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100 Favorite Dishes: Sobrebarriga from La Cocina de Paula

100 Favorite Dishes: Sobrebarriga from La Cocina de Paula
Lori Midson

No. 43: Sobrebarriga from La Cocina de Paula

When Paula Contreras comes to your table, she'll likely encourage you to order a Colombian dish. "You can get Mexican food all over Denver," she says, but "Colombian food...that's not nearly as common." Contreras, the chef/owner of La Cocina de Paula, 3325 W. Alameda Avenue, hustles a menu of both Mexican and Colombian cuisines, and while her green chile, tart with tomatillos and jolted with hot green chiles, convinced me that lapping the bowl dry was a good idea, it's her sobrebarriga that really grabbed my attention. "Sobrebarriga" simply refers to the cut of beef, typically flank steak, and here, in her cocina, the result is love at first bite. The beef, which mimics pot roast, is extremely tender, and the sauce, an earthy snarl of stewed tomatoes, onions and peppers that breathes with cumin, has the kind of irresistible pull that compels you to order a second round...for the road. It's accompanied by the most amazing pea-studded rice I've ever had.

Hungry for more? All the dishes in our countdown are linked below:

No. 100: Italian wedding soup from the Squeaky Bean

No. 99: American Classic Burger (and fries) from Tarbell's

No. 98: E's clam linguini from Mangiamo Pronto

No. 97: Queso a la plancha taco from the Pinche Tacos wagon

No. 96: Prosciutto-wrapped jalapeño poppers from Tony's Market

No. 95: Fried chicken from the Pinyon

No. 94: Seafood soup from Farro

No. 93: Posole from The Porker

No. 92: Breakfast Burrito from the Taco Wagon in Lafayette

No. 91: Hummus from Shish Kabob Grill

No. 90: Albondigas meatballs from Solera

No. 89: Lemon-ricotta doughnuts from Olivéa

No. 88: Döner kabob from Shondiz

No. 87: Roasted cauliflower salad from Euclid Hall

No. 86: Beef cheek enchiladas from El Diablo

No. 85: Fried Brussels sprouts from Panzano

No. 84: Pork osso buco from Osteria Marco

No. 83: Cazuela Colombiana from Cafe Brazil

No. 82: Chicken potpie from Devil's Food

No. 81: Sichuan braised beef noodle soup from Zoe Ma Ma

No. 80: Larb nua from Taste of Thailand

No. 79: Pork shank from Argyll

No. 78: Truffo panino from Shangri-La Cafe

No. 77: Pig-snout tacos from Guadalajara Authentic Mexican Buffet

No. 76: Speck and maple ice cream from Pizzeria Basta

No. 75: Tom yum goong from Thai Flavor

No. 74: South African black ruff from TAG

No. 73: Gumbo from Bistro One

No. 72: New England clam chowder from Bittersweet

No. 71: Celery and lime popsicle from Spuntino

No. 70: Curried split pea soup from Modmarket

No. 69: Mais pizza from Pizzeria Locale

No. 68: Risotto frutti di mare from Firenze a Tavola

No. 67: Frico caldo from Frasca Food & Wine

No. 66: Sea scallop and rock shrimp noodle bowl from Bones

No. 65: Luther Burger from Crave

No. 64: Chongqing Chicken from East Asia Garden

No. 63: Bouillabaisse from Deluxe

No. 62: Crue fries from D Bar Desserts

No. 61: Chili gobi from Jai Ho

No. 60: New Mexican eggs Benedict from DJ's Berkley Cafe

No. 59: Lamb vindaloo from Cuisine of the Himalayas

No. 58: Gazpacho verde from Zolo Grill

No. 57: Hama Hama oyster from Jax Fish House-Denver

No. 56: Mixiote de borrego from El Trompito Taqueria

No. 55: Samosas from the British Bulldog

No. 54: Mole verde with carnitas from Tarasco's

No. 53: Pork chop from Le Grand Bistro & Oyster Bar

No. 52: Santa Fe skillet from Hits the Spot Diner

No. 51: Pork tenderloin with bread pudding and green split peas from the Wooden Table

No. 50: Noodle jelly salad from Thai Street Food

No. 49: Telluride jalapeno poppers from Encore

No. 48: Carnitas from Araujo's

No. 47: Croque Madame from Pierre Michel Organic French Bakery Cafe

No. 46 Xiao Long Bao from Lao Wang Noodle House

No. 45: Pasta puttanesca from Sketch

No. 44: Chimayo-chile flank steak and posole at Village Cork

In late 2009, we embarked on a culinary journey that took us through our favorite dishes in the Mile High City -- one hundred, to be exact. Now we're back with round two, counting down (in no particular order) a hundred more of our favorite Denver dishes in a list that, by our imperfect calculations, should be wrapped up...before Best of Denver® 2012. If there's a dish you think we need to try, tell us about it in the comments section below, or shoot us an e-mail at lori.midson@westword.com.


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