The nine best places for Texans to eat in Denver

Categories: Best of Denver

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5. Margaritas
The Rio Grande

Texans like their margaritas big and powerful, not watered down by syrupy mixes that taste more like floor polish than fresh citrus. While the food at the Rio, a Colorado chain, may not satisfy a craving for authentic Tex-Mex, the Cuervo-heavy concoctions at the Rio fit the bill; a three-drink maximum means one margarita will quench a Texas-sized thirst, two will have you doing the Cotton-Eyed Joe between the tables and three will make you see big and bright stars.

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6. Chile Con Carne
Elway's Cherry Creek

Don't even utter the words "green chile" in front of a Texan; you'll only be met with a confused look. Down there, it's spelled with an "i" and it's always deep reddish-brown and thick with beef, not pork. Despite chili's humble origins in the street vendors of San Antonio, a satisfying bowl of chili can be found at Elway's Cherry Creek -- look for "spicy steak chili" on the lunch or dinner menu. Surrounded by the hobnobbers and forever-blonde set of Cherry Creek North, your favorite Texan can get a fix for a relative bargain and feel at home scooping spoonfuls from a cast-iron crock of kicked-up comfort topped with the requisite cheddar cheese, onion and sour cream.

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7. Frito Pie
Steve's Snappin' Dogs

If you're not from Texas, Frito pie is just an over-the-top, fast-food mashup best left to the Guy Fieris of the world, who can declare that it's "off the chain!" with hot chili still clinging to his beard. For Texans, though, it's comfort food of the first order; at one time it could even be found on public school lunch menus. Dousing Texas-invention Frito corn chips with a healthy dollop of saucy chili con carne may not seem like much of a culinary effort, but the resulting mess -- salty, crunchy, fiery hot -- makes most Texans a little misty. A well-executed Frito pie, like the bellyful dished up at Steve's, is topped with housemade but unpretentious chili of the highest order with enough yellow cheese to add gooey delight. Colfax Avenue may be a little overwhelming for a ranch hand from west Texas, but Steve's Frito pie will set his mind at ease.

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8. Chicken-Fried Steak
Lola

You don't mess with Texas and you don't mess with traditional chicken-fried steak. Unless you have talented cooks like the crew at Lola, which is billed as a Mexican fishouse but somehow pulls off a brunch-only chicken-fried steak that will have even the most conservative Texans swooning and swearing their allegiance to this liberated interpretation. Served with sweet-potato hash and ladled with green chile and chorizo gravy, pounded New York strip takes the place of humbler cuts for a decided advantage. And once Lola wins them over, maybe Texans can even be coaxed away from their beloved Tex-Mex platters for a taste of Mexican seafood.

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9. Tex-Mex
Efrain's

Efrain's menu has roots in northern Chihuahua, just across the Rio Grande from southwest Texas. The food in the region evolved long before international borders were set, so Texans are familiar with the deep red, robust chile colorado (named for the color red, not our beloved Centennial state), the piquant enchilada platters and the sizzling fajitas that jumped from Texas to national notoriety in the 1980s. If you're dining with your Texas pals, just shield their eyes from anything labeled green chile or chile verde to avoid a brain freeze of the caliber also triggered by Efrain's frozen margaritas -- another Texas invention.

Whatever you do, don't send your new friends from the Lone Star State to the Lone Star Steakhouse; the first restaurant in the chain opened in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and although it's now headquartered in Plano, Texas, there are no branches anywhere in Texas.



Location Info

Map

Kolache Cabin

West Alameda and Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Moontower Tacos

609 Grant St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Wayne's Smoke Shack

406 Center Drive, Superior, CO

Category: Restaurant

Griff's Hamburgers

742 S. Broadway, Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant

1525 Blake St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Elway's Cherry Creek

2500 E. 1st Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Steve's Snappin' Dogs

3525 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Lola

1575 Boulder St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Efrain's Mexican Restaurant

1630 63rd St., Boulder, CO

Category: Restaurant


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324 comments
dvbaresel
dvbaresel

How about someplace with rat feces in the food?

