Sunday, May 28, 2023

An 18-month-old food truck swept into our March Madness taco bracket

Sixteen months ago, the Silva Gonzalez family bet their everything at a Denver food truck.

Instead of investing in a house, he decided to start a business selling a rare treat native to Colorado — birria (pronounced BEER-ee-yuh), rich Mexican stewed beef. They serve it in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, tortas, and even ramen bowls.

By the spring of 2021, word had spread, and KEEK (pronounced KEE-kays) Red Tacos had become a formidable player on the local food truck scene. This week, the newcomer officially beat out 31 other local taco shops to become the winner of Denver’s 2022 March Madness bracket. Kiké won its final round against veteran local pro Tacos Selene, with 71% of your votes.

Connected: Denver’s Best Tacos: Announcing the Winner of Our 2022 March Madness Taco Bracket

“It’s nothing as expected to be completely honest,” Cesar Silva Gonzalez said before the final last week. He grew up in Denver at some of the famous Mexican restaurants that his family’s own startup competed for the title of best Denver tacos.

22-year-old Silva Gonzalez helped her parents Enrique Silva Figueroa and Olivia Gonzalez launch Kike’s Red Tacos in late 2020. He called it Kaik, the common nickname for Enrique, which has been passed down in the family for generations. When he decided to open a business, he did so instead of buying a family home.

“As long as we live here (in Colorado), we’ve always rented (a house),” Silva Gonzalez said. “The goal was to buy a house with the money we had saved up at the time… but my dad and I wanted to start this business.”

Katherine Scott, Special for The Denver Post

Cesar Silva Gonzalez, with dad Enrique “Kayke” Silva, feeds a hungry lunch crowd from his taco truck, under the name of Tacos, in Denver, March 30.

It was also an idea for the 22-year-old’s parents to focus their menu on biriya, a dish that he and his three younger brothers enjoyed at home as a child.

Silva Gonzalez said, “The reason I gravitated to birria is it’s one of the best recipes my mom and dad made when I was growing up.” “I wanted to be the best at whatever we decided to do.”

At that time, the traditional homemade stew was beginning to take hold in restaurants and food trucks in the United States. Silva Gonzalez even told her parents about the tacos she was seen trending on social media.

“When we first started, there was no place I knew to do (here),” he said. “And I think a lot of people shy away from having biria just because of the process.”

While Silva Gonzalez said her parents are “super protective of her recipe,” she explained that it takes eight hours to cook at various heats, with about a dozen different spices adding flavor. Growing up, he used to eat stew with simple sides of rice and beans. But the food truck takes Birria’s slow-cooked domesticity to new, obsessed, street-food heights.

Take quesatacos, which begin by dipping corn tortillas in burrito dishes, or broth, before stuffing them just to add a crunch (and a bit of reddening); Then fortify the rich stewed meat with a generous layer of melted cheese; And chop all this with onion, cilantro and lemon juice.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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