If you can eat the whole thing at Piney Creek, a vaguely cantina-like eatery and bar, they'll take a Polaroid shot of you and stick it on their Wall of Fame. But be warned: Although nearly a thousand have tried, fewer than a hundred have been able to eat an entire Piney Creek Burrito Majestic. Two jumbo tortillas are required to hold this monster together, and even that's a losing battle, since the kitchen has stuffed them full -- very full -- of beef, chicken or beans (your choice), as well as the usual fixings. Ladled over all of this is Piney Creek's sweet green, a medium-thick concoction whose many chunks of pork add still more meat to the burrito. Although your burrito runs between $10 and $14, depending on the filling, if you're really hungry, it's money well spent. Uuurrrrp.

Palettes Contemporary Cuisine
A haven for ladies who lunch, lawyers who linger (and drive up that billing) and bohemian types with lots of Daddy's money, Palettes makes a fine art of fancy food -- as well it should, since it's connected to the Denver Art Museum. But nothing on exhibit next door is more elaborate than Palette's desserts, each one a masterpiece featuring its own distinct palette of flavors. Both the light lemon-curd tart and the warm apple and marzipan tartlet with caramel ice cream pack plenty of fruit punch into their striking crusts. Then there's the peanut butter and chocolate terrine -- it beats Reese's to pieces -- with crème anglaise for added richness, and a bittersweet chocolate cupcake that makes life worth living. Our favorite Palette finale, though, is the pistachio profiteroles with hot chocolate sauce: creampuff balls made from choux pastry and filled with homemade pistachio ice cream. Color us stuffed.
A haven for ladies who lunch, lawyers who linger (and drive up that billing) and bohemian types with lots of Daddy's money, Palettes makes a fine art of fancy food -- as well it should, since it's connected to the Denver Art Museum. But nothing on exhibit next door is more elaborate than Palette's desserts, each one a masterpiece featuring its own distinct palette of flavors. Both the light lemon-curd tart and the warm apple and marzipan tartlet with caramel ice cream pack plenty of fruit punch into their striking crusts. Then there's the peanut butter and chocolate terrine -- it beats Reese's to pieces -- with crème anglaise for added richness, and a bittersweet chocolate cupcake that makes life worth living. Our favorite Palette finale, though, is the pistachio profiteroles with hot chocolate sauce: creampuff balls made from choux pastry and filled with homemade pistachio ice cream. Color us stuffed.
At most burrito places, the meat-filled versions are preferable because they keep the package from turning into a bean-and-rice blowout -- and you know what we mean. But Wahoo's keeps its vegetarian friends in mind, offering up the Banzai Fajita Burrito, a massive mound of food wrapped in a fresh tortilla. There's rice and beans in there, all right, but the rice is made with Peruvian Ahi salsa for extra flavor and a little kick, and the beans are black, soft and moist, made vegetarian-style, with no meat. And then there are the vegetables: grilled zucchini, carrots, onions and tomatoes, with their charred edges, a slightly oily grilled texture and lots of flavor. Add more salsa and some non-fat sour cream, and at just under five bucks, you've got yourself a meatless meal.

At most burrito places, the meat-filled versions are preferable because they keep the package from turning into a bean-and-rice blowout -- and you know what we mean. But Wahoo's keeps its vegetarian friends in mind, offering up the Banzai Fajita Burrito, a massive mound of food wrapped in a fresh tortilla. There's rice and beans in there, all right, but the rice is made with Peruvian Ahi salsa for extra flavor and a little kick, and the beans are black, soft and moist, made vegetarian-style, with no meat. And then there are the vegetables: grilled zucchini, carrots, onions and tomatoes, with their charred edges, a slightly oily grilled texture and lots of flavor. Add more salsa and some non-fat sour cream, and at just under five bucks, you've got yourself a meatless meal.

There's not much charm at Bandido's, which looks like your basic Mexican dive, but the kitchen more than makes up for the lack of ambience with an abundance of good food. The taquitos are fine, the tacos al carbon better, and the chicharrones burritos best of all. Deep-fried pork skins -- big, fat, hefty nuggets with some weight to them -- come stuffed inside a jumbo tortilla and smothered with Bandido's fiery green chile, a thin, gravylike version that sticks with you. The great thing about these chicharrones is that they aren't too greasy, so you can eat a lot of them without getting bogged down. Still, a few cervezas won't hurt.

There's not much charm at Bandido's, which looks like your basic Mexican dive, but the kitchen more than makes up for the lack of ambience with an abundance of good food. The taquitos are fine, the tacos al carbon better, and the chicharrones burritos best of all. Deep-fried pork skins -- big, fat, hefty nuggets with some weight to them -- come stuffed inside a jumbo tortilla and smothered with Bandido's fiery green chile, a thin, gravylike version that sticks with you. The great thing about these chicharrones is that they aren't too greasy, so you can eat a lot of them without getting bogged down. Still, a few cervezas won't hurt.

La Popular
Danielle Lirette
To hell with rice cakes. Dr. Atkins says: Pass the pork. Which means you won't want to pass up La Popular, which fries curly bits of hog fat into zero-carb, unadulterated artery-clogging bliss. Although the freeze-dried pork pellets hail from Chicago, the cooks in this Mexican kitchen work magic with chile powder and 350-degree canola oil. The result is a thick, crackling bit of hog heaven only a few hairs short of the backyard matanza. They're perfect for guacamole or the ever-popular pork-rind cheese ball. And with no preservatives and the good doctor's blessing, what could be better -- or better for you? Get 'em while they're hot.

To hell with rice cakes. Dr. Atkins says: Pass the pork. Which means you won't want to pass up La Popular, which fries curly bits of hog fat into zero-carb, unadulterated artery-clogging bliss. Although the freeze-dried pork pellets hail from Chicago, the cooks in this Mexican kitchen work magic with chile powder and 350-degree canola oil. The result is a thick, crackling bit of hog heaven only a few hairs short of the backyard matanza. They're perfect for guacamole or the ever-popular pork-rind cheese ball. And with no preservatives and the good doctor's blessing, what could be better -- or better for you? Get 'em while they're hot.

Chipotle Mexican Grill
Chipotle got its start in Colorado, and although this homegrown chain is now running with the big dogs, it still serves up one massive puppy of a barbacoa burrito. To create the classic, Chipotle braises beef in a liquid rife with chipotles, cumin, cloves and garlic until it softens and shreds and absorbs every bit of flavor. The meat is then wrapped in a jumbo flour tortilla along with pintos, Chipotle's signature cilantro-lime rice and much-needed sour cream to cool the heat. If your stomach can take it, throw in the fiery tomatillo salsa. The winner and still the chomp.

Best Of Denver®

Best Of