Provo/Orem UT report - mostly mexican (with some waffles here and there)
Dropped the kiddo off at a sports camp leaving me a few days to test the taco waters after a good 14 years away from Happy Valley.
By no means a thorough report. Lots of goodness in these parts, relative to other similarly sized land-locked or non border-ish towns.
El Vaquero. 286 N 100 W Provo.
A complete dive across the street from the Smiths grocery store. Fish taco was just OK - not baja style, but a pan fried filet. Not bad, not stellar. Carnitas was good, though just a bit dried out. But very good flavor and if I'd been there a few hours before, I think it would have been excellent. The carne asada was the best though. Excellent flavor.
El Mexicano Market, 560 N State St. Orem, UT
Traditional full service mexican grocery - large restaurant menu of antojitos, as well as a carniceria, and tortilleria in the back. Tacos were good, but such a small part of what they offered, so it's worth further exploration. I'd already had five tacos that day, so only had another carnitas and a carne asada. Both good, carne asada definitely more flavorful. The carnitas were average, though generous portions. Regardless, it's a worthy stop.
El Sol De Mexicano, 948 N State St., Orem
Started with a breakfast there. Huevos rancheros. Came with homemade tortillas. Eggs were scrambled style. Excellent with great soupy beans. And those tortillas were great. This place is really promising. Homemade tortillas, made from scratch sopes. Homemade agua frescos. Need to come back here and sample everything.
Also tried 180Tacos with my friend who is a part owner. Fun place, tasty fusion-y tacos but because of my non-partial relationship with him, I'll hold off on the report.
There are a ton of places to try in town, and most go far beyond the gross los hermanos, el azteca, cafe rio stuff that most people think about when they think Provo tacos. Hoping to get back in a few months to try some more.
(Oh, and on to non tacos… also tried both Waffle Love in Orem and Bruges in Salt Lake. I don't claim to be a liege waffle expert. But I actually enjoyed Waffle Love more. Don't get me wrong, both are awesome. But I liked the extra tang and chew from the Waffle Love place. Regardless, there are almost no places in the country with better waffles. Be proud.)