No meal at Boulder’s Centro Latin Kitchen & Refreshment Palace should begin without an order of the chorizo and queso asadero fundido. The appetizer is a Mexican take on cheese fondue—and I like it even better than the boozy Swiss version.

What arrives is a blazing-hot crock filled with mild queso asadero (most typically used as filling for chile rellenos) and mozzarella-like queso oaxaca. Stirred into the bubbling mix are nuggets of smoky chorizo and caramelized onion, with chef Ian Clark’s sweet and spicy red-pepper marmalade drizzled on top. The best part, however, is the garnish of tangy vegetables—pickled carrots, onions, garlic, and jalapeños—that lighten and brighten the bold flavors.

Scoop this all up with fat, chewy tortillas—and try to save room for your entrée.

950 Pearl St., Boulder, 303-442-7771

Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.