Pica's Taqueria

by Andrew Woodman on March 14, 2011

5360 Arapahoe Avenue
Boulder, Colorado 80303
Pica’s menu/info

As I twisted and turned my way past a drive-thru line that was predominated by Wendy’s seekers, I finally parked and went into Pica’s. It was then that a decorated light switch cover ended my search for Boulder’s finest Mexican food.

The panel is decked out with images from a Mexican card game, Lotería, which has rules akin to Bingo and just so happens to be the name of my all time favorite Mexican food restaurant, Lotería Grill in Los Angeles, CA.

Pica’s is brightly painted with an assortment of colors, and even though it has a modern atmosphere it still has an antique wooden feel. This is the type of place where you have to get your own silverware, and are responsible for bussing your own dishes. I wasn’t sure about this at first, but after awkwardly sitting behind my empty plate wondering what to do, I quickly watched and learned from more experienced Pica’s guests. The custom made me feel included in the taqueria’s community, which by the way is made up of some very friendly employees who provide the hospitality necessary to make a small Mexican joint feel perfect.

Another thing that solidified Pica’s awesomeness in my mind was their vast selection of Jarritos sodas [$1.89]. I love them, and as pictured above I got the guava one. They also had the cane-sugared Mexican Coca-Cola (the best kind), all kinds of IZZE, and for the 21+ crowd they have more than enough to select from in terms of Mexican beers. As any good Boulder restaurant does, Pica’s also carry some great local brews, including Avery & Oskar Blues.

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The food sealed the deal. It was obvious that this little taqueria knew its food just from peeking at the menu. My namesake theory held true when I asked the lady behind the counter what I should get, and she instantly recommended the Tacos Al Pastor [$7.95]. Tacos from a taqueria? It just makes sense…I haven’t had anything else from Pica’s to compare this to, but as I bit into the juicy achiote marinated pork that was roasted with pineapples and onions, I had that feeling that I sometimes get at restaurants that goes something like this: “I shall never order anything that is not this dish.” I will break this plan in (confident) hopes to have the same mental declaration about the next dish I have. The tacos had a little crunch to them, which I think I should be thanking the mysteriously flavorful achiote for. Also, the flashy green medley that topped off the tacos is cilantro + tomatillo + avocado salsa, which was they key to my Mexican-food-loving heart. Another also…Pica’s had wonderful black beans, one of my the defining characteristics of any Mexican food, in my opinion.

Although my tacos were too perfect to ruin with any hot sauce, I know that some people (like my roommate Will) must use hot sauce on everything. Nothing is spicy enough for these types of people, and they all have very specific preferences about the types of hot sauce they use. Pica’s knows this fact, and has prepared by having myriads of hot sauces available at your fingertips. Just look at this beautiful collection:

Without a doubt I’ll go back to Pica’s, and would recommend it to anyone as the best Mexican food in Boulder. Until I go back I’ll follow what they have to say on Twitter, keeping my eyes open for any deals to pounce on from this Boulder gem. Now that I’ve praised this place, I must admit that their name reminds me of that one Pokémon, Pikachu.

I’m so glad you loved Pica’s! Trent is a graduate of Culinary School of the Rockies. We’d love to have you guys in to take a cooking class at the school. If you are interested, email me and we’ll get you all set up. Really enjoyed reading your blog!


by Sarah on March 17, 2011 at 8:37 am. #

How could I not love Pica’s?! It’s so good, and that obviously speaks for the fact that Culinary School of the Rockies does a fantastic job. Thanks for the info and we’ll keep in touch, especially since I’m definitely interested in improving my own skills in the kitchen.

Also, thanks for reading!

by Andrew Woodman on March 17, 2011 at 8:58 am. #

Caleb once ate a whole box of Walker’s Shortbread cookies, box, ppawrer, and contents. We call him butter boy. The first time we tried to let him be cage free, he ate a baseboard around an electrical socket. The second time he ate the entire fluffy contents of a dog bed. The third time he ate the corner off our coffee table, and he looked extremely thirsty. He lives in his cage a lot these days.Aengus has eaten my earbuds three times, and he has a hair scrunchie fetish. He eats so much of his own hair that he poops hairballs. Really. You’d think it would help with the drifts of dog hair in the house, but no. Chicken poop, fresh or dried, is a delicacy to him.But the best of all is Jodie. At 7 years of age and a slight 34 pounds when she’s feeling chubby, this little neurotic wonder has been known to pack away an entire loaf of freshly baked Irish brown bread, every ex dairy container from the recycling, numerous butter stick ppawrers from the garbage (what is it with butter around here?), and drum roll, please . THREE PERFECTLY GRILLED CHICKEN BREASTS IN ONE SITTING. Yeah, I’m still bitter about that last one. And I cannot count the number of times I’ve had to pull chicken bones from inside her slimy mouth on walkies. What is it about people leaving chicken bones on the sidewalk anyway?

by Paul on March 27, 2012 at 7:51 pm. #