Denver Bleg

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

I’m on my way to Denver, Colorado…any food or experience recommendations are appreciated.

Also, I’m looking for Coloradans who are victims of asset forfeiture…if this fits your description, send me an email at Eapen@ForfeitureReform.com.

Thanks

Eapen Thampy, Americans for Forfeiture Reform

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34 Responses to “Denver Bleg”

  1. #1 |  Yurko | 

    Root Down is a phenomenal seasonal/farm-to-table/new american restaurant.

  2. #2 |  crzyb0b | 

    Drive out to “The Fort” in Morrison. Its up in the foothills. Best game restaurant in the country.

  3. #3 |  Chris C. | 

    A restaurant open for breakfast and lunch is Snooze, at 2262 Larimer St in Denver. I had breakfast there, and it was marvelous! Good service, too. Wazee Supper Club (also in Denver) has great pizza and a huge beer list (I visited Denver just to sample the various brew-pubs and microbreweries. If you can get to Boulder, the Dushanbe Teahouse is a wonderful experience. (I am a tea snob as well as a beer snob.) If you go, and weather permits, eat outside near the stream. The water sounds combine with the beauty of the teahouse and the culinary delights of the food and tea (the waitstaff will make suggestions) for a meal to remember. If you want a good brew pub with reasonably good barbecue, try the Breckenridge Brewery. Atmosphere like a neighborhood bar (in a very good way). Spent an afternoon there talking with a railroad engineer and a truck driver about all sorts of stuff, while stuffing myself with two plate of ‘cue and several excellent beers.

  4. #4 |  CHB | 

    If you like beer hit the Great Divide tap room in LoDo. If you like drinks hit up Squeaky Bean on Wynkoop, also in Lodo. Sandwiches = Masterpiece Delicatessen, an old school bar is My Brothers Bar on 15th. For a great view of downtown and vibrant all around scene/bar/food hit up Linger in LoHi.

    Best restaurant French division/all around = Fruition, for desserts only hit up D-Bar in the Highlands neighborhood. Service generally sucks but the desserts are killer.

    Not giving exact addresses because i assume you are familiar w/the googles.

  5. #5 |  Matt F. | 

    The Keg. Super-awesome steaks.

    http://www.kegsteakhouse.com/en/locations/CO/denver/lodo-keg/

  6. #6 |  George | 

    Briarwood Inn — Golden, Colorado. Upscale and great.

  7. #7 |  Shaun S | 

    Benny’s for some good Mexican (okay, maybe Tex-Mex): http://bennysrestaurant.com/

  8. #8 |  Anthony | 

    A good Jewish cafe to get breakfast is Zaidy’s at 1st and Larimer http://www.zaidysdeli.com/

  9. #9 |  Hugh Akston | 

    Vesta Dipping Grill in LoDo. Good variety of meats and dipping sauces to wash away the bitterness of watching the Rockies lose at Coors Field.

  10. #10 |  Bart | 

    A restaurant that is so bad it is good is Casa Bonita. It is in a single story strip mall but there is this gaudy tower sticking out the top. When you get inside, you realize that is the cliffs because they have live cliff diving going on while you eat!!

    The food is bad Mexican, but there are plenty of margarita’s and an experience you won’t soon forget.

    http://www.casabonitadenver.com/

  11. #11 |  Fred | 

    The best pizza anywhere,
    http://www.virgiliospizzeria.com/
    Get the garlic knots

    Fried chicken (pan fried) just like Mother Nature intended
    http://www.castlecafe.com/
    What does that cardiologist know anyway?

    More exotic meats than any place in town, they are the
    Oldest restaurant in Colorado liquor license. #1
    http://www.buckhorn.com/
    Get the rocky mountain oysters
    (Yep it’s balls)

    So are you coming for Jon Caldara’s A.T.F party?

  12. #12 |  Swimmy | 

    CHB is right. This is beer tour country. There are a lot of breweries and I’d recommend you visit at least one. Great Divide and Wynkoop frequently have tours. The best tour is New Belgium but it’s in Fort Collins, an hour away, and it’s very doubtful you’ll be able to get in. (They fill up a month in advance.)

