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The Westword Watch List: Three Hot Spots This Week

Housemade flour tortillas with roasted poblanos and figs at El Jefe.EXPAND
Housemade flour tortillas with roasted poblanos and figs at El Jefe.
Mark Antonation
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We hope you're hungry for fresh Mexican fare, frozen treats and hefty sandwiches this weekend. This week's Watch List brings an updated Mexican menu in Sunnyside, lunchtime hours for a rebellious restaurant in RiNo, and an ice cream shop from a favorite South Broadway cantina.

Orange-mezcal sorbet at La Chupaflor, with optional chapulines sprinkled on top.EXPAND
Orange-mezcal sorbet at La Chupaflor, with optional chapulines sprinkled on top.

La Chupaflor
11 East Louisiana Avenue
facebook.com/lachupaflor
Chupaflor is Spanish for hummingbird, and hummingbirds love sugary stuff. Brian Rossi, owner of Adelitas Cocina y Cantina and Palenque Mezcaleria, just opened his new Michoacán-style ice cream shop to tempt the neighborhood with various forms of frozen nectar, making it a Mexican trio at the corner of South Broadway and Louisiana. Standard flavors like chocolate and strawberry are bolstered by more unusual creations, from rose to queso. Paletas (Mexican popsicles) and ice cream tacos are an added attraction, especially when they're discounted for Taco Tuesday. Watch for weekly specials, like the naranja-mezcal sorbete (pictured above), complete with a sprinkling of spicy, salty chapulines. La Chupaflor is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Pig-head carnitas taco with topping options — charred pineapple, pickled onion, pickled jalapeño and sweet-hot chiles — at El Jefe.EXPAND
Pig-head carnitas taco with topping options — charred pineapple, pickled onion, pickled jalapeño and sweet-hot chiles — at El Jefe.
Mark Antonation

El Jefe
2450 West 44th Avenue
720-389-7615
El Jefe joined the Cobbler's Corner lineup in Sunnyside in January and has since become a go-to margarita stop for the neighborhood. El Jefe just brought in a new chef, Josh Moore, who has rolled out an all-new menu that adheres to the restaurant's dedication to local produce. The chef balances tradition with an innovative spirit, so you'll find complex mole verde on a plate with crispy chicken skin and cauliflower purée; a bowl of roasted poblanos and onions sweetened with slices of fig served with Moore's own flour tortillas; and thick, fuchsia gazpacho made with watermelon and beets. But the pork carnitas are as simple and straightforward as at any street-taco stand and come on fresh, housemade corn tortillas with an array of pickled chiles to add a little brightness. Moore comes to Denver from New York City, where he worked for Danny Meyer's restaurant group and at a number of Mexican eateries.

Obey Sandwitchery (at Rebel Restaurant)
3763 Wynkoop Street
303-297-3902
The Rebel team doesn't take the easy route when it comes to serving the surrounding RiNo neighborhood. Rather than choosing a hip spot on Larimer Street or Brighton Boulevard, owners Bo Porytko and Dan Lasiy opened in a former dive bar on 38th Street two years ago in somewhat of a restaurant no-man's land. The menu always includes a roasted animal head served family-style, and diners willing to venture outside the trendy comfort zone a little farther south are rewarded with unusual ingredients and international influences in every bite. Now the Rebel kitchen is doing lunch, with an array of hefty sandwiches built on Hinman's Bakery bread. Kimchi cheesesteak, a double-stacked chicken parm and vegetarian options like mozzarella with tomato and pesto aioli are only a few of the daily options, served only to-go out the front kitchen window. For lighter appetites, salad options are also available. Swing by from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays.

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