Adelitas Cocina Y Cantina – A Denver Review
I’m a sucker for good Mexican food, which means we’re always on the hunt for a new place to nestle in for a plethora of tacos, salsa and vibrant bursts of flavor. That endless hunt lead us to Adelitas Cocina Y Catina one fine Sunday afternoon. South of downtown Denver, this cantina lives in an up and coming neighborhood with a hint of hipster. Walking in, you’ll enjoy a hip vibe, trendy art and a blend between regular tables and a community table. It’s definitely what I coin as “white Mexican food,” which means it’s not authentic cuisine but can still provide on the flavor front.
Since it was hopping (and this is around 1:30pm in the afternoon) we opted for the community table. Shortly after sitting, the hostess adorned the table with the most creative (yet fairly impractical) menus. Cool concept, but the combination of a rolled up menu with hard to read print meant challenges reading the fine print (or any for that matter).
To kick off our shindig, we ordered a bucket of chips and salsa. I’ll never fully get over Mexican joints skipping out on the free chips and bottomless salsa, but alas, here we are. And we were hungry. I’m not exactly sure who determined the proportions for this appetizer, but a small dollop of salsa came with a giant heap of chips. Luckily we were able to remedy the situation with a second helping of salsa. Then on to the main meal.
Winner: Puerco Con Chile Colorado
With a palate still craving the robust display from Southern California, I decided it was time to own up and explore the infamous Coloradan flair, the Chile Colorado. This venture was well rewarded with succulent perfectly cooked pork covered in chile guajillos. It’s tempting to just dive in and enjoy the red meat, which I have to say I did. That’s not how the meal is designed. Which brings me to the warm moist tortillas that came in a separate container. Mmmmmm. Take these scrumptious suckers and pile in all the amenities (refried beans, rice, lettuce and pico de gallo) on the plate into your freshly baked container. For good measure, dip your tortilla concoction into the spare red sauce on the plate. You’ll thank me later.
Overall, this dish made the meal. While I could have gone for a little more heat in the chile sauce, the robust flavor paired with the perfectly cooked meat made it worthy of a repeat visit.
Next Up: The Burrito
Typically a safe bet, this burrito isn’t winning any awards. While a fairly decent presentation, the flavor didn’t come near to the chile of the Chile Colorado dish. To be honest, I can’t remember the specific one Nathan ordered because we took the recommendation of our waiter. As mentioned, it wasn’t a bad burrito, it just wasn’t a ringer. A little more pizazz in the flavor department could have gone a long way.
It’s a blend of house-made refried beans, rice, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, pico de gallo and meat smothered in two of the sauces. Too bad we couldn’t have had it smothered in the Chile sauce. Now that would have had pizazz!