Pica’s Mexican Taqueria got great review and has gringo appeal
I pay attention when a restaurant writer with the last name of Alvarez writes about “a new king of ‘fast-fresh Mexican,’ and lucky for us, its newest location is right here in Boulder. Tucked way out into the hinterlands of Arapahoe, the brand new Pica’s Mexican Taqueria tops them all with effortless authenticity and bold, playful flavors that can go toe-to-toe with any fancier sit-down Mexican joint in the city and win. Best of all, you’ll have a hard time exhausting a ten-spot on dinner — unless you go gonzo on margaritas.” And that’s how Ted Alvarez, the Daily Camera’s dining critic, started his review.
I have no idea whether Alvarez’s forefathers came to what is now the U.S. Southwest long before the American Revolution, whether they crossed the Rio Grande more recently, or whether they were from Cuba, Puerto Rico or some other Spanish land. His surname gave credibility his review, but when I looked into Pica’s history, it turns out that the “authenticity” came from Wyoming (locations in Jackson and Wilson) and migrated south. Trent Davol, the Boulder location’s owner, worked in Wyoming and brought the concept to East Boulder. It’s cheerful and clean and very pleasant with am ambiance that is more “American fast casual” than “taqueria,” no matter what the sign on the door claims.
Ted Alvarez was not alone in praising Pica’s for its tasty fresh food and moderate prices.The restaurant is bright and cheerful, but after we ordered and paid at the counter, we headed out for the spacious patio. Families are welcomed with such thoughtful extras as a container of sidewalk chalk that kids (and their parents) can use to draw hopscotch or create art on the concrete. The large umbrellaed tables are a nice distance from each other, so that conversations are separated by space. Only the incessant noise from an air conditioner kept it from being idyllic.
The food, when it was delivered, turned out to be good but not as drop-dead great as I’d been led to expec by the reviewt. The excessively salty guacamole came in a fake plastic molcajete with a basket of crisp tortilla chips for dipping.