Before an audience of excited patrons and supporting cast of bloody marys, wine, and imported and domestic bottles, 10 domestic and handcrafted brews dive from taps into chilly glasses. A menu of pub grub complements the adult libations with classic burgers, Mexican favorites such as tacos and enchiladas, and Italian delights including grinders, pizza, and pasta. Fatigued golfers and complacent dry cleaners grow alert at the sight of the Pueblo Slopper, in which green or red chili and shredded cheese ooze over a thick cheeseburger and crisp fries. A covered patio in back shields diners from hot sunbeams, while the front side of the grill boasts outdoor seating that's open to seagull serenades. Flat-screen televisions peppered throughout the space flicker with sports match-ups, and nightly events—such as live music on Fridays and Saturdays and karaoke on Wednesday nights—help customers stay on key without having to eat with a tuning fork.
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.
Tortillas and salsas are handmade in each Cost Vida store, and the executive chef has designed a menu around ingredients that have never seen the inside of a factory or a dehydrated astronaut snack pack, including fresh cilantro, mangos, tomatillos, and all-natural proteins such as sweet pork and baja shrimp made fresh daily. Dishes consist of Mexican staples such as burritos and tacos filled with cheese, meats, and beans, and lighter fare includes salads packed with veggies, salsas, and guacamole. Traditional Mexican desserts end meals on a dulcet chord with flan, key-lime pie, or sweet cinnamon tortilla.
Though lunchtime showcases classic Mexican dishes such as flautas, enchiladas, and quesadillas, Las Brisas' dinner menu features a whole new level of inspiration and taste. For more than two decades, the kitchen—under the direction of Chef Ricardo—has churned out inventive Latin-fusion cuisine that draws on flavors from the Mexican coast, as well as Spain, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean. He concocts a cavalcade of entrees, ranging from swordfish enchiladas to saffron-infused Spanish paella and fresh Mediterranean salmon. Friday and Saturday nights are as special as a puppy’s first words, with his crew flooding the dining room with the smoky aromas of slow-roasted baby-back ribs and succulent Spanish prime rib. Though many of their menu items are wheat-free by nature, Las Brisas caters to dietary restrictions with a special gluten-free menu that's available upon request.
In addition to classic Mexican food staples like sizzling fajitas and tacos al carbon, chefs at Lime incorporate international influences into their Central American cuisine. Steamed edamame and chipotle crema dipping sauce, as well as the scorpion plate’s shrimp flash-fried in a wonton wrapper, mingle Mexican cooking methods and ingredients from Asian traditions. And American fair makes its mark with the Lime's Mexican burger which wraps a flour tortilla around a beef burger patty, served with fries. The restaurant creates a festive atmosphere with margaritas, mojitos, and board games that double as giant maracas.
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.