I was invited by a fellow SoCal blogger to try Taqueros. She couldn’t stop raving about this place, so I relented, and drove down to San Juan Capistrano to see what this Mexican restaurant was all about. Located down the road from JSerra High School, and a few blocks from the Mission is Taqueros a truly mom-n-pop, hole in the wall kind of place, tucked away in a tiny, nondescript strip mall, with just a handful of parking.
We were told to try them on a weekend, when they have their Tacos de Trumpo. Tacos what? No, it has nothing to do with President Trump. It’s meat that’s cooked on a rotisserie instead of the traditional grill. Think of it as a Mexican shawarma.
I looked it up:
Carving the “trompo” more commonly known as tacos al pastor (which translates In the style of the shepherd), is a dish developed in Central Mexico. It is a shawarma spit-grilled meat brought by the Lebanese immigrants to Mexico. Although shawarma are usually lamb-based (thus the “shepherd-style” name), gyros and tacos al pastor in Mexico are generally pork.
In Mexico, the Trompo grills are usually placed outside (see sample photo above) but unfortunately, the Orange County Health Department would not allow Taqueros to do this. So they have their grill in the back, and only offer these delicious tacos on weekends, during limited times.
We decided to order the Tacos de Trumpo, and Gustavo suggested the crispy potato tacos and the carne asada (steak) tacos as a first timer choice. It was also a cold Saturday afternoon, so he suggested a bowl of their freshly made chicken soup. Adding our 2 drinks, our total came to just over $11… what a deal! Gustavo handed us a small boat of tortilla chips, and told us to take a seat.
The bowl of soup came out first, and this was no “small” bowl. Stephen and I easily shared this steaming bowl of comfort. Instead of chunks of chicken, there was a big piece of chicken on the bone, and the bowl was filled with chunks of fresh vegetables: carrots, zucchini, celery and chayote (a squash native to Mexico), with cilantro, onions, jalapenos, and tortillas on the side. At a bargain for $3.49, this bowl could easily be a meal.
Next came the potato and the carne asada tacos. They were decent sized tacos, cooked perfectly. Stephen really liked the potato taco and said he would get that again. While both tacos were excellent, the best part of our meal came when Gustavo served us the Tacos de Trumpo… the street tacos served with al pastor pork. The aroma was amazing, and the tacos looked as good as it tasted. It was worth driving down for these delicious morsels.
Taqueros also have Taco Tuesday specials, as well as fresh juices, seafood and plated combinations. We went on a Saturday at 4:00, avoiding the crowd. Even though were there during an off-peak time, people were coming in to take their food to go. There is a small parking lot, but it looks like street parking may be a better option.