Hailing from Guadalajara, A Taste of Mexico's top chef prepares authentic Mexican dishes in an eatery boasting brightly hued walls, a saltwater fish tank, and a patio with sweeping mountain views. Diners can select from the menu's expansive selection of tortilla-wrapped fare, such as a pork-and-avocado burrito ($7.95) or grilled fajita chicken tacos sprinkled with special chipotle mushroom cream sauce ($10.95). Like the stealthiest food critics, house-made 007 enchiladas ($11.75) hide underneath a cloak of guacamole and fajita steak or chicken while at the table. Diners can opt for the house favorite, carne asada ($13.85), or dive into a special platter, such as camarones rancheros—strips of bacon cinching jumbo shrimp at the waist and adorned with ham, pepper jack cheese, and crab cream sauce ($14.95). A Taste of Mexico cures parched pouts with a margarita based on the chef's secret recipe ($9.95), which will only be shared if the imbiber can correctly guess the number between one and Mexico.
John Pinelli had lived across the country, but he always returned to one place: Philadelphia. Each year, no matter where he was, he would come back to that city like a boomerang. A very hungry boomerang. During his visits, he devoured cheese steaks, Italian hoagies, water ice, and Tastykakes snack pies. He just wished he could bring one of those restaurants back to his home in Denver. Instead, he opened South Philly Cheese Steaks in 2004.
Pinelli's decision to leave his corporate job perplexed his family, but he knew he was on to something. After all, he knew how to make italian hoagies and hot roast beef. He knew how to bake Philly-style pizza, and of course, he knew how to assemble an authentic Philadelphia cheese steak. It all proved successful, and South Philly Cheese Steaks now has several locations across Denver and its surrounding areas—with more likely to come.
At each restaurant, a simple dining room greets patrons with casual tables and a custom mural of Philadelphia's skyline. In the kitchen, cooks work with many ingredients sourced right from Philly. In addition to the classic cheese steak, they assemble special varieties, such as a pizza cheese steak with provolone and marinara.