Moontower is an odd name by any definition, and especially for a strip mall restaurant in central Denver.
But Brent Thrash, inspired by the 1990’s cult hit movie “Dazed and Confused” as well as missing the great tacos of his native Austin, gave it this exact name in homage. It’s certainly more memorable than most of the Spanish language establishments given to most taco joints.
So no, I didn’t make a compelling enough case to visit, at least not right away. Then I stumbled onto an article in Westword’s food section about Moontower. Exploring it further, I saw that TripAdvisor and a few other review sites rated it fairly well. He was game a few weeks ago, when we had to go shopping in the area anyway.
Ever since going to Austin last year and again this year for an annual copywriter’s conference, I wanted to sample the breakfast tacos. I tried to go to Juan in a Million, known for their delicious take on this local favorite. But strangely enough, I just didn’t want to wait two hours with the rest of the Sunday crowd to have one. I’m sure I could’ve found them somewhere else, but I didn’t have the time to look around.
Now I didn’t have to. And I won’t have to wait until I return to Austin next February. They were now just a 15-minute drive from my home.
On our visit, we debated on ordering garden-variety chicken, fish beef or pork tacos, or the long-desired breakfast tacos. Moontower has several options for each protein, as well as vegetarian and “not-a-taco” offerings, like quesadillas and chimichangas. You can also create your own.
We also ordered some homemade chips and salsa. It tasted as good as it looked. And as it is often the case with this irresistible combo, we had to almost push the basket away so we wouldn’t stuff ourselves and not be able to eat our tacos:
Thrash seems to have a well-honed sense of fun about his creations. Some of them have intriguing names like Doggfather (an intriguing fried chicken, bacon and waffle variety), Gangnam Style (braised pork, Asian slaw and peanuts) and the Gambler (beef brisket, coleslaw, pickled jalapenos and onions).
I settled on a migas breakfast taco: scrambled eggs, cheese, avocado slices, pico de gallo and queso, topped off with crunchy fried tortilla strips for a great texture contrast. Freshly made and rich in savory Tex-Mex flavor, I could’ve ordered another one and scarfed it down easily, but I wanted to walk out of the place later, not roll out.
RAS chose two Gamblers. I snapped a pic before he could wolf down his, too:
I apologize for not taking pictures of my taco. I was so taken with it, I didn’t bother documenting it for you to see 🙁 But Moontower Tacos are definitely worth tracking down if you’re in Denver and want to try this Lone Star favorite.
(BTW…I will be documenting our upcoming jaunt to the East Coast next week. The goal, of course, is to post nearly every day on our adventures. So I hope you’ll follow us and comment as we make our way through New York City, Washington DC and the Delaware Shore!)