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California fast food more In than Out in Colorado

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Colorado has plenty of homegrown fast-food and fast-casual chains to keep locals happy. There's Chipotle, Qdoba, Smashburger, Einstein Bagels and Quiznos just to name a few.

But Coloradoans also love their California fast food, and we've made some gains in the past few years, including a couple of new Del Taco locations and the reintroduction of Jack in the Box after a ten-year hiatus. There's even one lonely outpost of El Pollo Loco - one of my favorites - at 1401 South Federal Boulevard. So what's next?

J in the B, which has restaurants in Golden, Arvada, Parker, Thornton and Colorado Springs, is planning at least two more spots in Aurora and Commerce City.

Del Taco, which initiated a major Colorado expansion in 2003, now has 23 locations statewide and may build more.

El Pollo Loco hopes to grow its presence at some point, says spokeswoman Julie Weeks: "At this point, it is just the one location. We are going to wait for the economy to improve a little bit and then look at expansion at that time."

And then there's In-N-Out Burger, which sadly has still not made any In-roads In-to Colorado (the closest location appears to be in the southwest corner of Utah), although not for lack of trying. Check out www.bringinotocolorado.com and its 22,000-plus Facebook fans (which is way more than Mayor John Hickenlooper has on his new fan page, by the way) to see just how bad locals crave this left-coast burger joint.

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