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Expert's Pick

Arlene's Beans, Salsa and Catering

If you want to eat with family, head to Arlene's Beans in Monument for lunch or dinner, open Tuesday through Saturday. You'll be greeted warmly and introduced to master chef Arlene and any of Padilla children who are at work there that day. Be prepared to wait in line for a little bit- this is a popular place- and if you're like me, you can use the time to change your mind several times about what you're going to eat (Smothered burrito? Or maybe tamale plate? No... enchilada bowl!) Bonus: Most of the truly yummy, made-from-scratch Mexican food is gluten-free and vegan. To enjoy like the locals: Sit at the community table and make friends, try the "Mean Arlene" house-made margarita (made with fresh citrus fruits and agave), get "Christmas" sauce on your food, and ring the bell on the way out.
— Michelle Karas