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A new restaurant concept featuring New Mexico-style food is opening at a food court on W. 38th Ave. in Denver this summer. Nana’s Cocina Authentic New Mexican Cuisine owner and chef Ervin Lucero grew up eating New Mexico-style Mexican food. “It’s a very different approach to what we see all around town in Denver,” Lucero said.
“The concept is built around dishes that are typically found in homes where they grew up in Nana’s kitchen, which is the word for Grandma, and this is what she served. We grew up with it. We love it.”
The menu at Nana’s Cocina will offer chips and salsa, nachos, tacos, tostados, burritos, and salads, such as the Los Ranchos Watermelon Salad with watermelon chunks with tajin, Cotija cheese, cilantro, and fresh jalapeño slivers.
Other dishes include Calabacitas, which is zucchini squash, fresh corn, with onions and cheese. The Cochiti (Grilled) Tacos are filled with seasoned brisket on a grilled corn tortilla. “We put the cheese on the bottom of the meat, so that your taco shell doesn’t fall apart when you’re trying to eat it. And then of course, you put your lettuce, your tomato, and avocado on the top, and then you have choices of salsa,” Lucero said. “That’s going to quickly become a fan favorite.”
Nana’s Cocina will serve Isleta (Frito) Pie with homemade red or green chile to layer on top or bottom of the chips. Lucero’s brother, Gene Lucero, owns The Bar at Plaza38 at the location at 3550 W. 38th Ave. The Bar at Plaza38 will offer alcoholic beverages at the space, as well as live music, karaoke, and big screen televisions.
Aladdin Mediterranean Grill is already open at the food court. Nana’s Cocina and two other restaurant concepts are expected to open sometime this summer.
Lucero is excited about bringing Nana’s Cocina to Denver. “It was the right idea at the right time at the right place,” Lucero told What Now Denver. “It’s exciting to have the kinds of items on a menu and available that are hard to find elsewhere.”