Alibi V.29 No.9 • Feb 27-March 4, 2020 

Restaurant Review

Danny Loves Choche

Don Choche brings authentic Mexican to Nob Hill

tacos
Feel free to dig down on tacos with no shame.
Eric Williams Photography
Here in the heart of New Mexico, good food is not hard to find. We are lucky in that sense. We manage to weed out the bad and leave only the good, very effectively allowing us to be surrounded by the best of the best. It allows the fostering of local restaurants to start to grow within the city to better heights than you could expect elsewhere. Places like Don Choche Tacos y Cerveza, for example.

Starting as a food truck, Don Choche found enough success in their first restaurant on Fourth Street so that they opened a new location in Nob Hill on Tulane Drive, next door to Tractor Brewing Co. We stopped by the grand opening to check out the space and see if the food was up to snuff, especially in a town that’s packed to the brim with good tacos. So did Don Choche meet the mark?

Let’s start with the new location itself. It has a redone interior that is minimalist and inviting. The food is the focus, so nothing is there to distract from that. Additionally, with an outdoor patio and spring coming up, it’s the perfect place to sit down for an after-work recovery session with some food and beer on a weekday. With a solid selection of beers and the always enjoyable glass-bottled Coke using real sugar, you can sit down and refresh the way you need.

As far as food goes, you’re definitely covered. Most everything on the menu can be had with the choice of 10 different meats. For example, the tacos ($3) are done like traditional street tacos. Topped with cilantro, onion and radish, you pick the meat and you’re set to go. I went with my personal favorite, carne adovada, which left the taco bursting at the seams from how filled it was, a good sign already. The fiery kick of the seasoned meat was enough to open my eyes with delight when it first ran across my tongue. It was almost melt-in-your-mouth tender, with an over-the-top level of seasoning that didn’t feel like too much but more just right. By any metric you could hold it to, the carne adovada is a straight-up winner.

How about the favorite standby, the quesadilla ($12)? You’re served four massive pieces, with cheese literally oozing out the sides. I went with the carnitas, because who doesn’t love pork in any fashion it can be served? Another slam dunk, with an absolutely tender consistency and a very juicy center. It was rich in flavor and paired with the total mess of cheese it had in it, there was little reason not to be absolutely ravenous in its consumption. It barely lasted, being in front of me before the sadness of it being gone took over.

Perhaps you are more of a sandwich person and would prefer a torta ($11) that is packed full of meat, avocado, lettuce and tomato. You could do that one with chicken fajitas, giving it a unique quality of sizzling hot chicken and veggie mix coupled with the large bun holding it all together. Deliciously spicy, tender veggies and full of fresh cooked flavor and chicken that is literally falling apart, it’s a torta unlike any you’ve had before. Sure, you could put anything you want in there, but trust me. That chicken fajita combo just works. The avocado gives it a little extra oomph in the texture department to make it truly worthy of your attention.

Don’t be scared. Embrace the mess of joy.
Don’t be scared. Embrace the mess of joy.
Eric Williams Photography

What full meal would be complete without a couple desserts as finishers to the monster meal you will inevitably have? Desserts are $3, and they have a rotating assortment of freshly made ones worthy of your eager mouth. For example, there’s the favorite of literally everyone, the sopapilla. Served fresh and hot, the dessert version is coated in cinnamon and sugar and comes with an (almost) overly generous side of honey. The super-sweet fried concoction is the perfect cap to a meal, no matter how you try to cut it. It’s absolutely worth the $3 and the inevitably sticky fingers. Beard owners beware.

What about a freshly made brownie topped with a number of different toppings, like fresh oozy caramel or white chocolate shavings? This all-fudge brownie is super moist, very rich and just simplistic in the way it can bring a smile to your face. It’s straightforward and delicious, the way a brownie should be.

Don Choche has brought their style to Nob Hill in a location brimming with restaurants. The good news is they’ve found a niche that allows them to stand uniquely above others with their immense servings and incredibly affordable pricing structure. As Nob Hill continues to grow and change, there is no doubt a place there for Don Choche Tacos y Cervesas to continue being a part of that growth. You owe it to yourself to get in there now, before it becomes the next go-to spot that has you waiting outside for a chance to sneak in for a bite.

View in Alibi Chowtown Chowtown


114 Tulane Dr. SE
505-730-7989
https://www.loc8nearme.com/new-mexico/albuquerque/114-tulane-dr-se/5609514/

Hours: Tues-Sat: 9am-8pm Sun: 9:30am-6pm
Vibe: Authentic Mexican food in the heart of Nob Hill
Alibi Recommends: Anything with the carne adovada