Tortugas Offers Taste of the Tropics in Longmont

Pleasant restaurant with Caribbean-Mexican menu spices up Longmont

My husband, our friend John and I ate at Tortugas when it first opened some years back in an old house just west of downtown Longmont. I wasn’t blogging about restaurants, collecting menus or photographing food back then, so all I remember was a pleasant, casual quasi-Island ambiance, good food and great drinks. Between then and now, the restaurant endured a fire and increasing competition in the Longmont area. We returned not long ago with our friend Mike. Despite the passage of time, the casual, breezy ambiance I remembered is still there.

The room is simple and pleasant, and the mstly Caribbean, partly Mexican food certainly is tasty, with enough spice to waken the taste receptors but not so much to deaden them It evokes the spirit of the tropics when it’s cold outside, and when it’s warm, the restaurant matches the climate. They do an especially good job with seafood, which means they don’t overcook it — and that is not to be taken for granted in the shadow of a Colorado turkey processing plant.  I don’t know whether every single entree comes with the same side dishes — a pile of rice topped with black beans and a swirl of crema — but cameon the entree plates on our table.

The cocktails, like this large margarita, reflect Tortugas' roots.
The appetizer portion of mussels sofrito is served in a soup plate that holds the mollusks and the liquid in which they were steamed (red wine, butter, chipotles, onion, garlic, tomatoes and cilantro) and to provide a perch for the slices of bruschetta for dipping.
Shrimp callaloo, a Caribbean classic dish, made at Tortugas with squash and spinach in a spicy coconut habanero sauce.
A trio of tacos overflowing with filling and jostling for space on the plate with the rice/bean combo and plantains.

 

The catch of the day with guess-what on the side.
One dessert and three forks, and I'm embarrassed that I can't recall exactly what that sliced goodness in a pool of pureed mango was -- and my notes are
One dessert, three forks. And I'm emnbarrased that I can't recall what those thick slices of sweet goodness in a pool of pureed mango were. Forgive me.

Price check: At dinner, appetizers, $7-$8.50; entrees, $12-$21; sices,

 

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One thought on “Tortugas Offers Taste of the Tropics in Longmont”

  1. I never go to Tortugas during cold months because I find it noisy and crowded, altho I like the food. But I love eating on their patio, enjoying a hot summer’s night and (hopefully) a full moon. It’s a great way to wind down–

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