Colombian cooking isn't exactly common in Denver, even if you count the food trucks. There's Los Parceros, at 5922 East Colfax Avenue, which is closed until the end of March for remodeling, as well as the newer Antojitos Colombianos, at 1622 Leetsdale. And when truck season is in full swing, there's chef Jorge Aguirre's La Chiva food truck. Aguirre has been plying the streets and rounding out food-truck rallies with great Latin American grub since 2014, and now he's ready to settle into a permanent address at 1417 South Broadway.
Aguirre found the new location for La Chiva at the end of last year's mobile-food season, signing a lease where the short-lived Samiches had recently closed. Before that, the space belonged to Strange Grounds coffeehouse.
La Chiva's founder is a former IT professional who traded in his career in computers and went to cooking school several years ago to refine his family recipes. A standout on La Chiva's menu are the empanadas the chef makes completely from scratch, even making masa for the outer shell from fresh corn. Other specialties include arroz con pollo, lomito sandwiches loaded with shredded pork, and Colombian tamales steamed in banana-leaf wrappers.
An exact date hasn't been set for the opening of the restaurant, set amid the shops of South Broadway's Antique Row, but a sign in the window reads "spring 2017." While Aurora has become the top spot for international cuisine, we're glad Aguirre selected South Broadway for his new endeavor, to help add diversity to central Denver's food scene. Once the restaurant opens, the food truck will also continue to bring Colombian food to the rest of the city.