Archive for the ‘chips and salsa’ Tag

Strip Mall Tacos   5 comments

I almost hate to admit it, but strip malls hide some pretty good places to eat. Small and unassuming, Yolanda’s Tacos is a good example. With little to attract attention from the surrounding, hectic commercial scene of Arapahoe Road in south Denver, Yolanda’s appears to be the kind of place that thrives on word-of-mouth disclosures; the colorful, order-at-the-counter eatery was packed.

True to its name, Yolanda’s offers a large variety of tacos, as well as daily specials that include enchiladas, chile rellenos or taco salad. If it were called Yolanda’s Chile Rellenos, that might have been what I ordered. Instead, I chose the Tacos Barbacoa, shredded seasoned beef concealed by mounds of shredded lettuce and cheese. Half the amount of lettuce would have still been too much. Nonetheless, the beef was worth wading through the greens. It was tender and flavorful, as if it had simmered for hours, if not days, in a vinegar-based, chile-infused marinade. The medium-spiced salsa was the perfect accompaniment. Since the fillings were wrapped in soft corn tortillas, it was superfluous to have tortilla chips on the plate. The upside was that the chips were great for using up all of the salsa.

Among the types of tacos available are the pedestrian ground beef and chicken. The more intriguing offerings include Mahi Mahi, Blue Crab, Shrimp, Carnitas, shredded pork, steak and vegetarian. Burritos, nachos, taco salads and tostadas round out the regular menu items.

Yolanda’s Tacos has two other locations; it bodes well that they’re also in strip malls.

Yolanda’s Tacos
Three-and-a-half Plates
9612 E. Arapahoe Rd.
Greenwood Village, Colo.

Margaritas Rule   2 comments

Amanda’s Fonda has been our neighborhood Mexican restaurant for years.
I’ve always enjoyed walking the five blocks from my house to the popular
eatery. Although my neighborhood hasn’t changed, Amanda’s has – and
not necessarily for the best.

The margaritas are still very good, and worth the walk – which makes it easy
to have more than one. Although the service remains attentive and friend-
ly, a recent visit proved disappointing when it came to the actual reason for
dining: food. Chips and salsa were just okay, not exceptional. Orders arriv-
ed a little too quickly, and without the blazing hot-plate warning. The food
was warm, but not even close to sizzling. In the past, the chicken and mole
entree featured chicken cooked in the spicy, chocolate sauce. Now, the mole
is simply poured over the top of two chicken breasts and garnished with ses-
ame seeds. There was not enough sauce to hide the dry texture of the other-
wise flavorless poultry. The standard rice and beans were the best thing on
the dish.

My husband’s colorful combination enchilada plate had easy to swallow fla-
vors, but offered nothing that really wowed us. Nonetheless, he barely left
any trace of its existence.

Our server explained to the group next to us that Amanda’s is no longer
family-owned. Instead, a local businessman has taken over but, she said,
he has left everything intact. I can only hope this was just an off night
for the food, and that the margaritas will continue to be tangy, refreshing
and strong.

Amanda’s Fonda
Three plates
3625 W. Colorado Ave.
Colorado Springs, CO