What: Comida Cantina
Where: Located inside The Source, at 3350 Brighton Blvd., Denver, CO 80216
When: Happy Hour runs everyday from 3:00-5:00 pm in the dining room and outside on the patio and from 3:00-6:00 pm at the bar and community table.
Don’t Miss: The Comida Margarita ($5) and the Pineapple Habanero Margarita ($5) are delicious. The best happy hour street snacks include the Tender Belly Hot Dogs and the Spicy Shrimp, both $4.
The first incarnation of the popular Comida restaurant was as a pink-colored taco truck named Tina. Owner Rayme Rossello has now expanded, first to Longmont in 2012 and now into Denver’s food emporium The Source. The Source is the fall’s biggest culinary story in Denver. But underneath the modern decor and market atmosphere of the Brighton Boulevard warehouse is something that will keep people talking: Comida is serving up some seriously good food.
There’s no denying that The Source is still rough around the edges; the parking lot is a mess and its neighbors have not yet been touched by gentrification. But Comida’s space is welcoming and airy, with pink accents and a huge patio on the front. The patio faces west and if you look past the power lines there is a great view of the mountains. Happy hour is available everyday throughout the restaurant and patio until 5, then it continues at the bar and community table until 6. I recommend heading to Comida the next time you need a happy hour spot for a large group. The community table seats 14 and there is easy parking, an increasingly rare amenity.
Once you’ve settled in, order a margarita. If you’re looking for a classic, you can’t go wrong with the Comida Margarita ($5), made with Monte Alban Plata tequila, Cointreau, orange, lemon, and lime. Feeling adventurous? Try the Pineapple Habanero Margarita ($5), mixed with Habanero infused tequila, pineapple, agave, orange, lemon, and lime. I have to warn you though, Comida does not skimp on the spice and this drink has a warm, pleasant after burn. I don’t know how many of the Pineapple Habanero margaritas I could (or should?) drink, but it was a refreshing twist on the classic happy hour cocktail. Beer drinkers might be a bit disappointed, but happy hour does offer Modelo Especial on tap and Tecate in a can, both for $2.
If you’ve enjoyed your spicy margarita, you’re going to love the spice and flavor in Comida’s food. Start with the chips, guacamole, and salsa. Comida offers six different salsas to choose from and they are all tasty and simple. I especially enjoyed the house salsa, a crowd pleasing tomato based dipper, and the carrot habanero salsa, a smooth and spicy orange salsa with a palette pleasing touch of carrot. The rest of the happy hour menu offers up unique, $4 food items not available on the normal menu. The Spicy Shrimp was great, and I loved the jalapeño aioli it came with even more. But the best thing on the menu is without a doubt the Tender Belly Hot Dogs. Tender Belly is serving up delicious pork at the best restaurants in town, and Comida pairs salty sliced pork sausage with their queso fundido. The queso is smooth and creamy, with just the right amount of chipotle and adobe flavors. It’s like sophisticated hot dogs for adults. I also really enjoyed the seared greens, an ad-hoc salad of wilted bitter greens, garlic, tomatoes, lime and salt. If you’re going to make a dinner out of happy hour, this would be a great addition. But it did feel slightly out of place with the other happy hour items as it is harder to share and definitely more of a single salad serving.
Quibbles aside, Comida offers up an enticing and delicious happy hour. The prices are good, the space, (although in a bit of a rough neighborhood) is inviting, and the service was pleasant. For fresh takes on Mexican street fare and with parking to boot, Comida should be a permanent spot on your happy hour circuit.