Thursday, March 15, 2012


I was able to spend a week in the Denver area. It was great for me because I miss the Rockies and I got to see my auntie and some great friends. I took it upon myself to plan most dinners for myself and my coworkers. But this evening was more meaningful for me because I took them to a place that part of my culture. I had never been to Tocabe but as a Native, it is somewhere that I wanted to visit as soon as I got back to the Denver area.

Native American/Indian cuisine has never really had a moment to shine in culinary settings outside of our homes or a Pow Wow or a state fair (in the western part of the US).  So needless to say that I was proud and pleased that Tocabe exists. The concept is Chipotle-like in setup and execution. You order at the counter, you proceed down the line choosing between stuffing your fry bread or using it for an Indian Taco. 

It was great to be able to stand in line with my coworkers and help guide them through what was in front of them. My recommendation is always shredded Bison if I see it on a menu (and THANK YOU for calling it Bison and not Buffalo).

For those of you unfamiliar to the wonders of fry bread, let me give you some info. Tocabe's flash-fry theirs in trans-fat-free oil. What the tortilla is to Mexican food or nann is to Middle Eastern food, fry bread is to Native American food. It can be served with savory foods like char-grilled chicken, bison, and chili. Or it can be served sweet with a wojapi (a syrup/pudding of fresh berries) or dusted with powdered sugar and honey.

I have never had stuffed fry bread, similar to a calzone, but the one my coworker ordered was pretty tasty. Stuffed with shredded bison, chili beans, and cheese.


I ordered the Bison ribs as I have only heard amazing things about them. The lived up to the hype. They were tender and the blueberry sauce on the side was a perfect compliment. I also got to enjoy a side of the Osage-recipe hominy-based chili. It reminded of the posole from my family.

Over this dinner I got to catch up with a few old friends that I hadn't seen in the last few years because work took us in different directions. I also got to talk with a new friend. It was great to talk to them about growing up Indian and what it means to me to be able to share a meal with someone, none the less the importance of sharing an Indian meal with them. Fry bread is like crack, like heroin and when it is dusted with powdered sugar and yummy honey...I was more than happy to get more people hooked on it.

Go to Tocabe. Eat. Enjoy. And come to understand what it means when we say "My heroes all made fry bread"

TOCABE - An American Indian Eatery on Urbanspoon

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