Chef/owner Merlin Verrier has created a menu of tacos, bao buns, flatbreads and quinoa bowls, so you won't even need to leave the Street Feud counter to have your pick of flavors from Mexico, Korea, Indonesia and the Mediterranean.
Tacos al pastor were among the chef's favorites, so pastor will be on Street Feud's menu. There will also be birria tacos made with slow-braised lamb. Verrier notes that tacos are the perfect vehicle for meats with bolder flavor like lamb. But he's also aware that not everyone eats meat, and that a great taco can be built with the flavors and textures of vegetables. His crispy mushroom tacos are made with oyster mushrooms that have been partially dried and fried until they're firm and crunchy, almost like chicharrones. A layer of black beans beneath the mushrooms gets a boost from huitlacoche, often called the Mexican truffle for its complex, earthy taste.
Loaded fries come in musical themes, with K-Pop Korean fries and Mariachi nacho-style fries; Verrier says he'll be expanding on the international music theme.
To keep his team sharp, Verrier is a believer in work/life balance and a focus on mental health. Staff will be versed in all positions and will spend three shifts on the line and two at the counter each week, and quarterly three-day weekends will be part of the program so that each employee can unplug and get away from restaurant life.
"I've been in the industry for 27 years, and I feel the frustrations — feeling like you're going to be replaced if you ever take a day off," the chef explains. He's also planning continuing education and trips to street-food meccas for managers.
Street Feud is located on the second floor of Avanti Food & Beverage at 3200 Pecos Street and will be open daily for lunch and dinner. It takes the place of BorraCho tacos, whose lease ended on July 31. Call 720-269-4778 for more details.