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Very Important Taco: Smokey Pork + Mac Taco from Not Not Tacos

Sam the Cooking Guys puts a comfort food spin on tacos


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He was already a San Diego-based TV host and cookbook author, and last summer Sam Zien, better known as Sam the Cooking Guy, added taco-preneur to his résumé.

As the cofounder of Not Not Tacos in the Little Italy Food Hall, Zien debuted tacos that are intentionally nothing like their Mexican counterparts. Instead of carne asada or carnitas, there’s pastrami, meatloaf, or tofu. Instead of Cotija, it’s mozzarella. His Smokey Pork + Mac taco is a perfect example.

A flour tortilla is topped with sour cream, sautéed onions, and smoked pulled pork. Then comes the paprika-spiced macaroni and cheese, and to finish it off, Sriracha and green onions.

“The inspiration came from one of my partners, who at the first tasting said, ‘Could you do something with mac and cheese?’” Zien explains. “And we aim to please.”

Each month they introduce a special taco. This month, look for a version that nods to Chinese New Year. For more taco talk, listen to Zien on our Happy Half Hour podcast.

550 West Date Street, Little Italy notnottacos

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