Taqueria 27 owner-chef Todd Gardiner offers his interpretation of Latin American street food with a menu of high-end tacos. But don't just go for the food: T27, as it's informally known, also specializes in high-quality tequila. It's available for sipping but also used in cocktails along with fresh ingredients.
"The lime juice in the T27 House 'rita, for example, is squeezed fresh every day and many of our cocktails feature fresh fruit, fresh herbs," said Gardiner, who has spent most of his career working in Utah restaurants, most recently Z'Tejas at The Gateway.
T27, at Lamplighter Square shopping area on Foothill Boulevard, offers a broad selection of high-quality tequilas, all 100 percent agave. And T27 is one of the few places in Utah to offer the silver, resposado and aÃ±ejo tequilas made by locally owned Vida Tequila.
On a warm summer's night, my fruity Salt Lake Sunset cocktail went perfectly with the half-order grilled pear and roasted beet tacos made with flour tortillas, spinach, blue cheese and balsamic syrup ($5.50 order of two, $11 order of four). The menu also has plenty of options for serious meat lovers â pork belly, chorizo, duck confit, all of which go great with the tequila.
T27 also serves wine and local beers. In fact, it claims to be the only place to serve jalapeÃ±o cream ale beer ($4.50).
Gardiner said the taqueria opened in September last year, a month after the Coffee Bar next door.
"The idea behind the taqueria came about because I felt the neighborhood needed a place that was walkable, affordable and unique. The Coffee Bar happened along the way," he said. "I am hoping the shortage of club licenses will ease so we can turn the Coffee Bar into The Tequila Bar."
Gardiner has been in the restaurant business his whole career; before Z'Tejas, he was at New Yorker, Log Haven and The Aerie at Snowbird.
In the future he hopes "to continue to get better, bring in some unique tequila and mezcal that no one else has, and keep having fun."
This taqueria serves high-end tacos, moles and salads and offers a great selection of premium tequilas for sipping or blending in a cocktail.
Where • 1615 S. Foothill Drive, Salt Lake City; 385-259-0712
Hours • Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday brunch, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
More information • http://www.taqueria27.com; Taqueria27 on Facebook; or 385-259-0712