started to move.

I had visited this identical taqueria with my mom, Rosie, who had handed away lower than two years previous to that second. The flavors, the smells, the neon and fluorescent lights above … all the pieces jogged my memory of her. That taco helped me mourn in methods I did not even know have been attainable. I used to be crying, however I wasn’t unhappy. I used to be simply overjoyed and grateful that some genius way back invented tacos al pastor.

As a result of I used to be in Mexico Metropolis, al pastor consisted of skinny steaks of pork marinated in a mix of chiles, spices, citric juices and vinegar, stacked excessive upon one another and cooked on a big vertical rotisserie. In different elements of Mexico, corresponding to in Houston’s sister metropolis of Monterrey, that very same mixture is named trompo.

All trompo is al pastor, however not all al pastor is trompo. Typically, to save lots of time or as a result of they lack the tools to prepare dinner on a vertical rotisserie, some taquerias or taco vans prepare dinner this fashion of marinated pork on the griddle, pan or stovetop. The style may be very related, nevertheless it lacks the smokey taste of roasted meat that has danced round charcoal over a number of hours.

Trompo tacos—also known as al pastor—are an art form with a rotisserie being the taquero's tool.

Trompo tacos—also referred to as al pastor—are an artwork kind with a rotisserie being the taquero’s software.

Mark Torres

I completely love tacos de trompo … sin cebolla, por favor! I am all the time in quest of cry-worthy variations right here in Houston. Just lately, a pal launched me to an incredible taco truck that serves Monterrey-style trompo tacos: Tacos Regios El Coquis.

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The truck is positioned within the parking zone of a neighborhood comfort retailer within the Aldine district north of Houston. As a result of they serve meals on this unincorporated part of Harris County, the truck is allowed to have seating in shut proximity. (Meals vans that function inside Houston metropolis limits should not allowed to have tables and chairs inside 100 ft, per metropolis well being division ordinance.)

As I strolled from my Chevy in direction of El Coquis, I knew I used to be about to expertise one thing particular. A big speaker subsequent to the tables was enjoying a mixture of traditional cumbias and corridos by Rigo Tovar, Los Mier and Los Tigres Del Norte. Servers have been busy taking orders, delivering tacos, and opening ice-cold Mexican sodas for delighted patrons.

Contained in the taco truck, I may see a workforce of taqueros working the road, prepping the meat, chopping the veggies, and lighting the charcoal that may quickly create the hearth for the trompo on the heart of the truck.

Tacos Regios El Coquis is located in Aldine, Houston.

Tacos Regios El Coquis is positioned in Aldine, Houston.

Mark Torres

One of many taqueros was armed with a big knife and spatula—that man was my hero for the day. With excessive precision, he spun the trompo round its base to expertly choose the peerlessly charred part of meat that was prepared for sacrifice. He proceeded to slice the puerco into layers, catching them onto a plate that was then transferred onto my tortillas.

So there I used to be, sitting below the nice and cozy July sky, admiring the murals that was offered into my arms. The tortillas have been dipped in oil then heated to a pleasant medium end, not too tender, not too crispy. As is my customized, I showered these unhealthy boys with the trio of salsa verde, cilantro and lime. I savored each chew, and though I did not shed many tears this time round, I used to be nonetheless pleased and emotional, feeling extraordinarily blessed to have discovered this trompo taco treasure.

Tacos Regios El Coquis

Discover it: 11663 Northpost Avenue, Houston, TX 77093
Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-midnight; Friday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-2 a.m.

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