Denver Residents--Casa Bonita

Okay, I’ve been to Casa Bonita nearly twenty years ago. It’s a tourist trap and not somewhere I ever need or really want to see again. But, I’m taking her on a vacation to Denver for the first time in her life. (We’re mostly going for the gem and mineral shows.) Do I owe it to her to take her there? It’s not like it’d be our only dinner in Denver and at least it’d be something to do in the evening that didn’t involve sitting in a hotel room. I know and you know that there are far better places to eat and see.

My son took me last time I as in Denver. Unfortunately it was snowing hard and there were only a few customers and employees, so maybe my assessment is based on limited information but I thought it was weirdly fun. We got prime seats for the cliff diver.

Owe it to her? No. Kitschy fun if she’s into that sort of thing? Absolutely. If I remember correctly there’s a good brewery next door if that doesn’t work out.

I went with a friend eons ago. It was interesting. It’s been so long, I might be inclined to go again if I was in the area, but I wouldn’t make it a priority stop.

I went within the first week of moving to Denver. Everyone I spoke with said it was something a newbie just had to experience. Being primed not to take it too seriously, I had a great time. Would I go again on my own? Probably not. But I am always willing to take a visitor. In its own way, like the Buckhorn Exchange, and Red Rocks, it is a part of the Denver experience.

I vote go, but warn her what she is getting in to.

Is she 7?

Otherwise, no.

Right. Denver has many, many, many more valid options than “sit in your hotel room” or “go to Casa Bonita.”

Well, yes. But it’ll be a question of how tired we are after wandering around large rock shows all day. I’m honestly thinking of catching a Rockies game if we feel up to it. I was hoping to stay long enough for the Broncos game, but the prices even for nosebleed end zone are nuts with the Cowboys in town. I’d love to take a whole week vacation and show her around, but that’s not happening these next three days.

I haven’t been to Denver in years, but I recall several fine dining choices from past (expense account) business trips. You can get some grub that would equal Frisco or New York. If no locals speak up here, hit the Chowhound website.

Casa Bonita cheese enchiladas are cheese whiz in a damp tortilla. But that’s not the point. Worth a visit.

Terrible, terrible food (Taco Bell is a vast improvement*) but fun experience. If she’s under 12 and/or NOT a foodie, you should go.

*I recall their sopapillas being great

Do you still get extra sopapillas if you raise the little flag up?

If so, you gotta do it. Flags!

Noisy, long wait, bad food. Still, I enjoyed the one time I went.

Jose O’Shea or Senor Frog were fun, too, with better food. Still not great, mind you.

I was a Mall Crawl kind of guy back then, if that helps.
For those with a specific taste or quality in mind, there are lots of excellent ethnic themed places in and around Denver. Yelp it or whatever app you use to find them.