Dos Hombres serves up Southwest’s best in CliftonNov 22, 2021 03:45PM ● By Melinda Mawdsley
Ask a local if he or she wants to dine at Dos, and they’ll know exactly what to expect: a great Southwestern meal at a long-time Grand Valley favorite.
Located at 3245 I-70 Business Loop in Clifton, Dos Hombres (commonly referred to as “Dos”) has served a variety of Southwestern food and drink since the 1970s. It’s established itself as one of the oldest restaurants in the area—a reputation that owner Spike Howard is certainly proud to have.
Today, Dos Hombres features four dining rooms and an outdoor patio. But there was a time when the Clifton location was just one plate at the Dos Hombres table.
A fiesta of flavor
According to Howard, the concept for the family restaurant started in 1974 with a walk-up deli on Grand Junction’s First Street. The deli had a few tables and served a menu of Italian and Mexican food items.
“The Mexican food was far and away our most popular,” Howard said.
The first dine-in restaurant opened in 1977 in the Redlands. It has since closed with the retirement of Howard’s brother a few years back. But the concept of what the family wanted the restaurant to be has endured through Howard and his Clifton location, which originally opened in 1981 and moved into its current building in 2002.
“Over the years, we expanded the menu based on customer demands,” Howard said. “I’m a fan of New Mexico food. It has the flavors of the Southwest: Hatch chile...I think they grow the best chiles in the country.”
Despite starting with no culinary background, (although he has since spent 40-plus years in the restaurant business, including many years in the kitchen), Howard’s affinity for straightforward ingredients and the flavor profile of the Southwest region has remained on his palate all these years.
“If we have something we want to add, I pretty much know what I want the flavors to be,” said Howard. “We will begin to build it that way.”
Discounts for seniors
That commitment to specific flavor profiles and a love for the Grand Valley has sustained Dos Hombres for more than 40 years, particularly among seniors.
A senior himself, Howard offers a 10 percent discount to BEACON readers and a 15 percent discount for military members, available any time or day. The restaurant also offers a number of menu items in smaller portions.
Additionally, entrees are “buy one at full price and get a second of equal or lesser value for half price” on Mondays by using the coupon found in the BEACON.
“Seniors love our Mondays,” Howard said.
Dos Hombres boasts $5 or $8 appetizers on Tuesdays and Happy Hour from 3-9 p.m. as well half-price margaritas on Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to close.