What: La Loma
Where: 1801 Broadway, Denver
When: 3-6 p.m. Monday through Friday
Pros: Tequila, and lots of it.
Cons: Happy hour ends while some are just getting off work.
La Loma could quite possibly be the brick-and-mortar version of heaven – or at least to a local . Between the drool-inducing food and drinks, the attentive staff and the rustic, romantic atmosphere, it’s hard to stay away from this place. That’s also why it has easily become one of my favorite happy hours in town.
The Mexican restaurant started off as a family-run business held in a brick house. But after Sonny Brinkerhoff took notice of the eatery, him and son William moved La Loma to a bigger location nearby. It was an instant success.
Although they have changed locations to Broadway (near the Brown Palace and the 16th Street Mall), the restaurant has kept this family-run, brick house feel. It’s easy to see what Brinkerhoff originally saw in La Loma in the first place, and there’s no wondering why this place is still a huge hit in Denver.
To fully experience happy hour at La Loma, you have to start off with one of their house margaritas (medium $8; small $5) created with 100 percent Weber blue agave tequila, triple sec and citrus sour. They can also be made sweeter with a flavor of your choice including strawberry, blueberry or mango (add $1). For me, it’s pretty much go mango or go home. It gives the perfect sweet complement to the tequila kick.
You also can’t go wrong with the fresca ($6), which is the perfect mix of Corazon tequila, triple sec and lime juice for that margarita feel without the thickness.
It’s also nearly impossible to go through a happy hour session without grabbing a bite to eat — mainly because the entire restaurant smells of Tex-Mex, and it’s enough to get anyone hungry.
The mini rellenos ($4) are roasted green chiles with cheese fried in a shell with a side of pork green chili. I recommend pairing them with La Loma’s freshly made salsa. Each crisp bite is dippable, delicious and not too filling.
If you’re looking for something small with a little more sustenance, opt for the mini flautas ($4) with shredded chicken or beef. The meat is carefully rolled into a crispy corn tortilla shell and served with guacamole then topped with a sour cream drizzle.
If you’re like me, you’ll leave stuffed, satisfied and ready for a nap. But there’s really no better food and drink coma than one induced by a tasty margarita and some delicious Mexican food.
All photography by Kenneth Coles.