Exclusive first look: Moontower Tacos opens in Capitol Hill

Y'all know how I roll: Tacos rule my universe, and now, there's a new spot -- Moontower Tacos -- giving me (and the rest of you who agree that tacos are the equivalent to enlightenment) another reason to ballyhoo their virtue.

See also: - Moontower Tacos will soon be serving tacos morning, noon and night - Exclusive first look: Old Major, Justin Brunson's "elevated farmhouse cuisine" restaurant, is now open in Highland - Photos: McCormick's Fish House & Bar makeover is complete

Moontower, which took over the former Thai Mango space at Sixth and Grant, opened last Friday, and it couldn't be more taco-centric if it tried, although these aren't the tacos that are dispensed at every taqueria on Federal. Owner Brent Thrash is from the great town of Austin, Texas, and that, says his general manager and chef, Scott Branning, is where the inspiration comes from. "There are tons of killer taco spots in Austin, and Brent wanted to create a place like that here -- the kind of taco place where he grew up eating, with high-quality food that packs a lot of flavor, combined with quick service," adds Branning, who hails from Alabama.

And his menu, which touts twenty tacos in all, some of which are breakfast tacos, is definitely not traditional -- and that, declares Branning, is the whole point. "These are uniquely American tacos, with lots of Americanized ingredients and our own twists." If you need proof, consider the "Doggfather," a housemade waffle, flattened like a tortilla, that's crowned with hand-breaded chicken, bacon strips and maple syrup. "We both love chicken and waffles and wanted to figure out how to make chicken and waffles into a chicken-and-waffle taco," explains Branning. It's inexpensive, too: $3.75 for a taco that doubles as dinner. In fact, nothing here is small -- not the tacos, not the queso, not the jalapeno creamed corn, not the chimichangas, and nothing on the menu is over $5.

A full liquor license is forthcoming, notes Branning, and while there's no physical bar, the restaurant will serve beer, wine and frozen margaritas.

And if you're curious about the name, it stems from a couple of different things. Thrash went to college at CU Boulder, and he and his buddies nicknamed their house "Moontower." In addition, in lieu of regular street lights, Austin has 31 towers that provide artificial light at light, and is the only city in America that still operates with that system.

Moontower Tacos is open daily for lunch and dinner; for more info, call 303-832-1107. In the meantime, here's first look at the space, the menu, the tacos and more.

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