Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. The minute I set foot in the Donkey Den, I thought about the old joke where Saint Peter lets a man try both Heaven and Hell in order to decide where he'd prefer to spend eternity. He goes to Heaven first, and while it's lovely, with all the flowing robes, harps and clouds, the man's a little bored there. In Hell, though, he's met by a limo filled with hookers, booze and drugs, and he spends his time partying like a rock star. So he tells Saint Peter he wants to go back to Hell, but this time when he gets there, it's all fire and brimstone. The man asks Satan why his previous experience with Hell was so different. "Oh, when you were here for your visit, you were with our sales and marketing department," Satan responds.
I may be overly cynical, but it sure seems to me that despite all the angelic astonishment displayed by the Donkey Den's owners after women complained that the name of the joint was offensive (it's a reference to clubs in Tijuana where women are reported to have sex with donkeys) and that the names of certain menu items, such as the Donkey Punch, were really offensive (a "donkey punch" is sexual slang for when a man punches his partner in the back of the head just before orgasm), the whole controversy smacks of a skillful marketing ploy to get lots of press in the Den's opening weeks and bring in a target crowd (read: meatheads and misogynists) who want to explore Tijuana in Colorado. And damn if the strategy didn't work like a charm. Although the offensive names have since been removed and replaced by a statement offering "our apologies to anyone who may have been previously offended by the items on our food menu," everything the Donkey Den has done to ameliorate concerns seems to be followed by a "wink, wink, nudge, nudge." So I really wanted to hate everything about the place -- but then I tasted one of the best cocktails I've tried this summer. The Twisted Mojito, made with Corzo Silver tequila with blackberries, mint leaves, limes and soda, was a wonderful twist on a rum-based mojito. It could be that the management just wanted to come up with a potent drink that tasted so good, girls would drink a lot of them (I was surprised it didn't come with a roofie on the side). Whatever. Satan sure makes an alluring package.