    If you like vegan food at all, I can’t recommend City O’City and Watercourse enough. I’m from the south, and I ain’t eatin’ vegan for health reasons, so I’m durn happy when I can get some greasy buffalo wings or a country fried steak with some mashed potatoes, except without any meat. And if you don’t like vegan food at all, try one of these and you might change your mind. The seitan wings are slightly better at City O’City, which also offers a great draft menu. Most of the food is vegetarian with a vegan option. Watercourse’s menu is more diverse. City O’City’s is more American food (burgers, pizza).

    (Also Root Down have no clue how to cook tofu. Doubt that matters at all to you.)

    Mediterranean: If you’re going to be a little south of Denver, try Damascus Grill. If you’re looking for late at night, try Jerusalem near the University of Denver, it’s fast, greasy, and delicious, open till 2 AM.

    Thai: Thai Lotus around Greenwood Village for spicy, and they will make it genuinely spicy. Second hottest plate I’ve ever had, second only to Thai Corner in Arlington VA. Nothing else I’ve had here comes close.

    The restaurants on Pearl Street are hip and decent. Most of the restaurants around 16th in LoDo and around the Cherry Creek shopping area are hip and lousy, lowest common denominator and boring.

    For Indian, go anywhere. For Chinese, forget it, it’s the same as it is in all the other boring restaurants across the country. Not bad but not remotely spicy and very little interesting done with the sauces. (I’d be stoked to be corrected about this.) For groceries, most King Sooper’s are nicer than Safeway and similarly priced. Sunflower is usually cheaper than Whole Foods.

  13. #13 |  Pete | 

    So I’m guessing the best response would be a restaurant recommendation that involves an asset forfeiture story? Alright, so I was in Denver at the Dunkin Donuts ….

  14. #14 |  Swimmy | 

    Oh, and as for experiences. . .

    People here are all about nature and exercising. Go hiking at Red Rocks. Go hiking anywhere. Rent a bike and find some trails. It’s beautiful here, take advantage of that.

  15. #15 |  CHB | 

    @Swimmy – great recommendation for walking around Red Rocks, totally agree.

    Eapen – by all that is holy, secular, and non-sequitor – for the love of the universe do NOT go to casa bonita. Truly a travishamockery of food. It has literally zero redeeming features. Denver and the surrounding areas are not NYC/NoCal in food but we are good and rapidly improving. Do not sully your impression of our fair city by going to that refuge of depravity. Just. Dont.

    Btw, if you like single malts hit up the Pints Pub near the Denver Art Museum. They also have cask conditioned ales generally on hand, too.

  16. #16 |  AB | 

    If you like craft beer go to Falling Rock and Freshcraft

  17. #17 |  skootercat | 

    All of the above mentioned is worthy, BUT, if you might be looking for an authentic Vietnamese meal, at 630 S. Federal there is a restaurant called New Saigon. I was in Denver last year for a few months helping a friend through a bad surgery. PT was nearby and we went there three times each week, trying a few places in the area and it was always back to New Saigon for the real deal. I suggest the Canh Chua Cay (Vegetarian sweet and sour tofu soup, #8V) and then on to a rice paper roll up entree (Dac Biet) of your design. Look at what others are having, ask questions. You will be back! Safe home.

  18. #18 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    A bit off topic (not about food or beer), but I was wondering what some of you locals think of the Denver area. My wife and I have been thinking of places we might go should we choose to leave Central IL. So would you recommend Denver? How is it culturally, politically, etc. I know this isn’t City Data or one of those sites, but I would appreciate some feedback. Thanks.

  19. #19 |  perlhaqr | 

    I always go to Ethiopian when I’m in Denver, because we don’t have any in Albuquerque.

    My favorite is Abyssinia, at 4116 East Colfax.

