First and foremost, Guadalajara Authentic Mexican Buffet, while being a buffet, is anything but monotonous. It is, in fact, a spectacular pageant of chafing dishes swelled with just about every Mexican dish under the blazing sun: barbacoa; menudo; posole, one with pork, the other with shrimp; ceviche de pescado; tacos dorados; tinga de pollo; fried fish; enchiladas de roja and verde; fish and shrimp soup; costilla de puerco; nopalitos; a half-dozen salsas; and at least three, maybe four dozen more dilemmas that vie for your attention.
It's all good -- surprisingly, impossibly good -- and it would take you weeks to eat your way through the blizzard of opportunities. You can do that in good time, but before you assail your stomach with the buffet, march your ass straight to the back, next to the super-sized beverage refrigerator, where there's a carnicería/taqueria that hustles meat by the pound -- carnitas, pollo, barbacoa and chiva -- and tacos al vapor, filled with any of those, or meats like buche, pig's stomach cleavered into soft, wiggly, jiggly fragments. There are pig's ears and tongue, too, and then, there are the pig snouts -- trampa: rosy scraps of unadulterated pig fat, braised until they're tender, with just a slight elasticity that lends itself to a gentle chew. They're succulent and salty, thankfully devoid of nostril hairs, and scattered with diced onions, cilantro and splashes of tomatillo salsa. And, yes, they're a delicious exhilaration.
Hungry for more? All the dishes in our countdown are linked below:
No. 100: Italian wedding soup from the Squeaky Bean No. 99: American Classic Burger (and fries) from Tarbell's No. 98: E's clam linguini from Mangiamo Pronto No. 97: Queso a la plancha taco from the Pinche Tacos wagon No. 96: Prosciutto-wrapped jalapeño poppers from Tony's Market No. 95: Fried chicken from the Pinyon No. 94: Seafood soup from Farro No. 93: Posole from The Porker No. 92: Breakfast Burrito from the Taco Wagon in Lafayette No. 91: Hummus from Shish Kabob Grill No. 90: Albondigas meatballs from Solera No. 89: Lemon-ricotta doughnuts from Olivéa No. 88: Döner kabob from Shondiz No. 87: Roasted cauliflower salad from Euclid Hall No. 86: Beef cheek enchiladas from El Diablo No. 85: Fried Brussels sprouts from Panzano No. 84: Pork osso buco from Osteria Marco No. 83: Cazuela Colombiana from Cafe Brazil No. 82: Chicken potpie from Devil's Food No. 81: Sichuan braised beef noodle soup from Zoe Ma Ma No. 80: Larb nua from Taste of Thailand No. 79: Pork shank from Argyll No. 78: Truffo panino from Shangri-La Cafe
In late 2009, we embarked on a culinary journey that took us through our favorite dishes in the Mile High City -- one hundred, to be exact -- as a precursor to the Best of Denver 2010 issue. Now we're back with round two, counting down (in no particular order) a hundred more of our favorite Denver dishes in a list that, by our imperfect calculations, should be wrapped up by the time the Best of Denver 2011 hits the streets on March 31. In the meantime, if there's a dish you think we need to try, tell us about it in the comments section below, or shoot us an e-mail at [email protected].