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Denver's five best nachos

Nachos are one of our go-to drunk junk-food snacks, and we're partial to versions that are gooey, spicy and so packed with toppings that they're impossible to eat without making a mess. Our award for Best Nachos in the Best of Denver 2011 went to El Camino, where the chips are housemade, each stacked with refried beans and tender, marinated meat, smothered with melted cheddar and Jack, then topped with pickled onions, slices of jalapeño and pico de gallo.

But other joints in Denver make great nachos, too. Here are four more of our favorites:

Lola

To get Lola's nachos, you've got to sit in the bar, but it's worth skipping the table to partake. White corn chips laden with smoky strips of pork marinated in bourbon, as well as diced onions and tomatoes, are covered with molten goat queso and topped with pickled jalapeños and onions for a combo that's unique, decadent and the perfect pairing with a Tecate or coin-style margarita.

Racines and Dixons Downtown Grill

Racines and Dixons, two restaurants with different menus but the same owners, share a nacho recipe, too. Homemade tortilla chips, toasted along the edges and coated with melted white cheddar, are piled high with black olives, refried or black beans, pickled jalapeños and mess of pico de gallo; a dollop each of sour cream and guacamole quivers on top. Add steak or chicken, and you've got enough to feed a small army.



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