Denverites love their breakfast burritos, so it's always a concern when supply-side issues threaten the morning ritual of a steaming torpedo of green chile and eggs wolfed down while fighting rush-hour traffic or toted by the dozen to the office to share with co-workers. That's why construction at the Santiago's at 2505 Federal Boulevard may have commuters scrambling for alternatives.
This location, which I visited in January on my A Federal Case project, closed when the family-owned company started an expansion project at the beginning of the month. A raised roof over the original dining area, with raw pine timbers and red tiles eliminate the last vestiges of the building's previous life as a national fast-food outlet. The extension of the dining room brings the restaurant front precariously close to Federal, which -- even before construction began -- tended to clog with drive-through customers curling into the street from the Santiago's parking lot.
A banner on the chain-link fence directs disappointed patrons to a second location at 825 South Federal and includes a web address for Santiago's locations that are further afield -- over 25 at last count. Although initially a sign predicted this spot would reopen June 21, no re-opening date is listed on the current banner -- so the other Santiago's options are at least consolation for those whose foil-wrapped fix borders on addiction.
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Of course, if you're not brand-loyal, this neighborhood is the front line in the ongoing war for Denver's breakfast burrito dollars. Competition from nearby restaurants -- Jack-n-Grill, Araujo's, El Zarape and Los Agaves, to name a few -- keeps the per-burrito price at near mere pocket-change levels in the area.