Mexican Food and Cooking

  • Blogs

    November 19, 2014

    Reader: You Must Not Have Taste Buds If You Think Casa Bonita's Food Is Okay

    Casa Bonita is a local landmark that celebrated its fortieth birthday this year. It's a quasi-Mexican village inside a suburban strip mall, and if you grew up in Denver, you definitely celebrated one (or more) of your own birthdays here. To mark the start of the restaurant's fifth decade, we sent Ca ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 8, 2014

    100 Favorite Dishes: Venezuelan Tostadas at Empanada Express Grill

    No. 70 Venezuelan Tostadas at Empanada Express Grill 4301 West 44th Avenue 303-955-8362 We're fans of the namesake Venezuelan savory pastries from Empanada Express Grill; we also have a soft spot in our hearts for the mouthwatering arepas made with griddle-crisped corn flour. But it's a hybrid dish, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 22, 2014

    100 Favorite Dishes: Tacos Campechanos from La Calle Taqueria

    No. 91 Tacos Campechanos at La Calle Taqueria 1565 West Alameda Avenue 720-583-6586 Alameda Avenue between Federal and I-25 is a kind of miniature Federal Boulevard all on its own; you'll find Chinese dim sum houses, Vietnamese sandwich shops, Cajun-Asian crayfish dens and, of course, no shortage ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 17, 2014

    Guess where I'm eating queso fundido?

    It sounded good on paper, but the queso fundido at this highbrow Mexican restaurant was a bit like eating rubber bands. But while you can stretch a rubber band only so far, this queso fundido would have stretched all the way to the ceiling and back had we played that game. Can you guess where I'm e ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 15, 2014

    Guess where I'm eating carne adobada that wasn't worth eating?

    The above photo is from a Mexican restaurant that does a bang-up lunch business, but I can't imagine it's because of the carne adobada...or the queso...or the enchilada...or the chile relleno, because we tried all of those dishes, only to push them to the end of the table, pay our tab and enjoy a mu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 14, 2014

    Reader: If you want real Mexican food, go to Federal or Colfax

    On Monday, we shared the sentiments of a reader who can't find good Mexican food on South Broadway. Since then, other readers have been offering their own thoughts -- not just on spots to try (or avoid), but also of attitudes toward Mexican food in general. See also: Are there any decent Mexican re ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 7, 2014

    Reader: You can't open TexMex in Colorado...

    There's no shortage of Mexican restaurants in the Denver area -- and especially not in Aurora, where storefront taquerias and seafood spots seem to pop up every day on East Colfax Avenue and South Havana. But does Denver have enough TexMex restaurants? Not according to fans of Rusty Taco, a Texas-ba ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 25, 2014

    Happy 40th birthday, Casa Bonita: We love you so much we could puke

    South Park exposed our secret. After an episode aptly titled "Casa Bonita" aired in 2003, the existence of Casa Bonita became known to the world outside of Colorado. Up until that point, Casa Bonita was mostly a regional gem. If you grew up in Colorado, chances are you celebrated at least one birt ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 11, 2013

    Family is just the other guy at the bar at Los Agaves Mexican Restaurant

    In A Federal Case, I'll be eating my way up Federal Boulevard - south to north - within Denver city limits. I'll be skipping the national chains and per-scoop Chinese joints, but otherwise I'll report from every vinyl booth, walk-up window and bar stool where food is served. Here's the report on thi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 9, 2013

    Get your dive certification at Puerto Vallarta Mexican Restaurant

    In A Federal Case, I'll be eating my way up Federal Boulevard - south to north - within Denver city limits. I'll be skipping the national chains and per-scoop Chinese joints, but otherwise I'll report from every vinyl booth, walk-up window and bar stool where food is served. Here's the report on thi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 12, 2013

    La Sandia launches a "Latin Light" menu

    Last month, when I interviewed La Sandia chef Sergio Romo for my weekly chef and tell interview, he didn't mince words when I prodded him about what defines Mexican cuisine: "People think of Mexican food as heavy and laden with calories, but that's the Americanized version. Real Mexican food uses lo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 9, 2013

    Agave Taco Bar will take the place of The Local in Washington Park

    For years -- YEARS! -- I've prayed to the Mexican food gods that someone in my Wash Park 'hood would open a taqueria, or at least a taco joint, saving me from hiking to Federal Boulevard when I want my al pastor fix. And, now, it looks like I'm finally going to get my wish. See also: - Best Taqu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 7, 2013

