Phoenix taco shop Ta'Carbon opens third restaurant in Peoria | Phoenix New Times
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With recipes straight from Sonora, Ta'Carbon opens third Valley taco shop

Meet the team behind Ta'Carbon, a growing local chain that serves some of the best carne asada in Phoenix.
Ta'Carbon specializes in carne asada, but also offers other types of meat including cabeza, al pastor, tripas, barbacoa, campechano, and huevos de becerro.
Ta'Carbon specializes in carne asada, but also offers other types of meat including cabeza, al pastor, tripas, barbacoa, campechano, and huevos de becerro. Gabby Madriaga
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"Vamos al cabron" is a phrase some hungry Phoenicians say, which loosely translates to "let's go to badass." For those in the know, it's a wordplay on a popular local restaurant Ta'Carbon.

Ta'Carbon's co-founder, Manuel Aldecoa, explains, "Our strength is in the carne asada. It's 100% made with mesquite charcoal and salt — just like back home in Hermosillo, Sonora."

Gilberto Trujillo, Aldecoa's business partner and co-founder of the restaurant, is also from Sonora.

"We have been friends since we were babies; we're both 41 years old, and we're only a day apart," Aldecoa says.

The partners opened their third "Real Mexican Grill" in Peoria in February.

Carne asada is generally grilled flap, flank or skirt steak. At Ta'Carbon, "it's CAB: certified Angus beef," Aldecoa explains while opening and entering a walk-in freezer and showing the labels affixed to the large beef portions. "It's the Prime brand at the top of the pyramid of quality."
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The Plato de Alambre (top left) is a platter with the signature Prime beef with sautéed red and green peppers, chopped bacon and onion, all topped with cheese. The specialty platter comes with a side of five flour tortillas shipped in from Mexico.
Mike Madriaga
The grill chefs inside the 43rd Avenue location have two large diamond plate Santa Maria barbecue pits. A wheel mechanism lowers the grill down to the glowing red mesquite charcoal. The sizzling meat is part of the restaurant's allure and the redolent smoke exits through the hood and blows into the west Phoenix airspace, passing the nearby Encanto Village neighbors to the south and reaching folks in the interstate traffic.

The $2.90 tacos and $8.99 burritos are packed with tender meat, but are served naked. Not to worry, to the left of the pickup counter, patrons can fill their dishes at the complimentary and bottomless salsa bar with guacamole, three different red salsas, a green salsa, pico de gallo, chiles toreados, limes, carrots, cucumbers, red onions and radishes.

"The spices and chiles we use for the salsas are all from Mexico," Aldecoa says. "My brother makes the salsas and created some of our recipes."
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"I wanted to serve food with the quality of a sit-down restaurant, but with the experience of watching us prepare the food and the speed of a taco stand," says co-founder Manuel Aldecoa.
Mike Madriaga
Aldecoa grew up in the Villa de Seris neighborhood in Sonora's capital city. Villa de Seris is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Hermosillo, and it was recognized in 2023 as a Barrio Mágico or a magical neighborhood, a national recognition for its culture, history and food.

Aldecoa moved to Tucson in the 2000s and then to Phoenix, bringing the Villa de Seris culinary traditions with him. He also carried his family's business sense.

"My family was always in the food business, and we had meat markets," he says. "So I was always familiar with the business and loved the carne asada culture."

Aldecoa brought his signature Taco Hazz recipe to Ta'Carbon. The tacos include a tortilla packed with carne asada, melted cheese and green peppers.

A favorite recipe the partners both brought to Phoenix is the Papa Loca, halved potatoes stuffed with carne asada strips, sautéed onions, red and green peppers and melted cheese. Despite taking the restaurant about 15 minutes to create these crazy potatoes, they're one of the more popular dishes.

"The customers usually call this one in," Aldecoa says.

The Plato de Alambre is a platter with the signature Prime beef with sautéed red and green peppers, chopped bacon and onion, all topped with cheese. The specialty platter comes with a side of five flour tortillas. And the tortillas are exclusive to Ta'Carbon.

"We manufacture our own tortillas in Mexico because we had difficulty locating quality flour tortillas here in Phoenix," Aldecoa explains.

The tortillas have the perfect consistency and stretch to hold lots of meat and juices without crumbling or falling apart. And they're trucked in fresh from Mexico.

"You can only get these special tortillas here at Ta'Carbon," Aldecoa says. "We don't sell the tortillas to the public."
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Ta'Carbon now has three Valley locations including this restaurant on 43rd Avenue.
Mike Madriaga
Along with the famous carne asada, the restaurant serves other types of meat and creates unique combinations.

"People love to mix carne asada with the pastor or tripas," Aldecoa says. A Taco Mixto sells for $2.90.

The al pastor is a popular option of marinated pork slowly cooked on a vertical rotisserie; tripas is crunchy and chewy deep-fried pork or beef small intestines.

Then there are tacos de barbacoa, campechano, huevos de becerro and cabeza. The latter translates to head tacos, but the meat comes from the cheek of the cow. Tacos de lengua are beef tongue. All of the different meats can be served in burritos and plates with rice and beans.

"Our customers always say they love our beans," Aldecoa says. "It's my grandfather's secret recipe."

The restaurant serves ice-cold beers, aguas frescas and Mexican sodas in glass bottles, as Aldecoa vividly remembers drinking back home growing up.

"Since I was a kid, I've always wanted to open a business like this one," he says. "We opened the first location in Glendale in 2008, then this location on 43rd 12 years ago."

The partners opened their third location in Peoria on Feb. 17.

"I wanted to serve food with the quality of a sit-down restaurant, but with the experience of watching us prepare the food and the speed of a taco stand," he says. Mission accomplished.

Ta'Carbon

2929 North 43rd Ave.
5834 West Camelback Rd., Glendale
6750 West Peoria Ave., Peoria
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