Monday, May 31, 2010

Chicago Is... Beef 'n' Tacos

Even though Denver is starting to feel more and more like home, there is nothing quite like returning to the place where one was born and raised. For me, that is Chicago. I haven't lived there now since moving here almost a decade ago, and I hadn't been back in almost two years when I returned a few weeks ago. And while my long weekend was busy with family and wedding-related activities, I did manage to slip out and do some of what people there do best: drinking and eating.

I got in late on a Friday and had a hankering for some beef. In Chicago-ese, that means none other than Italian Beef. Most beef joints close on the earlier side, but I knew of one that would stay open late and has several locations that aren't that hard to get to from O'Hare airport. Local mega-chain Portillo's, though definitely not my favorite, serves a decent beef. In fact, in Denver it would be a God-send (as it likely has been for Chicagoans in California since they opened there). I got a beef to go, with hot peppers. I tried to wait until I got to where I was going, but I think the bottom of the bag would have fallen out. Here it is in all its juicy splendor.

The beef is one of the world's more perfect sandwiches: tender beef slices dripping in juices, soft yet crispy French-style bread soaked in juices, and hot (or sweet, but you gotta go hot) peppers all over the top--dripping in juices. If you have never had one, just look at it and imagine how good it would be. Yes. It is that good. In Denver I have not explored the limited beef-scene, though I plan to soon, and years ago I had a decent one at Nonna's Bistro on Leetsdale. I am excited to see that one is also opening up on 21st down the street from Coors Field. Baseball with beef? That rivals my Cuban-baseball standby.

I also of course got out and tried some pastor. Chicago has a helluvalota Mexicans, and so there are taquerias everywhere. But because of this, there are really bad taquerias everywhere as well (I had a horrible drunk taco at 3am on North Clark). Since I've been gone for so long, guidance is good. This time I got it from Titus Ruscitti of Smokin' Chokin' and Chowin' with the King. He pointed me in the direction of Tierra Caliente, near North and Ashland. I also linked this photo from his site, which you should always visit before you go to Chicago:

The tacos are in the back of what is otherwise a small grocery store and butcher shop. We pulled up to a small counter and stared right into what was a crude-but-good-looking spit of pastor. We got a couple tacos right away and they were good, but not great. Definitely a good marinade, and actually they skipped the obligatory Health Department second grilling (it is Chicago after all), so it was also very moist.

The problem was that this Sunday afternoon these guys didn't give a shit about cooking tacos. Or anything that matter. After telling a few customers that they had already run out of Menudo, they confessed to us with a laugh that they just forgot to start making it the night before. They also forgot the pineapple for our tacos, so that didn't help the pastor, which was also sliced way too thick, the taqueros eyes fixed on the TV the whole time, where Mexico was playing an international friendly. Yes, these guys were just as hungover as I was. Despite that, it was a good taco al pastor, and I can see how it could be great when they were on their game.

Not all was lost, however: the carne asada was good and the carnitas were absolutely divine.

Chicago is one of the great food cities. It is also a large city with tons of great neighborhoods that all have their absolute gems of restaurants that you won't read about in most mainstream media. There are plenty of options, however, so when you go, I really do urge you to get out in the neighborhoods and check out Mr. Ruscitti's blog before you go.

I also went a couple of other places worth mentioning that weekend and I hope to get around to writing about at least one of them soon. In the meantime, I just got back from Santa Fe, so am trying to catch up with life and get all this green chile out of my system.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Korean BBQ at Han Kang: It Tastes Much Better Than Burning

Pretty much the only thing I know for certain about Korean BBQ is that I like it. A lot. I don't know truly authentic from not, but when deciding on a place in Denver, I figure going somewhere on Havana in the vicinity of Parker is a good start. Actually I have been to a few in that area but not for many years, so the other week was pretty much like starting over.

I picked Han Kang on Jewell and Havana with the help of my Asian-food-loving-Jewish-friend Brian. It apparently had charcoal grills and he thought it would be great to have his two and four year-old kids play with some fire and hot coals (they taste like burning), so we rounded up the families and met early on a Friday evening.

The charcoal grilling at Han Kang happens behind sliding doors off the main restaurant. The very nice older couple who was playing host, server and eventually grill-grate replacer welcomed us warmly and escorted us into the enclosed and heated tent ventilated by multiple fans built into the walls. Despite this top-notch ventilation system, there was an enticing hint of charcoal smoke in the air, and I went from hungry to ravenous by the time we got to our table.

