Rincon del Sol - Boulder
This place seems to be one of those overlooked gems in Boulder. I know that we tend to forget it's there. We wanted to try Agave, a new Mexican place that has opened in the old Gondolier space on north 28th Street but the wait was 45-50 minutes at 7:15 on Saturday night. So, we headed over to Rincon del Sol for about the third time and were not disappointed.
First, it's warm! A nice surprise considering that many eateries seem that ratcheting back the thermostat will not only save them money but earn them honorary Al Gore brownie points. Rincon has a fantastic tequila list. We began with with Cabo Wabo and Casa Noble reposdos which are dynamite and followed with "original" Margaritas which were OK but not spectacular.
Chips, a fantasic salsa and bean dip showed up complimentary at the table along with water. We began wth perfect chicken flautas as an appetizer. Main courses were the enchilada plate and carnitas del puercao. Enchiladas were good but the carnitas were fantastic. We passed on dessert.
All in all, I highly recommend Rincon del Sol. It beats by miles the overpriced, overhyped Cantina Laredo in 29th Street and is much better than Juanitas or the other myriad of Mexican places in Boulder.
How much of a price difference between Rincon and Laredos? I don't find Laredos to be overpriced, but then again, I could live on enchiladas and those are fairly priced in my opinion.
I do like Juanitas because they make the simplest cheese and onion enchiladas, just like my old haunt where I grew up, with plain old red sauce. But, yeah, not much else is great there and the rice is awful. Although, the green death salsa is super yummy!
We are thinking of trying Rincon but haven't bothered as it is so close to the university that we expect it is just a bunch of loud college kids doing shots. Is it 'authentic' or more of an American/Mexican thing, which I do like as well?
We tried Sol Azteca and, after receiving terrific service and gigantic plates of food, were disappointed by the actual meal. It wasn't THAT bad but the sauces not only came out of a can but they tasted like the cheapest, starchiest canned sauces ever. I forget what we had, it was that much of a let down.
If we get to Rincon, I'll post back to share.
Cantina Laredo is a chain, overpriced and completely underwhelming. It's a contrived environment and there is nothing of a redeeming feature, in my opinion. Rincon is much more on line price wise with smaller, unpretentious Mexican joints.
Rincon is basically Tex-Mex with an interesting regional twist, although I don't know from which region! It may be close to CU but there were very few students and the place was actually kind of quiet. There was one large extended Mexican family (I recognized the accent) and when one of the kids started screaming, he was quickly ushered outside to be calmed down.
As I said earlier, the tequila list is excellent and reasonable. Try Rincon, I think you'll enjoy it.