Garibaldi Mexican Bistro: A Room With a View...of a Car Wash

The Oaxacan-style tlayuda is only one of a few unusual things about Garibaldi.EXPAND
The Oaxacan-style tlayuda is only one of a few unusual things about Garibaldi.
Mark Antonation

Last month I stopped by Garibaldi Mexican Bistro at 3298 South Broadway in a lead-up to Tacolandia, Westword's celebration of Denver's Mexican street food. I was on a mission at the time, and made a beeline for Garibaldi's unique queka: a cross between a taco and a quesadilla on a thick, fried corn tortilla. Sure, I noticed that the tiny bistro was located inside a Conoco gas station, but I didn't have much of a chance to look around, since my face and thoughts were buried in that delicious queka.

But a Tuesday-night special at Garibaldi lured me back: The kitchen was serving up Oaxacan-style tlayudas, a rarity in Denver. To get to the restaurant, guests need to pass under the Conoco carport and go past the rows of fuel pumps, but once inside, they'll find a tidy, full-service dining room painted in bright colors and decorated with children's paintings.

If you grab a table in the raised dining room to the left of the main seating area, you may feel the floor rumbling intermittently; that's just the automated car wash on the other side of Garibaldi's north wall. In fact, a window in the dining room looks directly into the car-wash bay; if you're so inclined, you could enjoy a view of the relaxing waves of water as they wash over cars while you dig into an enormous tlayuda, made on a thin, crackly corn tortilla that holds layers of refried pinto beans, stringy Oaxacan cheese, sliced tomatoes and a meat of your choice. (Garibaldi specializes in a braised beef cut called suadero, but chorizo is a good choice, too.) The thing looks huge, but the tortilla is paper-thin, making it a filling meal for one or a light dinner for two.

Tlayudas, quekas and a car wash — quite possibly the most original combo in this city's Mexican restaurant scene.

Garibaldi's entrance sits between the car wash and the gas station's convenience store.EXPAND
Garibaldi's entrance sits between the car wash and the gas station's convenience store.
Mark Antonation
Fill up on gas, grab some Mexican food and cash a check.EXPAND
Fill up on gas, grab some Mexican food and cash a check.
Mark Antonation
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Garibaldi Mexican Bistro

3298 S. Broadway
Englewood, Colorado 80113

303-781-0812

facebook.com/Garibaldimexicanbistro

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