La Casa de Manuel reopened yesterday after a holiday break -- and after close to six decades in business, it deserved one. Manuel Silva's modest Mexican joint got its start at 20th and Larimer streets, where it lasted for forty years, until Coors Field opened nearby and the area started gentrifying. That's when he moved his restaurant eleven blocks up Larimer -- from the edge of the increasingly hot LoDo to the very cold NoDough.
While the new location, in an old-drive in, wasn't nearly as cool as the original spot, Silva was able to move much of his art there, and the green chile survived the transition just fine: not too thin, not too thick, with plenty of pork and enough heat to keep things interesting. It's best ordered by the bowl or smothering a burrito -- which Casa de Manuel calls "wet."
And recent suggestions that Manuel had closed are all wet, too. (We're looking at you, Yelp.) Although this stretch of Larimer is now booming, with new development deals announced almost daily, Casa de Manuel has hung on.
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The place is now back to its regular hours, 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, call 303-295-1752.