Whenever I go back to Denver for a sporting event with my dad, I try to find a place that is different and unique; some place he would never pick out himself. On this particular trip, as we were going to watch the Broncos take on the Chargers, I was feeling in a particularly Mexican mood. But not just any Mexican; specifically chilaquiles. So I scoured the menus of a dozen places or so before landing on Cantina Comida in Loveland as a place that had just want I was looking for.
About the only thing Mexican about Cantina Comida from the outside is the name. It’s located in a relatively new construction area a few miles from Loveland that looks like it is ready for the rest of the city to expand out to it. Walking in, the lack of anything overtly Mexican continued (unless you count the bowls of limes) as we took our seats at the modern, concrete bar.
But looks didn’t really matter. I was on a mission for chilaquiles. Chilaquiles are basically a simple breakfast dish of tortilla chips, green chili, cheese and sour cream with an egg, you know, to make them breakfasty. Ashley loving refers to them as breakfast nachos…when she’s not lovingly referring to them as something that doesn’t look good at all (I’m exercising editorial influence and toning down her actually statement).
The chilaquiles at Cantina Comida packed a pretty good flavor. The green chile was not overly hot, but had enough of a kick to hit the back of the throat just right. The cheese was melted and the onions and a sharp bite to it. And the blue corn chips was a nice touch; slightly sweeter with a good corn crunch. Actually it might have been too much of a crunch. The chips were still crispy which meant I couldn’t stab them with a fork. The eggs were a bit overdone, so the runny yolk didn’t add to the sauce. And there could have been some more green chile to make the chips a bit soggier (a consistency between tortilla and chip).
It was definitely a good breakfast, aided by a delicious Bloody Mary with plenty of pickled vegetables. But it wasn’t quite the San Diego-esque execution that I had built up in my mind. I would probably give it another shot…my dad did thoroughly enjoy his breakfast gordita…but the chilaquiles wouldn’t be on the list.