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The Bite

Margarita madness

"In my mind, who makes the best Bloody Mary? It's a bartender. A real margarita should be made how Tamayo made it, with fresh lime and fresh lemon."

And if you can't get that, settle for great, divey atmosphere.

Which we found at our very last stop of the night, the Satire Lounge (1920 East Colfax Avenue). Yes, this is the place where the Smothers Brothers once played, but it's also a longtime mainstay for people in search of good, hot, greasy Mexican fare. While the red walls and dark wood have been lightened and brightened until the Satire now has the feel of a true cantina -- especially in the dining room off the bar, where TVs were blaring the end of the Avs game -- time has stood still in other ways. The #7, for example, still brings you the tasty egg burrito/cheese enchilada/beef taco it did two decades ago, all smothered in green. And if Joey doesn't deliver it himself with a trademark "This plate is hot" admonition, he's still in residence -- literally, since he lives upstairs -- sitting at the end of the bar greeting customers.

The Satire is part of Pete Contos's ever-lengthening chain of eateries, and like his nearby Pete's Kitchen, it knows how to cater to hungry customers: The kitchen is open until 1:30 a.m. Forget the plate; this place is hot -- but we could do without the pineapple juice in the margarita mix.


Open-and-shut cases: The metro area recently gained a great deli with Deli Tech (8101 East Belleview Avenue), an eatery so admirable that it earned Best New Restaurant -- of any kind -- honors in the Best of Denver 2002. But good intentions alone weren't enough to sustain Jeff's Diner (731 Quebec Street). Earlier this spring, Jeff Auerbach closed the family-friendly, all-kosher diner that he'd opened only last year. Even though Auerbach's restaurant is closed, he's still keeping kosher: He owns Auerbach's Lyco Meat Co., a kosher meatpacking plant in Commerce City. The Squealing Pig(2700 East Third Avenue), an Irish pub, is packing people into the former home of Petra's. But don't look for Petra Barnesto move her Cajun/Creole party spot to Denver's City Park Golf Course -- even though Petra's answering machine still promises that Petra's on the Park will be moving into the clubhouse at 2500 York Street. Instead, when that $2.5 million clubhouse celebrates its grand opening on June 11, the restaurant inside will be Bogies, an "upscale sports bar and grill," according to city golf manager Tom Woodard.

Meanwhile, all systems are go for the long-anticipated opening of Adega Restaurant & Wine Bar (1700 Wynkoop), which has weathered a few delays of its own. On May 29, it will start serving in the former home of Señorita's Cantina and, before that, Sostanza. Maybe the third time will be a charm.

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