Since its inception as a single Fort Collins eatery almost 20 years ago, Big City Burrito has spread its wings across Colorado and Nebraska, presenting a menu of create-your-own burritos, tacos, and the like composed of fresh fillings and made-from-scratch tortillas. Just as all buildings start with a steady foundation of flour and water, all burritos begin with a good tortilla. And Big City offers half a dozen options, such as tomato-chili and jalapeño-cheddar. After picking a tortilla, customers can start relaying their order to the kitchen crew, be it for a burrito packed with chicken mole and topped with mild pico de gallo or a carne asada taco with a dollop of salsa de lupe—the restaurant’s special blended hot salsa. Customers also can choose to have the decadent fillings and salsas served simply atop a plate of rice and beans or stuffed inside a fresh-made quesadilla. Besides crafting meals day and night, Big City also serves breakfast burritos for both adults and kids and offers catering services, which include burrito bars and boxed lunches for large groups or corporate events.
According to lore that has been passed down through the Lucio clan, one of the family progenitors was kidnapped from her native Chihuahua after Pancho Villa tasted her food and decided he needed her as his chef. That distant matron’s culinary wizardry trickled down the family tree and currently informs the cooking of her great-great-grandchildren at Armadillo Restaurants. Chefs at the restaurants use those generations-old recipes while gently patting cornhusks into place around meal and shredded pork or simmering red-chili sauce for enchiladas. Since the Lucios converted the first Armadillo Restaurant from a tough-guy bar into a restaurant in 1972, they’ve opened six additional locations in the Front Range.
For the last 12 years, the Real De Minas kitchens have tempted patrons with the aromas of sizzling meats, vegetables, and seafood, as the chefs whip up authentic Mexican dishes. At breakfast, chefs dish out traditional Mexican meals including huevos rancheros and chilaquiles, in addition to a varied lineup of omelets. Later, entrees such as burritos, lobster-tail fajitas, and steaks team up with 13 combination platters. Guests can pair bites with imported beers and 26-ounce margaritas, the ideal amount of liquid to spit take into an enemy?s face.
Caribbean Breeze sends forth bursts of flavor with its menu of Latin- and Caribbean-inspired meals. Inside the well-lit eatery, chefs prepare shrimp three ways: breaded in coconut, swimming in a champagne cream sauce, or wrapped in bacon and cheese. Salmon and tilapia filets evoke more delicate flavors straight from the grill. The kitchen also concocts Mexican classics such as carne asada, which is served with deep fried jalapenos alongside rice and beans.
The year was 1967, and Stella Cordova was working in a restaurant called Chubby's Burger Drive In. One day, the owner made approached her with a curious offer?would she like to buy the place? Stella said yes, and today she keeps locals well-fed by managing the eatery she once worked in. Since then, The Original Chubby's has changed locations, altered its name, and sprouted a second spot in the arts district?now in the hands of Stella's grandson Julian. This time, though, the menu's fare features a Mexican twist. Stella's own favorite is the green chile-topped Mexican burger served with a side of cheese fries, but dozens of burgers, tacos, and burritos fly across the counter at Chubby's until midnight.
Father-and-son team Liberato and Ricardo Garcia grew their family business into a local franchise rooted firmly in a passion for authentic Mexican recipes served in festive surroundings. To that end, the eatery takes its name from a joyous exclamation heard often in Mexico during lively nights on the town, when meeting a good friend on the street, or after successfully completing a high-five. This joie de vivre is evident in Ajuua’s colorful cuisine, from its guac-covered nachos to its top sirloin smothered in strips of bell pepper. Diners sip chilly margaritas as they tuck in to plates of bacon-wrapped prawns, sautéed pollo a la crema, or hearty chorizo con huevos.