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  1. #1
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    Cone Pix and restaurant review

    Posted on passion but besides pix, I wanted to make a note of our lunch experience.

    We started just after eight CCW, and had a quiet trail but as we neared the parking lot, more and more riders started appearing; This was our second outing here, last time being when the trail was out and back due to the Elk closure. I enjoyed the climbs better since it was cooler than the last time. They are smooth and not too steep.

    Our after ride lunch is usually at the Ali Baba, but we decided to try that Tamale Kitchen. Being from New Mexico originally, I have strong opinions of mexico style cuisine.

    I was excited.

    Renee ordered a plate that contains Tamales. You can't go there and not order the house named food, That would just not be right.

    I had a breakfast burrito with papas smothered in Red chile.

    The verdict....hmmm...very mixed. The service was very slooooooooooow. That is ok if the food it outstanding, but her tamale was mostly masa and hardly any pork. Not how I make tamales.

    My burrito was huge for $2.55 Smothered in gobs of red sauce. unfortunately, other than it being filling, it was surprisingly bland. Not very spicy. The sauce was almost like enchilada sauce from a can.

    However, for just over $2, I can get a hand held burrito, that would make a terrific breakfast and that is one great deal. The prices are amazingly reasonable. I would go back but only for a hand held burrito to go.

    Some pix from the ride.
















    Last edited by lidarman; 09-03-2007 at 03:06 PM.

  2. #2
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    Great pics as usual--The Cone is an enjoyable ride

    I know what you mean about "real" New Mexican food. I've had the real deal in Santa Fe (La Choza, The Shed and others) and it's hard to accept mediocre imitations. Then there's Mexican style food and I'm as opinionated there (I've never come to grips with restaurants in
    Denver serving "Spanish rice"). Try the tamales at "La Casa de Tamales" at roughly 36th and Tejon or 44th and Tennyson. Red or green, your choice.

    So, digame senor, where would you take someone from out of town for a "true" Mexican style meal here? Or New Mexican, if such a thing exists. ( I tried to find a hungry face to end this with but no such luck.).
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  3. #3
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    nice grayscale imagery up there...

    tamale kitchen-- only get the food to go (IMHO). decent grub for super cheap, but the restaurant smells like some kind of sewer leak (again, IMHO). and the bright yellow interior (used to be a subway) induces instant migrain.

    if you wanna sit down in golden for mexican food, try la caretta, just a minute or two from tamale kitchen (turn west where golden bike shop is). food is better, service is faster, and best of all-- 2 for 1 margaritas every night.

    me? i had my first smothered burrito at wondervu cafe (post-ride) today... yummy!

  4. #4
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    Best photos of Centennial I've ever seen posted here. Thanks.

  5. #5
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    Was at cone yesterday, what a greatride. Beatiful pics. I got there at around 10:00 and it was pretty busy, but with no hikers it was that bad. Love the gray pic.

    Erik

  6. #6
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    Back from our ride at CC today. Only my second or third time up there, and my first time riding up Mayhem Gulch. I love that climb! They did a great job of planning and constructing the trails up there IMO- I think they are gonna last a long time. Very little erosion even with all the afternoon rains we've been getting recently.

    We avoided Tamale Kitchen thanks to the mediocre review from Lidarman. But Ali Baba's rocks!... good food and dirt cheap. I could afford to eat there every day!
    I drank the 29er koolaid- turns out it was POWERade

  7. #7
    Rolling
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedell99
    Was at cone yesterday, what a greatride. Beatiful pics. I got there at around 10:00 and it was pretty busy, but with no hikers it was that bad. Love the gray pic.

    Erik
    It's likely we crossed paths. Which lot did you park in and which way did you go? We parked at the centennial cone rode lot and rode CCW.

    I was on a red Turner and my wife on a black and white bike...just kidding, she was on a blue Titus Loco Moto.

    MtbRN, how is the grade on the mayhem trail compared to the rest of the loop?

  8. #8
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    Mmmmm don't ask why....

    But don't go there, especially on weekends.

    I live a couple of blocks from Tamale Kitchen and used to go there all the time to get my dose of 'home' but I got grossed out and I'll spare you why.

    Trust me you'll be better off. Next time I roll to Abq., how about if bring back some original Garcia's?
    Sorry what?

  9. #9
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    Hey, New Mexico folks, help me out here

    Quote Originally Posted by bulletbob
    But don't go there, especially on weekends.

    I live a couple of blocks from Tamale Kitchen and used to go there all the time to get my dose of 'home' but I got grossed out and I'll spare you why.

    Trust me you'll be better off. Next time I roll to Abq., how about if bring back some original Garcia's?
    Sorry if this seems like a thread hijack (Lidarman, your pics are spectacular as usual but you just had to mention tamales!)

