Beer selection: Typical domestic and Mexican imports
Food: Better than expected Mexican dishes
Sometimes, finding a good place to eat isn’t that hard.
Just take a look around at the folks eating there.
Typically, the majority of people dining at a truly authentic Mexican restaurant will be, well, Mexican.
If you’re the only gringo in the joint, it’s a very good sign the place is the real deal.
So with that in mind, La Fogata was not off to a good start.
A tidy little place near the intersection of I-25 and I-225, this suburban cantina looks like white bread and yuppified as a Chi-Chis. And they went out of business years ago.
The only Mexicans at La Fogata were the ones cooking and serving the food.
But what would you expect in the soulless suburban hell that is south Denver?
Well, as it turned out, you can expect some darn good authentic Mexican food.
My originally low expectations were forgotten after I scooped the first chip into La Fogota’s homemade salsa. Too many Mexican restaurants serve up bland, watery tomato puree and call it “salsa”.
Not La Fogata. This dark red salsa was a burst of vibrant flavor and spice—a premonition of even better things to come.
My “Toquitos de Carne Adobada” were delicious and reminiscent to marinated pork dishes I’ve eaten in Santa Fe, though not as spicy. Tender chunks of pork smothered in a zesty red chili sauce come served on warm corn tortillas with an extra helping of sauce on the side.
Accompanied by grilled onions, lime wedges, tomatoes, and a guacamole salad, it was one of the best Mexican dishes I had in a long time.
After polishing off my meal, my only regret was that I couldn’t sit there all afternoon and try every dish on the menu—complimented by an endless amount of Negra Modelo, obviously.
But alas, the TSA agents over at Denver International Airport were waiting for me to justify their pathetic existence and paycheck.
However, I did leave with something valuable – a reason to look forward to returning to the antiseptic strip malls and cul-de-sacs of south Denver.
Rating: Seriously Thought About Buying Shirt