We sat and immediately ordered our grilling meats: Galbi, or marinated beef short ribs, as well as some chicken. Before Brian and his wife could get their girls settled in, there were a couple dozen small plates on the table to help distract them some more. This really is an awesome place for kids. One of his girls sat next to me and, with her parents sufficiently distracted, immediately started getting to work on an interesting concoction of food and drink in her water glass. And who am I to judge? I started getting to work on pretty much the same concoction, only in my stomach. I have to say that I was not overly thrilled with the side dishes, or Banchan, as I believe they are called. The Kim Chi on one hand was fantastic. As was the plate of cooked-but-cold zucchini, and the seaweed with some sort of sesame sauce covering it. On the other hand, the cold steamed egg thing was pretty bland, and the big chunks of sweet potato were under-flavored and undercooked. One dish was just sliced daikon.

We also ordered some Bulgogi, Ddukboki and Mandu. These came very shortly afterwards and so began the juggling of plates and the creative process of finding table space that is synonymous with a Korean barbecue feast. The Bulgogi was marinated sliced beef and vegetables in what tasted like a wonderful combination of soy, ginger and sesame.

The Ddukboki was my favorite of the pre-barbecue eats. It is a simple dish consisting of rice cakes covered in a spicy, tangy and thick red chile sauce.

And Mandu are dumplings. These were pan fried and filled with pork, I believe. The kids loved these, and they were overall decent dumplings.

Still reeling and still finishing our first plates, a bucket of hot coals was precipitously dropped into the open grill at our table. The smoke and the smell were wonderful. Brian's older girl even abandoned her water-steamed-egg-coke-Ddukboki-sauce experimental mixture to check out this new development.

Trays of chicken and beef soon followed, and our server-host began scissoring off chunks of chicken and beef onto the stainless grill. We grilled and filled up glasses with what seemed like endless bottles of the Korean beer, Hite. We had a true family-style feast on our hands. The chicken was rubbery, but the short ribs were tender and delicious. I can remember better tasting marinade in my Korean barbecue experiences, but the smoky charcoal flavor of these grills (versus the electric grills) made all the meat taste that much better.

For some reason, although Brian's wife said she was done eating and my wife was slowing, Brian and I found ourselves in a fierce zone of man-fueled, charcoal-fume-enhanced-grilling-and-eating frenzy from which we could not escape. That's right, I said a "zone of frenzy". We ordered more short ribs and chicken and Bibimbob.

The Bibimbob came first and when Brian's wife declined and my wife struggled to eat more, I think that Brian was thinking the same as me: way too much food. Nevertheless we fully devoured what to me was the best dish of the night, and laughed fiendishly as we scraped the wonderfully charred and caramelized rice-bits from the bottom of the extremely hot stone bowl. Bibimbob is, of course, a vegetable and beef medley over rice with a gooey fired egg laid over the top. This Bibimbob, in it's hot stone bowl, was absolutely delicious.

It doesn't really matter what happens next. More meat came and we really ate it all. We even gnawed on the last bones of the last ribs. Our table was a disaster, and not from any more kiddie-food concoctions, but from sick and wrong adult gluttony. Looking across the table, Brian looked just as haggard as I felt, much like Brian-the-roommate from years back often looked after a long night out. And just like those bachelor years, there were suddenly no longer even any kids around. His kids had wandered off to explore the restaurant, long ago done eating and now surely bored with our mess of a meal. As for us, we briefly basked in the glory of the triumphant scale of our evening's gorging, then Brian quickly hurried off to find his kids.

There will always be debate on Denver's best Korean BBQ experience. Han Kang might not have the best sides, or the best marinade, but it is still very, very good. The friendly service and the charcoal grills are what make it a truly enjoyable experience. 

Han Kang Korean on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 23, 2010

El Taco Rey: It's Good to Be the King of Colorado Springs

I haven't been to Colorado Springs in years. The "Springs", as I imagine the locals call it, is an idyllic mix of mountain views, tree-lined streets, rolling hills and the Christian right. Maybe it is simply this unfortunate stereotype of impending judgment and socio-political narrow-mindedness that keeps me away. Likely it is just the fact that it is over sixty miles away and makes for a long, boring, often traffic-filled drive.

