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Girls’ Night Out: La Biblioteca de Tequila

Twelve, nine, seven, four, and two.

Those numbers are not my high school locker combination.  And, unfortunately, they are not the winning lottery numbers.

Those are the ages of the kids my friend and I were trying to run away from when we went out for a girls’ night at Denver’s La Biblioteca a couple of weeks ago.

Out-of-town guests dropping in? Where will you take them to eat?

‘Tis the season for out-of-town guests. Sure, you’ve got all the activities planned — a hike in Eldorado Canyon, a viewing of the King Tut exhibit, perhaps an afternoon at one of the municipal pools — but the real question is: Where are you going to eat?

Choosing a place for guests is different from choosing a place for yourself. You want a place with good food, a place that shows off Denver well, a place where anyone in the party will be able to find something to eat. A place that’s not too expensive. A place that reflects your own sensibilities, but dovetails with your guests’ tastes, too. The Denver area is packed with options. Here are just a very few and be sure to leave a comment to share your own!

BREAKFAST

El Taco de Mexico

Nothing could be more Colorado than a Mexican breakfast, and there is no better Mexican breakfast in town that the smothered breakfast burrito at El Taco de Mexico. Whether you’re filling up for the King Tut exhibit at the Denver Art Museum, or headed west on Sixth Avenue for a hike, you’ll be fully fueled by El Taco’s generous breakfast. Just have coffee before and/or after your meal; you’ll find much better java elsewhere. This is also an excellent “last bite” in Denver before heading out to the airport. El Taco de Mexico, 714 Santa Fe Drive, 303-623-3926

Snooze

Pineapple upside-down cakes for breakfast? Why not? Even if you aren’t on vacation, your guests are, and dessert for breakfast is definitely on the menu. Fill up here on weekday mornings, when the line is relatively tolerable; waits of up to an hour on weekends are not unusual. Breakfast here will certainly fill you up for a visit to the Museum of Nature and Science, or a day at Elitch’s, or an afternoon by the pool. Snooze, 700 Colorado Blvd., 303-736-6200; snoozeeatery.com; additional locations downtown and in Fort Collins.

LUNCH

Biker Jim’s

Ten family-friendly Denver restaurants you (and your kids) will love!

Families deserve a break from their own kitchens.

But eating out can be expensive — even out- of-reach — for those whose clans are a few kiddos short of a TLC reality show.

Not to fear: The following Denver-area restaurants offer either free or reduced-price meals for youngsters. Some even provide enough wholesome distractions to let parents eat in relative peace. And that can be priceless.

1. C.B. & Potts Restaurant & Brewery

Thursday is the day to check out this modest chain: Kids can choose from one of about 14 meals for only $1. Children with heartier appetites can opt for midsize meals, dubbed “Bigger Bites,” which are larger than the kids versions but not quite as big as what ma and pa wolf down. (These meals aren’t part of the Thursday dollar deal, though.)

Noelle Olesh, general manager of the Westminster location, says the restaurants’ kitchens are set up to handle requests regarding food allergies. There are several locations across the Front Range. The one mapped is at 1257 W. 120th Ave., Westminster, 303-451-5767. To find other locations: cbpotts.com.

2. El Jardin

Owner Ben Martinez says this restaurant was recently remodeled with families firmly in mind.

“Most families prefer booths . . . mainly so the kids can sit still without running around,” Martinez says.

So El Jardin now offers larger booths, as well as its regular Monday-night special, in which kids can eat free off the children’s menu. But Martinez isn’t under any delusion as to why families stop by his restaurant.

“Kids don’t come here to

Win Dining Passes for Your Family From Sweet Tomatoes/Souplantation!

**CONTESTED CLOSED. CONGRATULATIONS TO WINNER NANCY SUTTON!**

During a recent trip to Sweet Tomatoes/Souplantation, it was revealed that I rarely take my children to buffets. The reason? They became unglued with excitement at the prospect of eating anything (and everything) they wanted. With an emphasis on the everything.

For once, I encouraged them to do it because you just can’t go wrong with their made-from-scratch soups, salad bar of over 50 items and hand-crafted muffins, focaccia, breads and tasty desserts. The place redefines kid-friendly…and healthy.

Every month, Sweet Tomatoes changes up their menu items to follow a theme and May is the American Road Trip. Your kiddos will love goodies such as the California Cobb Salad, Smokey BBQ Ranch Dressing, Chesapeake Corn Chowder, Texas Longhorn Beef Chili Soup, Key Largo Key Lime Muffins, French Quarter Praline Muffins and Orange Creamsicle Lava Cake.

For more information, visit their Facebook fan page, follow them on Twitter @souplantation, or visit www.souplantation.com or www.sweettomatoes.com.

Want to win four passes for your family? Please go here to enter! Contest deadline: May 15, 2010.