We get to eat a lot of good food. A lot. But once in a while, a meal stands out above the rest. That was the case at a tasting we attended for Cochino Taco. We told members of our team “we HAVE to take you there!” The food was so flavorful, we couldn’t wait to go back and have a full-fledged meal. We did, we loved it and we’re writing about it!
Cochino Taco, a modern Mexican taqueria and cantina open since August 2016, is now serving brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am-2 pm with a creative and fun food and drink menu. Owner Johnny Ballen, an Englewood resident, and owner of The Squeaky Bean Farm + Table, opened Cochino to provide a casual, family-oriented option to the neighborhood. After six months of serving lunch and dinner, chef Bryant Reyes fine-tuned the opening menu and created an entirely new brunch menu. See our photos below for some tasty examples.
The drink menu includes an all-star list of favorites like the Bloody Mary and Bloody Maria, Mimosas, Margaritas, and a Michelada made with Ballen’s signature mix and a can of Modelo. Other brunchy booze creations include the Razzlestar Galactica with Little Machine Razz Against the Machine, orange juice and ginger beer; The Santeria with Don Q Rum, ancho reyes and house horchata; and the frozen blood orange Bellinis with sparkling wine, peach puree, blood orange puree and peach liqueur.
To start, Cinnester Sticks ($5). Fried flour strips tossed in cinnamon sugar with whip cream and boozey Cochino Cajeta Mezcalera sauce that we drizzled over the top.
Cochino Chile Relleno ($12). Not your typical mushy chile, this poblano remains tender-crisp, stuffed with loads of asadero cheese in a crispy shell that kept separating from the pepper with every slice of the knife. It’s topped with two fried eggs, onion, cilantro and shoe-string fried potatoes, all nestled in Cochino green chile.
Choose any two tacos for $9 or three for $12 and they are served with crispy potatoes and a side of salsita verde. Here, we chose the Steak-n-Eggs, Carnitas and Barby Ranchera tacos. A side of glistening, sticky, Spicey Candied Bacon called to us and we answered. Though delicious, it wasn’t really worth $4 ($1/strip) but no one ever said “sides” were reasonably priced, anywhere, ever.
Chilaquiles Verdes ($10) were house-made tortilla strips smothered in spicy tomatillo salsa, topped with two fried eggs, cotija cheese, pickled onion, fresh cilantro and avocado crema.
Go for the full-on flavors at Cochino Taco. We recommend getting there right at 10am when they open because the place fills up fast. Cochino Taco is located at 3495 S. Downing St., Denver, CO 80113.
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