Of course the Springs is much more than a long drive and a bunch of people focusing their sights on your family's right to choose its own lifestyle. It is really a fantastic city with a cool zoo, a garden of rocks planted by God herself, an Olympic training center, an entire academy of proud Air Force academics and a bastion of left-leaning undergrads in one of our nation's premier private learning institutions. And then, I recently learned, there is El Taco Rey.

El Taco Rey is a place where certainly folks of all political parties, religious groups and social backgrounds can come together. El Taco Rey is the kind of place that blurs the line between red and blue, left and right. Creationists could sit down here with Darwin himself and happily figure something out while chowing down on a burrito. 

These family portraits on the wall can only mean good things

El Taco Rey (here I am just going to give this review away early and say it) is reason alone for Denverites to get in the car and make the drive to Colorado Springs. And the dish that you want to try? The Avocado and Pork Burrito. Smothered.

Growing up in Chicago, being smothered usually meant something bad. Something that might happen to you after you borrowed a few bucks from your neighbor Nice-Guy Eddie and were a wee-bit tardy on the repayment. Being smothered in Colorado, especially anywhere South and West of Denver into New Mexico, is decidedly a very good thing.

Paper towels everywhere. Great sign. 

Like smothering that pork and avocado burrito you just ordered. That is like frosting on the cake, or better yet it is literally the green chile on the burrito. The Aguilar family has been smothering away at this location for 35 years. I guess it makes sense then, that the traditions of their family from Colorado and New Mexico have come together in an area that was once pretty much a border region of the original Mexican states to create some fabulous food in the New Mexican tradition.

We didn't order to go, but it came in Styrofoam. Bad for the earth. Good for your belly. 

Whatever the case, let us return to the beauty and splendor that is this avocado and pork burrito. The pork was cooked perfectly. Obviously slow roasted, it was moist and richly flavored, and by itself would make for an excellent burrito, taco, gordita or even breakfast cereal. The genius and perfection of this burrito comes with the addition of the avocado. It added a creamy, buttery smoothness so that each bite was ecstasy. Smothered under a simple, traditional and homemade green chile, it was simply one of the best burritos I have ever had.

We also ordered a couple tacos, which ended up being a little silly. The tacos were huge, came with two tortillas and each had enough meat to make two smaller, yet still pretty big tacos. They were good, especially, well, the avocado and pork one. But even the chicken taco was moist and fresh-tasting.

"One Taco"

In retrospect, one pork and avocado smothered burrito will do you right, and a taco on top of it is just asking for trouble. My wife and I, however, are stubborn and careless eaters. Not knowing when we would return to Colorado Springs, we ordered the tres leches cake with toasted coconut. We did show some mild restraint and waited until driving home a couple hours later to eat it. It was, of course, equally large as both the taco and the burrito, and like the burrito was irresistible; moist and heavy and rich and thick with flavor.

I haven't had much food in Colorado Springs, but if there is a better burrito there, I might just pack up and move. I really can't say enough good things about it, so I'll stop now before I start really gushing. It is also worth mentioning that the family who runs the place is incredibly friendly and helpful, but just like the best of the family run places, they keep some odd hours. So get down there for lunch or before 7pm, and don't even think about showing up on a Sunday, you'll find that el Rey is resting.

El Taco Rey on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Denver al Pastor Take 7: More Good Signs at Acapulco Tacos and Pupusas

My ongoing quest for Denver's finest taco al pastor continues. This time on East Colfax at Acapulco Tacos y Pupusas.

You may recall that recently I was asked by fellow Denver food blogger, Denveater, to contribute to a post about signs that a restaurant is going to be good. It was actually a fun collaboration, and in the spirit of that theme, visiting Acapulco Tacos clued me into yet another sign: reluctance to give change for large bills.

In Mexico I find it equal parts frustrating and amusing that many taco stands, market stalls, taxi cabs and even some restaurants would rather not do business with you than have to make change for a large bill. And I'm not talking about paying for a sip of coke and one rib with a hundred, no, almost anything that would require change with something other than coins seems to really set people off.

