Large Longmont space, classic menu, long history and tasty eats
Deli Cioso, which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, is a family-owned, family-run restaurant serving food made from treasured Mexican and New Mexican recipes.Rudy Macias, an air controller who lost his job in 1981 when President Ronald Reagan, fired 12,000 striking US air controllers, had an itch to open a restaurant where no one could fire him. His children have taken on the original Deli Cioso and opened a second one, but Macias is reportedly still around a lot, but not on a mid-afternoon on an August weekend.
My husband, who works on the IBM campus between Boulder and Longmont, occasionally drives up for lunch and suggested it when we returned from the Loveland Sculpture Invitational. The roadside sign is of a scale worthy of Route 66, but the low-slung building with its colorful entrance could be somewhere in Mexico of the borderlands of the US. Tall wooden shutters painted blue and a bell tower over the entrance are a suitable transition into this evocative eatery.
The large parking lot had few cars during the off-hour when we arrived, and a tables in the main dining room were occupied. Two others were empty at that time. Over the bar is a sign for “Rock-N-Ford,” to commemorate the family’s connection with Rocky Ford.
We picked a cheerful booth. I studied the menu. My husband didn’t, because he always has either a $7 or #9 combination plated, because he loves the chili rellenos there. Combination plates come with two sides, and his favorites are chinitos, which elsewhere is called refritos, and papas, Deli Cioso’s fried potatoes. He was true to form, ordering a #9 combo — but this time with a side of “greens.” At Deli Cioso, “greens” are cooked-down spinach with onion, tomato and chili.
Deli Cioso prides itself on being “The Burrito Specialists,” but we didn’t have any. Next time!
Price check: Combo plates: $9.20-$10.75. Everything else comes in a complicated (abut very reasonable) a la carte or combo menu. For instance, enchiladas come 1, 2 or 3 to an order; the most expensive is Enchilada Rancheras — 3 stacked enchiladas smothered in green chili with lettude and choice of 2 sides, $8.25.