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El Borracho

You're gonna have to slip into those stretchy pants to triumph over the taco selection

Just a few of the wide variety of Tacos available at El Borracho. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

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ANNOUNCER: Yet another Seattle success has branched out to the Tacoma area. In this case -- the easy-going Mexican cantina El Borracho, located on 6th Ave. in the North End. Jackie and Dutch jumped at the chance to leave the kids behind and grab some tequila and bites at an adult-only spot.

JACKIE: I nearly proclaimed, "FREEDOM!" as soon as I walked through the doors. El Borracho has a chill vibe. You're greeted with a casual, open dining area and a spacious rail facing shelves lined with an abundant tequila selection and two big-screen televisions. If you use the restrooms, you'll spy further support of the 21 and up theme with risqué posters on display.

DUTCH: With a load of tequila options, one can expect an equally creative selection of margaritas, and you will not be disappointed. From the El Cheapo Margarita offered at just $4 to other unique drinks like the jalapeno pineapple, hibiscus or even a habanero option if you are brave enough. I wasn't feeling that adventurous and opted for the house margarita, which is made from scratch. I was also surprised to discover a really amazing Old Fashioned here with Buffalo Trace bourbon, bitters and cherry liqueur. The bartenders here know their stuff!

JACKIE: Plus, move over Corona! El Borracho has all of your favorite Mexican beers. Negra Modelo on tap? Yes, please. Is that a self-serve mini fridge of salsa options I spy? This joint is an establishment after my own heart.

DUTCH: Let's talk tacos. With so many options for both the carnivores and vegans, there is something for everyone here. And with happy hour prices between $1.10 and $2.10, you can load your plate high. I went with a taco trio of the Al Pastor with marinated pork and pineapple, Cochinitas Pibil with orange pork and pickled onions, and finally the Chorizo con Papas with chorizo sausage and gold potatoes. This made for a good selection of sweet, spicy and smoky to go along with a plate of beans and green rice for just $3.10 more.

JACKIE: There are so many options, I don't dare recommend just one. Plus, all taco options are available as burritos, too. I also opted for a taco smorgasbord. My plate was loaded with the Tinga de Conejo stuffed with shredded rabbit in a chipotle tomato stew, queso fresco, onion and cilantro. A Borrego taco featuring spice-rubbed braised lamb, salsa de chile frito, onion and cilantro. And a classic option with the Tinga de Pollo featuring the less adventurous but still damn tasty shredded chicken dripping with chipotle sauce, and then I rounded it all out with a Camarones peppered with maggi seasoning, sauce-spiked shrimp, El Borracho fish sauce and fresh cabbage pico de gallo. Each taco I tried paid special attention to playful flavor profile matrimonies and an oft neglected character, texture.

DUTCH: I really need to branch out beyond the tacos and drinks here if the rest of the offerings are as creative and flavorful! Next time.

JACKIE: Guilty here, too. I think my new life mission will be to conquer the remainder of the taco options, before moving on to sample the rest.

El Borracho Tacoma, 11-2 a.m. daily, kitchen open until 1 a.m. daily, 2717 6th Ave., Tacoma, 253.314.5286, elborracho.com

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