For regulars at El Taco de México, the brain taco is nothing strange. It may not be something they eat every day, but it's no odder to them than it would be for someone else to see tongue in the cold case at a European deli, or escargot on the board at a French restaurant. The thinking goes like this: the cow is food; the brain is in the cow; therefore, the brain is food. Served hot and fresh off the flat-top, the ropy, grayish brains are slapped onto a double tortilla with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes and cilantro; add a squeeze of lime and open wide. While we can't promise that El Taco de México's brain tacos will be pleasing to the average American palate, we can say that eating them will be an experience you won't soon forget.
Like sex or a good accountant, a breakfast burrito is one of those things you don't give much thought to until the first time you have it, and afterwards you wonder how you ever lived so long without it. Happily, there are about 17 million places in Denver where you can get a breakfast burrito. And while almost all of those breakfast burritos are the same -- eggs, potatoes, cheese and meat wrapped in a flour tortilla -- Sam's No. 3 offers a surprise variation. Its corned-beef-hash breakfast burrito is as big as a fat kid's forearm, stuffed dangerously full of scrambled eggs, sliced potatoes and chunky corned beef; and upon request, the whole thing will come smothered in Sam's tame green chile, which serves to keep everything soft and warm and gloppy no matter how long it takes you to work your way from one end to the other.


Sam's No. 3
Courtesy of Sam's No. 3
Like sex or a good accountant, a breakfast burrito is one of those things you don't give much thought to until the first time you have it, and afterwards you wonder how you ever lived so long without it. Happily, there are about 17 million places in Denver where you can get a breakfast burrito. And while almost all of those breakfast burritos are the same -- eggs, potatoes, cheese and meat wrapped in a flour tortilla -- Sam's No. 3 offers a surprise variation. Its corned-beef-hash breakfast burrito is as big as a fat kid's forearm, stuffed dangerously full of scrambled eggs, sliced potatoes and chunky corned beef; and upon request, the whole thing will come smothered in Sam's tame green chile, which serves to keep everything soft and warm and gloppy no matter how long it takes you to work your way from one end to the other.
Chipotle started out as one lone outpost on East Evans Avenue, then grew to stretch across metro Denver -- and now, with McDonald's as its partner, can world domination be far away? Frankly, Chipotle deserves to be a global power. The eateries offer good, fast service, which is always competent and sometimes downright cheerful. They all use high-quality ingredients, absolutely fresh on the assembly line. And then there's that killer guac. But most of all, we're wowed by Chipotle's consistency. We've never had a bad burrito from this place -- or any of this place's places. Add any meat to the fresh lettuce, loads of cheese and cold, thin sour cream over warm black (or pinto) beans and cilantro-lime rice, and Chipotle gets it right every time. While our favorite is the carnitas burrito made with tender shreds of Niman Ranch pork and chili-corn salsa, we've tried each of the half-dozen varieties available and have never found a single one lacking.
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Chipotle started out as one lone outpost on East Evans Avenue, then grew to stretch across metro Denver -- and now, with McDonald's as its partner, can world domination be far away? Frankly, Chipotle deserves to be a global power. The eateries offer good, fast service, which is always competent and sometimes downright cheerful. They all use high-quality ingredients, absolutely fresh on the assembly line. And then there's that killer guac. But most of all, we're wowed by Chipotle's consistency. We've never had a bad burrito from this place -- or any of this place's places. Add any meat to the fresh lettuce, loads of cheese and cold, thin sour cream over warm black (or pinto) beans and cilantro-lime rice, and Chipotle gets it right every time. While our favorite is the carnitas burrito made with tender shreds of Niman Ranch pork and chili-corn salsa, we've tried each of the half-dozen varieties available and have never found a single one lacking.
Before burritos the size of dachshunds became the rage, before tortillas started wrapping everything in sight, Rosa Linda's Mexican Cafe was selling great shredded-beef burritos from the window of its tiny storefront. Well, the more things change, the more they stay the same: Over the past eighteen years, Rosa Linda's has expanded, absorbing more space along the block, adding tables and menu items even as the Aguirre family, which owns the operation, added family members. But the shredded-beef burrito remains a constant: a soft flour tortilla stuffed with succulent shredded beef, then smothered in a verde redolent with onions, tomatoes and chunks of chile.


Before burritos the size of dachshunds became the rage, before tortillas started wrapping everything in sight, Rosa Linda's Mexican Cafe was selling great shredded-beef burritos from the window of its tiny storefront. Well, the more things change, the more they stay the same: Over the past eighteen years, Rosa Linda's has expanded, absorbing more space along the block, adding tables and menu items even as the Aguirre family, which owns the operation, added family members. But the shredded-beef burrito remains a constant: a soft flour tortilla stuffed with succulent shredded beef, then smothered in a verde redolent with onions, tomatoes and chunks of chile.
Jack-n-Grill takes top honors in several categories, because its food is just that good. And why is it so good? "We cook with love," explains general manager Jack Martinez II. And, in fact, you can taste the love -- but you also taste the flavorful grilled meats that serve as the basis for Jack-n-Grill's tacos. Succulent shrimp, juicy chicken and exceptionally potent shredded beef are all served on flat corn tortillas with some pico de gallo, cheese and a side of lime for the best tacos in town. The best of the bunch? The vaquero tacos (available in chicken or beef) with barbecue sauce and cooling sour cream served on a flour tortilla. One taste, and you, too, will feel the love.
Jack-n-Grill takes top honors in several categories, because its food is just that good. And why is it so good? "We cook with love," explains general manager Jack Martinez II. And, in fact, you can taste the love -- but you also taste the flavorful grilled meats that serve as the basis for Jack-n-Grill's tacos. Succulent shrimp, juicy chicken and exceptionally potent shredded beef are all served on flat corn tortillas with some pico de gallo, cheese and a side of lime for the best tacos in town. The best of the bunch? The vaquero tacos (available in chicken or beef) with barbecue sauce and cooling sour cream served on a flour tortilla. One taste, and you, too, will feel the love.
A fish taco is serious business. There are so many ways to screw it up, so many ways to do it wrong, and -- in our judgment, anyhow -- a strict set of rules for doing it right. Jalapeño Mexican Grill does it very, very right. It starts with batter-dipped and fried chunks of mild, fresh whitefish on a thick flour tortilla, adds shredded cabbage (not lettuce) and a few soft, incredibly ripe pieces of tomato, and laces the whole thing with a thin, chilled buttermilk ranch sauce. Add a couple wedges of fresh lime and you've got the closest thing Denver has to the beachside grub served all along coastal Mexico. Simple, quick, cheap and delicious.

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