Arlene and Bobby Padilla couldn't be happier or busier. The Padillas recently moved their Arlene's Beans, Salsa and Catering from the old gas station in Palmer Lake to 366 Second St. in Monument. My noon Saturday visit found the parking lot full and the eatery bustling with customers.
I cued up in the "place order" line at one end of the bar, while watching eager eaters getting food at the pick-up line at the other end - nonstop.
It's not surprising that the owners outgrew their original space, which opened in December 2016. In 2017, the eatery was voted best Mexican food by the Palmer Lake Neighbors group. Plus, the food is from authentic Mexican recipes passed down by Arlene's parents, using fresh ingredients.
The eatery is only open 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. Why only three days a week?
"I spend the other days making huge batches of food," Arlene said. "No shortcuts. It's all from scratch, freshly made. When it's out, it's out."
Her catering business also cuts into times the restaurant could be open. Sorry, no call-in orders. Take your chances for some really delicious south-of-the-border dishes. Just don't be in a hurry. 344-5370, arlenesbeans.com.
Downtown deli has arrived
It seems like years since I talked to Jason Miller, executive chef at Springs Orleans, about the construction in the space directly behind the bar. The plan was to have a market/deli featuring Louisiana food, he said. Welcome MX Market at the Mining Exchange, 119 E. Pikes Peak Ave. along with market chef Mark Keel. Between Miller and Keel, the menu has a creative selection of housemade soups and sandwiches. Think sherry tomato basil or Cuban black bean soups ($1.99 cup, $3.99 bowl) and beefeater sandwich ($5.29 half, $9.99 full) with half a pound of roast beef, caramelized onions, pickles, Gruyere cheese and Creole mustard on a baguette. Add to those an extensive salad bar, deli case holding pre-made salads, gelato, espresso and desserts by Springs Orleans pastry chef Christine Adrian Miller. Hours are 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Details: 471-4534, tinyurl.com/yd2gra8b.
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