    Photos: Pinche Taqueria Highland rolls out new salsas and tacos

    What do Madhava honey, a vegan history lesson and "liquid fire" have in common? They can all be found on Pinche Taqueria's updated menu. On a slightly overcast Monday afternoon, Kevin Morrison, chef-owner of Pinche Taqueria, gathered his staff around the communal table at the new Highland locati ... More >>

  • News

    March 7, 2013
  • Blogs

    February 18, 2013

    Exclusive first look: Ay Caramba! opens in Cherry Creek

    Alex Gurevich, who owns Limón, a Latin American lounge in Uptown, as well as My other Bar on Seventh Avenue, wasn't in the market for a third restaurant, but after his ex-wife vacated Bisque last June, the Cherry Creek North space became available. And since Gurevich held the note to that space, h ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 12, 2012

    Ignacio Leon, exec chef of Paxia and Los Carboncitos, on the wild rabbit, helping the homeless and Mexican food

    Ignacio Leon Los Carboncitos 3757 Pecos Street 303-458-0880 Paxia 4001 Tejon Street 720-583-6860 This is part one of my interview with Ignacio Leon, exec chef of Paxia and Los Carboncitos; part two of our conversation will run tomorrow. Ignacio Leon has ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 14, 2012

    Kevin Morrison, exec chef-owner of Pinche Taqueria, on learning enough to move on

    Kevin Morrison Pinche Taqueria 1514 York Street 720-475-1337 This is part one of my interview with Kevin Morrison, exec chef-owner of Pinche Taqueria; part two of our conversation will run tomorrow. "Just shut the fuck up and give me the taco." That was the order Kevin Morrison re ... More >>

  • News

    June 7, 2012
  • Dining

    May 24, 2012
  • Blogs

    May 4, 2012

    Ten Mexican fast-food guilty pleasures

    Mexican fare from fast-food chains usually isn't authentic, healthy or even pretty, but it's irresistible. And we all indulge from time to time -- hitting the window at Taco Bell at 2 a.m. after a night of mainlining vodka gimlets; finding any excuse to grab a sunflower-seed-stuffed veggie burrito a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 17, 2012

    Joe's Buffet Mexican hamburger lives on at Taqueria Mexico

    It wasn't until Gustavo Arellano, our Ask a Mexican columnist, started researching the spread of Mexican food in this country -- or what passes as Mexican food in this country -- for his new book, Taco USA, that we realized Denver was not only home to a unique green chile, but was also the place wh ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 17, 2012

    Comida launches lunch and (hip-hop) brunch

    When Rayme Rossello first announced her plans to build Comida Cantina, a stationary extension of her mobile concept, in Longmont, she had big plans for brunch: "In my dreams, I'd love to do a 9 to 5 service that's old-style Mexican: long, leisurely, pork dinners and whole roasted chickens served fam ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 26, 2012

    Bistro One will close on Thursday and reopen as 3 Monkeys Cantina

    Alex Waters, the owner/chef of Bistro One, is taking a sabbatical, albeit a short one. "My kids and I are heading to the mountains today for a little break, and then it's back to work," says Waters, who will close Bistro One, his four-year-old restaurant, on Thursday and reopen it as 3 Monkeys Canti ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 3, 2012

    Denver's ten best nachos

    Whether our team makes it or not, Super Bowl weekend is always a wonderful time of year. Mostly because it's an excuse to daytime drink on a Sunday while we munch down truly impressive quantities of bar snacks, which vastly enhances our viewing pleasure. The festivities wouldn't be complete, either, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 19, 2011

    100 Favorite Dishes: Mixiote de borrego from El Trompito Taqueria

    Lori Midson​ No. 56: Mixiote de borrego from El Trompito Taqueria

  • Blogs

    July 13, 2011

    Applebee's is looking for the ultimate Colorado burger -- with Stinkin' Green

    The Applebee's Cowboy Burger​When the homegrown Smashburger decided to create a burger for Colorado, as it already had for Idaho (topped with potato chips) and Minnesota (topped with cheddar bar cheese and garlic-grilled onions), it came up with an iconic combo for the Colorado Smashburger, ad ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 19, 2011

    Machete will bring tacos and tequila to Cherry Creek

    Lori MidsonElway's Cherry Creek alum Jose Avila will be the exec chef of Machete​Dan Ohlson, the former owner of Chez Jose, the burrito joint in Cherry Creek that shuttered last December after a seventeen-year run, swore up and down that he'd never open another restaurant in Cherry Creek. Neve ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 9, 2010

    Jack-n-Grill's Jack Martinez on mariachi bands, why frog legs aren't his thing and common sense

    Lori Midson​ Jack Martinez Jack-n-Grill 2524 Federal Boulevard; 2630 West Belleview Avenue 303-964-9544; 303-474-4242 This is part two of Lori Midson's interview with Jack Martinez, owner/exec chef of Jack-n-Grill. To read part one of that Q&A, click here. Six words to d ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 2, 2010

