In A Federal Case, I'll be eating my way up Federal Boulevard -- south to north -- within Denver city limits. I'll be skipping the national chains and per-scoop Chinese joints, but otherwise I'll report from every vinyl booth, walk-up window and bar stool where food is served. Here's the report on this week's stop...
|Always look on the bright side...|
If I were a city planner, I would put a taqueria on virtually every block of each major thoroughfare. Neighbors would come together, traffic would decrease, pedestrians and cyclists would set forth in waves at the merest hint of sunny skies and the beckoning aroma of sizzling pork. Everyone loves tacos and their accompanying menu items: tortas, sopes, enchiladas, burritos; a new era of civic harmony would come to fruition in the warm and comforting embrace of the corn tortilla. Harsh reality sets in, though, even in the most carefully planned visions. People use roads to get to those inconvenient things called jobs so they can make money to buy more tacos. Criminals lead cop cars on high-speed chases through neighborhoods where folks would otherwise be out and about in carefree fashion. Time, or the lack of it, bungles even the most important of quests for the simplest goal of good food within easy walking distance. And so the lanes become clogged, distances become increasingly filled with hazards and distractions, and forays to even the closest taco stand become perilous outings. A place like La Norteña, located in the northern neighborhood of Sunnyside, becomes for southern Denver residents like me only a blur in the side window, glanced at quickly and briefly yearned for before the honks and squeals of angry drivers snap my attention back to the task at hand: getting somewhere else.
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