  20. #20 |  ChrisD | 

    Casa Bonita is well described, but do not go there as a single male or you’ll wind up on a watch list. Strictly for parents with kids to endure.

    Helmut, Denver is great. A nice mix of different politics so it’s not too heavy one way or the other. Lots of people from different places so it’s easy to make new friends. Fantastic local breweries. 300+ days of sun per year. (Surprisingly) mild winters, definitely some big snowstorms – but the sun comes out later in the day and it’s gone soon. A million great outdoor activities. Everything but an ocean, as they say. I’m from the East Coast originally, for reference.

    Radley, Not sure where you’re staying but I’m guessing a tour of Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey might be in order.

  21. #21 |  ChrisD | 

    Radley,

    I also like the Coors Brewery tour better than their actual beer, if you happen to be near Golden. Technologicially interesting. If you do head that way, Ali Baba’s grill offers great Middle Eastern food. It’s run by a Syrian family. True to Tyler Cowen’s hypothesis, it is in a strip mall, even if it is a really nice strip mall.

  22. #22 |  Jay | 

    I second the Buckhorn exchange if you like any sort of non-beef or chicken. They have a wonderful bison steak, and you can spend hours looking at all of the mounted animals and local history that adorn the walls. Try to find the two headed calf.

    I would also skip Casa Bonita, they serve food on cafeteria trays and use the same cheese you get on your nachos at a sporting event. However, if you have kids or want to check out a Denver staple, it’s a good time. Don’t expect good service or good ‘acting’ by the cliff divers (who appear to be barely out of high school) and associated shows. It’s more for the kids, but they do have good drinks.

    The Fort is also a great place to go after hiking around Red Rocks. If you’re on the west side and want a good margarita, the Morrison Inn can’t be beat.

    There isn’t anyone worth seeing at the Comedy Works.

    Don’t drink and drive though, Colorado should change it’s motto to ‘Come on vacation, leave on probation’.

  23. #23 |  Auggie | 

    Little ricci’s pizza, and jj madwell’s in conifer has great jalapeño beer cheese soup.

  24. #24 |  Brian Martinez | 

    The Original Chubby’s on 38th Avenue. Order the Mexican hamburger. Gustavo Arellano recently called it the best Mexican-American dish in the U. S., and he’s not wrong.

  25. #25 |  Brandon | 

    If you like burgers, go to the Cherry Cricket in Cherry Creek and get a burger topped with your choice of cheese and a fried egg. If you go to the Fort, make a reservation, they sometimes fill up even on weekdays.

    Second the Morrison Inn for margaritas, they have pretty good Mexican food too. But if you want great Mexican, go to Jose O’shea’s at 6th and Union in Lakewood. Don’t bother with Casa Bonita, if you’ve seen the South Park episode you’ve pretty much seen all the interesting parts. Snooze in Downtown or on Colorado or Toast in Littleton are great breakfast places.

    If you want an asset forfeiture story, drive around Aurora at night with out of state plates.

  26. #26 |  Chris | 

    I second the choice of Zaidy’s. http://zaidysdeli.com

    For a more rustic dinner choice go to the Buckhorn http://buckhorn.com

    If sushi is your thing then you need to head to Sushi Den. http://sushiden.net

    For something more unique try the Vesta Dipping Grill http://vestagrill.com

  27. #27 |  CHB | 

    @Helmet – Denver is a great place to live. Born here but ive lived in SoCal, just outside of NYC, Atlanta, small town America in various southern locales and northern plain states and i am back here for a reason. Its a cool town/state.

    Its probably the most expensive non-oceanfront place to live in the country outside of Chicago though. That can obviously be an issue. I hope to see more and more high rise developments pop up in and around denver soon.

    If you like beer, mexican food/green chile, and anything to do w/the outdoors except open ocean this is the place for you. Ppl are active and out going and yet there is still plenty of room and wilderness to escape to.

  28. #28 |  Brad Warbiany | 

    I agree with #16 “AB” — if you like beer, the Falling Rock Tap House (1919 Blake St) in LoDo is awesome. If you only have a short time there, I actually recommend it over some of the actual breweries in the area, as you can get a great mix of awesome beer from ALL the locals.

