Happy Place: Blue Bonnet Cafe, 457 South Broadway, 303-778-0147
The Hours: Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m., and Monday through Saturday from 9 p.m. to close
The Deals: $2 domestic drafts; $2.75 imported drafts; $2 well drinks; $3.50 to $4.25 margarita specials; $1.99 appetizers.
Were we happy? Flip the page to find out.
The Digs: This South Broadway cantina has endured the test of time, holding ground as an institution for chowing down massive portions of cheese-laden burritos topped with green chile made palatable by lots of tequila and beer. Open all day, every day, Blue Bonnet lures families, post-mountain-recreation folk, and anyone else who enjoys watching sports on television. The main dining room and bar boast adequate seating, and there's another dining area usually occupied by patrons with children seeking to enjoy their dinner without the interference of boisterous barflies. Still, the gigantic covered patio is our favorite place to unwind at Blue Bonnet, especially late at night when the crowds have dwindled.
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The Verdict: Our love for margaritas is unfaltering, especially when we're drinking at a discount. The same applies to beer, and in this department, Blue Bonnet has you covered. However, if you want Mexican food to go with your Mexican happy hour, you'll be underwhelmed -- even disappointed. The offerings include various combinations of corn tortillas and cheese, all served in half portions. They're not expensive -- which is nice -- but we found ourselves wanting more. Much more.
We ordered the chile con queso dip after our server explained that it was made from "real cheese." We were served a lot of queso without much chile, and the greasy ball of melted cheddar coagulated within minutes of trying to scoop it up with our chips. The nachos were fairly standard, but we did appreciate the portion size, which fed four. On the other hand, the fiesta cheese and jalapeno pizza was beyond bland, and our chicken taquitos were dry and indicative of sitting in an expo window too long. And while our sever was friendly, she was also pushy, rushing us to place our order.
Bottom line: If you're into drinking tequila on a patio and find yourself on South Broadway, Blue Bonnet will suffice. But if you're looking for a cheap and satisfying experience all the way around, there are plenty of other Mexican restaurants in Denver to suit your happy hour fancy.
Overall Grade: C