3 Margaritas decorates tables with zesty plates of traditional Mexican fare paired with upscale Patron margaritas. The dinner for two presents pairs with sizzling plates stacked with slivers of marinated beef, chicken, or shrimp intertwined with fresh green peppers, onions, and spices. Each entree buddies up with taste bud-tantalizing sides of rice and beans, cheese, pico de gallo, guacamole, and sour cream, all of which create flavors more rousing than a static-charged balloon to the tongue. Alternatively, gaping maws can opt for a meat-free meal by requesting the vegetarian fajitas. After sharing a crispy sopapilla dessert drizzled with honey and cinnamon and sipping on top-shelf Patron margaritas, dining duos take to the streets inspired to get haircuts shaped like agave plants.
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.
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.