2005 W 33rd Denver, CO (corner of 33rd and Zuni)

Oscar pouring up the tequilla.

Oscar pouring up the tequilla.

Nestled off the beaten path and situated in a quaint little neighborhood just west of downtown Denver is a gem of a traditional family Mexican Restaurant. The Aguirre Family has been serving up traditional foods of their native Mexico in this spot since 1985 in the Highlands neighborhood. A close knit community and close knit family is what they are about.

Rosa Linda’s has many local and national accolades for their contributions to the community as well as food awards, recently recognized in the Wall Street Journal as top 15 Nachos to Hispanic Magazine in 1991 as Top 50 Hispanic Restaurants. They are most notably known in the Denver community for their service of feeding over 2000 homeless people during their Annual Free Thanksgiving Feast. With help from local community friends and business’ this is an unparallel event of substantial giving and show of volunteerism.

Oscar Aguirre, a former student and graduate of Johnson & Wales University (2001) went to culinary school to assist in making his family’s business stronger and more diverse. The fruits of his labor have brought tremendous benefit to the restaurant as a whole with little physical aesthetic upgrades to the location as well as menu diversity. One of the only Mexican restaurants I know of that can claim a full service traditional Mexican Vegetarian menu as well as having a Certified Healthy section too. …ah dios mios…que bueno por todos!

Rosa Linda’s tequila menu is hard to be rivaled with only two locations that I know of in the Denver area even remotely having equal diversity. I just might have to check this out more in depth over the next few weeks and get back to you. I will also say that Oscar is quite the tequila aficionado and can talk you through a tasting like a master sommelier talking about wine. 

The tequilla we did try that day was an Clase Azul Silver as well as Tres Mujeres Anejo. A far cry from the Cuervo or Mezcal of my younger days. Wow….each had such unique attributes. Essence of apple with port wine and oak aromas. Certainly no need for the lime and salt as these aren’t for slamming down these are the types of tequillas that are meant to be sipped, enjoyed and appreciated.

I was fortunate enough that day to have dropped in just as a fresh pot of Menudo con Posole was finshed. “Mom has just finished Menudo Rojo, you want some” Oscar said….in my hearty back east manner I said “are you kiddin’ me…of course”! I just lavish the thought of enjoying a fresh bowl of menudo.  Muy bien!

Another really neat event Rosa Linda’s does is a fundraiser for local artisan, Stevon Lucero www.StevonLucero.com a visual mystic in his own right. The Metarealism and Neo-preColombian styles portrayed in his works have an eclectic insight of Mayan and Aztec influence that is just mind bending! His work is truly from pure visions of the ancients expressed in vivid display of colors, shapes and visual stories. His works can be found adorning the restaurants walls.  

I am proud to know the Aguirre family personally, as they all work at the restaurant in one capacity or another. I think that in part certainly has something to do with them being recognized as one of the best Family Friendly Restaurants in the area. 

So stop on by this quaint little place nestled minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the big ol’ cow-town’s downtown Denver. Whether alone or bringing the whole family the Aguirre family will accept you with open arms. If Oscar is around I would most definitely inquire about a tequila tasting, one that would be unforgettable…. unless of course you drink too much!

Eat well, wheel well and responsibly of course! We’ll see you on the trail.

See the recipes aqui (here):