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Downtown Ogden eatery presents tacos with a twist

By Valerie Phillips - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Jun 6, 2023
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Gerardo Guzman and Kaleb Kidman of All About Tacos in downtown Ogden.
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Nachos served at All About Tacos in downtown Ogden.
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All About Tacos’ “taco flight” of top sirloin and barbacoa tacos on top tier and chicken barbacoa and pastor negro tacos on the bottom tier.
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Burrito at All About Tacos in downtown Ogden.
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Top sirloin cooking on a vertical rotisserie spindle called a trompo, at All About Tacos in downtown Ogden.

All About Tacos has a new spin on tacos — literally.

The restaurant, opened last December, uses a vertical rotating spindle (called a trompo in Mexico). Slices of USDA prime top sirloin steak are stacked on the trompo and slow-cooked, “until it gets a nice caramelization on the outside,” said Kaleb Kidman, one of the owners.

Then the seasoned steak is sliced off and tucked into tacos.

The restaurant’s signature black al pastor tacos use pork cooked on a similar trompo. A combination of chiles are blackened to make a dark marinade, giving the pork a black color and hint of smoke. Also known as “al pastor negro,” the tacos come with fresh pineapple.

If the trompo concept sounds a lot like the Greek gyro, the Middle Eastern shawarma or Turkish doner kebab, well, it is. But it’s an authentic south-of-the-border cooking method that Kidman and his fiancee’s father, Gerardo Guzman, decided to try after seeing it during a trip to Veracruz, Mexico.

Cooking on the trompo has several advantages, Kidman said. “The first being the texture. My personal favorite part of a steak is the crust, so with the trompo, every taco has some crust because of the sear the meat gets from the ever-going flame.”

Also, since the meat is slow-cooked, “We are able to keep a lot of the juice in the steak,” he added.

Kidman said the restaurant uses USDA prime top sirloin with the picanha — a cut of beef from the rump area with a thick layer, or “cap,” of fat. This fat cap and the beef’s large amount of marbling helps keep the meat juicy.

“Since we have to cut the meat off the trompo as we make each taco, you know your food is fresh and hot,” said Kidman. “Nothing is worse than getting a taco where the meat was cooked on a grill five hours ago.”

He and his fiancee, Jenny Guzman, and her parents, Gerardo Guzman and Jenny Osorio, are the same team that owns LaCrepe OG next door at 2411 Kiesel Ave.

“We always knew we wanted to do another restaurant, but we weren’t sure what kind to do,” Kidman said. “Jenny and I went on a trip to Veracruz with her parents, because that’s where they met and got married, and then moved here 20 years ago. We tried all the family cuisine while we were there, and found some flavors we really loved.”

Jenny Guzman and Osorio run LaCrepe, while Kidman and Gerardo Guzman run All About Tacos.

“We had the idea and the recipe, but it was a matter of working out the kinks,” said Kidman. “The trompo had to be ordered from California, and we had to figure out the right way to do it and then get people in to try this new concept.”

It’s been a learning curve for Kidman, a Ben Lomond High grad.

“Before this, I had no restaurant experience except at Ogden Pizzeria as a teen,” Kidman said. “My mother-in-law and father-in-law owned a crepe shop and a taco shop. But we’ve done it differently than what they had before; we’ve added unique meats.”

The menu has four different types of meat: the above-mentioned trompo sirloin steak and the black al pastor pork; beef barbacoa, which is braised overnight in house-made broth; and chicken barbacoa, with a similar marinade as the beef barbacoa, Kidman said.

Each of four meats can be used in tacos, quesadillas, burritos and nachos. Guests can choose which meat they prefer, or order a “flight” of four street tacos featuring the four different meats.

The beef barbacoa can also be ordered with a side of consommé for dipping, a nod to the current birria trend.

Nachos — a huge pile of chips laced with a choice of meat, cheese, salsa and gooey sauces — are a customer favorite.

“People really do like our nachos. They tell us we should change our name to All About Nachos,” Kidman said.

The restaurant has a fast-casual format, with guests ordering up front. There’s a salsa bar where customers can top their tacos with different salsas, chopped cilantro, onions and other sauces.

“The tortillas and all the salsas are made from scratch,” Kidman said.

The restaurant’s entrance at 2421 Kiesel Ave. has a glittery sign on the wall saying “Taco Bout It.”

“Taco Bout It” was the restaurant’s initial name, but Guzman and Kidman were threatened with a lawsuit from another mom and pop taco shop in Indiana that had the same name. When they got a “cease and desist” letter, they decided to switch it to “All About Tacos.”


All About Tacos

Location: 2421 Kiesel Ave.

Contact: https://allabouttacosutah.square.site or 385-289-5100

Prices: $3 per street-size taco; burritos, $14; nachos for sharing, $16

Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; closed Sunday


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