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El Taco de Mexico was recognized because of its famous green chile recipe

Posted at 6:10 PM, Feb 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-19 20:22:38-05

DENVER — People who love Mexican food probably already know about El Taco de Mexico.

It's bright yellow building is hard to miss when driving down Santa Fe, but the food is even more difficult to resist.

The Denver restaurant on Tuesday received a 2020 America's Classics Award from the James Beard Foundation.

Owner, Sasha Zanabria, says her mother opened the taqueria in the 80s and has been serving a variety of plates ever since.

"My mom's spirit is here, any family memory I have is here, so this is really family," Zanabria said.

It is their family recipes, like their burrito smothered in green chile, that led the James Beard Foundation to honor them as an American Classic.

Zanabria says she owes all the success to her mom.

"I would love to take some credit for it, but really the majority of the credit would be my mom," she said. "There are so many people in the industry that don't get recognized and the fact that she was able to get recognized for a taqueria because I don't even consider us a restaurant -- we're more of a taqueria. I'm ridiculously proud."

This is the first time the James Beard Foundation has awarded any locally-owned restaurant in Colorado.