Iconic South Broadway restaurant has modernized its menu
When my husband and I were dating, I was living in Boulder and he was in Englewood, so as often as not, we would meet in Denver. He loves the entire Tex-Mex/border food/Mexican cuisine continuum, and we went to the Blue Bonnet Cafe on Denver’s South Broadway as often as anyplace else. After the obligatory chips and guac and/or chile con queso, he always ordered one of his favorite combination plates, and I usually ordered a single-item entrée. It’s been a while though, and since our last visit, the Blue Bonnet has updated its enormous menu but without cutting down the portion size, inflating prices or dulling the “Cheers!”-type friendliness that has kept people returning for nearly 45 years. And when they leave, customers are likely to have a load of leftovers to take home. Many regulars who prefer not to add Styrofoam to-go boxes to the landfill come prepared with their own Tupperware.
Crisp chips and piquant salsa are the traditiuonal start to every meal.
Classic margaritas and newer mixologist-style creative ones offer a variety of flavors, including various fruits and even cucumber.
House-made flour tortilla chips to dip into soup cups brimming with chile con queso and guacamole. These were too oily for my taste, so I reverted to the regular chips.
Quesadillas come just with cheese or with various additional ingredients, along with a tomato-topped scoop of guac and chipotle salsa. The kitchen is generous with the cheese, regardless of the variation on the theme of quesadilla.
Two overstuffed chiles — one with chicken, one with shrimp — with crema on top. Hiding behind them are good versions of the classic accompanying rice and beans.
Soft tacos, again with a choice of fillings, each topped with shredded cabbage and thinly sliced radish — a nice crisp variation to the conventional iceberg lettuce and chopped hot-house tomatoes.
A four-pack of salsas.
The raspberry and pineapple-habanero salsa are so popular that the Blue Bonnet is now bottling them.
Flan, a classic chilled custard with a rich caramel crown, is a wonderful dessert choice because it slides down easily and fills in whatever spaces remain from the earlier courses.