Ay Caramba! - Closed

2817 E. 3rd Ave.
Denver, CO 80206


  • $
  • Patio/Sidewalk Dining
  • Dinner, Lunch
  • No Alcohol
  • Parking Lot Available
Alex Gurevich, the owner of Limón, put together the concept for Ay Caramba! almost on a whim, when he wound up with an empty space in Cherry Creek in late 2012. On the advice of a friend, he decided to give the Mexican sandwiches known as tortas a try. With his background, the jump to chile-spiked, crema-slathered sandwiches wasn’t a large one – but it’s going to require another leap to make this into a go-to spot. Though updated, the boxy, two-story space lacks atmosphere; despite an upstairs bar, table service and family-friendly patio, it has a fast-casual feel. And the tortas could also rise another level or two. Although the ingredients are high-quality, scratch-made and thoughtfully prepared, the combinations are tame. Your best bet is to get one of the meatier versions, such as the cochinita pibil, which loads the puffy bolillo, the hoagie-like bread at the base of all the sandwiches, with pork marinated overnight in orange juice, achiote paste and cinnamon, then braised in banana leaves for another twelve hours until the meat picks up all that fruit and spice. Just as good is the barbacoa, with a thick layer of pulled beef, cilantro crema, shredded cabbage and avocado.

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