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It was the intersection of my favorite ethnic foods that drew me to the corner of 44th and Zuni. There, Chickee’s Lil Kitchen turns out hearty comfort food in two disparate styles—Cajun and Mexican—from a tiny take-out window. Owners Harriett and Bob Sanchez have been married for 38 years. Harriett is of true Cajun descent; Bob’s family hails from Spain. And the genius of Chickee’s is that the Sanchezes don’t go for a culinary mash-up. They don’t follow trends—they simply make great “Colorado homestyle” cuisine, as they call it. I started with the rich, complex flavors of the Cajun red beans and rice. For a scant $3.75 a generous serving fills you up and leaves a pleasant, spicy tingle on your tongue. I also tried the chorizo breakfast burrito (Bob makes his own chorizo), the flavorful pork tamales, and the gumbo. I went home with leftovers and a check totaling only $16.50. My only regret was not preordering a dozen of Harriett’s cushy house-made tortillas to take home (for extra tortillas, you must call and order them 24 hours in advance). 4340 Zuni St., 720-329-3980.
Red beans and rice $3.75 pint, $6.99 quart
Chorizo breakfast burrito $2.75
Pork tamales with pork green chile lunch plate $6
Sausage and chicken gumbo $6.50 pint, $9.75 quart
Dozen tortillas $3