Like most modern conflicts, the rivalry between soft and hard tacos will not end until one side gets eaten by a bear. Broker a culinary truce with today's Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of New Mexican fare at Cocina Azul's Mountain Road location.
Cocina Azul plates simmering portions of hearty New Mexican dishes alongside American classics, such as half-pound Angus beef burgers, inside a cozy dining room with bright windows that paint a vibrant, full-motion portrait of the bustling world outside. Slathered on items throughout the menu, Cocina Azul’s New Mexican red and green chilies are made daily from a specialty recipe, which calls for soaking chili pods before blending and straining them to achieve a satiny texture that is both smooth and creamy, like the slick façade of Butter Mountain. Owner Frank Barela Sr.’s famous carne adovada enchilada ($10.95) satisfies with generous portions, and Arellana’s guaco sopapilla burger sandwiches a half pound of Angus beef and a dollop of guacamole between two decadently fried sopapilla pastries ($8.95). With marinated pork and potato helpings commingling in savory gravy, a bowl of red-chili stew ($6.95) prompts diners to boldly sip, greedily gulp, and daintily dab napkins over chili-drenched eyebrows.