Top Tacos

Mexican "tacos de trompo" are getting hard to find because the Health Department says they're illegal

I made a special trip early on a Saturday morning to try the breakfast dishes, but they were a disappointment. The huevos con chorizo were unforgivably bland. And the tacos ma#&150;aneros with beans, potatoes or shredded meat were all inedibly greasy.

In three visits to Taqueria Monterrey, the best things I ate all included meat from the trompo. The tacos de trompo were tops, if you'll excuse the pun. The gringa, a taco made with trompo meat on a flour tortilla garnished with melted cheese and avocado, was also a more delicate approach to the spicy pork.

They don't list los frijoles pioneros, or pioneer beans, on the menu, but there is a sign advertising them on the wall. It's a bowl of soupy charro beans topped with white cheese and your choice of steak or trompo meat. We got them with trompo meat, of course. The effect was something like bean soup topped with cheese and spicy, crispy bacon. And what could be bad about that?

Yes, it's a taco de trompo -- but you won't see the trompo.
Troy Fields
Yes, it's a taco de trompo -- but you won't see the trompo.

Location Info


Taqueria Monterrey Chiquito

1713 Telephone Road
Houston, TX 77023

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: East End


Hours: 8 a.m. to midnight daily.

Tacos de trompo (five): $5.50

Tacos Tlaquepaque (five): $5.50

Gringa taco: $2.50

Tostada Siberia: $5.50

Chile con queso: $4.50

7009 Garland, 713-926-7797.

Another interesting item I discovered on a wall sign at Taqueria Monterrey was called salchicha estilo Monterrey. For years, I have been looking for Latin American hot dogs garnished with bacon, cheese and avocado in Houston. I have heard them called Sonoran hot dogs, and I've also heard they are popular in sports stadiums south of the border. The Monterrey-style salchicha is the closest I have come.

They call the sausage salchicha rioja. It isn't exactly a hot dog -- it looks like a fat red knockwurst. The pleasantly spicy red sausage is slit down the middle and the incision is stuffed with cheese, and then the whole thing is wrapped in bacon and grilled. The cheesy bacon dog is folded into a flour tortilla and garnished with avocado slices. For Latin American junk-food aficionados, this is a major find.

And even though the trompo at Taqueria Monterrey stays in the fridge, the place offers other options. On my last visit, Guillen led me to the back of the dining room and pointed to the snapshots displayed on the wall. The photos showed rotating trompos set up in the backyards of people's homes. Evidently, there are lots of taco de trompo lovers in Houston who are jonesing for the real thing. If you want to serve tacos al trompo at a private party, call Rolando Guillen at the restaurant.

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