The right start to the meal is, perhaps, a margarita, served blended or on the rocks. For a tropical twist try a mango or a passion fruit margarita ($6), both tart with just the right amount of sweetness. Sipping a marg while perusing the menu will give you the time needed to make just the right decision.
The halibut tacos (14.95) – an Amelia’s special – comes by way of Garcia’s previous restaurant ownership in Alaska. The fresh halibut is shredded, sautéed in Cajun spices, and tucked into flour tortillas. With halibut prices soaring, Garcia is doing what she can to keep this item on the menu. If you have a soft spot for halibut, run don’t walk.
Fajitas Supremas ($14.95) consist of grilled chicken, beef and huge shrimps along with tomatoes, green peppers, and onions, served on a sizzling platter. We agreed with Garcia that it’s a wine finish that gives these fajitas their depth of flavor.
It was hard not to choose the 8-ounce rib eye steak ($13.95), which is charbroiled and served with either sautéed mushrooms or sautéed shrimp. Or you can go a bit more traditional and have it served with a chicken, cheese or beef enchilada.
Vegetarian or not in the mood for meat? Faced with Amelia’s long list of meat-free dishes, your decision doesn’t get any easier. You can go with two corn enchiladas are filled with spinach, onion, tomato and served with rice, black beans and sour cream ($9.95). Or you could go with the vegetarian quesadilla Veracruz ($8.95), a whole wheat tortilla filled with cheese, black olives, green onion, green pepper, spinach and mushrooms.
There are a host of more traditional Mexican dishes available, a huge list of burritos, tostadas, chimichangas and combination plates, and all are made in-house. Garcia says all the dishes are made without lard and with local, seasonal ingredients when she can get them. Satisfying and inventive Mexican dishes are a family tradition at Amelia’s. Bring your family to enjoy everything that Garcia and her family have to offer. I know she would be proud to have you.
SAY YES TO THE DEVIL: The camorones ala diabla ($13.95) are not for the faint of heart but are certainly worth the mouth tingling heat. These prawns sautéed in oil, garlic and hot peppers are not to miss. While the heat may have you sweating initially, the intense garlic flavor from this dish won’t have you kissing anyone anytime soon.
DINE ON THE DECK: Besides a cozy bar and a comfortable dining room, Amelia’s has a large front patio for those looking for some fresh air. This can be a refreshing place to enjoy Garcia’s Mexican specialties, especially once the sun drops behind the Uncompahgre Plateau.
Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday noon- 9 p.m., and Sunday noon-8 p.m.