Veggie Girl: Taqueria Patzcuaro

Fresh, salty chips, burning hot salsa and maybe the best vegetarian red chile in Denver -- these are just a few of the reasons that I frequent Taqueria Patzcuaro at 2616 West 32nd Avenue. An even bigger draw, though, is the chile relleno burrito, an absolute genius invention that starts with a tortilla, piles on a heaping spoonful of vegetarian refried beans, throws in a soft, Mexican-style egg-battered chile relleno, and wraps it all up into one perfect package.

This huge concoction usually comes smothered in a spicy green chile that many of my carnivorous friends rave about, but for vegetarians, the red chile has a nice spice and plenty of flavor.

The chile relleno platters that I grew up with in New Mexico had their charms, and I'm still partial to that style of crispy fried relleno, but it was just so hard to get a perfect bite. Not so with this burrito: Every taste ensures a bit of rich red chile, tortilla, beans, pan-fried egg batter covering a spicy green chile, and melted Monterey jack cheese. Sometimes I even order a side of sour cream or guacamole (or both!) just to see how many of my favorite Mexican staples I can cram into my mouth at once.

The food at Patzcuaro has a good heat, and since servers aren't stingy with the free chips and salsa refills, you'll probably need to order one or two of the huge margaritas to wash everything down.

Patzcuaro has been serving up muy autentico Mexican food at the same location since 1978; next summer, it hopes to add a big covered patio to help hold the ever-growing throngs of fans.

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