    Where is there an "authentic" New Mexican restaurant in the Denver area? You know, real carne adovada, blue corn tacos...have to stop typing, I'm drooling on my keyboard. Oh, yeah...anywhere in the entire area to get great menudo? Menudo can either be horrible or great...too many folks sample bad menudo and give up. I've had great in San Diego. Surely some chef in Denver knows what they're doing.
    Last edited by xcguy; 09-03-2007 at 05:47 PM.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by lidarman
    MtbRN, how is the grade on the mayhem trail compared to the rest of the loop?
    They actually did a spectacular job of building that trail- it is a nice steady climb to the top. Pretty much on par with the majority of the loop (Travois?) trail. The first 100 feet or so are a little loose and rocky, then it smooths out. Thanks to some well-placed switchbacks, you gain a lot of altitude without having to burn your legs out.
    I drank the 29er koolaid- turns out it was POWERade

  11. #11
    Rolling
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy

    Where is there an "authentic" New Mexican restaurant in the Denver area? You know, real carne adovada, blue corn tacos...have to stop typing, I'm drooling on my keyboard. Oh, yeah...anywhere in the entire area to get great menudo? Menudo can either be horrible or great...too many folks sample bad menudo and give up. I've had great in San Diego. Surely some chef in Denver knows what they're doing.
    Sorry, I don't know actually.

    I don't know Denver. I hear stuff about Denver, but I hear the same stuff about boulder from locals who don't know better.

    My favorite place in Boulder is Casa Alvarez (I like efrain's too)....it's good, but nothing like NM cuisine. Nothing like I expect. But tastes vary all over the place.

    I like Casa because they have good chile rellenos. They have good red chile inferno sauce. They have good enchiladas. They have good rice and beans with their meals.

    They still lack that amazing fresh chile sauce that is made from fresh chile and a proper rue. But they are ok. A good red sauce doesn't need fresh chiles, it just needs good prep since red chile is dried and then ground.

    The chile is key to authentic NM cuisine....big jim style chiles roasted correctly is golden. They don't have to be overbearing hot, but they need to be flavorful and correct roasting keeps the flavor but makes the texture just right...especially for rellenos.

    I have my laughable theory that when you import NM chile to colorado, it changes as you cross the border. Something chemical.

    I want to believe that theory. But then I bring up bushels of freshly roasted green chile and prove it wrong in my kitchen every year too.

  12. #12
    serving suggestion
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    Where is there an "authentic" New Mexican restaurant in the Denver area?
    Don't know about authentic "New Mexican," but the best "Mexican" food in Denver can be found here. Bar none.

    Oh yeah, and bring cash. They don't take ya'll's gringo credit.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TVC15
    Don't know about authentic "New Mexican," but the best "Mexican" food in Denver can be found here. Bar none.

    Oh yeah, and bring cash. They don't take ya'll's gringo credit.
    I'll have to try those guys out next time I have down to DH. Bummer though, I wonder if they would have delivered while I was in the hospital last year.......
    Sorry what?

  14. #14
    Bad Andy
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    Got Dirt is on the right track - for post-ride mexican (not New Mexican) in Golden - you can't go wrong with La Carreta. There is one where he mentioned and another one on South Golden Road between the King Soopers and Denver West. Great food, fast, and good prices. I like Las Fuentes in Lakewood also - about 2nd and Union - behind the Hamburger Stand. Senor Sol is really good too.
    My favorite Mexican food in all of Denver I have found is Camargo's on 44th and Wyandot (between Federal and Pecos). It's the definition of hole in the wall, but really good green chili flavor - not very spicy though. Anyone else been there?
    For New Mexican I heard Jack-N-Grill on about 26th and Federal is good.
    Lidarman - great pix the climb up mayhen is actually very enjoyable. The flow and smoothness of the trail is typical CC. An easy and fast climb, but fun, and scenic.

  15. #15
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    This and a thread on a different board has got me to thinkin' - is "real" Mexican food as good as we all imagine it to be? Or is the mediocre stuff we can find around the Denver area actually "authentic"? I'm curious to hear from people who have visited the Old Country and tasted the "real" Mexican food.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by andychrysler
    Got Dirt is on the right track - for post-ride mexican (not New Mexican) in Golden - you can't go wrong with La Carreta.
    I'll definitely second (or third) La Carreta on S. Golden Rd. for good food and pretty cheap to. They can make it smokin' hot to!

    Anyone else notice their beef has a slight hint of mole in the sauce to?
    Sorry what?

  17. #17
    Rolling
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles
    This and a thread on a different board has got me to thinkin' - is "real" Mexican food as good as we all imagine it to be? Or is the mediocre stuff we can find around the Denver area actually "authentic"? I'm curious to hear from people who have visited the Old Country and tasted the "real" Mexican food.
    Well it's changed over the years and in Mexico, if you are not careful and just go to the resorts, it's the same as here. The make it live up to what we are used to and expect.

    The history of mexican food comes from the influence of the native cultures. In Mexico, the Mayan influence is big. In New Mexico the Navajo and other tribe influences are big.

