Welcome to a new section of the blog, the Weekends section. These entries will cover things that we do as a family on the weekends. From hikes to restaurants to whatever else. Since we’re new to the area, most things we do here are new to us!
Last weekend’s destination was Casa Bonita, “The Most Entertaining Restaurant In The World.”
That’s their tag line, anyway. We shall see.
Jenny was taking Maylee out for some birthday shenanigans (about four months late), so the boys and I were left to our own devices. If you’ve spent any time with my kids, you know that spending an entire day with them alone in the house is a recipe for extreme frustration. So I decided to take them to a place I remember visiting about 15 years ago when we visited Maylee early in her Colorado tenure. All I remembered of the place was that there were cliff divers. I figured the boys would enjoy that, so that became the destination.
While La Casa Bonita is on the other side of town, it only took us about 25 minutes to get there - freeway traffic was pretty light! If you have a concept of the Denver area, La Casa Bonita is located just a bit west of Sports Authority Field (Mile High).
The facade of the restaurant is pretty impressive. A three or four story pink building done in an early Spanish Conquistador style. Pretty interesting.
Upon walking in, the feeling that we were in an old timey Mexican Restaurante continued, but only for a moment. We were immediately funneled through a roped off line clearly meant to handle a LARGE amount of people. It probably took us 2-3 minutes just to walk the entire line. I can’t imagine what it would be like if there were actually people waiting there! The boys were also amused at the fake stucco walls on the inside, though the decor was still pretty interesting.
Once we finally got through the line we stopped at a cashier who asked how many in our party. After responding, she asked what we wanted. I responded that we would like to eat. That was all fine and good, but apparently you had to order your food right there and then. OK - frantically looking through the sparse menu, I quickly ordered the Enchilada plate for myself, the burrito platter for Ethan, and the Hamburger (Hamburguesa) for Quinton from the “El Gringo Menu.”
The cashier waved us forward to yet another line where we got to see where cooks put together their tortillas - I was thinking we might be in for a treat like at Chevy’s where they would bring out fresh, hot tortillas with butter - but alas, that was not to happen. Instead we all grabbed trays and cloth wrapped silverware and waited for our food to come out of one of two food shoots (holes in the wall) or be carted out of one of two very narrow doors in the side of the room.
Our food quickly shot out of the shoots and we moved forward to get our drinks (Coca Cola). We all three lifted our trays and moved to the hostess who would seat us.
Our seats were pretty good, we were overlooking the famous diving pool where we would no doubt see amazing Acapulco style cliff diving!
And we weren’t disappointed. The very authentic “Hayden, the cliff diver” did a couple of dives that were pretty impressive. He also did a routine with a nice looking blond young lady. Neither of these people were in any way Hispanic. Our waiter, Tyler, was also not Hispanic, did little other than check on us every couple of minutes and bring us our check. Well worth the 15% gratuity they no doubt expected.
After lunch, we retreated to the arcade and played a bunch of Skee Ball. Being old, I promptly threw out my back. Getting old sucks. $15 dollars in tokens later and we won two super balls and three rubber launchers. Well worth it.
Overall, I give La Casa Bonita my recommendation, but only if you’ve never been there, and only if you don’t care what you are going to eat. It’s definitely a cool experience, but the food was definitely not worth the amount of money you paid for it. The experience was pretty good, despite the complete lack of attention paid to authenticity.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5.