Rosa Linda's Mexican Cafe celebrated its thirtieth birthday on January 17. We were among the regulars who stopped by that day, to chat with members of the Aguirre family and remember the first time we came to this spot on West 33rd Avenue, then a down-and-out neighborhood that was decades away from being dubbed "LoHi." An artist who had a studio around the corner was raving about the burritos that Rosa Linda and Virgil Aguirre were serving out of the little storefront they'd just opened -- and we hurried over there for a taste of what definitely deserved to be named the Best Burrito in the Best of Denver 1985,our second edition of what's become an annual celebration of the city.
Cassandra Kotnik Like Lohi and the Aguirre family itself, Rosa Linda's has grown over the decades.
In the three decades since, the five Aguirre children have grown up and had children of their own. You can often find them at Rosa Linda's, which has grown, too, into neighboring storefronts. And the neighborhood has definitely grown up -- and up; big apartment complexes are going up right across the street, and the people who came in on Saturday all grumbled about parking before they got serious about eating. But Virgil and Rosa Linda are still here, taking the same care with a single order that they do with the Thanksgiving feast that feeds thousands. For them, all Denver is family.
See also: Best of Denver 2014 Winners