Behind the door on Smashing Nails' maroon-painted porch, a nail artisan preens finger coverings and leaves them shimmering in durable polish. Manicure participants dip their fingers into skin-softening liquids before a specialist prods cuticles into the shearing corral with nails and sheep-poodle hybrids. Following a trim, OPI’s palette of products adorns appendages in colorful sheathing. To create chip-resistant flair for up to three weeks, Gelish morphs impact-resistant gels with glistening polish available in a rainbow of shades. Free-formed Tammy Taylor acrylics adhere to nails without the need to drill existing foundations, preventing the risk of fungal infection.
The chefs at Ruffrano’s Hell’s Kitchen Pizza are sticklers for the flavor and texture of their pies, designing and honing a handful of meticulously crafted specialty recipes. The Hellfire sets taste buds aflame with the spicy flavors of locally made italian sausage and cherry peppers, and the Four Cheese White soothes palates with a blend of ricotta, mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan. Of course, diners can get in on the culinary arts and crafts, putting together their own creations. Alongside traditional toppings such as pepperoni and olives, the restaurant offer three styles of peppers and sausage available in hot, sweet, and garlicky varieties. Customers can further customize their dinners with a gluten-free crust or by opting for a deep-dish pizza, which slow-rises for over an hour, baking into a soft yet crispy blend of cheese, sauce, and crust.
To augment their pizza menu, chefs wrap up a slate of fixings in flaky calzones or toss salads with a choice of dressings. They also put their hand to traditional italian desserts such as cannoli, cheesecake, or cinnamon knots. Staff can artfully display their pies and plates on the restaurant’s tables or package them up for pickup or free delivery.
A line winds across the sidewalk, with people curiously peering ahead to see who has just been let inside. The door opens, releasing not the pulsing of a nightclub, but the aromas of green-chili tamales steaming in cornhusks and chicharron frying. For more then 35 years, the Aguilar family has presided over the little brick building, and their cooking has gained a devoted following. In the kitchen, seasoned beef sizzles in a skillet like the decorations at a dragon’s surprise party, and cool slices of tres leches cakes steep in sweet sauce. As patrons snatch up lunchtime table space, they eye items such as the avocado-and-pork burrito, which the Colorado Springs Independent called “locally legendary.”
The cooks at each of El Parral Mexican Restaurant's locations follow traditional recipes to yield a menu of Mexican fare. Armed with fresh ingredients, they plate tender steak and seafood dishes and reintroduce taste buds to south-of-the-border favorites, such as tortas and burritos. Behind the bar, bartenders concoct signature margaritas and pour them into glasses rimmed with salt, like the eyelids of a sad teenage poet.
Today’s spicy Groupon invites you to a sultry south-of-the-border rendezvous at a hotel made out of Chihuahua cheese. For $25, you’ll get $50 worth of traditional Mexican tastes at La Sandía, an ethnic eatery from famed restaurateur and Denver magazine’s 2009 Person of Power Richard Sandoval.
Tequila Joe's Mexican Kitchen’s friendly staff members lives up to the high standards set by their 2010 Best Mexican Restaurant award from Parker Chronicle, greeting customers with smiles as big as their hearty burritos stuffed with coconut rice and served alongside freely flowing margaritas. Harnessing produce and meats grown and raised in Colorado whenever possible, the chefs craft chimichangas, enchiladas, and tacos brimming with seafood, veggies, and meats—including carnitas and barbacoa beef—as well as southwestern pasta. Bartenders draw from more than 40 tequilas as they pour margaritas for guests, who can watch the big game or their college football team's mascot solve quadratic equations on the big-screen TV. The eatery's orange and adobe walls, rustic accents, and latticed wooden ceiling conjure images of the tropical destinations that inspired Tequila Joe's mouthwatering Mexican eats.