You know tacos are having a moment when everyone from The New Yorker to The Economist to the “Today” show is celebrating the Mexican staple.
Happy news for local taco fans, then, is the arrival of Uno Dos Tres Tacos & Tequila, which recently opened its doors at 123 (yes, the name is a nod to the address) South Oak Street.
That’s because their tacos taste delicious (according to diners polled on a sunny afternoon earlier this week), and the fillings run the gamut from old-school authentic to wildly creative.
Menu highlights at Uno Dos Tres include tacos filled with carne asada, birria and adobo grilled chicken, as well as more adventurous offerings like the Duck Carnitas and the Papas Bravas, a taco filled with a roasted root medley, sour orange slaw, salsa brava, a plant-based crema and chives.
Non-taco options range from tin-can nachos (vegan and non), quesadillas with a lively selection of fillings such as the Buffalo Chicken Chicharron ‘Dilla and the cheesesteak-influenced Fajita Philly Dilly, along with a house chop salad, a Caesar salad with a Mexican twist, and sides like green chili queso, chips and salsa and papas fritas.
Owner Kenny Rosen, aware that he was taking over the space previously occupied by Taco del Gnar, said he felt that the taco concept was sound and wondered if he could continue to serve them up, but in his own, fresh way.
“I have a good friend, a chef with a strong background in Mexican and Latin cuisine, and I told him ‘Here is a blank canvas that you can paint on’ and he came up with this incredible menu with taco and other menu items that are entirely our own.”
Rosen also points to a commitment that he and manager Jen Faust made early on to “using the freshest ingredients and keeping the quality high” while also “providing locals and visitors alike with a new affordable dining option.”
He added, “Places to eat that are family friendly and locals friendly are disappearing in this town and I knew I wanted to create an affordable option where people can hang out, spend time together — and eat well.”
In addition to a fresh and foodie-friendly menu, Uno Dos Tres serves a range of inventive cocktails, like the Local’s Marg, which is made fresh every day and available on tap in small and jumbo sizes. There’s also Mexican and Telluride Brewing Company beers, a range of tequilas, soft drinks, including Mexican Coca Cola, and more.
Before Uno Dos Tres opened its doors, the space was thoughtfully refreshed by Faust and Sarah Lewiecki, a local artist whose contribution includes a long, mosaic-topped table perfect for larger groups. The result is a bright, clean feel and a rejiggered layout that has allowed for more indoor and outdoor seating and good flow.
“We wanted to make this space our own with a fresh, new vibe,” Faust said. “We also wanted to maximize the seating and make it an easy, welcoming place to hang out, a real community space.”
Continuing on that theme of community, Uno Dos Tres also showcases the work of local artists on a rotating basis. Pieces by Lewiecki, Greg Deame, Rebekah Newman and Brooke Einbender, of Mindbender Art, currently hang in the space and are available for purchase, and Faust encourages other local artists to get in touch about showing their work at Uno Dos Tres.
As the conversation wound down, Faust was asked why she thinks tacos are so popular.
“Because they’re delicious, of course,” she replied with a smile.
Uno Dos Tres Tacos & Tequila is located at 123 South Oak Street.