North-American 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

    August 20, 2014

    Review: Mayan Manjar Yucateco Is a Knockout

    Mayan Manjar Yucateco 5209 West Mississippi Avenue, Lakewood 303-936-5562 The TV was on when I walked into

  • Blogs

    August 12, 2014

    100 Favorite Dishes: Chile Relleno Burrito at El Taco de Mexico

    No. 83 Chile Relleno Burrito at El Taco de Mexico 714 Santa Fe Drive 303-623-3926 The name of this tiny taco shack (little more than a lean-to, really) says everything it needs to: The taco of Mexico. A taco hunter seeking the best in town certainly couldn't go wrong here, but sometimes more than d ... 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 25, 2014

    100 Favorite Dishes: Chile Relleno at La Fiesta

    No. 100 Chile Relleno at La Fiesta 2340 Champa Street 303-292-2800 The traditional chile relleno is soft -- like the relleno served at El Chingon, which Gretchen Kurtz reviews this week; Gloria Nunez, who shares the kitchen there with her grandson, grew up in Mexico City. But crispy rellenos also ha ... 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

    June 2, 2014

    Photos: Kinfolks Soul Food Festival sells out Civic Center Park

    The Kinfolks Soul Food Festival made a stop in Denver this past weekend, and sold out all 10,000 tickets available for Saturday's soul-food celebration in Civic Center Park. In addition to food from local soul-food vendors, festival-goers enjoyed music by artists including Bootsy Collins, Cameo and ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 28, 2014

    After James Beard win for Soul Food, Adrian Miller heading to...the White House?

    Denver, Colorado, is not exactly soul-food central -- but it's the home of Adrian Miller, the man who wrote the book on soul food: Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine One Plate at a Time. That book, published by the University of North Carolina Press last summer, won the 2014 Jame ... 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

    April 2, 2014

    Taste of Vail and a cooking class that's south of the border today

    Often ranked among the country's best food and wine festivals, the annual Taste of Vail gets under way today and runs through Saturday, April 5. This year's event will host more than thirty chefs and almost 130 wineries; there will be seminars, picnics, dinners, wine tastings, auctions and much much ... 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

    January 15, 2013

    Reader: People born and raised in Denver deserve competence at restaurants, too

    The discussion over Gretchen Kurtz's review of Restaurant Fourteen Seventy-Two has demonstrated how passionately people care about Platt Park (however it's spelled), why you shouldn't eat Mexican food in Charleston, what constitutes low-country cuisine and other lessons of geography, including itsbo ... 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 >>

  • Blogs

    October 16, 2012

    El Senor Sol mixes up Mexican meals for vegetarians and vegans

    With five metro locations, El Senor Sol is a homegrown chain -- but the outpost on West Colfax Avenue in Golden doesn't feel like a chain spot. Just up the road from the ubiquitous national chains at Denver West, El Senor Sol feels like the family-run establishment it is, with warm colors, lots of a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 4, 2012

    Roux the day: The light and dark sides of gumbo

    A rose is a rose is a rose, right? Not so for gumbo, which happens to be Colin Mallet's favorite dish from his home state of Louisiana. While there are probably as many versions of this soup/stew as there are families who make it, Mallet, executive chef of Sassafras American Eatery, can makes a di ... More >>

  • News

    June 7, 2012
  • Dining

    May 24, 2012
  • Blogs

    May 24, 2012

    Reader: Which came first? The taco or the truck? Comida or Pinche or T|ACO?

    The talk continues about T|ACO, the updated taqueria with the awkward name that opened yesterday in Boulder. It's not the first hip taqueria in the area, of course. Pinche Taqueria gave the Pinche Tacos concept a permanent home last year. And in February Comida Cantina opened a brick-and-mortar ver ... More >>

  • 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

    May 2, 2012

    3 Monkeys Cantina opens in the former Bistro One space

    I was rather hoping to see a few monkeys when I stopped by 3 Monkeys Cantina, the new Mexican restaurant that owner Alex Waters opened yesterday in the former Bistro One space, which he closed four weeks ago after a four-year run at 1294 South Broadway. No monkeys, no trees. But the new quarters, ... More >>

  • News

    April 19, 2012
  • 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

    April 6, 2012

    Los Carboncitos is still a favorite

    I wasn't thrilled with Paxia, the upscale Mexican joint brothers Cesar, Roberto and Ignacio Leon opened in the Sunnyside neighborhood last year, especially because their original restaurant, the vibrant Los Carboncitos, is located just six blocks away. And after I'd eaten my review meals at Paxia, I ... 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

    February 2, 2012

    The 1812 tests the potential of crowd-funding for backing a restaurant

    There's not much Cajun food in the Mile High City, a lack that Johanna Cooke started lamenting after her husband, a native of Louisiana native, first made gumbo for her back when they were dating. Since then, Cooke, who has worked in the food industry since she was fifteen -- most recently at the no ... 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

    July 12, 2011

    Second Helping: Red Claw Seafood and Wings

    Lori Midson​Craving a crawfish boil? While Denver's not exactly crawling with spots to get your fix, there are a few options, including Red Claw Seafood and Wings. In this dark, dilapidated joint, you can order crawfish by the pound, flavored with your choice from a boatload of seasonings, an ... More >>

  • Dining

    June 23, 2011
  • 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

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    January 3, 2008

    Best of Denver Winners from 1996

    In 1996, Westword published its thirteenth Best of Denver issue, a celebration of the city that saluted everything from Best Yuppie on a Harley (then-senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, who posed for a Banana Republic ad) to the Best New Public Art (Mark di Suvero’s still-controversial “Lao Tzu”) ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 2, 2006

    Chile Today, Hot Tomorrow

    You don't find green chile in Mexico — but here in Denver, it's the signature dish at most Mexican restaurants, a sauce/soup/stew of green chiles (always) and tomatoes (sometimes) and onions (sometimes) and pork (sometimes). Order green chile in Puerto Vallarta, or Phoenix, or Cheyenne, and yo ... More >>

  • Dining

    April 13, 2000

    Tex-Mexican Standoff

    LoDo may not be big enough for both of them.

  • Dining

    January 6, 2000

    Seafood, Eat It

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

  • Dining

    October 7, 1999

    Dive! Dive!

    Cheap entertainment is Casa Bonita's one small pleasure.

  • Dining

    April 20, 1994
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