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Fry bread is like crack, like heroin. It is the drug that your parents warned you about: one hit and you're hooked for life. My first time at Tocabe, I ate the very thing I'd been craving for years: an Indian taco. The fry-bread base was topped with pulled beef (desebrado) and hominy salsa (more bright than hot), cheese and a lace of sour cream and pintos, and it came with a beautiful, sweet-hot sauce that tasted of adobo and anchos and sugar, like licking hot honey off a razor. Because I am incautious — because for me, a little is never going to be enough — after I ate that, I ordered more: chicken and black beans, hot salsa and purple onions on fresh fry bread. And then dessert: another fry bread, dusted with cinnamon and powdered sugar, drizzled with honey and eaten with my fingers before it'd even cooled enough to be remotely safe.

And then I went back the next day for even more.

Tocabe does stuffed fry bread (like a calzone, or maybe a gordita, jammed full of meat and beans, then slathered in chile sauces and eaten with a knife and fork), and it does Medicine Wheel nachos (basically...nachos). The boys in the back do the fairgrounds favorite — fry bread topped with sweet cherries in thick syrup or apples the same way — that I would eat every day until the day I die if only Jacobs would agree to open his second location in my garage. And they do soup (different every day, but always served with fry bread) and kids' meals (with fry bread) and Osage pizza (made on fry bread). Because Jacobs knows (like I know) that fry bread is magic: Make it and they will come. Tocabe also has a liquor license, so there are beers on tap, some bottles, some wines, and I'm already envisioning sitting outside in the sun with a hot Indian taco and a cold beer once the patio opens.

Location Info

Map

Tocabe: An American Indian Eatery

3536 W. 44th Ave.
Denver, CO 80211

Category: Restaurant > Fast Casual

Region: Northwest Denver

Details

Tocabe
Shredded beef Indian taco $6.95
Ground beef taco $6.25
Chicken taco $6.50
Stuffed fry bread w/shredded beef $7.45
w/ ground buffalo $7.75
Dessert fry bread $3.95
3536 West 44th Avenue
720-524-8282
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.- 8 p.m. Sunday

For all Tocabe does, I still like the purest hit best, so I've returned again and again for plain Indian tacos, for fry bread topped with chile beans and hominy salsa, with pulled beef or buffalo (the ground beef is a little dry, a little dull) or chicken, and then retired to my table to eat with the same fixity of purpose I have seen on the other faces around me, to get square with my own memories, to feed my own strong addictions. I just keep shoveling the stuff in, fighting to fill a hole six years deep and wide, all the time I have been forced to spend in a world without fry bread.

I'm not there yet, but I'm catching up, slowly taking the edge off my need. Still, even with all Tocabe does, I doubt I'll ever be able to get enough.

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