Review: Naughty Chili

This is our third cross-country road trip from Los Angeles to Michigan in the past four years. Of course, I’m always on the lookout for tacos when driving by gas stations. Fortunately, I found one today while we were driving to True Food Kitchen in Denver for dinner. Knowing some tacos awaited after I had dinner, I opted for a smaller dish while eating with the family. After we finished, we headed back to the freeway and I looked for 40th Street and the Phillips 66 before we jumped back on I-70.


I fueled the car and went into the gas station mart looking for the Naughty Chile Taqueria. It was next to a Subway sandwich counter and I figured this was going to be a disappointing stop and maybe I should’ve had more for dinner. I adventured on placing my order with the same woman who was working the Subway register. I could tell she wasn’t very happy with my order – three tacos all with different meats. I’m guessing she is used to someone just getting a combo and one meat for the two tacos it comes with, but I wanted to try a few options. This is a review. One meat wasn’t going to do.


There were several small plastic food service containers with labels saying what each had inside. The woman grabbed a six taco shells, thankfully two per taco I ordered, and asked what I wanted on them. I went with the barbacoa, picadillo and pork. There’s nothing too adventurous here which is probably a good thing.


She filled each taco with a decent amount of meat on each and then asked if I wanted queso or hot sauce. I went with the hot sauce. “Any cheese?” she asked. I felt pain inside with the question, said no and asked if she had cilantro and onions. “I have onions.” I had some onions, no cilantro.

The tacos were better than I expected. Not great, but I was expecting it to taste gross. The hot sauce was very thick, but at least had some kick to it. More surprising is the barbacoa and picadillo were flavorful. The barbacoa was the better of the two since it had a complex flavor that went well with the hot sauce. The pork, some attempt at carnitas, was less so and was mushy with no flavor.


Unfortunately, the tortillas were so disappointing that the place could’ve been 3 stars instead of 2 stars if it wasn’t for the fact that they were store bought tortillas straight from the bag, no heating up, no oil and hence lifeless flappy tasteless circles. Too bad because if they had been at least heated up with a little oil this place could be so much better and worth the stop.

After a few bites, I was ready to get back on the road as we still had over three hours left to drive before we reached Grand Junction for the night.

If there’s another road trip next year, I’ll have more to eat at True Food Kitchen and skip the Naughty Chili.

Gas Station: Conoco Phillips 66

Address: 4001 Colorado Blvd. Denver, CO

Rating (2 out of 5):


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Categories: Miscellaneous

Author:Chris Baccus

Accomplished marketer, home cook and aspirational bass player.


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