Dining at El Noa Noa last Friday was like dropping in on fam in the country when they were not expecting you. It was summertime, so the house was nearly deserted inside. Everyone was outside on the large patio, enclosed by brick walls and ironwork gates, sitting at tables under the trees, chatting and drinking and eating.El Noa Noa door Denver Aug 2009

A three-man band played guitar and two pan flutes in a corner, but nobody clapped until we did. A conga drum lay on its side in front of one musician. In between songs, the sound of the waterfall soothed us.

The waiters were content that we had arrived but were not going to get worked up about it. They brought what we asked for and then became engrossed in other things.

El Noa Noa parrot Todd Denver Aug 2009I ordered a shot of Tesoro de Don Felipe añejo and enjoyed its smoky goodness, as usual. (The first time I ever had it was at 3 Margaritas, in a tiny brandy snifter too small to accommodate my nose. This time, thankfully, the tequila came in a shot glass.) The chips were nothing special, though according to Todd they were homemade, and the salsa was medium.

In an unusual turn of events, I had no desire for mole, so I chose the tacos de pescado, which consisted of 4 small tacos with tilapia in a garlic sauce. The fish was light and moist, and the entire taco tasted like garlic and onion; the sweet onion sauce (served in a plastic mustard bottle) and the chipotle (in a ketchup bottle) were both too sweet and completely unnecessary. The tacos had plenty of flavor (perhaps a bit too much) on their own.

Todd ordered the steak tampiqueña plate, featuring a skirt steak that was tender and dusted with cumin, a cheese enchilada, rice, and beans.El Noa Noa tacos de pescado Denver Aug 2009

Once we had eaten enough of our meals to actually see the plates, we noticed they were that familiar Pfaltzgraff brown-on-ivory pattern—another reminder of childhood left behind. And finally, when I asked for flan for dessert, the waiter said—regretfully, I would like to think—that they had run out and were making more at that very moment. He asked if I would like sopapillas, but I said no.

El Noa Noa patio Saturday Denver Aug 2009By the end of dinner, I was so relaxed I couldn’t get too worked up about the missing flan either. Instead we went home and dreamt of Mexican beaches on the Riviera Maya, and we were content.
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Leave A Comment

  1. Todd Bradley September 3, 2009 at 12:59 pm - Reply

    My meal was the steak tampiqueña plate – delicious steak, cheese enchilada, rice, and beans.
    .-= Todd Bradley´s last blog ..Mexican Hot Dogs =-.

  2. Beth September 3, 2009 at 2:02 pm - Reply

    Thanks for filling in those details. I added it above.
    .-= Beth´s last blog ..Denver Farmers Markets: Civic Center Outdoor Market and Café =-.

  3. Dorothy Partin September 5, 2009 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    With the photos and the vividly descriptive review, I almost felt like I was there with you! Nice photo of Todd with the bird perching overhead.

  4. Beth Partin September 5, 2009 at 12:24 pm - Reply

    Thanks, Dor! Glad you could stop by.
    .-= Beth Partin´s last blog ..Denver Photos: Living Statue =-.