Sunday, January 11, 2015

taqueria 27

Another birthday rolled around for me recently and I was determined to break our trend of mediocre birthday dining selections (Citris Grill in 2010, Pat's BBQ in 2011, Cafe Trio in 2013 and Epic in 2014; our 2012 place, Aristo's, was the lone quite good dinner).  I had some trouble coming up with a new place to try - not because of lack of places but because there's an inversion settled in the valley and I wanted to keep the driving to a minimum - and finally settled on Taqueria 27 in Holladay center (there's also another one in town on Foothill Drive in SLC).

Taqueria 27 is in a newish building (that also houses Copper Kitchen, also on my list of places to try) right in the center of the Holladay village.  After circling a couple of times to find a parking spot, we strolled into the restaurant 6:30 p.m.ish - we had hoped that an early dinner might mean a shorter wait for a table since Taqueria 27 doesn't take reservations.  We ended up waiting for only 5-10 minutes, despite the full waiting room; when we were walked past the mostly empty bar to our table, we realized that we could have sat there with no waiting whatsoever.  The restaurant is quite big, with high ceilings and a wood-and-metal industrial decor.  Since it was busy, it was pretty noisy although we were able to hear each other at least.

The menu is not huge, with entrees limited to street-style tacos (all on soft tacos, either corn or flour) and some mole plates, plus salads and chips and homemade salsas and guacamoles.  There are a couple of beers on draft and several in cans/bottles, a variety of margaritas and a whole page of tequilas.  The tacos come in small orders (2) or large (4).  I got two duck confit tacos (roasted veggies, chipotle crema and crispy leeks) and two carnitas tacos (tomatillo salsa, pickled red onion, chiccarones and cilantro), H got four turkey chorizo tacos (pickled red onion, cilantro, queso and chipotle crema) and we got an order of chips with two salsas, a verde version and a hot one.  Beverage-wise, H had a Cutthroat ($3/can) and I got a T27 margarita (blanco tequila, lime, blood orange and agave nectar for $6 or $7 for an additional 1/2 ounce of tequila "long pour").  My margarita was very tasty - bright and fresh and not too sweet.

The food came out very quickly despite how busy the place was.  The chips and salsas were quite tasty: the verde salsa was creamy, which I thought was a weird way to go, but zesty and the "hot" salsa was very good.  The small tacos are served standing up on little metal W-shaped racks.  I couldn't eat all of mine so I gave a carnitas one to H.  Everything was good and fresh - I had never had soft corn tacos and they were lovely - but we both thought that it all could have had bigger flavor.

Since the food came out so soon, and since you can't really put down a taco once you pick it up, we were in and out of there pretty quickly, especially since we declined dessert and opted for only one round of drinks.   I really liked the food but I can see Taqueria 27 as being more of a come in/sit at the bar/get out quick because it's noisy place for us ... although they do have a large outdoor seating area that might be nice in the spring/fall for lingering over more than one margarita.  Best of all, we're now two for five on successful birthday dinners.

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