Where: 3350 Brighton Blvd, Denver
When: Happy hour is Monday-Friday, 3-6 p.m.
Originally a little pink food truck dishing out tasty street tacos back in 2010, the company has now grown into its own group of Mexican street fare-inspired eateries. When The Source opened in 2013, along with it came Comida Cantina. At the time when she was first approached, owner Rayme Rossello had already successfully opened and started her first brick and mortar in Longmont.
Comida actually means “food” in Spanish, and not only do they serve up delicious authentic Mexican, but also a vast array of cocktails and Mexican brews. One of the better times of day is happy hour, where they offer their own unique menu with food choices that aren’t part of their normal menu fare.
Kick-start happy hour with a $5 margarita (normally anywhere from $7 to $10). The Watermelon Jalapeno Margarita is a fan favorite, for very obvious reasons. This cocktail is mixed up with jalapeno-infused tequila, watermelon, agave and a touch of lime—add a wedge of watermelon and a salted rim, and I’d say it’s the perfect start to any weekend.
The sweetness from the watermelon cuts through the intensity found in the jalapeno, each sweet and spicy sip finished with a subtle bite from the tequila. A great cocktail shouldn’t be painful to drink — not from the heat or the sweetness — and Comida seems to have that understanding down to a science.
Although they make a great happy hour drink, margaritas always seem to go down way too fast, taste just so right and ultimately, lead to a shamefully short night out. In attempts to prolong your evening out, order a few of their many Street Snacks ($5) served during happy hour. The Spicy Shrimp and Jalapeno Aioli is just that — lightly battered, seasoned and fried shrimp with a side of cool jalapeno aioli. The shrimp came out crisp and juicy — without being drenched in oil or chewy. You’d be surprised how many places serve up an overcooked fried shrimp drowning in an absurd amount of oil.
While you’re enjoying your $5 margaritas and bites, take note of the open space, industrial decor and the overall airy feeling — a great space for business cocktails or catching up with friends. It’s never “overly” crowded, nor is it too loud to have a conversation regarding work (gasp) or catch up on this week’s Bachelor contestant and their latest antics.
All photography by Lucy Beaugard.