Recently, while in Denver, my family & I got a craving for some tacos. So, I took to Yelp to find a high rated restaurant in the area so we could indulge ourselves until we were content. Up popped Las Margs. With a 4.5/5 star rating we figured we found the spot. Las Margs did not disappoint! We ordered some Chips & Salsa, Guacamole, Nachos, the “Poblano”, Tinga Chicken Street Tacos & Churros and OMG it was heavenly. I don’t think I’ve ever had better Salsas. They weren’t just “hot” – they had flavor & depth. The “Poblano” was my absolute favorite thing on the menu and I highly recommend you try it. It is a roasted Poblano pepper that has been stuffed with their signature Tinga chicken, topped with green tomatillo salsa, crema & queso. It has a bit of a crunchy top, a well balanced center and the perfect roast so it’s not too soggy. The entire experience was so amazing that I asked the waitress if the manager was available because I had to tell him how much I loved the food. She did one better and brought the owner himself, Octavio. Octavio was as much of a delight as his food. I had to ask him if I could come back within the next few days to interview him so I could write about his restaurant and share this little gem of a place with the world – and here we are.
Octavio has been in the food industry since 1972 and has incorporated some old time family recipes into Las Margs with some dating back 80 years. The Chicken Tinga recipe belonged to his wife’s grandmother and the (amazing) Salsa Verde belonged to his grandma. The family inclusion doesn’t stop there. His son-in-law, Zachary has been there for 25 years & is now Octavio’s partner. Emmanuel, his nephew, is head Chef along with a lovely woman named Virginia. Both of whom are passionate about cooking and it is shown by the time and effort they put into Las Margs to make sure your food is delicious every time.
Octavio’s theory is to make everything as fresh as possible. A lot of local produce is used and he brings red & green chiles in from New Mexico (he informed me this is where you will find the BEST red & green chiles). The Tamales, Salsas and Beans are made fresh daily and the Churros are cooked to order from a fresh batch of dough. The Flan is the best Flan I’ve ever had (and let me tell you, I’ve had my fair share). It is house-made with a special recipe that is more than 30 years old. Octavio told me the secret to a good Flan is to check it frequently to make sure it does not overcook. His passion & the passion of the Chefs shine on each plate that leaves the kitchen. I always say you can tell the difference between a cook & a chef in one bite because the love they have for their food will come out on the plate and this proves true at Las Margs. Octavio is very picky as far as what is served at his restaurant, he says “If it’s not right, it will be done over.”
The staff is a direct reflection of the leadership in any restaurant and everyone we encountered at Las Margs was friendly, cheerful & fun. Octavio informed me most of his employees have been there for a while and a few who had left came back and have now been there for several years.
The building brings so much character to the atmosphere. I learned it is a historic building and used to be a car garage as is seen in the roll up door on one of the walls that must always remain due to a grandfather clause to mark the building in it’s original state.
Overall, Las Margs will be a memory that we will keep for a long time. I’m still craving the Poblano dish! Anytime we are in the Denver area we will be making a point to stop and get our Mexican fix at the much loved Las Margs and I recommend you make a point to try it out!
1521 Marion Street
Denver, CO 80218