When the wait staff mentions repeatedly that the dish you’ve chosen is their favorite — when you order, when the food arrives, when not-your-server walks past and gives a thumbs-up — and also the other people at your table are sad once they see it and even sadder once they taste it because it’s not what they ordered, well then, we have a winner.
It’s Cantina Loredo’s torta de carnitas ($13.99), a griddle-pressed sandwich packed with shards of moist, slow-roasted pork, the toasty bread slicked on the inside with goat cheese and a not-too-sweet apricot spread, with a fried egg releasing its gooeyness into the mix from the first bite. On the side, thin-cut golden-delicious French fries, interspersed with the caramelized onions that spill out of the torta. Take it down just after snacking on the free basket of warm tortilla chips dipped in one of their two housemade salsas (one smoky, one mildly spicy); the tableside guacamole is well done too.
Boulder’s Cantina Laredo is a link in the modern Mexican chain based in Dallas-Fort Worth — and that’s a surprise, because it doesn’t feel like one. That may be due to the large number of CU-Boulder students working there; they’re friendly and upbeat, and seem to enjoy their jobs.
They should — they get to eat the torta on a regular basis.
Convenient to: The Cantina (1680 29th St., 303-444-2260) sits in the outdoor Twenty Ninth Street mall, with the movie theater within easy walking distance. While you wait for the edibles to kick in, play giant checkers. Click here for details