Things to Do

Guess who's coming to dinner tonight? Gustavo Arellano!

Gustavo Arellano isn't just the man behind Ask a Mexican!, his weekly column in Westword. He's also the author of Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, and in that book he lavishes praise on the Mexican food of Denver:

"I have finally learned to love Den-Mex," he writes. "Your epic Mexican hamburgers, your combo plates slathered -- scratch that, smothered -- in furious chile. Your street-corner, foil-wrapped burritos steaming with chunks of pork, the late-night runs to Chubby's. (Chubby's! The greatest Mexican restaurant in the United States!...) When I first came and tasted Den-Mex, I dismissed ustedes as a heresy as dangerous to Mexican culture as the only Mexican thing I knew about Denver at the time: Tom Tancredo.

"That's now changed: I'll devote the rest of my life to spreading your gospel, with the fervor of the converted."

And tonight, Arellano will be in Denver to hold a service for all those who worship Mexican food...and great writing.

The party starts at 6 p.m. tonight, when Arellano will return to Su Teatro -- site of his debate with Tom Tancredo eighteen months ago -- to talk about his book (that starts at 7 p.m.), and sell and sign copies.

But there will be much more to this fiesta than Arellano's learned lecture: food from some of his favorite Den-Mex kitchens, including Santiago's; a "Tribute to the Taco" art contest; and music by Sangre Chicana, Denver's finest Chicano garage/ranchera band.

Admission is a bargain $3 donation to Su Teatro, with additional charges for food and drink.

To further whet your appetite, reread Arellano's April 5 Westword cover story, "Mexican Hamburger Helper."