The big question isn't why El Olvido closed, but how this Jaliscan eatery stayed open as long as it did. No sooner had it taken over the former home of Hades at 2200 South Broadway in the spring of 2011 than the city started a massive street project outside.
And this stretch of Broadway is still a mess today.
But it's no longer a problem for El Olvido. The restaurant closed two weeks ago, taking with it the town's best carne en su jugo -- whose name translates literally as "meat in its juices." Traditionally, that dish is made by slowly boiling a cow's head, though that practice is fading even in Jalisco, its original home. Today, cooks in that part of Mexico often use rump or sirloin and even bones to make the broth.
And that's what owner Jorge Pingarron did at El Olvido. As he told Laura Shunk when she reviewed the restaurant last September, growing up he split his time between Acapulco and Mexico City; after he moved to the United States more than three decades ago, he worked in a variety of kitchens, including a stint in the back of the house at Spill. And when he finally decided it was time to open his own place with his son, George, he wanted to build a restaurant that was Mexican but "not Mexican" -- meaning not Colorado Mexican.
Instead, Pingarron envisioned a spot that would draw on culinary traditions from his home country that you don't often find in Denver.
And now you won't find them here, either.
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Another restaurant has reportedly picked up the space. But it might want to consider putting in a helipad if it's going to try to get diners through the black hole of South Broadway.