Get Grilled Tacos From Denver Food Truck Taco Bliss | Westword

Food Trucks

This Food Truck Serves Blissfully Good Grilled Tacos

After pandemic-related challenges forced her family's restaurant to close, Judy Espinoza decided to keep her parents' dream alive by launching a mobile food business.
Three large-style grilled tacos with melted cheese.
Three large-style grilled tacos with melted cheese. Chris Byard
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"The life path that got me here, well, basically, it's a family business," says Judy Espinoza, co-owner of the Taco Bliss food truck. "I was originally in health care, so entering the food industry was completely out of my life, it was so different."

Espinoza was born in Juárez, Mexico, and raised in Denver. Her father works in the commercial HVAC industry and installs a lot of systems in local restaurants. "He's always been involved in the industry, and I think he just wants a family business that we can run on our own once he retires," she says.

At one point, "my parents had the idea to open a family restaurant [in Springs, New Mexico], and I stuck with them," she explains. She originally went there just to support them, but she ultimately became the manager of Pancho's Mexican Restaurant. "I ended up just running the whole restaurant for them," she recalls. "I was with my boyfriend, Santiago Ramirez, and we ran the restaurant. I learned so much about the food industry, and I learned what it takes to run a small business."

But the timing of Espinoza's first family restaurant venture could not have been worse. "We opened in 2019, and two months later, COVID hit," she says. "We stuck with it for like a year and a half and tried to get through it, but it was tough. So we decided to close it up. It was a big restaurant, super cute, and I loved it. It would have been a hit. COVID just ruined everything."
click to enlarge a food truck
Judy Espinoza and her boyfriend, Santiago Ramirez, launched Taco Bliss in October 2022.
Chris Byard
After shuttering Pancho's in February 2021, Espinoza and Ramirez decided to return to Denver. Shortly after, her father, Francisco, had another idea: start a food truck. "I'm not one to say no to my parents," Espinoza says. "I love them. So I just say, let's do it. And that's what I've been doing. I've just been running with the truck."

To get the business going, her father helped her find a truck that was for sale. "It's not the newest truck, but I love it," Espinoza says. "It's my little ride-or-die, and it takes us everywhere. It's a good starter one."

The next step was landing on a name. "It was just a lot of back and forth. I had a few picked out, and then I asked my friends and family, 'What do you guys think of this one? What do you think of this?' I needed to know what appeals to people. I wanted it to sound fresh. I wanted a range of people to be like, 'Hey, this sounds awesome,'" Espinoza says.

On October 28, 2022, Espinoza and Ramirez officially launched Taco Bliss. While she primarily handles all of the business aspects of the truck, Ramirez is in charge of the cooking. "He was one of the cooks at Pancho's, and he jumped on board with the idea from the beginning. ... He's just such a good guy. It's a team effort, but he's the one that adds that special touch to everything," Espinoza says.
click to enlarge tacos with slices of lime and a cup of salsa
Al Pastor and asada street-style tacos.
Chris Byard
As the Taco Bliss team approaches their first full year of business, they are well on their way to developing a base of local followers, thanks in large part to their popular grilled tacos. "People don't know that much about them," Espinoza notes. "But once they try them, they are amazed. We serve traditional street-style tacos, but the grilled ones are larger and finished on the grill. The meat and cheese melt together, and the sides of the tortilla are crispy, and then we top it off with lettuce and pico. It's so good, so amazing."

For both the street-style and grilled tacos, guests have a variety of options to choose from, including chicken, carne asada, al pastor, calabacitas (squash) or shrimp. In addition to the tacos, the team offers asada fries, quesadillas and churros.

Espinoza and Ramirez hope to open a restaurant one day, but they're happy to focus on the food truck for now. To find Taco Bliss, follow it on Instagram @tacobliss_ or find it on the Truckster app
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