Best Lunch Under $5 - 2011
La Villa Real
The two trucks that comprise the La Villa Real operation hold down two very different corners in Denver: one at Alameda and Raritan, the other at Fourth and Federal. But both attract a steady stream of regulars who shout their orders through a window over the noise of a sizzling grill, ordering tacos piled with spicy strips of carne asada or bits of grilled tripe or shredded beef, all drooling juice, all accompanied by fiery roasted chiles and sweet grilled onions, chunks of avocado and fresh cilantro. Or they might go for fat burritos, bursting with gooey beans and meat, drizzled with sour cream and salsa, the entire package wrapped tightly in foil for easy transport and consumption. But the specialty at La Villa Real is the gordita: a couple of flat corn rounds slightly thicker than tortillas sandwiching a filling of grilled meat, spicy peppers and white cheddar, the tidy package griddled until a golden-brown crust forms around the edges and the cheese oozes. Just about everything on the incredibly authentic menu is under $5 — which is why Villa Real has customers who stop by not just for the best lunch under $5, but the best dinner, too.