Cafe Society

Mouthing Off

Get a life: A storm cut the power the night of the big party, but weather wasn't the only thing that tried to put a damper on the celebrations at Tosh's Hacienda two weeks ago. To celebrate its fiftieth anniversary--that's a lot of burritos smothered with great New Mexico green chile--the restaurant was offering prizes for the diner who purchased the "billionth" tamale at the original location at 30th and Downing, and the "one billionth and one" tamale at Tosh's second shop at 5071 South Syracuse in the Denver Tech Center. Conceived after Tosh's owner and family patriarch Ruben Mackintosh remarked to PR specialist Tito Christensen that he's personally made somewhere around "a million burritos" and even more tamales, the contest was going full-blast when some wise guy started calling radio talk shows, food writers and Channel 7 threatening to sue Tosh's for misrepresentation or some such nonsense because "they couldn't possibly have served a billion tamales." Fortunately, that didn't dissuade the family from going ahead with the fun. In a city well-known for its fickleness toward restaurants, fifty years is nothing to shake a tortilla at. Congratulations, Tosh's.

Also celebrating an anniversary--its 24th--is Tante Louise at 4900 East Colfax. To mark the occasion, owner Corky Douglass is serving a special Saveur du Midi Menu through mid-September. For $28.95 per person, you get five courses including assorted sausages and a country pate, and lamb shank braised with garlic and red wine. An additional $12 buys a flight of three wines matched to the menu. Considering the caliber of Michael Degenhart's cooking, the meal's a deal.

Chile prospects: Think your chile is as good as Tosh's? Then enter it in the third annual Original Aurora Chili Cookoff during the Gateway to the Rockies parade on September 21. Aurora Mayor Paul Tauer and state representative Don Armstrong, among others, will judge your efforts. The event is sanctioned as a competition for International Chili Society members, and proceeds from entry fees benefit Optimist Club projects for Aurora youth; call 344-1773.