Reader: I used to be Jack-n-Grill's biggest fan...

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In his Super Bowl bet with Seattle's mayor, Denver mayor Michael Hancock wagered a sampling of some of this city's green chile -- including the version served up at Jack-n-Grill. That's the restaurant that Mark Antonation finally reached in his travels up Federal Boulevard last week, and he praised the "brilliance of the New Mexico-style green chile that you'll have to try hard to keep out of your mouth, as all-smothering as it is on practically every item on the menu." But is Jack-n-Grill as good as it used to be?

See also: Stuffed by not smothered at Jack-n-Grill

Says Denver Dave:

No question that this place knows how to make some righteous New Mexican food and I used to be their biggest fan because, being a New Mexico boy, I miss the native cuisine. It's pretty much Jack-n-Grill or Little Anita's up here. Sadly, their expansion aspirations (at least that's what I'm blaming) have resulted in very inconsistent food and service at the "mother ship" and we've crossed it off our go-to list.
Have you been to the original Jack-n-Grill lately? What do you think of its food? Its green chile?


Location Info

Jack-n-Grill

2524 Federal Blvd., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant


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18 comments
davebarnes
davebarnes topcommenter

Some restaurants hire professionals and put systems in place to ensure high-quality food and service.

Others hire friends and family and rely on the owner's personal supervision to ensure success.

#2 only works with a single location.

#2 only works when Jack is on hand.

Thoz Guyz
Thoz Guyz

Tried it because of "Man VS Food"...not good. Their menudo was the worst I've ever had. Stay on Federal and go to the Columbine Steak House...

Julianne Bryant
Julianne Bryant

The food is slop. I've tried it numerous times because my spouse has been insistent on eating there. Finally, after watching them microwave my burrito, I made that my last time.

Stan Salazar
Stan Salazar

Green chili is over rated and Colorado's has got to be the worst. There is something to be said about any restaurant that purposely smothers everything in green chili. It's like having a beer that you must salt & lime just to enjoy. It must really suck without it. We go to the location off Santa Fe behind the St. Nick store. The food is great and thankfully they do offer a traditional red Sause as opposed to the cookie cutter green chili Sause crap I mentioned earlier. Our waiter is always top notch but they never make our order the same way after several times going nor does the kitchen ever get it right. I ask for ground beef enchilada plate which comes with rice & beans on the side & then order a ground beef crispy taco ala-carte. I've gotten shredded pork enchiladas, cheese enchiladas with ground beef on top and many other variations and excuses for not getting my order right. Only once have they nailed if. When you order ground beef enchiladas, The ground beef goes inside maybe with a little cheese if not the cheese goes on the top followed by the red or green chili sauce on top. I was told I need to request it that way if I want the ground beef inside yet with their pork, chicken or cheese enchiladas, the meats are inside so why is ground beef any different. We always pay, tip good & thank the waiter because he is really good but the kitchen staff at that location really needs some training in uniformity. I mean really, it's damn near impossible to screw up ground beef enchiladas but they do it 99% of the time and it sucks because it's as close to Tex-Mex food I have found in this town.

Tom Bohannon
Tom Bohannon

Bigger isn't always better, just sayin no one needs a burrito that big.

TheFabulousMarkT
TheFabulousMarkT topcommenter

The last time I ate there, I had terrible gas afterwards. (You're welcome).

Having said this, I can definitely still appreciate what they bring to the table. So to speak.

Denver Dave
Denver Dave topcommenter

No question that this place knows how to make some righteous New Mexican food and I used to be their biggest fan because, being a New Mexico boy, I miss the native cuisine.  It's pretty much Jack-n-Grill or Little Anita's up here.  Sadly, their expansion aspirations (at least that's what I'm blaming) have resulted in very inconsistent food and service at the "mother ship" and we've crossed it off our go-to list. 

WillieStortz
WillieStortz topcommenter

Why would anyone want Tex-Mex food? 


The definition of Tex-Mex is taking something that is good and dumbing it down for overweight rednecks. Like putting ground beef in an enchilada. 


Do you bring your own Velveeta when you go out for Tex-Mex at Chilis?

Denver Dave
Denver Dave topcommenter

What is messed up is putting ground beef in anything but a hamburger and maybe meatloaf.  So, if ground beef enchiladas = Tex/Mex I best stay out of Texas.  You would certainly never find ground beef in enchiladas in Mexico.

TheFabulousMarkT
TheFabulousMarkT topcommenter

I feel a new column coming on...

"What's the most messed-up order you've ever received from a restaurant?"

TheFabulousMarkT
TheFabulousMarkT topcommenter

@Denver Dave Good morning Sir!

I know you don't get over to Aurora too terribly much :) but you might want to give Señor Miguel's a try next time you're out this way. I've always liked them.

Interestingly, Dora's also has a couple NM dishes on their menu. And of course we have a few branches of Twisters in town as well. (Admittedly that last one is a somewhat more controversial choice) :)

bondadprevalece
bondadprevalece

@WillieStortz I will never understand why native Coloradans think their brand of Mexican food is more authentic than Texas'. It's almost comical.

Mantonat
Mantonat topcommenter

@WillieStortz Sure there are plenty of bad Mexican restaurants in Texas, just like in Colorado. But true Tex-Mex is just as good as well-made Den-Mex. After all, before it was Texas, the whole region was part of Mexico. Back then, they just called it Mexican food.


Many of the Mexicans living in Texas aren't immigrants; they've been there for generations, under the many flags that have flown over the region, cooking the same food.

TheFabulousMarkT
TheFabulousMarkT topcommenter

@Mantonat @TheFabulousMarkT Sorry. :( My "filter" is lacking even at the best of times. :D

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