7 Reasons to Love Casa Del Matador

Scratch-made border cuisine and two happy hours a day backed by more than 100 tequilas—we’re feeling the Latin love. Here’s why.

1.

The drop-your-jaw ambiEnce.

There’s a definite pause-for-effect moment when you step into Casa Del Matador for the first time. Adjust your eyes to the blazing indoor fire pit, 266 flickering candles (lit by hand every evening) and warm tones playing off dark shadows. It’s all very sexy.

2.

’Cause Foothills Mall is no longer a sad old mall.

Foothills was a bad scene from the ’80s until developers aggressively flipped it into an enticing address loaded with fountains, a movie bistro, restaurants and big players like H&M and Macy’s.

3.

They keep it in-house.

Founded in Washington in 2004, Casa’s 10 current locations include Boise, Seattle and Denver. All create their dishes completely from scratch, pulling from seasonal ingredients when they can (try the roasted poblano chile rellenos with garlic crema and Mexican street corn with chipotle lime mayo and Cotija cheese).

4.

The details are fantastic.

Stroll the space and poke around. You’ll find custom ironwork, chandeliers and antique fixtures handpicked from Mexico, and hand-painted (by tattoo artists, so you know they’re fab) bull skulls.

5.

It’s legit Colorado fresh.

Casa calls on Colorado pork and beef purveyors, butchering its own meats in-house. Sauces and dressings are included on the handmade list, Mexico chiles are dry roasted and all desserts are made in-house—with the exception of the fried ice cream. The coconut ice cream is sourced from Fort Collins’ Walrus Ice Cream.

6.

Tequila.

Chat up a bartender if you get lost among the 100-plus tequila varieties. They’ll sort you out among the fruity, spicy silver and whites, oak barrel-aged reposado and signature Mezcals. Ask about their seasonal featured cocktails, where you’ll likely come across a watermelon marg or a fall-inspired sip.

7.

Your choice of two happy hours.

Get in there daily 4 to 6 p.m. or 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. for $4 margaritas and $5 eats that include mushroom, chicken, shrimp or cheese quesadillas, black bean queso and grande nachos; or $1.50 street tacos. Six dollars gets you ancho-chile wings, grilled stuffed jalapenos, habanero shrimp and more.

Factor in patio seating, modern music bumping (read: No Mariachi band) and a 21-and-older rule after 10 p.m. and it’s a college-town win.
341 E. Foothills Pkwy., 970-229-6200, matadorrestaurants.com/fort-collins

Factor in patio seating, modern music bumping (read: No Mariachi band) and a 21-and-older rule after 10 p.m. and it’s a college-town win.

341 E. Foothills Pkwy., 970-229-6200, matadorrestaurants.com/fort-collins

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