My Neighbor Felix, the energetic pan-Mexican restaurant that opened on west Pearl Street in April, likes to go big. From the size of the space to the breadth of the menu to the 56-ounce (yes, 56-ounce) margaritas, Felix is the lively neighbor on the block. The one whose social calendar you’d schedule block parties around, and the neighbor whose style you’re constantly trying to emulate.
Felix’s digs on the corner of 9th and Pearl Streets are appropriately cool, bright and airy. The restaurant is filled with lots of things that dangle, which might sound strange as a descriptor, but “dangly thing décor” works for Felix. Plants and lanterns hang from the ceiling and from dividers, and the combination of greenery, texture and multi-level curios makes for an eclectic, interesting space.
Of course you’re not at a Mexican restaurant to admire dangly things—you’re there for tacos and queso, and, probably more than likely, margaritas. Beginning with the most tequila-heavy on that list, Felix flaunts nine different margaritas on the menu, including the secret key margarita mixed with exclusive Herradura double barrel-aged reposado tequila; the uber-refreshing watermelon margarita; and the mango sunrise margarita, complete with fresh mango, lime and orange juices, and hibiscus sugar around the rim for good measure.
In that “bigger is better” vein, you can get the watermelon version in the colossal 56-ounce size. The megaritas, which are also available in strawberry-banana and traditional flavors, are meant for sharing, but there’s an extensive menu of tequilas and mezcals for those who prefer their spirits straightforward and of a more manageable size. There are also non-tequila drinks—mojitos, sangria, beers, and wines—and super-delicious non-alcoholic offerings, like the cucumber and strawberry agua frescas.
The food menu spans seven culinary regions in Mexico, which means they’ve put together a kind of greatest hits of staples. There are fish tacos from Baja, cochinita pibil from the Yucatan Peninsula, tacos from the streets of Mexico City and a spicy Colorado chorizo and grass-fed beef blended patty—with Mexican flair from the chorizo, black beans, adobo sauce and cilantro crema.
Perhaps the most picturesque dish is the carne asada fajitas. The slices of sizzling skirt steak come on a bed of colorful peppers and steaming onions, and they can be gussied up with bowls of Mexican fried rice, smoky black beans, salsas, jalapeños and cheese. Warning: this is a lot of food. Like the megarita, you’ll probably want to share.
Felix’s nine taco-deep menu has a good variety that will please both vegetarians and carnivores. Three meatless tacos—a beer-battered cauliflower with creamy habanero cabbage and mango-piña salsa; an al pastor portobello with caramelized onions and cotija cheese; and the Beyond beef topped with American cheese and guacamole fresco—are well thought out. The pescado frito taco with mahi mahi and chipotle-guajillo crema on a hibiscus corn tortilla is solid, as is the cochinita pibil, brimming with slow-braised pork, chicharrones, and citrus cabbage, and dripping with the pibil jus.
Because My Neighbor Felix goes big, there are ambitious expansion plans in the works. The Boulder Felix is actually a sequel to the original, which opened in Denver’s LoHi neighborhood last September. Next up are three more locations slated for Centennial, Colorado Springs and Thornton. So yes, the pan-Mexican spot, which belongs to the even more lively ViewHouse family of bars/restaurants, will soon be bringing its brand of big to even more people along the Front Range. Dangly thing décor and megaritas included.