Jose Ramirez opened the first Los Dos Potrillos location in Centennial in 2002, when he had just $5.18 left in his bank account. Even so, he told the first customers that if they didn’t like the food, he would buy it for them. But like it they did...and today fans of that food flock not just to the original spot, but also to Ramirez's three other locations.
Born into a family with fifteen children, Jose Ramirez was “lucky number 7,” according to the Colorado Restaurant Association, which gave him a Lifetime Achievement Award last fall. Ramirez got into the food business as a thirteen-year-old bag boy at a grocery store in northwest Denver, then worked as a server at Las Palmas, eventually becoming the server manager. He'd work such long hours to provide for his wife and two sons, Luis and Daniel, that he'd often sleep in his car.
But he was finally able to open his own spot, whose name commemorates how his sons used to gallop like colts and whose menu focuses on family recipes from his native Jerez, Zacatecas, Mexico. Today Los Dos Potrillos has locations not just in Centennial, but Littleton, Highlands Ranch and Parker, where the family also runs a brewery.
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The beer made in Parker is a bonus if you get to-go from any of the Los Dos Potrillos locations, which are also doing a booming business in margaritas, now that Governor Jared Polis has expanded the options that restaurants can offer to include liquor. Los Dos Potrillos always had a hefty to-go business (maybe because people didn't want to wait an hour or more for seats in the dining room), and that made it a lot easier for the restaurant to ramp up Los Dos Express, the curbside service available from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at all four locations.
You can order online, over the phone or through a curbside window. We called in our order, which was ready in twenty minutes at the original location at 8251 South Holly Street and delivered to our car window: a steak quesadilla ($13.95, but that includes a side of guacamole as well as chips and salsa), a pint of green chile and a 32-ounce can of the Mexican Amber Lager, which lived up to the billing of "deliciousness inside."
Even if you have to drink it outside.
While all restaurants in Colorado are closed to dine-in eating, they're allowed to offer takeout, drive-thru and delivery service. We've been visiting a different one doing so every day, to let you know what options are available; find more on our list of restaurants offering pickup and delivery.