Diego's Mexican Food and Cantina

Tony Terrones and his family have had a Mexican restaurant in Pueblo for years, and now they've brought the authentic taste of that city to Denver. Diego's Mexican Food and Cantina is located in the lower level of a building right off the 16th Street Mall, but it does its best to create an island ambience in a basement space, with comfortable booths and lots of bar seating, even umbrellas. One bite of Diego's hot green chile will transport you not to the tropics, however, but to Pueblo. Every ingredient in this stew, which features three different chiles, comes from Colorado; it's a flavorful, sense-searing mix. That chile is best enjoyed poured over a Slopper, another Pueblo tradition that's a variation on the Mexican hamburger. But the vast menu offers plenty of other options, so many that you might need to study it for a while -- ideally while drinking one of Diego's incredible house margs and enjoying complimentary queso.