If you do happen to have some semi-large peso bills in your pocket and hope for change after eating your tacos, you will inevitably be asked if you have anything smaller. If you do, you get the classic, "You-asshole-you-should've-known-better" look. If not, what inevitably follows is a series of exasperated gasps, eye rolling and then the hilarious and mandatory process of your taquero going vendor to vendor to collect small pieces of change all the while taking his sweet time to exaggerate the difficulty of the task. By far the most entertaining outcome is when your taquero asks for change, sighs when you say you don't have any, checks to see if anyone is looking and then slides you some change over the counter discretely. This is the "Here's-your-change-but-don't-let-anyone-know-I-did-this" look. Asshole.

Although this phenomenon is not unique to Mexico (I have had similar experiences in the Philippines, Argentina, Nicaragua, and on and on), I haven't come across much change resistance in the US. That is why when I saw this sign at Acapulco Tacos y Pupusas last week--and knowing nothing else about the place-- I got a good feeling.

Hard to read, but it clearly states, "Absolutely No Change." 

To the unaccustomed American customer, who this is clearly intended for, it may be interpreted that this restaurant does not want you to empty $1.75 worth of nickels and pennies on the counter to pay for your taco. Quite the contrary, that would potentially be quite welcome (note to self: interesting social experiment), because what this message intends to convey is that the powers that be at Acapulco will not give you change for your tacos if you pay with a fifty. Maybe even a twenty. Asshole.

So that, in the nature of that Denveater post, is a good sign. Literally. The second good sign of this taqueria was much more obvious and straightforward once I got inside. It was this:

Not the "Be Nice or Leave" sign, although that is a good sign. Look lower. That's right. At Acapulco Tacos y Pupusas they have a spit of pastor. With a pineapple on top. Incredible, and the first requirement for my tacos al pastor quest. Obviously, I ordered tacos al pastor. And also a pupusa. There really aren't too many other options, and there don't need to be. Limited options. That is another good sign.

The taco spit, I admit, looked a little sad and neglected. But I have learned to not judge a pastor spit by the number of stacked and marinated pork loins, so to speak. Also, we're not in Mexico City. Taco al pastor fiends in Denver can't be choosers, as the saying goes.

I was very happy and drooling a little when my order was up. I was still a little skeptical because the pineapple looked like a re-heated scrambled egg, but it was from a fresh (OK, at least not canned) pineapple, which is big bonus in this former Mexican border territory. Other than the wilted pineapple, it was actually a fine, fine looking taco. (And yes, I mean fine like a fine woman or a fine wine.)

It was beautiful really. And the taste was very good. It was cooked well, too, with quite a lot of char, though some pieces were quite thick. The pineapple was charred too.  It was an excellent taco al pastor.

Also very good was the pupusa. The pupusa is stuffed fried masa-dough native to El Salvador which is somewhat similar to the Mexican gordita. It typically comes with a sweet, runny tomato-based red salsa and a side of a slaw-style salad. Stuffings here included beans, cheese, loroco (a vine-type plant) and chicharron. Of course I went with the chicharron, and while my wife did enjoy her bean and cheese pupusa, she sorely coveted mine. The pupusa moral of the story here is, of course, you can never go wrong choosing chicharron.

Acapulco Tacos y Pupusas serves authentic and delicious Mexican and Salvadorian specialties. It has very limited indoor seating (this is likely another good sign), but if you can elbow your way up to the counter bar, you may start to feel like you are in a market stall somewhere very far from East Colfax. If not, there is plenty of outdoor seating facing the corner of Colfax and Yosemite, making it one of the more interesting people-watching patios of any Denver restaurant.

Tacos Acapulco on Urbanspoon

Friday, May 14, 2010

Good Signs with Denveater: A Collaboration

"...I try to encourage our collaboration and find the best way that will produce fruit. I like fruit. I like cherries, I like bananas."
-Jim Jaramusch

A few weeks ago Denver's own Denveater contacted me with an idea for a post. She asked me if I could put together some thoughts about signs that cue me in to a restaurant potentially being good. Well, despite the fact that putting together thoughts is something I do with great difficulty, I did manage to dig up some ideas and send them to her. I suppose in the end all that it involved was making sweeping statements of a general nature, and that is something I am actually quite good at doing.

I had a lot of fun writing this one, and Denveater also rounded up a couple of her Boston pals (Hidden Boston and MC Slim JB) to pitch in as well. So please go on over to her blog and have a read for what is my first collaborative post in my brief pseudo-journalistic hobby-career.

