Pinche Tacos began in 2010 as a food truck whose immense popularity practically demanded that chef-owner Kevin Morrison open a brick-and-mortar. The restaurant opened at York and Colfax in October 2011 and accolades from Bon Appétit and local media (5280 included) came quickly. If it was tough to get a table and a taco at Pinche before; after the praise it became nearly impossible.

But in March, Morrison opened a second outpost in the Highland neighborhood. The new location offers the same energetic tacos-tequila-whiskey line-up that regulars crave at York Street, but with a little more elbow room inside.

At a recent dinner, I started with the Proximus Paloma, a small bag of warm tortilla chips, and a trio of salsas. Pinche offers seven salsas, ranging from mild to searing. I opted for three in the middle range: xnic-pec (pronounced shnee pec, and made with habanero), molcajete (a chunkier, fresh tomato-style salsa), and yessina abuela (made with sweet tomatoes and garlic). The chips—and a second bag—were quickly consumed.

Pinche’s vibrant ambience and potent cocktails—wonderful as they are—paled once my tacos arrived. The platter included the carnitas, made with crispy and succulent roasted pork, pickled red onions, and avocado crema; fat pork belly tacos with candied garlic and cabbage; and, the near-legendary vegetarian option made with roasted chile poblano and creamed chipotle corn.

I’m hoping for a third Pinche location—and soon.

3300 W. 32nd Ave. 720-502-4608