todd gardiner

#51: Taqueria 27 – It's Not Mexican, It's Mexicanish


Many people spend their entire professional careers attempting to find their calling. Dreams are dreamt, but never realized. For Todd and Kristin Gardiner, the founders and owners of Taqueria 27, finding their calling was as simple as waking up in the morning.

Todd has been working in the food industry for over 30 years.While he initially began his career as an ambitious 12-year-old busboy, working to afford to go bird hunting with his grandfather, Todd quickly was drawn in by the fast-paced, creative environment of the kitchen. For years, Todd worked his way up through various restaurants, and at a very young age found himself as the sous chef of Log Haven.

It was at Log Haven that Todd and Kristin met, and their true journey began. After years of working at Log Haven, Snowbird, and Z’Tejas, Todd’s dream of opening a restaurant was finally within reach. Taqueria 27 was born. Their original location on Foothill Drive opened in 2012, and in four short years, two more locations have followed suit.

Todd and Kristin had no interest in opening a traditional Mexican restaurant. They saw tacos as the perfect platform to play with creative and inventive combinations, and they wanted to challenge Utahns’ expectations of what a taco could be. It wasn’t Mexican food, it was “Mexicanish.” Several locations, tequilas, and awards later, Taqueria 27 is a flourishing local establishment that has become a favorite to eaters in the Salt Lake Valley. Join us as we sit down with Todd and Kristin and explore the winding, yet focused path they took to bring Taqueria 27 to the world.


This episode was sponsored by…

90.9FM KRCL — Community Connection and Music Discovery

Vive Juicery — A Utah-based cold-pressed juicery

The Chocolate Conspiracy — A project in pure, raw, honey-sweetened chocolate.

Blue Copper Coffee — Specialty coffee hand-roasted in Salt Lake City, with a coffee room at 179 W 900 S.

The Yelp Elite Squad — Utah’s five-star fan club of all things local.

This episode was hosted by Chase Murdock and produced by Ryan Samanka. For more information or to browse our episode archive, visit or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. See you next week!