Shake Up the Date-Night Formula

The term “date night” gives parents an instant smile. It also carries an unnecessary restriction. 

Why not schedule some quality couple time during the day, especially a sunny one given Denver’s agreeable weather? Enter La Sandia Cantina & Tequila Bar, Northfield Stapleton’s enticing Mexican restaurant. 

Chef Richard Sandoval’s new brunch menu, served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekends, is a perfect excuse to shake up the date night formula. Better yet? Skip the spacious interior in favor of the large patio should the clouds and thermometer align. 

The restaurant, which opened its doors in 2007, offers generous outdoor space with both massive umbrellas and prime people-watching spots. The setting is far from tranquil, but it’s not busy enough to distract. La Sandia sits along an eclectic group of stores, from eyebrow threading kiosks to women’s apparel nooks.  

Once you’ve settled in, kick off your date with one of La Sandia’s cool brunch cocktails. The lime margarita packs a sweet, salty kick although you also can opt for prickly pear, passion fruit, mango or strawberry variations. The watermelon mimosa is a less obvious treat for those willing to give up their citrus standard for an afternoon. 

If the babysitter is on a long leash, why not splurge for the bottomless brunch bar with free-flowing brunch cocktails ($15 per person)? Note: the special comes with a two-hour time limit. 

The food menu blends typical brunch fare with items you might want to save until the end.  

Consider the “Churro” waffles ($9). These crispy brown morsels are beyond delicious, kissed with cajeta flavor. The plate is served with vanilla ice cream and topped with topped with crispy bacon bits. It’s a perfect choice for a decadent brunch capper or for parents who don’t mind savoring their dessert first. 

The restaurant’s steak con huevos ($15.95) offers a more tummy filling proposition, featuring morita salsa and charro bacon beans. 

Another chef specialty, chilaquiles con pollo ($10), splits the different between the two. It’s a tasty combination of corn chips, tomatillo green salsa, pulled chicken, refried beans, asadero cheese and crema that could kick off some serious plate sharing. The meat could go heavier on the “pollo,” but otherwise it’s as tasty as advertised. 

Molletes simples o con chorizo ($9) serves up a Mexican twist on a classic American brunch staple. It features a toasted baguette, refried beans, Monterrey jack cheese, pico de gallo, avocado and chorizo.

The breakfast burrito ($10) offers a more familiar taste for those eager to stay within their food comfort zones. 

Sandoval is no stranger to area diners. Richard Sandoval Hospitality oversees a number of Colorado eateries, including Venga Venga and Toro in Snowmass Village, Maya in Beaver Creek, and Tamayo in Denver. 

He created the La Sandia brunch menu with a casual touch, opening the experience up to foodies and irregular restaurant patrons alike. This menu won’t intimidate. 

And yes, kids are welcome to enjoy La Sandia’s brunch spread. It might be a wonderful way to introduce them to authentic Mexican fare, via the menu’s breakfast burrito, churro waffles and sliced fruit sides. 

Save that for your next visit, though. Take a moment to indulge yourself without diaper changes or time outs. You’ve earned it. 

You can make a reservation either online at La Sandia or via phone (303.373.9100), although walk-ins are welcome, too. 

La Sandia Cantina & Tequila Bar 
8340 Northfield Blvd. Unit 1690, Denver, CO 80238

Christian Toto is an award-winning journalist, film critic and father to two young sons.

NOTE: The current brunch menu and bottomless drink option is ongoing. There might be minor changes due to seasonality, but the majority of the menu and its offerings will remain the same from month to month. 

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