    The Sprout House serves veggie-friendly mobile food

    ​With all the food trucks and carts revving up, it was only a matter of time before someone decided to cater exclusively to mobile vegetarians and vegans. That someone was Trevor Smith, who now parks the Sprout House downtown at the corner of 17th Avenue and Lincoln from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tues ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 23, 2010

    Mi Cocina v Mi Cocina

    ​If you can't stand the heat, get out of la cocina. Back in 1995, Saul Sierra was a nineteen-year-old high-school drop-out and dishwasher when he opened Mi Cocina Grille at 4935 West 29th Avenue with the help of his mother. Three years later, he sold that location (it's now LaCocinata) and o ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 21, 2010

    Chef Sean Yontz to lead Mexican culinary tour in Oaxaca

    Lori Midson ​After my fourth trip to Oaxaca, arguably Mexico's most vibrant food city, I'm still convinced that it's one of the most magical places on earth. The open-air markets, which seem infinite in scope and scale, are extraordinary, the people of colonial Oaxaca are some of the most int ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 1, 2010

    Guess where I'm eating?

    Lori Midson ​I love a good tamale, and at this Denver stalwart, the tamales, smothered in a piquant green chile, are just as good now as they were back when Westword bestowed them with a Best of Denver award. Can you guess whose tamales have withstood the test of time?

  • Calendar

    March 11, 2010
  • Blogs

    December 1, 2009

    Leobardo's Taco Shop adds another 24/7 option for night crawlers

    Lori Midson​And the 24/7 taco shop revolution continues! Right on the heels of Tacos Rapido, which recently opened at 2800 West Evans, comes Leobardo's Taco Shop, 825 South Federal, a kitschy roundish shack with a triangular roof that has eight inside stools, give or take, and a couple of al ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 27, 2009

    100 Favorite Dishes: Chile Relleno from La Fiesta

    The eggroll-style chile relleno smothered in green at La Fiesta​ As a countdown to the Best of Denver 2010, coming April 1, Cafe Society is serving up a hundred of our favorite dishes in Denver. Send your own nominations to Number 89: Chile Relleno from La Fiesta Forty ye ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 23, 2009

    Ask a Mexican asks for local Mexican restaurants

    Gustavo Arelleno, author of Ask a Mexican, is getting ready to travel around Estados Unidos to do research for his upcoming book on the history of Mexican food in the U.S.-- and he could use your help. He's looking for favorite Mexican restaurants, and is running a contest for the best suggestions. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 3, 2009

    Two new Mexican spots emerge in Aurora

    Lori MidsonI was in hot pursuit of a tow truck yesterday, which is neither here nor there, except that my chase landed me in Aurora, and whenever I'm in Aurora, I'm in taco country, and whenever I'm in taco country, I'm happier than a lizard lapping up flies. Today was no exception. In fact, it went ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 31, 2009

    Culinary memo to IACP conference-goers: Eat ethnic

    El Taco de MexicoBetween April 1 and 4, more than 700 professional foodniks -- writers, editors, columnists and critics, culinary directors, cookbook authors, food stylists, recipe developers, nutrition experts and food and restaurant PR flacks -- are expected to share in a little culinary cam ... More >>

  • Dining

    August 28, 2008
  • Blogs

    August 26, 2008

    Tacos Jalisco offers true southern comfort

    Denver does a lot of foods well. We do steaks and potatoes out of historic, autonomic reflex. We do burgers because a man can’t eat porterhouse every day and live long at it. We do sushi because we happened to be the settling place for a handful of sashimi savants, and Vietnamese food because we w ... More >>

  • Dining

    July 3, 2008

    El Noa Noa

    Order in the courtyard.

  • Food & Drink

    March 25, 2004
  • Food & Drink

    March 27, 2003

    Best Cheap Fish Taco

    Jalapeño Mexican Grill

  • Dining

    June 6, 2002

    A Taste of Freedom

    Salvadoran immigrants have a hunger for the good life.

  • Dining

    February 22, 2001

    Mouth by Southwest

    Julia Blackbird's is flying high.

  • Best of Denver

    June 29, 2000

    Best upscale tamales

    The Painted Bench

  • Dining

    June 15, 2000

    Say What?

    So far, La Fabula is too much talk and not enough action.

  • Dining

    January 6, 2000

    Seafood, Eat It

    Los Reyes brings an underappreciated taste of real Mexican cooking to Denver.

  • Dining

    July 11, 1996
  • News

    September 14, 1994



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