Flautas and pho: Federal Boulevard update

Mark Antonation
Pho Market, we hardly knew you...
Federal Boulevard is filled with constantly evolving views of construction, commerce and change. No sooner does a Vietnamese restaurant close up shop than a new pho joint opens in its place. There's a little less churn with Mexican eateries, but new spots occasionally pop up. Driving up Federal this week, I was excited to see signs of a new place at 925 South Federal -- bolted down fiberglass picnic tables on the street-facing patio -- until my appetite was killed by the discovery that it will just be another KFC outlet. Still, it's not the only recent change on the boulevard.

See also: Triple header: The three newest restaurants on Federal Boulevard

Pho Market, which opened earlier this year in the original location of Pho 95, is already seeing change. The noodle house's yellow-and-blue sign with the stylized steaming bowl of pho is still the same, but the name has changed to Chez Thuy. Yes, it shares a name with the Boulder Chez Thuy that's been around since 1993, which makes sense since owner Thuy Le was involved in the opening of Pho Market. No phone number was available for the new Chez Thuy, but a call to the Boulder location confirmed the connection between the two places, although I was told the Denver menu would not be the same as the original in Boulder. Expect pho and bun bowls with a few other traditional snacks and entrees.

Mark Antonation
All the best restaurants have dancing food on their signs.
And speaking of originals, Denver may now have its first flauta-themed restaurant: Flautas la Pila. Located in what looks like little more than a freshly painted Tuff Shed attached to the side of an existing row of businesses, La Pila offers a menu anchored by flautas stuffed with desebrada (shredded beef), potato, shrimp or chicken, but which also touts a salchitaco -- nothing more than a hot dog rolled in a tortilla and deep-fried -- as well as salads, tostadas, quesadillas and other street grub. The logo, featuring an anthropomorphic deep-fried tube with shredded beef for hair is certainly a promising sign.

Location Info

Chez Thuy

1002 South Federal Boulevard, Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Flautas La Pila

1420 South Federal Boulevard, Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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ScubaSteve topcommenter

The KFC at 925 S Federal has existed there for years and years.  It's just closed for remodeling.

TheFabulousMarkT topcommenter

Yes indeed. The Flautas La Pila space (1400 South Federal) has also been home to quite a few beauty-related enterprises over the years, including a Honduran barbershop.

I could have sworn that KFC/A&W at 925 had been there a while, but there are quite a few fast-food places that way so I'm probably getting mixed up.

TheFabulousMarkT topcommenter

Well darn. I just reread what I wrote and I think I inadvertently confused matters :(

I didn't mean to suggest that the beauty businesses at 1400 South Federal were in the exact same building as Flautas La Pila... it of course is behind them (at 1420 South Federal).

The potato flautas at FLP are delicious - their house sauce is highly recommended.

Chez Thuy has some very interesting beverage combinations ... durian/red bean, pennywort/mung bean, and cantaloupe iced tea to name a few. They also feature Vietnamese catfish [Ca Swai] on the menu which one doesn't see very often.

TheFabulousMarkT topcommenter

Oh, and I have another new Federal place for you. Namely, Pho De which can be found right across the street from Chez Thuy.

If the location doesn't sound familiar, it's in the spot which formerly housed Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant - yes, it's gone. :(

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