August 16, 2012Our Trip to the Kitschiest Restaurant on Earth……Casa Bonita in Lakewood Colorado
By Sara In AZ
One night, a long time ago, Mike was flipping channels and landed on an episode of South Park. It just happened to be an episode where Cartman does ANYTHING he can just so he can go to his “favorite place in the whole world”……..which just so happens to be Casa Bonita.
Picture copyrighted by South Park Studios from southparkstudios.com
Normally when you watch a cartoon you’d think all of the stuff was just made up. I mean seriously who would think a huge pink castle full of cliff divers, Mariachi bands, and Mexican food REALLY existed right in the middle of a strip mall??? Oh, but I knew better! You see, when I was a young girl back in the 1970s we had family that lived out in Denver and when we went to visit you can only imagine where all of us kids were begging to go……that’s right, Casa Bonita! We’d practically cross off the days on the calendar until they took us there and once we got there you could hardly drag us out. We surely would have brought our sleeping bags if they would have let us stay the night in the place!
As soon as I heard the words “Casa Bonita” on South Park my ears perked up. When I saw all of the stuff they were showing and that it was REALLY like the REAL Casa Bonita I was kind of freaking out. I swore to Mike up one side and down the other that it WAS real, that there REALLY was a Casa Bonita just like South Park was showing, but he was having none of it and would not believe me. I told Mike that I would prove it to him one day when we went to Denver, I’d take him to Casa Bonita and we’d just see who was right! hee!
Well, Mike finally did have to own up to the fact that I was right and there really was a Casa Bonita just like I said! We made it to Casa Bonita a few years back when we were visiting family there. Now it’s a tradition that we go to Casa Bonita every time we are in Denver!
So come along with me on our most recent visit to Casa Bonita, you are sure to have a blast!
Oh yes, it really is a big pink castle in the middle of a strip mall.
Casa Bonita is billed on the menu as “The most exciting restaurant in the world” and you know what – I think they are probably right!
Unlike a traditional restaurant where you get seated right away you line up as soon as you walk in the door, kind of like a buffet line. The line is not as bad as it looks and it did go pretty fast when we were there on a Saturday night.
Still in line……
One picture I did not get was the ordering station. You decide what you want to order and they enter your order into the computer and give you a receipt. You pay later at your table. After you place your order you proceed along and pick up your trays and then finally your food and drinks. This place is a well oiled machine I tell you!
We ordered the Deluxe Chicken Dinner.
Anytime you need service you just raise the little flag on your table!
The inside is pretty elaborate, it’s almost like walking into a Mexican Village. They have dinner seating pretty much everywhere throughout the restaurant, those are people dining behind the white columns on the left and to the extreme front right.
It’s like a complete different world in here!
Yes, they do have Mariachi Bands too! Sorry some of the pics are so dark, this place is huge and cavernous so sometimes the pictures came out darker than I would have liked.
You can even eat up in that little tiki hut…which we did when we were little!
They have a bunch of fun little shows centered around the waterfall area in the restaurant. This one was kind of a damsel in distress skit.
And oh yes, they DO really have Cliff Divers!!!
Here the Cliff Diver was kidding around.
Oooohhhhh, we are just getting ready to go into Black Bart’s Cave. Maybe we’ll get some of that gold treasure this time! hee!
Darn, foiled again! I couldn’t get my hand in there fast enough to get some of that gold. Oh well, maybe next time!
Yes, you do have to walk through a big snake/dragon/lizard mouth on the way out of Black Bart’s Cave!
And lastly, here is one of Casa Bonita’s famed gunfights.
Casa Bonita really is a blast. I know it’s meant more for kids, but I promise that any adult would have a super fun time too. If you are ever in the Denver area be sure to check out Casa Bonita!
Next Thursday – my finds from the road trip!