The corner restaurant at South Federal Boulevard and Cornell Street was an Italian eatery for years before Bubba Chinos moved into the building a few years ago. The burrito slinger didn't last long there before another fast-food joint, Boost Burger, took over in early 2014, but it came and went before the year was out. If early business is any indication of staying power, though, the new occupant, Birrieiria El Viejon, should become a mainstay of the neighborhood across the street from Colorado Heights University.
El Viejon, operated by the owners of Mariscos El Licenciado farther north on Federal, opened just before Christmas week, serving goat and beef stews known as birrias. In the first weekend, the kitchen sold out of food by mid-afternoon, before the dinner rush even hit on Saturday and Sunday. Regular business hours have yet to be posted, but lunchtime seems a good bet for now; otherwise, you might be too late.
The menu features stewed, roasted and taco options of the birria de chivo (goat) or birria de res (beef). Otherwise, choices are fairly limited. A liquor license means that beer is served, along with the same style of heavily adorned micheladas popular at El Licenciado. Takeout is a good option since the dining room has been packed. but then you'd miss out on the traditional glazed clay dishes in which the birria is served. The restaurant has been updating its Facebook page on days when it runs out of food, so check first before you head over to enjoy "chivos y cheves" — goat and beers.
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