Taco Summer

Taco Summer: Ta'Carbon Might Have the Cheesiest Carne Asada Variations in the Valley

Many shades of carne at Ta'Carbon in Glendale.
Many shades of carne at Ta'Carbon in Glendale. Felicia Campbell
In the hunt for the latest trendy restaurants, our spotlight often misses neighborhoods that are home to some of the Valley's best kitchens — including those making metro Phoenix's best tacos. Over the next several weeks, we’ll be guiding you toward the Valley’s tastiest tacos, and the taquerías that serve them. Welcome to Taco Summer.

29: Ta'Carbon

Taquería: Ta'Carbon, 5834 West Camelback Road, Glendale (second location at Thomas Road and 43rd Avenue)
Open Since: 2010
Style: Influence comes from the foods of Hermosillo, Sonora
Signature Taco(s): Carne asada in the form of the cheesy Lorenza or Taco Hazz

Ta'Carbon has been slinging hearty Sonoran-style tacos from their casual counter-service restaurant on the corner of Camelback Road and 59th Avenue in Glendale for about seven years. Their specialty, unsurprisingly, is carne asada, which they stuff in generous quantities into burritos, quesadillas, and tacos.

When I say generous, I mean that you would be hard-pressed to finish more than a couple of these tacos,whose mountains of sizzling steak bits render the small corn tortillas barely visible.

click to enlarge At Ta'Carbon, the Taco Hazz features steak, green chile, and melted cheese. The Lorenza features steak, red chile, and cheese; and the carne asada is all meat. - FELICIA CAMPBELL
At Ta'Carbon, the Taco Hazz features steak, green chile, and melted cheese. The Lorenza features steak, red chile, and cheese; and the carne asada is all meat.
Felicia Campbell
The asada itself is well-seasoned and rich, but what will keep you coming back are the salty, cheese-laden variations, like the Taco Hazz, which features green chile and oozing, melted cheese under its requisite pile of carne asada.

The Lorenza is even cheesier than the Hazz, served on a crispy griddled corn tortilla smeared with red chile before getting loaded up with cheese and beef. It ends up being more like a tostada, but the crisp shell certainly makes it easier to eat and load up with tangy salsa.

All the tacos benefit from a squeeze of lime and a splash of salsa from the self-serve condiments bar. For less than $6 you can have a meatfest trio of tacos, carne ($1.85), a Hazz ($2.10), and a Lorenza ($1.85), at this west-side favorite.

Our Taco Summer picks so far:

50. Taqueria Don Beto
49. Kiss Pollos Estilo Sinaloa
48. Tacos Tijuana
47. El Burrito Grande
46. El Horseshoe Restaurant
45. Tacos Sahuaro
44. El Pollo Correteado
43. Adrian's
42. La Fiesta
41. Taqueria Lucy
40. Tortas Ahogadas George
39. Taqueria El Chino
38. Joe's Tacos
37. Taqueria El Gallo de Lagos
36. Tacos Huicho
35. Puffy Taco Shack
34. Ni De Aqui Ne De Alla
33. Mr. Mesquite
32. Senor Ozzy's
31. Tacos Jalisco
30: Taqueria Los Yaquis
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Felicia Campbell has written about food, culture, and cars for digital and print publications all over the world and is the author of The Food of Oman: Recipes and Stories from the Gateway to Arabia (Andrews McMeel, 2015). Her husband learned quickly that she’d rather get a bag of avocados than a bouquet of roses.