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The standout was the mole negro. Duck breast so succulent and salty it almost tasted like confit swam in a stew of rich chocolate- and cinnamon-imbued mole, augmented by sliced caramelized plantains and earthy figs. It was immensely indulgent, as tantalizingly naughty as El Diablo itself. I wanted to lick the plate. Instead, I studied the massive list of mezcals to find a suitably smoky nightcap.

A few nights later I returned, grabbing a table on the patio as well as a Negra Modelo and more queso. This time I went with the cochinita pibil in entree form. The massive hunk of pork shoulder had been coated in that same achiote sauce, wrapped in a banana leaf and cooked slowly for 24 hours. Cooked a little too long, actually. For the entree, the pickled beans had been replaced with pickled onions, and there weren't enough of them to cut the sauce's intense sweetness. But sweetness worked for the churros that I'd ordered for dessert: The fried dough had been rolled in plenty of cinnamon and sugar, drizzled with chocolate and garnished with vanilla-infused whipped cream.

Full and happy, I paid my check quickly before the bar could lure me in for another drink. Because despite any problems I encounter with the food, El Diablo always lures me back.

Chef Sean Yontz and his steak Tampiqueña at El Diablo. Slide Show: El Diablo photo tour
mark manger
Chef Sean Yontz and his steak Tampiqueña at El Diablo. Slide Show: El Diablo photo tour

Location Info

Map

El Diablo

101 Broadway
Denver, CO 80203

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: Central Denver

Details

El Diablo
Chips and salsa $2
Cazuela de queso fundido $6.95
Tacos (3) $6.95 to $7.95
Tampiqueña $14.95
Molcajete $12.95
Mole negro $14.95
101 Broadway
303-954-0324
Hours: 7 a.m.-4 a.m. daily

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More About

The devil here really is in the details.

Slide Show: El Diablo photo tour

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16 comments
dakjalja
dakjalja

I just paíd $20.87 for an íPad 2.64GB and my boyfriend loves his Panasoníc Lumíx GF 1 Cámera that we got for $38.79 there arriving tomorrow by UP S.I will never pay such expensive retail príces in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LCD T V to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy. Here is the website we use to get it all from : BidsBit.com

juliaal
juliaal

I just paíd $20.87 for an íPad 2.64GB and my boyfriend loves his Panasoníc Lumíx GF 1 Cámera that we got for $38.79 there arriving tomorrow by UP S.I will never pay such expensive retail príces in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LCD T V to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy.Here is the website we use to get it all from : http://BidsBit.com

juliaal
juliaal

I just paíd $20.87 for an íPad 2.64GB and my boyfriend loves his Panasoníc Lumíx GF 1 Cámera that we got for $38.79 there arriving tomorrow by UP S.I will never pay such expensive retail príces in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LCD T V to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy.Here is the website we use to get it all from : http://BidsBit.com

Realdiablo
Realdiablo

Sean Yontz is a douche bag. How many restaurants can this guy lose, or get kicked out of?

Yvonne
Yvonne

Shunk is an excellent writer and "Taco Kisses" come with bad breath.

Dfradon2
Dfradon2

NO SHE IS NOT. An alright writer, maybe. Excellent writers get publicity outside of their city. This will never happen to Laura.

dan5280
dan5280

I think this review is spot on. The food, especially the tacos are dry and underwhelming, but there is a few bright spot: for me it is the Pozole, filled with a tasty broth, hominy and well-seasoned pork bits (although down the road at El Tejado it's even better with shredded pork shoulder). Their food all comes with a superfluous and unappetizing drizzle of creme as well, which makes sense when you realize that this restaurant is all about the flare (image) and not about the sizzle (flavor).

That's fine for now, however. It really is a good place to grab a drink and chips, since until Argyll opens in this neighborhood there are very limited choices outside of the dive bars. Hornet is very decent but a bit tired (or I'm tired of going there), and Delite/Deluxe doesn't open until 4, and even then it's hard to get a seat.

At Diablo they offer a cheap can of Tecate (although Modelo would be better) and often have good and very hard to find tequilas on special (Maestro Dobel, Oro Azul to name a couple). The chips and salsa is very good, and sometimes that's all I need.

But if it's the meal I'm going after, that's not the place. El Taco de Mexico has killer tacos and burritos, and if I want something a bit fancier in that category, well, Southwest is running a $9 special to Albuquerque, and from there it's only an hour to Pasqual's.

dan5280
dan5280

Make that "one" bright spot.....

Joey B
Joey B

Haters hate all you want; I love this place and think it's a terrific value, especially the house specials like the Puerco Pibil which is a ridiculous amount (2 meals worth) of fantastic pork for like 15 bucks. Service is spot on, friendly and conversational (especially about their mescal selections) even when busy and I love the vibe. We're there constantly. Keep it up guys.

dan5280
dan5280

Yeah Joey, I though it's worth seconding that their service and staff are excellent...it's a smooth operation and almost everything about it is really great (vibe, decor, drinks, chips, etc), which is why I still go. I disagree with you on the food however. I don't care if it comes with an entire pig, the meats are just flat-out dry every time I've tried. That's the reason I'm pretty much a happy hour drinks and chips customer.

Taco Kisses
Taco Kisses

Skunk is just a terrible writer. She should have just said, 'the food sucks, but I had a great time."

Greg1701
Greg1701

That review is a bit confusing... normally on Team Laura but on this one the commenters have a good point.. but if a Mexican restaurant makes shitty tacos, I'll be going elsewhere no matter how good the drinks are...

Guest
Guest

If the devil is in the details, El Diablo had all those just right. EXCEPT

1. less enthusiastic about the first dishes.2. Dry meats3. Under saeasoned4. Sickly Sweet5. Less than ideal6.Overpoweringly fishy7. Too dry (two more times)8. Reminiscent of soy sauce

Each one of these DETAILS is a seperate complaint by Ms. ShunkIt is now obvious just how much of a scenster she is. As well as a hack. Maybe she should stop drinking during these restaurant visits where food should be the center of attention.Laura I don't care that you drank a negro modelo at a Mexican restaurant, save that shit for Facebook. Taco Bell tastes good when drinking for fuck's sake. I was pleasently surprised there was no mention of the mass exodous from TAG tough, thank you for no longer beating that dead horse.

Rouxarts
Rouxarts

I will not patronize El Diablo. There is a lawsuit filed against them for discriminating against people with disabilities. They remodeled their restaurant in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and refused to correct this, instead, choosing to hire high priced lawyers to defend them. Not only is it a federal law to construct fully accessible venues, but it speaks to the character of the owner who chooses to discriminate, rather than simply fix the situation to accomodate with fair and legal access. His "scene" doesn't include people with disabilities apparently.

Jessehall
Jessehall

I don't understand how places like this do well. Maybe it is the hipster scum and neophyte foodies who keep the cash registers going. You can drive 5 minutes up to federal and get food ten times as good for less than half the price. It blows my mind.

Uncledave8
Uncledave8

Sorry, I live in the 'hood and have been here many times and want them to be successful. I think that, despite truly mediocre, overpriced food and margaritas, they are indeed succeeding because of the "scene". Says a lot about where we set the bar in Denver. If you want to see and be seen - this is the place for you. If you want good Mexican food and margaritas at a reasonable price, you can do so much better.

 
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