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.
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.
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 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.