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.
El Jardin has been serving the Metro North area for over 28 years! There is a reason why we have been in business this long. WE care about your dining experience. It is our goal to provide an exceptional dining experience during each visit. We have the BEST staff on the PLANET! Come find out what customer service really is!
Si Senor skillfully serves a menu abundant with delectable Mexican fare. The Si Senor breakfast sates hungers built while squeezing full-size bricks into legos with two eggs, home fries, two tortillas, green chili, and a choice of crispy bacon or spicy chorizo ($7.25). Lunch seekers can munch on the burrito sampler plate, a medley including four 6-inch burritos ($9.75), and the make-your-own combo allows diners to mix and match items to create a dream team of hunger-conquering eats ($9.95). Cultures collide with the mexican hamburger, a flour tortilla filled with hamburger steak and beans strewn with cheese, lettuce, and tomato and served with rice ($8.75). A range of kid-friendly eats ($4.95) is also available to keep bored tots from starting careers in commercial real estate.
La Estrellita has been serving up mouth-watering Mexican fare to area residents for more than 20 years. Start with an order of the mexi rolls ($7.50–$8.50), a family creation of ground beef and pico de gallo wrapped in an egg roll and deep fried, or share a plate of spicy chicken wings ($8–$8.50) coated in the family’s award-winning sauce. Main courses such as crab and spinach enchiladas ($9–$10) or spicy fish tacos (jalapeño-marinated tilapia grilled with caramelized onions, $10) are sure to please aquaphiles, while a combination plate such as the costillas adobadas (country-style ribs served with rice and beans, $10–$11) will satisfy even the most insatiable talking plant. Most of La Estrellita’s entrees can be served vegetarian upon request, much to the delight of vegetarians and those who derive energy through photosynthesis. Conclude any meal as sweetly as a Marlon Brando after-school special with an order of the dessert nachos ($6–$6.29) or one of La Estrellita’s 15+ margarita flavors (starting at $5.50).
Chili Verde's ingredient-smiths keep a royal court of authentic southern Mexican cuisins crafted from generations-old family recipes. Even if they leave their AAA cards at home, diners can jump-start taste buds with an appetizer of organic guacamole or crab-stew tostadas, before savoring flavorful bites from an artfully plated entree of crepas poblanas, a dish packed with shredded chicken that Westword named Best Crepes in 2010. The spaguetti poblano flaunts pasta and chicken breast (available Saturday only), and the relleno de mariscos, a pepper stuffed with seafood, fruit, and nuts, is delightfully free from gluten and evil spirits. A solid lineup of adult-centric beverages, including wines, cocktails, and imported beers such as Tecate and Negra Modelo, coats throats six days a week as patrons admire the eatery's minimalistic dining room festooned with silver hanging lights, Mexican décor, and vibrant green accents.
Julia Blackbird's New Mexican Café is the culmination of two of chef and owner Julie Siegfried’s deepest passions: cooking and New Mexico. To this day, her mother recalls Julie standing on a step stool, trying to peer into a soup pot and giving her grandmother directions about what to put in. And on her first trip to New Mexico, she used up 10 rolls of film snapping pictures. She fell in love with the region's unique vibe—the people, the artwork, and, of course, the food.
Today, she shares both of her loves with diners at Julia Blackbird's New Mexican Café. Her kitchen is stocked with New Mexican ingredients such as blue cornmeal, goat cheese from the San Luis valley, and piñones. For her signature dish, the Tres Hermanas, she stuffs a trio of blue-corn enchiladas: one with chicken and green chile, one with beef and red chile, and one with cheese and chile caribe. To make sangria, the staff soaks seasonal fruit in rum, then splashes the mixture with wine and sparkling water. The menu also features beers, mojitos, and top-shelf margaritas, which encourage diners to linger in the warmly lit space, admiring brightly colored artwork or arguing about whether red should be added to the list of primary colors.
Throughout the summer months, el Camino's rooftop garden blossoms with organic cilantro and mint leaves, providing ultra-fresh accouterments for the eatery's Mexican feasts. And though the small garden doesn’t cultivate all of el Camino’s ingredients, the rest of the bounty originates not too far from Highland. For example, the eatery's chefs stuff housemade tamales, tacos, and other lunch and dinner specialties with all-natural chicken, beef, and pork from local vendor Anderson Meats. They create guacamole, salsa, and each and every dessert completely from scratch, using produce supplied by two Colorado companies, Red Hat Foods and Arroyo Produce. Beyond supporting the local economy, el Camino tries to preserve the entire ecosystem by operating on 100% wind power and recycling all of its cans, bottles, and cardboard cutouts of Al Gore.
While satisfying hunger with decadent, locally sourced food, including a daily brunch, el Camino sates rippling thirsts for both beer and entertainment. The bar pours drafts from the likes of Del Norte, Avery, and Great Divide breweries, and mixes up potent bloody marys, mimosas, and sangria. Every night of the week brings a different treat, such as $1 street tacos on Tuesday and the Tito Del Barrio Malaga flamenco band every Saturday.