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.
Baristas stationed behind the counters at Maui Wowi Hawaiian pour aromatic mugs of authentic Kona coffee, and blend hormone-free dairy and fresh-fruit signature smoothies. Handpicked from Hawaii’s sprawling coffee plantations, Kona beans nestle inside 1-pound bags to caffeinate tongues with rich, heady flavors such as 100% Kona and Kona-light-roast varieties, perfect for brewing at home or mid-transatlantic flight. Frosty fruit smoothies ($3.50–$7.50) cool mouths with tropical flavors such as mango orange and piña colada, berry blends such as black raspberry and strawberry banana, or the citrus-fuelled power surge of a large lemon wave. Homemade yogurt concoctions brim with immune-boosting live and active cultures, and in-house-brewed sips of authentic Kona coffee ($1.50–$4.50) and espresso drinks ($3.50–$5) warm awaiting palms.
David "Red" Cohen knows it is an odd combination, but Red's Dogs & Donuts is all about serving his favorite two foods. Hebrew National hot dogs crackle warmly alongside andouille sausages and brats crafted from smoked elk, pheasant, bison, alligator, and other meats. Mole sauce, chili, jalapeños, pickled red onions, and other toppings turn the hot dogs into a feast for patrons or a nightmare for an actuary calculating napkin-insurance premiums. A frosted, sprinkled, filled, and powdered array of more than 60 donuts make use of Red's secret batter recipe, which substitutes in potato flour to add extra fluff and crunch to the house-made treats. The donuts don fixings including maple glaze and bacon, and belgian waffles sport cherries and whipped cream or a sausage-and-egg scramble drizzled in syrup.
The sandwich artists at Silver Mine Subs take a no grilling or frying approach to designing bread-bound eats, putting the spotlight on fresh, crisp ingredients. Browse the menu in search of the Steam Engine, a warm hoagie stuffed with meatballs, marinara sauce, and provolone (5", $4.19), or the turkey-and-avocado-packed Caribou (8", $5.79). For a more flavorful punch than a chocolate-dipped boxing glove, patrons can aggravate the Mother Lode's layers of roast beef, turkey, ham, and salami (11", $9.79). Complement subs with a piping-hot cup of broccoli-cheese soup ($2.99) or a garden salad sprinkled with fat-free ranch dressing ($3.99).