Click Here: Good Signs with Denveater

Thanks for checking in and hope you keep reading. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Happy, Happy Hours at Ondo's Tapas in Cherry Creek

I don't know a lot about Spanish food, though I did spend a week there eating and drinking myself into a stupor a few years ago. I also watched that show where Mario Batali got to pimp around the country in a convertible, eat gluttonous amounts of food and nap in hammocks; all the time with a hot actress on each arm. Besides learning that being filthy rich has its upside, I learned that all that food he ate looked good. Among that food were some tapas, I'm sure. At least once I spied him lying on his side being hand-fed croquetas like grapes, and I think even wiping his sweaty brow with a thin slice of jamon Serrano. (If I were rich all my wet wipes would be made from jamon Serrano).  Despite those two clear qualifications, I won't claim any expertise on the subject matter yet. Now, with this disclaimer in mind, let me tell you about my recent experiences eating at Denver's own Ondo's Spanish Tapas Bar.

I've been to Ondo's twice recently. Both times with groups of about eight people, and both times for the wonderful happy hour that runs from 4-7pm even on Friday and Saturday. This has to be one of the best food and drink deals in Denver right now. Tapas start at $2.50, liters of Sangria are $10, select wines are on special and a cold caña (beer on tap) is $4. I left stuffed and tipsy both nights for less than $30 including tip, proving for good that you don't need to roll like Batali to eat some good Spanish food.

But first, a little background on Ondo's. (If you want a lot of background, visit their website.) Co-owners and executive chef-couple Deicy and Curt Steinbecker trained in Spain at La Escuela de Cocina Luis Irizar in San Sabastian. They stayed together after school by working in Spain as chefs, honing their skills under some iconic names. Then, here is the best part: they decided to move to Denver.

I'm not sure why exactly they chose to move to Denver, but the fact that Denver has a distinct lack of tapas diversity may have something to do with it. It is also exciting, because whenever talented chefs choose to move to Denver, it adds more proof to how our city is really coming into its own in all things food. So here they are, two seasoned Spanish-trained chefs, in a subterranean space in Cherry Creek, sharing with Denver their little slice of Spain. Without further ado ("ado", of course, is European for "bullshit"), here is what I ate.

We started off one night with a complimentary chick pea broth based in a rich ham stock. The chick pea was an ideal vehicle for the deep porky flavor of the broth. It was about as close as you could get to bacon juice without really actually trying to juice bacon itself. It was delicious and I could have been happy sipping shots of this all night.


Next up were the croquetas de jamon, or as I have seen it elegantly translated, "deep-fried ham balls." While this translation may seem descriptive, of course we are worlds away from your typical fried ham ball: we are talking jamon Serrano in a bechamel cream sauce, somehow magically balled up in fried form. It is a classic dish and was very well done here at Ondo's. These were quite popular both nights, and although my wife refused to feed them to me like Batali would have wanted, they were still delicious, and we ordered round after round.

The albondigas, or meat balls, were simple, served in a rich tomato sauce and very satisfying. This is pure comfort food. Make sure to ask for some bread to sop up all the extra sauce.

Nothing says tapas more than the tortilla española. The Ondo's Spanish omelette was perfectly done and served appropriately lukewarm. It was actually quite spectacular; light, fluffy, moist and simple. And don't miss the ensaladilla rusa, or Russian Salad, hiding off to the left in the picture below. You may be surprised by how delicious this simple sounding slaw-style salad of tuna, potato, carrot and olives can be.

Patatas bravas. Crispy and served with the typical spicy tomato sauce, salsa romesco.

The paella is made fresh daily with different ingredients. One night was good, then the second night, made with monkfish and chorizo, it was something special. The tapas version is served as a small plate, so I imagine that the whole-pan entrée version is even better.

At the happy hour price of $10, this simple plate of always delicious jamon serrano and cheeses is reasonable enough.

Goat cheese, homemade jam and fresh strawberries make this a nice palette cleanser, or even dessert.

But save room for real dessert: fresh-made chocolate souffle with mandarin sorbet. And time. It takes about 15 or 20 minutes after ordering. Well worth the wait.

Ondo's tapas has had its niche carved out in Denver for years, and it is wonderful to see it finally filled. Affordable and authentic tapas, thoughtfully prepared in a casual and friendly environment. Part of me wants to keep this to myself, although clearly the word is out. I would like to think that this summer I can walk up on a whim, get seated in the lovely patio and dine for next-to-nothing on their excellent tapas. On the other hand, if I can do that, Ondo's probably won't be doing so well, and that would be a shame.