Chad Gordon
Chad Gordon

And I appreciate the spelling Chile, chile is a fruit not some beans and bullshit you put on a horrible tasting hot dog.

Chad Gordon
Chad Gordon

My man that's what I'm saying! I'm born and raised New Mexico not north but south silver and cruces. The Mexican here is imposter texmex mild mountain bullshit.

Joe Brown
Joe Brown

dont coloradans hate texans? everyone i know does haha

Dale Sawin
Dale Sawin

Wow. Maybe with your next famous all you eat buffet and gallon of sweet tea you could ask for a side of anger management and a pinch of Prozac. Have a great heart attack ya all!

Septimius Prime
Septimius Prime

If your chili doesn't have beans... its a godamn sloppy joe! We want them to go back to back to Texas, not feel comfortable here, right?

Jenny Garland
Jenny Garland

Brad Garland Melissa Baer Espinosa Amber Meilahn Amy Crouch Wiebe

Mike Ring
Mike Ring

Davis Williams. ... If you're homesick

Kim Salazar
Kim Salazar

Maybe you guys should put a fence and make Colorado it's own country?! That way you ignorant, self centered, selfish people that are so full of hatred will stop spreading your stupidity to other parts of the US! We live in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA people!! Open your fucking eyes and smell the damn roses!! As much as y'all wish it be, Colorado isn't it's own country. Get over it and accept your fellow Americans.

Kim Salazar
Kim Salazar

Maybe you guys SHOULD put a fence! That way you ignorant, self centered, selfish people that are so full of hatred will stop spreading your stupidity to other parts of the US! We live in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!! Open your fucking eyes and smell the god damned roses!! As much as y'all wish it be, Colorado isn't it's own country. Get over it and accept your fellow Americans.

Kim Salazar
Kim Salazar

Umm, if you mean ego wise? Then yes, egos are bigger in Colorado.. But then again that might be because y'all's big heads are too far in the damn clouds (in the mile high city) without enough oxygen to support your tiny brain (and the marijuana doesn't help any either!) and it's slowly killing off what little cells you have left! Aside from all that, no sir. Everything is bigger in Texas.

Elmer Frederickson
Elmer Frederickson

If you want to eat Texas food than go to Texas!!! Everything is bigger in COLORADO!!!!!

Phil Mauracher
Phil Mauracher

Let's start with Portapotties. They should be so lucky to eat shit.

Dale Sawin
Dale Sawin

best place for Texans to eat...Texas. we should put a fence.

Mistimtnmorning L Mannon
Mistimtnmorning L Mannon

Texas boys are some of the most respectful. At least the ones I've meant so welcome chilvery

Aaron Dolph
Aaron Dolph

Charles Green I know where we're going when you come back

Heather Malone
Heather Malone

How many times are you going to post this crap story?

Gabe Romero
Gabe Romero

They should eat in Texas. Also live there.

Steve At Work
Steve At Work

Guns? What guns? I ain't got no stinkin' guns.

Marcia Hunsaker
Marcia Hunsaker

Stop the Texas stuff. They need to just go back with their crazy governing.

Joshua Hurst
Joshua Hurst

Another story about who cares what Texans want to eat. This is like the 3rd ” story” in 2 weeks. Tired already. Bored now

Cynthia Mendez
Cynthia Mendez

Do we really have that many Texas transplants that Westword feels the need to write several articles about it? Geez, get a new story already!

Don Deal
Don Deal

Anybody that knows chicken fried steak would not be caught dead eating that thing. Must have been dreamed up by someone from east of the Mississippi---yuck

Jay Tee Yt
Jay Tee Yt

If Texas is so awesome and you have to talk shit to people about it, take your ass back to Texas...

Sammy River
Sammy River

You want to fuck Texas...Colorado is full of pedophiles and child abductors.

Sammy River
Sammy River

Yea I never see Colorado drivers do that. Fucking dumbass

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