Inspired by surfers coming off a day on the waves seeking fresh, light fish tacos and cold cervezas, North County, wanted to bring the same experience to Denver. North County lets land-locked locals give into cravings for Mexican flavors but with a lighter profile than big tortillas, beans, melted cheese and chunks of meat. Named after the coastal region north of San Diego, popular among surfers, North County is a casual yet sophisticated taco bar in the new Lowry Dining District. Built in a brand new space, North County is given a distinct sense of place by repurposed architectural elements, unique lighting and a massive, aerial photo mural of a beach scene. Large windows and glass garage doors link the airy indoor space to a large outdoor patio with firepit. This promises to be a perfect Denver summer hang out spot to enjoy a drink!
Speaking of drinks, they offer 100 tequilas, and spirited concoctions and house-bottled alcoholic sodas, each served in its own little bottle, labeled with the date of creation. We tried the Paloma with grapefruit-infused Arta Silver Tequila and the Blueberry Lavender Mojito. On draft, local and also some tasty brews we enjoyed on our trip to San Diego.
The menu is heavy on fish prepared for tacos or on top of salads. Starters include…
Ceviche – laden with shrimp and octopus, full of fresh orange. Thin rounds of jicama “tortillas” make a unique wrapper.
North County Aguachile – served in a heavy molcajete (one of my favorite words to say), this beautiful cold soup of tomatoes, avocados and shrimp, is satisfying on its own. But North County goes one step more and serves it with a “chaser” of warm, rich fishy broth that is delicious on its own but augments the gazpacho perfectly. The serving is plenty for four as a starter.
Carne Asada Fries – Kind of chile-cheese fries, kind of nachos, these puppies could be addictive. Meaty fries are topped with steak, salsa, guac and Mexican cheese.
Street Tacos – Get Baja Fish Tacos made with beer battered swai or grilled wahoo or salmon, served with crunchy slaw or meat or chicken versions like the chorizo with potato and Cumin & Coriander Slow Roasted Pork with jicama cabbage slaw, banana-habanero agave nectar cream, topped with banana chip pieces for a sweet crunch. At around $4 each, get a variety to try. All are served with housemade flour or corn tortillas to order. They are delicious, pliable and don’t crumble like store-bought.
Currently, North County is only open for dinner. Lunch hours will be added in January and brunch after that. Happy Hour Specials run 3-6pm, M-F.
Lowry Dining District is emerging as a promising “go to” destination. With the Lowry Beer Garden, North County and Italian Cafe Mercato in place now, Chef Troy Guard’s BuBu,a fast casual noodle joint, is soon to join the bunch. There’s plenty of free parking. During the holiday seasons, check out the Wings Over The Rockies Air and Space Museum and the massive B-52, decorated for the holidays.
North County is located at 94 N. Rampart Way in the Lowry neighborhood, Denver, off of Quebec and Alameda.