The Shiprock Pop-Up: In Which Navajo Tacos Will Be Served On The East Coast For Probably The First Time Ever

I have four words to say to you people: Fry. Bread. Pop. Up.

I have confidence that a small portion of the Foobooz audience–those who come from the West, who have traveled through the mountains and the deserts, who know that the state of New Mexico has more to offer this great nation than discount turquoise and crystal meth–have just passed out from excitement over the promise of an honest-to-Jesus Navajo taco / fry bread experience in Philly, so I’m going to give them a moment to recover.

For those of you who are not moved by those four magic words above, let me explain something to you about Navajo tacos…

Navajo tacos are awesome. They are addictive like crack is. They are deep-fried dough topped, carnival-style, with anything your fevered mind can imagine–from chili beans to desebrado to cinnamon sugar and honey. They are kind of like open-faced burritos–if said burritos were all hot and puffy and deep-fried and made 1,000 times more perfect by ancient Navajo magic.

Okay, so maybe the magic thing isn’t true, but still. Of all the things I miss about being out west, the fry bread / Navajo taco phenomena is right up there with $10 steaks, breakfast burritos and legal weed. And now, Marco Espinoza–with a little help from chef Lucio Palazzo (sous chef at La Calaca Feliz) and local artist Hawk Krall–will be bringing a little fry bread action to Philly with their one-night-only Shiprock Pop-Up, which will be happening at 9pm on January 21 at 12 Steps Down.

Some of the important details:

Named Shiprock after a reservation town in the Navajo Nation, the event will offer an a la carte menu of items that include mutton stew, meat and vegetarian Navajo taco options, and a simple dessert called Sweet Fry Bread. In addition, Mr. Krall will be selling limited edition “Fry Bread Taco” prints.

Hell, we even heard that Marcos’s mom–a certified Navajo Taco expert–might even come in from Salt Lake City for the event. But whether she shows up or not, you NEED to be there, got it? So just mark that day off on your calendars right now because you have plans.

We’ll have more info for you on the event as the date draws closer. So stay tuned…


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  • Steve Jones

    uh.. Fry Bread = Funnel Cake. Same thing.

  • davefame

    I hope they have Red and Green Chili. The one thing Philly does not have is New Mexican food. Now that stuff is crack.

  • Ruiner

    @Steve Jones. Yeah. Just like Miller Lite is beer. You suck, dude


    Should i really have to scan through 3 paragraphs of drivel before getting to the points of when and where?

  • CM

    Vegetarian Navajo tacos? Fry bread’s gotta be made with lard.

  • Snake

    Tried them at the American indian museum at the Smithsonian. The museum is not much to write home about, but the cafeteria is incredible. Worth a trip in itself.

  • barryg

    Has been on special at Cantina, which I thought was very good — but I have not had elsewhere.

  • Steve Jones

    Have you been to Shiprock? First, there is nothing there other than a big rock, no NM resident would think of it as a destination. I spent several years in NM, and fry bread is a funnel cake.

    p.s. In NM it is chilE, never chili.

  • barryg

    Will 12 Steps Down maintain their smoking policy during this event?

  • Alimentarian

    References to meth, crack and weed, all in one short post. Did you recycle some of this from a post about David Ansill?

  • CM

    @Steve Jones. They are somewhat similar, but funnel cake contains eggs and sugar.

  • Chris

    I recently saw a bean pie pop-up in the median of Girard Ave near the zoo.

  • John

    Your drug reference-laden post is so cute. Makes me think I want to wash down the tacos with some fire water. Delta Bravo.

  • Jan F.

    Lucio Palazzo is NOT sous chef at La Calaca Feliz!
    He is Chef de Cuisine…a biggggg difference.
    Do your homework next time or forego the shoddy journalism. Thank you.