Best Freak-Show, Acid-Trip, "I Certainly Didn't Come Here for the Food" Mexican

Casa Bonita

Hunter Thompson once said of Circus Circus in Las Vegas, "This is what the whole hep world would be doing on a Saturday night if the Nazis had won the war." Well, that was then -- and today, Casa Bonita is the place to see what would really become of the world if the radical fun police ever had their way. Sure, we all know the food is, er, questionable. But that can be said of a lot of places where there aren't strolling mariachi bands and teenage cliff divers, so everyone just give Casa Bonita a break, okay? Will anyone who's ever been there soon forget the smell of the swampy, chlorinated backsplash that could grace your gooey tacos if you're lucky enough to get a seat behind the waterfall? For sheer "I can't believe this place is real" thrills, nothing beats Casa Bonita -- the closest thing in Denver to a Terry Gilliam film come to life. And hey, any place where you can buy Coronas by the bucket can't be all bad.


El Tejado serves great, authentic Mexican fare -- camarones cocktails, whole red snapper, carne asada tacos -- as well as such north-of-the-border innovations as a thick, hot, gravy-like green chile. But somehow, everything tastes better at Sunday brunch and on Wednesday nights -- when meals are accompanied by strolling mariachis, who walk between tables and take requests. How about "Strum Enchanted Evening"?


El Tejado's potato tacos
Mark Antonation
El Tejado's potato tacos
El Tejado serves great, authentic Mexican fare -- camarones cocktails, whole red snapper, carne asada tacos -- as well as such north-of-the-border innovations as a thick, hot, gravy-like green chile. But somehow, everything tastes better at Sunday brunch and on Wednesday nights -- when meals are accompanied by strolling mariachis, who walk between tables and take requests. How about "Strum Enchanted Evening"?
They've been listed as one of the "Top Ten Hidden Treasures in America." They've gotten the nod on the Food Network's Best Of. Folks from all over the world can see their place talked about in-flight on Delta Airlines. And now you can frequent the Philadelphia Filly -- the little cheesesteak cart that could - not only at lunch, at 16th Street and Broadway, but also at night, at 16th and Market Street. For years, Philly natives Sally Rock and Dale Goin have been feeding an ever-growing legion of Denver faithful, slapping together authentic Philly cheesesteaks and serving up fresh soups for the lunchtime crowds; now Rock's son, Willy Killhour, wraps up monster double-meat, double-cheese sandwiches for LoDo bar-hoppers. They may not have fancy silver, linen tablecloths or even tables, but if you're looking for the real deal -- for honest American street cuisine that's hot, fast and filling enough to keep you going all afternoon (or well into the next morning) -- Philadelphia Filly is tops.


They've been listed as one of the "Top Ten Hidden Treasures in America." They've gotten the nod on the Food Network's Best Of. Folks from all over the world can see their place talked about in-flight on Delta Airlines. And now you can frequent the Philadelphia Filly -- the little cheesesteak cart that could - not only at lunch, at 16th Street and Broadway, but also at night, at 16th and Market Street. For years, Philly natives Sally Rock and Dale Goin have been feeding an ever-growing legion of Denver faithful, slapping together authentic Philly cheesesteaks and serving up fresh soups for the lunchtime crowds; now Rock's son, Willy Killhour, wraps up monster double-meat, double-cheese sandwiches for LoDo bar-hoppers. They may not have fancy silver, linen tablecloths or even tables, but if you're looking for the real deal -- for honest American street cuisine that's hot, fast and filling enough to keep you going all afternoon (or well into the next morning) -- Philadelphia Filly is tops.
Yo, Philadelphians know that most "Philly-style" steaks are crap. Gourmet steaks loaded with fancy veggies served on a toasted baguette may be what we'd like to think they're eating in the City of Brotherly Love, but they're not. They're devouring crumbly grilled meat, American or Provolone cheese, and maybe some fried onions or peppers piled high on a soft, chewy roll. And at Taste of Philly, which is owned by some Pennsylvania transplants, they know that. Their uncomplicated steaks and cheese ring true with diners from the Delaware Valley. In Philly, a cheesesteak rivalry still rages between Pat's and Geno's. But in Denver, Taste of Philly takes the prize.


Yo, Philadelphians know that most "Philly-style" steaks are crap. Gourmet steaks loaded with fancy veggies served on a toasted baguette may be what we'd like to think they're eating in the City of Brotherly Love, but they're not. They're devouring crumbly grilled meat, American or Provolone cheese, and maybe some fried onions or peppers piled high on a soft, chewy roll. And at Taste of Philly, which is owned by some Pennsylvania transplants, they know that. Their uncomplicated steaks and cheese ring true with diners from the Delaware Valley. In Philly, a cheesesteak rivalry still rages between Pat's and Geno's. But in Denver, Taste of Philly takes the prize.
Prepare to meat your maker. In some circles, a dinner at Morton's of Chicago is considered a reasonable sacrifice to the gods, a way to thank them for your good luck. Drop a few hundred clams on a chunk crabmeat cocktail, on a perfectly cooked Porterhouse steak, on a potato bigger than your head, on a chocolate soufflé -- you're crediting your karma account at the same time you're downing some very good food. Morton's gives testimony to the power of a great steak, and the downtown restaurant is our favorite place to worship. From the cozy bar (get there early and enjoy a few gratis steak sandwiches) to the plush booths deep in the back of the intimate dining room, from the morgue cart-presentation of the menu offerings to the last sweep of the crumb catcher, a meal at Morton's is the gift that keeps on giving.
Morton's the Steakhouse
Courtesy of Morton's
Prepare to meat your maker. In some circles, a dinner at Morton's of Chicago is considered a reasonable sacrifice to the gods, a way to thank them for your good luck. Drop a few hundred clams on a chunk crabmeat cocktail, on a perfectly cooked Porterhouse steak, on a potato bigger than your head, on a chocolate soufflé -- you're crediting your karma account at the same time you're downing some very good food. Morton's gives testimony to the power of a great steak, and the downtown restaurant is our favorite place to worship. From the cozy bar (get there early and enjoy a few gratis steak sandwiches) to the plush booths deep in the back of the intimate dining room, from the morgue cart-presentation of the menu offerings to the last sweep of the crumb catcher, a meal at Morton's is the gift that keeps on giving.
Although the obliging staffers are happy to serve you anything off Sullivan's menu in the clubby, boxing-themed bar, there's plenty to chew on in the bar menu alone. The cheeseburger, steak sandwich and blackened New York strip are particularly worthy of your attention: big, big portions of quality meat, cooked as requested, served with the ideal spud sides, and just the thing to munch as you listen to a jazz combo or dish the dirt with your companions.


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