So keep on going to Ondo's, for happy hour or at any time. In my humble opinion, it is one of the better things that has happened to my private little Denver food world in the past year.

Ondo's Spanish Tapas Bar on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Denver al Pastor Take 6: El Gordo de Globeville

In my ongoing quest to find Denver's best taco al pastor, I have begun to expand my search from my traditional haunts along the main taco streets in our fine city. I am, of course referring to East Colfax and Federal from north to south, where the quantity of taco shops in some areas is reminiscent of the streets of Mexico. For this taco adventure, my wife and I settled on the neighborhood of Globeville.

Globeville is an area of Denver that may not be known to all by name, though many of us pass it by with some regularity. It is bordered by the South Platte River, Inca St and 52nd. It is the neighborhood in which sits the infamous mousetrap ramp system of interstates 25 and 70.  It is also a neighborhood with a rich immigrant history, formerly Eastern European and now primarily of Latino roots. In my little private taco-centric world, this means only one thing: there's got to be good tacos there.

This weekend, my wife and I took a trip out to Globeville to see for ourselves. We cruised the tree-lined streets and felt suddenly as if we had left the city, particularly in the small section of Globeville south of I-70. With the physical boundaries of the train tracks on the southern end and the walls of I-25 on the west, it has the peaceful feel of a small town, full of quaint historic turn-of-the-(last)-century homes that for the most part looked little changed from their original construction. The area around the Garden Place Academy public school and the Saint Joseph Polish Catholic Church is particularly picturesque, evoking images of what how I imagine Denver generations ago (minus this mural on the left and the occasional stray appliance in the front yard).

Then, turning back on to 45th Ave, we found it. A grey, newly painted building called Tacos El Gordo. At first seemed a little intimidating, with cages over the windows and a thick, red steel door; but that feeling quickly began to fade, because on the side of the wall was crudely painted the word "pastor".

This word "pastor" has a magical sound to it. When sung, it is nothing less than my siren song, and written in red on this restaurant wall, it lured me out of my car to get a better idea of what this place might have to offer. Pastor itself does not always mean good things in the US of A. For my discerning taco-palette and my pastor-taco-hunt requirements, real pastor should come from whole pork loins roasting on a spit, and not pre-chopped and marinating in the fridge or something. The latter is often the case in the US, and what results is soggy, overcooked, bland and at times not worth eating. So, when my wife pointed out the sign with the very image of a pastor spit emblazoned upon it, there was really no holding me back.

Good eye, wife!

Upon entering, to my delight, I found that this sign was not placed outside to cruelly lure pastor-spit seekers like myself in only to offer up a much lesser version. Sure enough, the fat man, whoever he is, adorned the center of his open kitchen with a spit of pastor. Bless him. And although it was small, I have learned in my pastor-wisdom-filled-years that big and bountiful does not always yield the best pastor.

In an earlier post, I wrote that pastor without pineapple was like a mariachi without his sombrero, or something along those lines. Of course, every time I make a sweeping statement like that, there follows the inevitable exceptions (all of which my wife gladly catalogs and freely point outs when she sees fit). This taco al pastor was served without the requisite pineapple, but I am happy to say that I hardly missed it. Don't get me wrong, I did miss it, but this was an excellent marinade and it was cooked to near perfection: thinly sliced, charred, not entirely over-cooked (despite the US health department double-cook rule). It was, in the end, a fine taco al pastor.

The three table salsas were also excellent. The smoky red salsa was bold and spicy. In fact all three packed solid heat, definitely made for the Mexican palette, not one dumbed down for the taco tourist.

Tacos El Gordo is well worth the drive up into Globeville. Globeville itself is worth the drive to Globeville. I spotted another place I hope to return to soon, as well as some neighborhood bars that would certainly be nothing less than interesting. I also didn't get a chance to sample anything else from El Gordo, but when a complicated recipe like pastor turns out this good, things like asada, lengua and the other usual suspects should be relatively easy. If not, the salsas themselves could make an average taco shine.

Tacos El Gordo on UrbanspoonTacos El Gordo is a mere 5 months old as of May 2010 and has 99 cent tacos on Mondays and Tuesdays. Celebrate its opening at 201 E. 45th Ave. in lovely Globeville, Denver, CO. Let's hope it stays open for years to come. 


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