    There really isn't an "Authentic" The US variations are california mex which has the Baja influence. Tex Mex,...etc.
    I prefer the New Mex because that is what I grew up eating and as I said before, I think it's the Chile. The big Jim peppers roasted correctly and made into a sauce for red, eated chopped for green (or made into a sauce too). WHole pinto bean are part of the meal rather than refried beans,

    Want a great experience, go to one of the taqueria ot tortiaria in the hispanic part of town and get something. They are usually in a place where everyone speaks spanish only. In Boulder, there is one on Valmont and 20th. I always love their breakfast burritos. These places usually have great food and are really inexpensive. That is what the Tamale kitchen is in a way but they screwed it up.

    On my way to Moab, I hit one in West Grand Junction called Los Jilbertos. On sunday all the locals are getting Menudo.

  18. #18
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    I've eaten all over Mexico

    and of course it's different. You never see burritos, fajitas, chimichangas or even tacos on a menu, the cheeses they use are different and you have to watch exactly where you do eat (like, go to the town market, check out all the ghastly meat hanging there and realize it's the same meat served up in the restaurants). Fish cooked right when it comes off the boat is always a good thing. You get a side of corn tortillas to scoop up your food. And in Mexico you'd never get a basket of chips and salsa before your meal. Unheard of there, pretty much expected up here.

    I'm mostly from Colorado and had only eaten Colorado-style M. food (Spanish rice!!), huge bean burritos etc. When I lived in San Diego I was able to eat what the kitchen was cooking up using fresh US ingredients. The cooks would bring up their downhome Mexican recipes but modernize it with stuff I was familiar with. Green chile became a pork-filled stew and not slathered all over ("smothered"), I finally had real menudo, the sauces were incredible. And real tamales and chilaquiles...and machaca!! And the real-deal mole in Tasco. I learned not to eat at the chains (Robertos #1 through #100) and sought out single family owned tiny take-out places, where the cook was the mother of a big family and that's where the whole family ate (just like Mexico).

    That's why the restaurants listed above are probably single entities following the form I experienced in San Diego. And, yes, New Mexican food is a different animal, and lidarman is right about the chilies.

    The New Mexican State Question: Green or red?
    Last edited by xcguy; 09-04-2007 at 11:56 AM.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  19. #19
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    There is a great new place for Mexican food. Tacos y Salsa is on Federal and Kentucky. Menu is only in Spanish, novella's on the flat screens and great grub. I can get order a huge plate of food for under 6 bucks.

    Street taco's with all types of meat, burritos and gordita. Not the crappy type that Taco Bell tried to pass off to everyone. All drinks come in bottles - Jarraitos, Coke, all kinds of beer.

    Salsa is made fresh daily. 3 different levels starting at Hot and working it ways up from there.

    El Taco de Mexico has huge breakfast burritos. They are so good/big, that you dont want to ride after eating them. Another place is Santiago's. There is one in Golden, 6th and Kalameth and others around town. Thier 2 dollar BB's are a great snack on a way to a ride.
    Proud Tribe member since 1992 - looking for better singletrack to be ridden year round

  20. #20
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    Boy - you guys sure cleared that up.

  21. #21
    Rolling
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy

    The New Mexican State Question: Green or red?
    and the correct answer is xmas! :P

  22. #22
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    Quote Originally Posted by lidarman
    and the correct answer is xmas! :P
    That's what I always get at Little Anita's.

  23. #23
    Rolling
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    Quote Originally Posted by yetirich
    There is a great new place for Mexican food. Tacos y Salsa is on Federal and Kentucky. Menu is only in Spanish, novella's on the flat screens and great grub. I can get order a huge plate of food for under 6 bucks.

    Street taco's with all types of meat, burritos and gordita. Not the crappy type that Taco Bell tried to pass off to everyone. All drinks come in bottles - Jarraitos, Coke, all kinds of beer.

    .
    Sounds like my kind of place.

    Does it have the "gumball" machines with Homies figures, calacas figures and tattoos of pitpulls. That is how I know it's a good joint!

  24. #24
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    When we do find what we call "great Mexican food"

    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles
    Boy - you guys sure cleared that up.
    in the Denver area we'll take you there. It might be because of the sauces, the quality of their beans or rice, the lack of cornstarch in enchilada sauce (and not necessarily price), whatever. Just beware of somebody who says "you gotta try this place" and takes you to the Armadillo.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  25. #25
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    Lidarman, did you contrast-enhance those B&W photos or do you just possess far superior skills and/or technology to myself. They look awesome, 'specially the one with the sun.

    As for mexican, you guys need to try this place down on Colfax. It's a big pink building that has cliff divers (awesome!), Black Bart's Cave (scary!), a guy in a gorilla suit, and you get to have you're picture taken in jail! It's called Casa Bonita and it's fvcking awesome! Plus, you get to wait in a maze like in Disneyland to order, and then your food comes out of this little window on a plastic tray.

    More sopapillas, please!

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