ALAN STENBACK PHOTOGRAPHY

ALAN STENBACK PHOTOGRAPHY

It has been several years since I’ve been through Santa Fe Dr, just south of downtown Denver. A gorgeous fall afternoon with extra time on hand seemed like an excellent time for a repeat visit.

Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe is a nationally known arts and cultural district, encompassing hundreds of artists, galleries, studios, theaters and creative businesses along Santa Fe Drive.

One of the first certified creative districts in the state, it reflects the neighborhood’s rich, cultural fabric, steeped in Latin heritage and today representing a more diverse population.

After winding through the congested streets several times, I finally found parking sizable enough to pull the truck into. While I had one destination in mind, another quickly followed.

Art District on Santa Fe

Art District on Santa Fe

I walked the streets capturing the colorful murals in the area on the way to my first stop, Wah Gwaan Brewery, a Jamaican inspired craft brewery.

In Jamaican Patois “Wah Gwaan” is commonly used as a greeting and basically means “What’s Up?” They couldn’t have chosen a better name, as the phrase genuinely reflects the friendly ambience and sense of community of the space.

I was quickly welcomed at the bar where I enjoyed friendly conversation with the bartenders and other patrons while savoring their unique, tropically inspired, excellently crafted brews.

Art District on Santa Fe

Art District on Santa Fe

Art District on Santa Fe

Art District on Santa Fe

Art District on Santa Fe

Shortly after a fella sat down next to me with a takeout platter of burritos smothered in pork green chile,  you can guess my next stop. That’s right – El Taco De Mexico!

I first learned of this Denver institution when they were featured on Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods America. For me, however, there is nothing bizarre about it. Rather some of my favorite Mexico City style specialties done in a simply delicious, authentic manner.

Any connoisseur of authentic Mexican food knows what lengua is. Other food translations to English are oddly funny to me like cabeza and asada respectively translated as cheeksmeat and beefsteak. One thing that needs no translation is the decadent flavor that each of these traditional dishes delivers. Each taco was equally exquisite and as good as I’ve had anywhere. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll love the “side” of pork green chile – a giant bowl with enough for leftovers.

Art District on Santa Fe

Art District on Santa Fe

When I moved to Colorado nearly ten years ago, I knew Denver had so much to offer it would take years to discover. And here I am, a decade later, still uncovering the rich history, culture and diversity the city has to offer.