Reader: Good riddance to Las Margaritas

Categories: Cafe Society

Las Margaritas poured its last marg last night. After 25 years, the restaurant has closed for good, and the space will become the home of Robert Thompson's reincarnated Argyll Whiskey Beer, which looks like a good fit for this increasingly vibrant stretch of East 17th Avenue. Some people will miss the veggie enchiladas at Las Margaritas. No one will miss the bathrooms.

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Las Margarita on 17th Avenue is closing.

Says Will:

It was a neighborhood favorite of ours when it first opened there, but has steadily gone down hill in recent years. The service and food were so bad the last time we stopped in over the past few years that we vowed never to go in again. Good riddance, we look forward to something new going in there.
Other Mexican restaurants in town boast even longer histories than Las Margaritas -- and many more fans. What's your favorite old-time Mexican spot in the metro area? Your favorite newcomer?

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Dave Rossi
Dave Rossi

If you need a fix, and Casa Bonita is closed, come up to Breckenridge and sample it's many "fine" Mexican establishments. Same ilk: El Sysco.


Non-Mexicans argue more about what "real" Mexican food is more than actual Mexicans, I swear.

ScubaSteve topcommenter

Neither green chili or "Tex-Mex" are Mexican foods.  And I mean REAL Mexican food.  Now I know that Mark Antonation will want to throw in his worthless two-cents of hot air, but so what?

Denver Dave
Denver Dave topcommenter

I think La Loma has probably been around as long or longer than Las Margaritas and is still my favorite.  Give me some of their great green chile with a couple of those house made tortillas and I'm a happy guy.

davebarnes topcommenter

MY favorite new [to me] Tex-Mex spot is La Concinita on West 29th. Cheap food prices. Great patio. And, I can walk to it during clement weather.

My favorite junior breakfast burrito spot is Burrito Giant. Two blocks from my house.

Mantonat topcommenter

@foodcrazy  Merry Christmas to you too! " He brought everything back, all the food for the feast. And he, he himself - Foodcrazy - carved the roast beast."

For what it's worth, I've waffled on this more often than a roomful of Belgian street-food vendors. I remember claiming that Hacienda Colorado isn't Mexican food. But I've also defended Denver's green chile as "authentic." My conclusion for now is that I'll leave all claims of authenticity to the cooks of Mexico and their descendants who live, work, shop, and cook in the U.S., whether as recent immigrants or as fifth-generation citizens whose roots twine through the red soil of Colorado and who have been cooking with indigenous ingredients long before I bit into my first Old El Paso hard-shell taco. 

Academic and pointless discussions by a couple of white guys hardly matter to the abuelita in, for example, Texas, who may have been born in San Angelo or McCallen and who may never have been south of the Rio Grande, but whose traditions, language, and recipes can't be separated from those Chihuahuans or Sonorans who, but for a river and a government, are of the same blood. Maybe she tops her enchiladas with cheddar cheese, God forbid, or maybe she makes a mean pot of chili con carne and doesn't care whether you spell it with an i or an e. 

If you're going to claim that something is or isn't Mexican, you first need to decide what you mean by Mexican. Is Mexican a nationality, an ethnicity, a commonality of people that bridge formal borders because those people were spread across the land long before the border was decided? We live right on the edge of what was actually once - not very long ago - a physical part of Mexico, and many people just south of us (in  for example Raton, NM or Heurfano County, CO) have ancestors who were Mexicans, but who never moved or immigrated north. The border moved, but they didn't. And they've been cooking the same foods with the ingredients at hand for all that time. So feel free to tell those people that their food isn't REAL Mexican; I'll be too busy stuffing my mouth with flour tortillas soaked in green chile to argue one way or the other.

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