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Although there is no shortage of Mexican food in the Mile High City, there was considerable hype surrounding the Denver opening of Austin-born Torchy’s Tacos. When the taco shop finally touched down in the Golden Triangle last week, Denverites braved the snow to wait in line outside the door—myself included.
Torchy’s opened in 2006 as an independently owned food truck on South First Street in Austin. And although the flagship food truck still stands, owner Michael Rypka has since expanded to more than 30 stores across Texas. The newest Denver location is the first outside of Texas; if all goes well, we should see four additional locations popping up around Colorado before the end of 2016.
As a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, I’ve sampled all of the tacos on the menu over the years (not to mention the queso and the margaritas). Although there’s no wrong answer when it comes to taco choice, my favorites include the Trailer Park with fried chicken and green chile (order it “trashy” for a generous helping of queso), the Democrat with beef barbacoa, fresh lime, and queso fresco, and the Independent with fried portobello mushrooms, roasted corn, escabèche carrots, avocado, and queso fresco. Finally, the classic migas (scrambled eggs, crispy corn tortilla strips, green chile pico, and avocado) is a must for breakfast, and can be enjoyed all day long.
To mix things up, Torchy’s features a new recipe (or an old reliable) each month. February’s featured taco includes coconut-battered shrimp, bacon, green chile, jack cheese, and pickled onions atop a flour tortilla. Dubbed “the Scallywag,” this taco made its first appearance at the Austin City Limits music festival and is being considered for a permanent spot on the menu.
Still wondering what’s with all the hullabaloo? You’ll have to taste Torchy’s to believe it. Nab an order of queso for the table, and between bites, you’ll be giving a warm thank you to the Lone Star State, because along with Matthew McConaughey and George Strait, these tacos are its best export yet.
1085 N. Broadway St., 303-436-1704