Tacos El Metate has been on our taqueria radar ever since the bright, modern eatery opened at 1742 South Chambers Road in Aurora in 2017. El Metate (named for the stone grinding tool used to turn corn into masa) has done brisk business in the heart of Aurora, but it's a long drive from central Denver. So it's great news that a second Tacos El Metate is now open at 2060 South University Boulevard.
Tacos El Metate took over the space that was previously Ishtar Grill (and Ali Baba Grill before that) on a stretch of University Boulevard near the University of Denver that's home to a wide (but frequently changing) variety of international cuisine. If you're looking for Sichuan, Japanese, Vietnamese, Indian or Greek, you'll find it here, but the neighborhood has always been lacking in Mexican street food.
El Metate fills the gap with a wide range of tacos, burritos, quesadillas and tortas, with best-sellers like Baja-style fried fish tacos as well as traditional barbacoa, carne al pastor, tripa and lengua. Other specialties include carne asada (or carnitas!) fries and a torta milanesa (with pounded and breaded steak).
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The two taquerias have adjusted to business during the pandemic, so you can order online for pick-up or order at the counter. The new Tacos El Metate is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily; call 720-510-9954 for more details.