New restaurants are popping up all the time in Downtown Las Vegas, but don’t forget about the great grub that’s been here all along. El Sombrero was pretty much here first, serving rustic Mexican food since 1950. Now that the weather’s turning cool and heartier appetites are coming out of hibernation, this is a great place to find satisfying and spicy bites.
Intensely flavored red chile is one of El Sombrero’s specialties and the foundation for many dishes on the simple, familiar menu. It’s something of a New Mexican version of Chile Colorado, a thick, bright red sauce with a rich balance of heat, smoke and tang, having been simmered for hours with chunks of tender beef. Have it in a big burrito with a side of rice beans ($12.50) and more of the soul-warming sauce poured on top, enchilada-style. This might not be the hippest food Downtown, but it’s surely some of the most satisfying.
El Sombrero 807 S. Main St., 382-9234. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.