    I’m not a video game guy, but one of my coworkers is into vintage pinball machines, and on a recent trip out there we went to the Falling Rock first, then right next door to a bar called “1 Up”, loaded with old-school video games and pinball. They even have a decent beer selection too.

  29. #29 |  Brad Warbiany | 

    @Helmut -

    I grew up in the Chicago burbs, went to school in rural Indiana, and have lived in the Bay Area, SoCal, and Atlanta. If I were to leave California, it’d be to move to Denver.

    Granted, all I’ve done there is visit, but it’s just a town that seems to have the right “vibe” for my personality.

  30. #30 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    To Brad, CHB and Chris D

    Thanks for your input guys. Just doing some research, so I appreciate off the cuff opinions that go beyond what the travel guides and chamber of commerce website says.

    CHB- Thanks for mentioning cost of living, as I was not aware that Denver was especially pricy. Central IL is apparently better than most regions in that regard, but we have other reasons for looking around.

  31. #31 |  Jay | 

    If you’re staying anywhere south of town, like Castle Rock, head to Sedalia and have a burger at Bud’s Bar. Skip the Sedalia Grill and it’s ‘Merican flag, go down the block and enjoy the best burger you’ve ever had. There are four menu items: burger, double burger, cheeseburger, and double cheeseburger. THERE ARE NO FRENCH FRIES DAMMIT so don’t ask.

  32. #32 |  Sebastian H | 

    I’ll second the recommendation of Snooze, it is a great breakfast/lunch place. If you are looking for more dinner/dessert I’d suggest D Bar in a similar vein. The desserts are unexpected and wonderful, the food combines flavors in surprising ways. Definitely go to one of those two places.

  33. #33 |  Swimmy | 

    Helmut, I don’t find Denver particularly expensive, but I moved out here from a DC suburb a year ago. It’s pretty hard to beat northern virginia housing prices without going to Manhattan. Boulder is about 1.5-2 times more expensive than Denver. Take a look at comparative housing prices and see what you think. If you go to bestplaces.net you can compare the overall cost of living of various US cities. It claims Denver is only slightly above the US average, which seems right to me.

    Anyway, Denver is great. Like I said earlier in the thread, very naturey. People here are fit and attractive. For my interests: Good nightlife. Good punk scene. Good burlesque scene. Decent used and foreign video game market. Good ethnic food. Great vegan food. Lots of animal lovers.

    For general interests: Great beer. Very good music scene (some very popular acts at the Red Rocks Ampitheater). Good comedy clubs. No Blue Law. Not so terrible traffic jams (there are backups, of course, but nothing compared to the Beltway, Boston, or NYC). Great bike trails and bike-friendly roads. Dry climate means more pleasant summers and more mild winters; humidity really is the worst of both worlds. Thin atmosphere means 20 degree days in the winter are light jacket weather; as long as the sun is shining, it’s warm. (Unfortunately, it also means much higher required sunscreen use, which is not a big deal.) I’ve really only lived around Knoxville and DC, and Denver wins on almost every front compared to those. (DC has better ethnic food, especially ethiopian and chinese.) It would never cross my mind to go back to the east coast.

  34. #34 |  Damnthatde | 

    Buckhorn is a great place! Other Denver spots that I enjoy when I lived there and when I go back are:

    Jack and Grill (Off Federal I think, been a while, very good southwest style food)
    Pete’s Kitchen (Colfax and Race BTW they have one of the best breakfast burritos, at least they used to, just a great long standing Denver greasy spoon)
    City Grille (Colfax and Logan, American fare was voted best burger in Denver for like 10 years also have fantastic green chile)
    Casa Villarta (Parker and Quincy, good homestyle Mexican food)
    Potage (11th and Ogden, small chef ran resturant with a seasonal menu)
    Beau Jo’s Pizza (all over Colorado, specialize in ridiculously huge and filled pies)

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