Tag Archives: Denver

Casa Bonita: Cartman-Approved

20 Oct

Denver’s Casa Bonita is in a class all it’s own. Where else can one watch cliff divers, gun battles, and mariachi bands in a faux tropical grotto that would make Disney World jealous? While simultaneously eating sub-par mexican food? Within a recreation of a 18th century Spanish-American church in a strip mall? Mention it to any Coloradoan and their face will light up in recognition. Everyone’s been there, and everyone has a story. Even outsiders know about the place, because it is our first and only nacho destination to be the subject of a South Park episode.

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Yes folks, that is pretty much exactly what Casa Bonita is like. Eighteen years ago, this nacho patroller got lost in Black Bart’s Cave, panicked, and ran headfirst into a rock wall. Hoping not to repeat this experience, she returned once more with a friend in tow, and sampled the nacho salad:


  • Appearance: (3) Wan lettuce does not a salad make. We’re calling this what it was: a boring plate of nachos with some lettuce tossed on top. The only real cheese was lightly sprinkled, unmelted on top; a few sad tomatoes were the only spark of life.
  • Quality of Ingredients: (1) Ever seen an Oriental Trading catalogue? Pages upon pages of brightly colored party supplies, seasonal chatckes and goody-bag toys. In theory, it sounds like a great idea– a dozen “Villanous Hairy Mustaches” or 144 “Halloween Pencil-Top Erasers”for $4.99? As Cartman would say, “Awesome!”. But then you realize that you paid good money for some unabashedly tacky, poorly made, completely unnecessary item. That’s how we feel about the ingredients of these nachos.
  • Distribution of Toppings: (5) In lieu of actual cheese, they used cheese sauce, which got everywhere; however, it was thin and watery and everything it touched turned yucky. We commenced a desperate, ultimately futile search for naked chips.
  • Price: (2) $12 is totally not worth it for these nachos. But let’s face it, you aren’t here for the food, you’re here for the spectacle.
  • Overall: 10. The worst nachos that this patroller has ever eaten. But the cliff-diving show, scary cave, old-time photos, arcade, and underground mining-themed dining room were enough to take our minds off of them.

These nachos should be thrown off a cliff and then banished to Black Bart’s Cave.


Jordan’s Irish Nachos: Luck of the Mexican

1 Oct

Despite their south-of-the-border roots, nachos have a chameleon-like ability to fit into any cuisine.  We’ve had good luck before with Big City’s Mediterranean Nachos, so when the opportunity arose to try Irish nachos (oh, the possibilities! Potatoes! Beer??) on our Denver vacation, we jumped at the chance.  Jordan’s, an Irish pub on the edge of DU, provided us with these beauties: kettle-fried potato chips topped with corned beef, swiss cheese, horseradish dijon, tomatoes and scallions.


  • Appearance: (8 ) Colorful, not too gooey, but still exciting.
  • Quality of Ingredients:  (9) We are mildly obsessed with potato chips.  Kettle chips, even more.  These were clearly house-made and delicious.  The corned beef was equally sublime, and the dijon creation added a nice zing.  The tomatoes and scallions were fresh and delicious, and swiss cheese added a nice mellow flavor.
  • Distribution of Toppings:  (8 )There was little viscosity in the toppings on these nachos; then again potato chips work better without toppings than do tortilla chips.  However, they made the dish as a whole heavy to eat, and when they did get a little soggy, they became immediately unpalatable.  The cheese was distributed well, although we could have used a little more of the corned beef.
  • Price: (7) Everything in Denver is cheaper than in Boston…except for these nachos, at $9.
  • Overall: 32/40.  We traveled from Boston, land of the Irish, to Denver, land of delicious Mexican food… and found a delicious Irish take on Mexican food.  There’s a conclusion to be drawn from that…somewhere.