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Open: Tocabe American Indian Eatery

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The Chipotle‘s, Noodles & Co.‘s, and Mici‘s of Denver have a new competitor: Tocabe, a bright-eyed new Berkeley spot that brings the fast-casual concept to American Indian food (think fry-bread tacos for under $10).

The welcoming restaurant, run by Matthew Chandra and the ever-present father-son duo Tom and Ben Jacobs (Ben is an Osage Tribal member), layers its doughy, golden fry bread with meat, beans, onion, and cheddar to make tasty, empanada-like stuffed buffalo tacos and open-faced chicken tacos. It’s a meal you’re unlikely to find elsewhere in town, and for that–and the steaming sweet corn soup–it’s worth the trip.

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But before I head to Tocabe a second time, I hope the restaurant works on deepening its native flavors to emphasize the meatiness of the buffalo and incorporate ingredients like sage, squash, and even maple syrup. Otherwise, Tocabe runs the risk of becoming just another taco joint, with only fry bread to distinguish it.

3536 W. 44th Ave., 720-524-8282

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