Tag Archives: Mexican restaurant

A Meal at (and Support for) Rosa Linda’s

Family-owned Rosa Linda’s subjected to threats & hate messages. Guests rally to support restaurant

An ugly incident of bias against the long-time owners of a Highland restaurant turned into a beautiful show of local support. Rosa Linda’s Mexican Cafe, a long-running restaurant in the Highland neighborhood, epitomizes the ethic of a small, family-owned business that attracts a loyal clientele. Before the first presidential debate at the University of Denver, Westword, Denver’s alternative weekly, published a blog post headlined “Mitt Romney stopped at Chipotle this morning but is not invited to Rosa Linda’s.”

Rosa Linda’s is owned by the Aguirre family, US citizens who originally came from Mexico and happen to be Mormons. The headline stated and the post itself implied that Romney was not welcome. It turned to be a twist of what Oscar Aguirre had told Romney’s handlers last August, which was simply that the family said they would welcome the candidate but did not want to be a  campaign stop. Nevertheless, the reaction from who-knows-who was swift and ugly. Westword’s Cafe Society post unleashed a torrent of actions based on ignorance, hate and bias ranging from name-calling to death threats. “Denver restaurant receives death threats after passing on Romney campaign stop,” Channel 9 reported. Continue reading A Meal at (and Support for) Rosa Linda’s

Deli Cioso: Long-Time Longmont Mexican Restauant

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.

Welcoming entryway to Deli Cioso.

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.

Combo #9, one cripsy beef taco, one crispy smothered relleno, one cheese and onion enchilada. Some of the food is camouflaged against the dark plate.
Foil-wrapped chicken fajita with pico de gallo, lettuce and a side of "greens."

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.

&Deli Cioso on Urbanspoon


Senor Ric’s for Tex-Mex

Aurora eatery more reliable than exciting

We have friends who really like Señor Ric’s, and since we like our friends, we’ve been there with them a couple of times. They are Texans, so the predictable Tex-Mex menu is right up their alley and in their food comfort zone. My husband likes it too, because he is happy with anything with “Mex” in the name. I can’t pretend to be as thrilled as they are with that style of cooking, which is based on ingredients commonly available north of the border using cooking methods derived from south of the border. Think combination plates featuring meat (mostly beef) inserted into various tortilla configurations and blanketed with sauce, topped with too much cheese and most often sided refried beans, Mexican rice, shredded iceberg lettuce and chopped tomatoes. For my part, I prefer Southwestern or more authentic regional Mexican cuisines.

Señor Ric’s is a big restaurant just west of I-225. It is tricked out with the usual Mexican decorative items. Popular with families, the dining room is crowded early in the evening and then thins out fast. The kitchen and waitstaff fairly efficiently produce the vast quantities of food to meet the rush-time demand. How different from Mexico, where dinner hour is later and there’s a congenial leisurely pace to every restaurant meal. On our last visit, as before, we started with weak margaritas (our teetotaler friends had soft drinks and iced tea), good crisp chips and salsa that is the most robustly flavored item on the menu, even though it tastes like flavored tomato sauce. From then on, everything seems to bland out.

I mistakenly ordered fish tacos, which had flavor — but unfortunately, it was the bad flavor of strong, dried-out fish that probably had been around a day or two longer than it needed to. I was hungry and was willing to overlook it at first. The unpleasant aspect started to hit me half-way through the first taco, which I managed to finish, though I didn’t even unwrap the second from the aluminum foil in which it was heated. In hindsight, I can’t recall why I didn’t send it back. I must have been feeling mellow. My friend lives nearby, and we often try to meet for dinner when her parents visit from Houston, so I’m sure we’ll go there again. But instead of fish tacos, maybe I’ll try the enchiladas next time, which I think I had before and which one of our friends had this time, or something else. My husband, I’m sure, will again order a combination plate.

Combo of cheese enchilada, shredded beef taco, and ground beef and bean tostada, plus rice, beans and L&T that were served on a separate plate.


Continue reading Senor Ric’s for Tex-Mex

Ed’s Cantina an Estes Park Standby

Estes Park in general & also Ed’s will be filled for this weekend’s Elk Fest

I interrupt this series of restaurant posts from my East Coast visit to mention a recent meal at Ed’s Cantina & Grill, an Estes Park standby that we used to frequent after hiking, ski touring or snowshoeing in Rocky Mountain National Park. We had been in an Ed’s rut for so long that once we decided to get out of it, we stayed out for a really long time.

I recently gave a presentation at the Estes Valley Library across the street from Ed’s. My husband came up to provide much-needed and always-appreciated tech support, so we went to Ed’s for a quick bite. We felt at home again. The menu hadn’t changed much and neither had the restaurant since its major makeover several years ago, and the service was pleasant.

High-backed wooden booths, bare tables and lots of windows are simplicity itself at Ed’s.

The restaurant was setting up for a big party in the bar area on the Elkhorn Avenue side, but quiet in the rear dining room on a post-Labor Day weeknight, and it was too cool to eat on the pleasant patio overlooking the Big Thompson River, which here isn’t very big at all.  This weekend will be a different story. During Estes Park’s popular annual Elk Fest, it and every other eatery in town will jammed. In fact, the last time we went to Ed’s might have been during Elk Fest four or five years ago.

Price Check: Appetizers, $2 for chips & salsa to $8.50 for nachos; soups and salads, $5-$10; burritos, $7.50-$8.50; burgers and sandwiches, $7-$10; platters, $9-$15; à la carte items, $2-$4; gluten-free, $7-$11.

Ed's Cantina & Grill on Urbanspoon