It seemed like a good idea at the time. When we saw #nationaltacoday trending, we knew we’d have to get tacos at some point – we just couldn’t agree on where to go. Denver is home to fantastic Mexican food wherever you go, and we were suffering from analysis paralysis – too many choices to make a decision. So, rather than wait around for a decision that would never come, I took off on a mission to gather tacos from 6 restaurants. Crisis averted.
Stop #1: Adelita’s Cocina y Cantina
Things got off to a rocky start. I had a GoPro on my dashboard with the intention of putting a video together when I returned. However, those plans were shot when the battery died before I reached my first destination and the 6-inch charging cable meant I couldn’t charge the camera and record anything but the inside of my car’s center console. Ah well, obstacles are there to be overcome. I wouldn’t let that setback ruin my mission.
Adelita’s was packed when I walked in. I was told that my takeout order of a single taco wouldn’t be ready for a half hour. Not wanting to waste time, I told them I’d be back to pick it up later and left for my second stop.
Stop #2: Uno Mas Taqueria
I called in my order as I drove to Uno Mas, and it was ready when I arrived. Located on Old Historic South Pearl Street, Uno Mas serves street tacos made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. My stomach started growling at me as I set the takeout box on the passenger seat – I usually dig into these tacos before I can finish putting my seatbelt on. Today, I turned the seat warmer on to keep my precious cargo from getting cold and tried to ignore the hunger.
Stop #3: Taco Bell
Because hey, why not? Anybody who says they don’t like Taco Bell is either lying or wrong. Plus, I still had time to kill until Adelita’s was ready, and the unprintable story that the drive-thru attendant told me while I waited more than made up for the slight detour. That guy was living way mas than he should’ve been.
Stop #1b: Adelita’s, Round 2
The restaurant was even busier than it had been during my initial visit, and I got a few jealous glares as I strolled past the line to pick up my order. Three restaurants down, three to go.
Stop #4: Tacos y Salsas
What would #nationaltacoday be without a trip to Federal Street? I knew I’d love Tacos y Salsas when I saw the big cooler full of Jarritos, a soda I’d loved since I was a kid. My brother and I would search the International Foods aisle in the grocery store for it – something about soda in a glass bottle, made with real sugar, pulled us in. Tacos y Salsas has the widest selection of flavors I’ve ever seen, and I bought a mango flavored one to distract myself from the four boxes of tacos now sitting in the car next to me.
Stop #5: La Calle Taqueria y Carnitas
The Jarritos stopgap solution didn’t hold for very long. By the time I walked into La Calle Taqueria y Carnitas, located on Alameda Ave, I was starving. I ordered their “best, most popular taco,” and left for my final stop.
Stop #6: Carnitas California
They didn’t serve individual tacos at Carnitas California – their menu suggested I order four. I’d have ordered a hundred if they’d suggested it, and I would’ve thought I could eat them all. Instead, I took my four carnitas tacos and booked it back to the Garlic studio.
Final Destination: Garlic
90 minutes after leaving, I made it back to the studio, tacos in tow. Like nearly everything else in the world, tacos taste better when they’re earned. Today was no exception. 6 restaurants, 12.7 miles, approximately 27 stoplights, and too much roadwork – that’s the price I paid. The reward – #nationaltacoday – was more than worth it.