Taqueria 27 on Foothill Boulevard serves upscale, creative versions of Mexican street foods, including traditional and unusual tacos, four different mole platters, flavored guacamoles, quick snacks and vegetarian dishes. Taqueria 27 serves 38 varieties of 100% agave premium tequila along with tequila-based cocktails. Next door the Coffee Bar serves Millcreek Coffee Roasters coffee and breakfast pastries, with breakfast service starting November 2012.
Taqueria 27's owner, Todd Gardiner, has a long history in the Salt Lake City restaurant scene, including stints at the New Yorker, Log Haven and Aerie. Most recently he worked as the executive chef at Z'Tejas at the Gateway. Taqueria 27 is a labor of love for Todd and his family, who have transformed the former India Unlimited market into a stylish, welcoming space where warm wood contrasts with the glint of glass and chrome.
Recently I visited Taqueria 27, or T27, with three friends on a Saturday evening. We shared the citrus guacamole; butter lettuce salad with pumpkin seeds and gorgonzola; carne, carnitas and duck confit tacos; and pork mole amarillo platter. I was pleased with the attention to detail and careful flavor combinations in all the dishes. My first favorite of the evening was the generous portion of fresh citrus guacamole, with chipotle, orange, and roasted red pepper served with house-made tortilla chips. I also loved the mole amarillo platter - juicy, flavorful pork served with a sweet and spicy mole of chilcostle chiles, tomatillo and sweet potato. The tacos and the mole platters come with Taqueria 27's fresh homemade masa or flour tortillas, which are smaller and thicker than other versions I've had around town. The only criticism I had of the dishes we tried is that the flavors were mostly subtle, and I would have enjoyed some dishes more if the flavors were bolder.
The portions at T27 are not enormous, which for me is a good thing. The tacos come in orders of two or four, so if you're really hungry, get four. Two tacos were plenty for me, and I was not too stuffed to sample the desserts - a moist, delicate chocolate tres leches cake and a firm, caramel-laced lime flan.
There are a lot of fast-casual, cafeteria-style Mexican restaurants in the Salt Lake area, but T27 is not one of them. It's a moderately priced, full service restaurant with an atmosphere that makes you want to linger. The evening we visited we enjoyed friendly, attentive and knowledgeable service. T27 is a welcome addition to the SLC Mexican dining scene, where subtle and unexpected flavor combinations elevate the everyday taco to new heights.
Taqueria 27 and The Coffee Bar
1615 S. Foothill Dr. in Salt Lake City
Taqueria 27 new location:
4670 Holladay Village Plaza (2300 E.) in Holladay
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