After 20 years of selling tamales door-to-door at local businesses (including ours) and at 57 regional farmers markets, Laura Perez and her family have opted to turn what they were using as storage space into a sit-down restaurant: Colorado's Best Tamales and Restaurant (3618 Citadel Drive, 531-0626) opened around early November.
Perez's two sons, daughter, granddaughter, sister-in-law and husband all help with operations among the new eatery, mobile sales and the "tamale factory" off Galley Road (not open to the public) where some "4,000 dozen" tamales are constructed weekly during peak summer months.
Because that quantity drops to as low as 300 dozen a week during lean winter months, Perez says she decided to add the restaurant to make better use of her space. Guests to the dining spot will find 14 total tamale options consisting of seven sweet options like mango, strawberry, guava and chocolate, and seven mild and spicy savory options that include chicken, pork, cheese, jalapeño, habañero and potato fillings in various pairings.
"We say we're Colorado's Best because our tamales are 80 percent meat and only 20 percent masa," says Perez, noting that others often favor cornmeal over proteins.
Noodles and patties
We told you in late September that Tomo Sushi head John Ra was gearing up to take over the former A Taste of New Orleans at 333 N. Tejon St. At the time, he didn't have a name for his concept, built around simple, quick and cheap eats for nearby students.
That's changed, and as soon as the first or second week of January, we'll be able to welcome Burgers and Bowls (632-0229) to town. Look for the previously promised teriyaki chicken bowls and items like teriyaki avocado cheeseburgers as well as patty melts, Philly sandwiches and "a little more fun with specials — we have more leeway here than our bigger restaurants," Ra says.
À la carte
• José Muldoon's (josemuldoons.com) celebrated the grand opening of its second location last week at 5710 S. Carefree Circle. Those of us who've followed the fate of independents on Powers Boulevard are anxious to see how the downtown Mexican staple (part of the locally owned Concept Restaurants) fares amid the chain gang. Buena suerte, amigos!
• Owner Verna Summers placed Detz Cafe (632-9712) up for sale last month. Summers, who has run the "home-style food" eatery at 211 E. Cucharras St. for eight years, says she's just ready to retire. To the best of her knowledge, the outfit has been in continual dining operation under various names and owners dating back to the 1940s. She says she'll stay open until she finds a buyer, and either teach that person her menu or let the person entirely overhaul the spot.