Korean and chicken tacos. Photo: Eli Siegel 
Korean and chicken tacos. Photo: Eli Siegel 

Adan Trinidad is making waves in Philadelphia's Latino food scene

A successful Mexican-American chef and entrepreneur has been winning over neighborhoods throughout Philly with his classic Mexican and Tex-Mex fare. 


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Adan Trinidad, the current Chef and Partner at Jose Pistola’s, Sancho Pistola’s and Pistola’s del Sur, has come a long way since his humble beginnings as a Mexican immigrant in New Jersey. Originally from San Lucas Atzala in Puebla, his parents brought him to the United States when he was 12 years old. At the time he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his life, but knew he wanted to do something without going to college.

“In the food industry, if you put your heart and passion into it you don’t need a degree,” explained Trinidad.

He started out working as a dishwasher at La Champagne, a French place in Cherry Hill, but was quickly promoted to line chef. After a two years there, he ended up at the Capital Grille in Philadelphia as the head line cook.

“I got sick of smelling like steak,” laughed Trinidad.

In 2004 he went on to work for Stephen Starr at El Vez as Jose Garces’ sous chef.

“It was such a fun place to work,” said Trinidad. “It was great to see the neighborhood develop. At the time it was full of homeless people and porn theaters.”

Afterwards, Trinidad worked at Alma de Cuba and then later returned to El Vez as the head chef. However, he was becoming tired of corporate life and wanted to live in New York. So when Restaurateur Richard Sandoval offered him a job at Pampano in New York he quickly took the opportunity.

It wasn’t until several years later in 2013 that Trinidad decided to return to Philly to help Casey Parker and Joe Gunn with their restaurant Jose Pistola’s (a Spanish translation of owner Joe Gunn’s name).

“I helped them design a Mexican menu,” said Trinidad. “It is a fun place for a great beer and a good meal.”

Alongside Jose Pistola’s, Trinidad helps operate Sancho Pistola’s in Fishtown and (the business’ newest addition) Pistola’s del Sur in South Philly. Each offers Mexican/Tex Mex cuisine, but caters specifically to the neighborhood it is in.

Jose Pistola’s offers a variety of tacos, burritos, burgers and nachos, but stands out with its extensive variety of draft and bottled beers.

At Sancho Pistola’s the focus is on the tacos. There are Sea Tacos, each filled with a different type of seafood, and Land Tacos, each filled with meat or vegetables. They have a special Happy Hour Monday through Friday from 4pm to 6pm with half price drafts and $17 Margarita and Sangria pitchers as well as $2 Tecate cans.

Pistola’s del Sur is meant to be an affordable, family-friendly destination with an array of tacos, burgers and nachos. They also feature an extensive beer list as well as a wide variety of Tequila and Mezcal.

For more information about Jose Pistola’s, Sancho Pistola’s or Pistola’s del Sur, check out their websites:, and

Jose Pistola’s:

Address- 263 S. 15th Street. Philadelphia

Phone- 215.545.4101

Hours: Mon - Fri: 11:30 am - 2 am, Saturday: 11:00 am - 2 am, Sunday: 10:30 am - 2 am, Brunch: Saturday 11:00am - 3pm , Sunday 10:30am - 3pm


Sancho Pistola’s:

Address- 19 W Girard Ave. Philadelphia Pa.

Phone- 267.324.3530

Hours: Mon-Fri: 11:30 am - 2 am, Sat-Sun: 11 am - 2 am, Brunch Saturday and Sunday: 11 am - 3 pm 


Pistola’s del Sur:

Address- 1934 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148

Phone- (267) 519-2329

Hours- Monday - Friday 11:30AM - 2AM, Saturday & Sunday 10:30AM - 2AM


Prices- $11-30


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