The restaurant on Singleton Boulevard was barebones, but the food hit it out of the park. The small, simple and inexpensive menu attracted people from all over Dallas, and Trompo made Bon Appetit magazine’s list of the 50 best new restaurants in America in 2016.
Many Oak Cliffers already knew about Luis Olvera’s prowess with pork. He began hosting pop-up dinners in his backyard about 10 years ago. Olvera learned how to make trompo, spit-grilled pork, during summers spent working in his uncle’s restaurant in Monterrey, Nuevo León, as a kid. And many of the recipes come from family; the chicken tinga is his mom’s recipe, and the rajas con queso is from his uncle.
While Olvera had no intention of closing the Singleton location, it was the Oak Cliff native’s dream to open a restaurant in the Bishop Arts area. That vision became reality in September when he opened Trompo Bishop Arts in a renovated former office complex on West Tenth Street at Bishop Avenue.
Trompo still has the same menu as the Singleton location, which closed because of a dispute with the landlord, but Olvera added a few new items.
The trompo slider comes with a burger patty, trompo meat, mozzarella and salami. The restaurant also offers daily specials, such as crispy-shell tacos dorados, and brunch on Sundays. Don’t expect eggs at this brunch, though. Anyone can make eggs at home, Olvera says. Here, you will find three or four varieties of all-you-can-eat guisado. Recently it was chicharón en salsa verde, albondigas soup and carne en su jugo. Brunch also features picadillo tacos and chorizo con papa, plus three other specialty tacos.
Unlike the Singleton location, this version of Trompo will serve beer and wine once it obtains a license from the state. Olvera spent six months creating a wine list with Ben Reynolds of Knife and Jeff Gregory of FT33. They wanted wines that paired well with anything on the menu and could be offered at the same price.
DID YOU KNOW? Luis Olvera commissioned the mural on the exterior wall, which is by Mariell Guzman.
The new version of Trompo also has house-made corn tortillas and a vegan taco.
Black Swan Yoga opened at about the same time in the same building as Trompo and has driven a lot of business to the taquería, Olvera says. Many of the practitioners that wander over wanted a vegan option.
It’s a griddled sweet potato slice with tinga spice, cabbage and avocado.
Opening a restaurant in Bishop Arts has its own challenges, including losing some of his lunch regulars who are Downtown workers, but Olvera says the support from Oak Cliff has always been there.
“I’ve been blessed beyond what most business owners can imagine,” he says. “From the moment I started my pop-ups, I’ve just gotten so much support. There aren’t words to express the love I’ve felt.”
Trompo Bishop Arts
Hours: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday,
10 a.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday