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Robert Sietsema, Eater’s dining critic, recently wrote: “If you pay $4 for a taco on a single small tortilla with just a scatter of ingredients, you might call it a bad deal. On the other hand, if your taco is made with two six-inch corn tortillas, handmade, and loaded with fillings—and perhaps even topped with a squirt of guacamole—that same $4 seems like a steal.” BorraCho Tacos’ overflowing creations, now available in the former Kaya Kitchen stall on the second floor of Avanti Food & Beverage, are just that: a steal. They’re also flavorful as hell, constructed with a double layer of Denver’s Tortillas México’s supple corn tortillas (which makes all the difference), and amply portioned for, seemingly, ultra-runners in training. And no taco on the concise menu costs more than $4.95.
“The name speaks to how drunk with flavor this food is … but it’s also a nod to ChoLon, Cho 77, and BorraCho’s chef, Kevin Chu, who’s been with our group for four years now,” says Lon Symensma, chef/owner of ChoLon Restaurant Concepts. Chu grew up in Los Angeles and knows the city’s penchant for fusion tacos well. But with BorraCho, which opened on Wednesday, he’s taken a gentle approach to combining Asian and Latin flavors.
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Chu’s experience comes through in his Tipsy Thai shrimp taco—thanks to a nam prik pao (Thai chile jam) marinade on the crustaceans—and Korean BBQ chicken taco, which includes a house-made creamy kale kimchi sauce. Both are crazy delicious.
But the most Instagrammable taco is surely the eponymous BorraCho, which is actually a ChoLon French onion soup dumpling in disguise. Chu braises short ribs in the liquid pressed from the long-simmered caramelized onions made for the dumplings, and throws a few of said onions on the taco, too. Queso made with gruyere and a bit of Velveeta (an essential for good queso, as any Texan will tell you), pickled chiles, and fresh cilantro crown the mountain of umami. Thus, a Denver taco legend is born.
The remaining tacos follow a more traditional playbook: al pastor, Baja-style fried fish, carne asada. You can also order a hearty, red-chile-slathered enchilada casserole with black beans, rice, guacamole, and sour cream; a taco salad; taco bowls; and even queso fries with pickled jalapeños.
The agua frescas and horchata are made from scratch, but if you want to follow the restaurant’s lead and imbibe something alcoholic, Jason Snopkoski, Avanti’s bar manager, has created the perfect pairing for each menu item. The Seaside Sipper (pisco, Dogfish Head SeaQuench Ale, lime, salt, simple syrup) is a particularly delightful match for BorraCho’s excellent al pastor taco with roasted pineapple.
Denver’s taco game, already strong, just got even better.
BorraCho Tacos is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
3200 Pecos St.