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Our other entree, a platter of tamales, turned out to be the best dish I've found at El Camino. The tamales were like little unwrapped presents: mounds of grainy, sweet cornmeal covered with savory pork smothered in piquant, jalapeño-based green chile, then topped with melted cheddar and Jack cheeses and a thin zigzag of sour cream. These were far from authentic tamales; in Mexico and many spots in this city, they're sold to the patron still wrapped in the husk. But that authentic version is often just a dry cornmeal cake. At El Camino, bending the rules had improved on the original; those tamales made me hungry to try more of the kitchen's innovations.

And sure enough, I was back a few days later, sitting at the bar and downing a lunch combo that included another chicken taco, another pork tamale and a beef enchilada, done Tex-Mex style, smothered in earthy red enchilada sauce and plenty of melted cheddar and Jack. You won't find enchiladas like this on the streets of Mexico, where the street snack might be dipped in chile rather than drowned. But authentic or not, I liked this gooey, peppery version, which was lighter than most Tex-Mex renditions, and I liked the way it paired with yet another margarita.

A breeze was blowing in through the big, open windows while I ate; like me, many others were enjoying the weather, enjoying the food, enjoying a long, lazy meal at El Camino.

Rachal McCown serves tacos on Taco Tuesday at El Camino.
Photo: Mark Manger
Rachal McCown serves tacos on Taco Tuesday at El Camino.

Location Info

Map

El Camino

3628 W. 32nd Ave.
Denver, CO 80211

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Northwest Denver

Details

El Camino
Chips and salsa $2.50
Chips and guacamole $7.95
Street tacos (3) $7.95
Tacos al pastor (3) $7.95
Fish tacos (3) $12.95
Tamales $7.95
Lunch combo #1 $8.95
3628 West 32nd Avenue
720-889-7946
Hours: 11 a.m.-midnight Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-1 a.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-midnight Sunday

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

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11 comments
Philo99
Philo99

Does anyone know the story with the Sushi bar that is opening in the former Hole space on Tennyson?

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Fghj Lhm

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Fghj Lhm
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Mayor
Mayor

I'd rather have an old El Camino than eat at this dump....Pretty ok, is all it is...Pretense is everything....Not in North Denver, Holmes.

Shantan2003
Shantan2003

The only good food at El Camino is the guac. The staff is wonderful and the space is fun, but I don't know of anybody that goes for the food.

Motoguy333
Motoguy333

Congradulations to El Camino and its "freakishly attentive staff" you all deserve it! best customer service in Denver!!!

Uncledave8
Uncledave8

Well, I live in Mexico half of the year and I just visited El Camino for the first time and I have to say I was pretty impressed. Is it strictly authentic Mexican? Well, maybe - maybe not. Mexican food varies widely across the country as does "American" food.

The food I sampled was very, very tasty. We had the guac and some exceptional chips. Shared a chile relleno (pork filled and in a freshly roasted poblano - and, thank God, not in an egg roll wrapper) and enchiladas (sampled beef, chicken and cheese) Christmas, so we got to taste both the wonderful red and green sauces and we were delighted. I wasn't as thrilled with the Margaritas as Westword, however. The best house Margarita in Denver is, and always has been, at Las Brisas in Englewood.

Mantonat
Mantonat

No surprise that the fish tacos were disappointing; tilapia is the worst thing to happen to seafood since the Fillet O'Fish.

I can't imagine tamales made better by the use of corn meal. Traditional tamales are made by whipping lard into masa to give the batter a light, airy texture. Good tamales, even if they have no meat filling, are moist, slightly fluffy, and balanced between corn and pork flavors.

I'm also saddened that your memory has to lead you all the way to Los Angeles for a glimpse of tacos served with two tortillas since there are so many excellent taco joints to be wistful about right here in Denver.

The margaritas sound great though!

Motoguy333
Motoguy333

Are you serious Shantan? obviously you have not ate there in a while. The quality of ingredients they use is amazing. There is not a lot mexican joints in this town that actually care about what they feed there customers....I happy to say I and A LOT of friends of mine eat there at least twice a week...

Denveronaspit
Denveronaspit

No doubt, thanks for recognizing the innumerable amount of taco places here in Denver that serve tacos con copia.

Greg1701
Greg1701

Love the food.. love the space.. good review too

 
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