Category Archives: Denver

Daily Meal Picks Columbine for Affordable Steaks

Federal Boulevard classic gets national nod.

The Daily Meal’s selection of “The Best Inexpensive Steakhouses in Denver” features a Federal Boulevard standby that is not on everyone’s radar screen when it comes to Denver steaks. Anyone looking for less spendy places than Elway’s, The Capitol Grill, Ruth’s Chris, Guard & Grace and Shanahan’s, can go casual way south on Federal Boulevard (#300) for a super-affordable steak dinner with Texas toast. Here’s what the site posted:

Columbine Steak House & Lounge, Denver

This low-slung, no-frills Denver legend has been going strong since 1961, and its main claim to fame is how amazingly inexpensive it is. Fried chicken costs $8.75, a steak sandwich costs $7.95, pork chops $11.25. And most impressively of all, there are six steaks on the menu, and the most expensive one of the bunch, an absolutely massive porterhouse, costs just $20.75. As for the rest: the large fillet is $18.25, a T-bone is $16.25, sirloin and New York strip are $13.95, and a small fillet is $12.75. Tax is already included in the price, and all steaks also come with salad, potato, and toast.

Not a steakhouse but a old-style New Mexican restaurant that is also a Federal Boulevard classic is going away. Jack-n-Grill at #2524 is closing.

SOL Tweaks Its Menu

Mexican food with style in Cherry Creek.

A few days after Denver’s spacious and attractive SOL Mexican Cocina celebrated its first birthday, the Baja-inspired restaurant rolled out new happy hour items and  resized lunch offerings (smaller  renditions of its generous dinner portions). I had the fortunate opportunity to join a couple of hours of sampling many dishes emanating from the glassed-in kitchen presided over by Cortland Collins, elevated from sous-chef to executive chef not long ago. And then, there were the restaurant’s award-winning margs.

Just about everything is made in house, save for the tortillas, which are made to SOL’s specifications by the esteemed La Tolteca Foods in Pueblo. At Cherry Creek rents, it would be foolish to have an in-house production set-up for the quantity they need.

Summery watermelon margarita, judges’ No. 1 choice cocktail at the recent Top Taco event.
Huge tortilla chips with two salsas — tomatillo-chipotle and black bear — made fresh every day.
Tortilla with a floating island of thin avocado slices.
Watermelon copita with cubes of sweet melon, salt, ground chile and lime wedges.
Mexx Chopp Salad (yes, that’s how SOL spells it) — this version with beef.

Continue reading SOL Tweaks Its Menu

Two Colorado Chefs to Cook in Colombia

Tom Coohill and Daniel Asher at gastronomic fest.

Tom Coohill, chef and co-owner of the Denver restaurant that bears his name, and Daniel Asher of Boulder’s River & Woods  recently made their second trip this year to Washington, D.C., to work with Plate of the Union, a food advocacy organization that is working to address hunger issues through the 2018 Farm Bill.

Soon they are heading to South America for the 10th annual El Sabor Barranquilla Gastronomic Festival in Barranquilla, Colombia, August 25-27. They will demonstrate cooking techniques and participate in culinary forums using his recipes and the Colombian region’s ingredients.

El Sabor Barranquilla is a three-day event focusing on the foods of the Caribbean, with cooking demonstrations and contests, forums exploring biodiversity, sustainability, culinary techniques and advances, and a variety of dishes cooked by chefs from around the world.

 “A crew came out from SaborUSA TV last year to film at the restaurant, and things went so well that they reached out for this event,” says Chef Tom, who will be accompanied by his wife and Coohills co-owner Diane Coohill. “They’re flying me and Daniel down there, and as we proved in D.C. recently, Daniel and I work well together. So, I think this is a great opportunity to have a really cool cultural exchange through food.” 

2018 Denver Dining Passbook on Pre-Sale Now

The 2017-18 Denver Dining Passbook, known for two-for-one entrée deals and other benefits, is on pre-sale now, making the savings even sweeter starting now and valid though August 15, 2018. Hurry, because the special is on only until August 31. Even though we live Boulder, I ordered one, because it only takes a couple of dinners out to break even — and then, it’s pure savings.

The Passbook features some 90 restaurants, including 30 new ones like Mizu Izakaya, Departure, Candela Latin Kitchen and the soon-to-open FNG Restaurant.  Buy now for $39 including shipping (way down from the regular cost of $99 plus shipping) for a year’s worth of dining deals. Click here an enter promo code PBPRESALE2017.

Participating Restaurants

10 Barrel Brewing Co., 1515 Restaurant, 801 Chop House, Adelitas Cocina Y Cantina, Adrift Tiki Bar, Aloy Thai, Atticus, The Avenue Grill, Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar, Bar Dough, The Berkshire, Biju’s Little Curry Shop, Billy’s Inn, Blackbird Public House, Blue Island Oyster Bar, Blueprint Bar, Brider, Brodo Italian Scratch Kitchen, Broken Rice, bubu, BurgerFi, Butcher’s Bistro, Candela, The Cherry Tomato, CHUBurger, Corner Office, Crafty Fox, Denver Deep Dish, Departure, DiFranco’s, Dos Santos, El Jefe, Element Kitchen, Esters, FNG, Fish N Beer, Gaetano’s, Go Fish, Grind Kitchen + Watering Hole, Hashtag, Highland Tap & Burger, Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Humboldt Farm Fish Wine, Ignite Kitchen + Cocktails, Ink! Coffee, Jack’s Uptown Grille, Jax Fish House Glendale, Jett Asian Kitchen & Sushi Bar, Kachina, La Sandia, Leña, Lime, Little India 6th Avenue, Little India LoDo, Lo Stella Ristorante, The Lobby, LoHi Steakbar, Lola Mexican Fish House, Los Chingones, Low Country Kitchen, Lucky Pie, Marco’s Coal Fired Pizzeria, Marg’s Taco Bistro, Max’s Wine Dive, Mizu Izakaya, Modern Market, North County, Olive & Finch, Onefold, Park Burger, The Pig & The Sprout, PokeCity, Prohibition, range, Recess Beer Garden, Revelry Kitchen, The Rosedale, Scratch Burrito, Shells & Sauce, Ship Tavern, STK, Sushi Hai, Sushi Ronin, Tacos Tequila Whiskey, TAG Burger Bar, Tamayo, Tap & Burger at Sloan’s Lake, There…, Tupelo Honey, Uno Mas Taqueria, Urban Farmer, White Pie, The Wooden Table

Kudos for Denver’s Señor Bear

Pan-Latin food and dynamite drinks earn LoHi eatery honors.

Whenever Zagat lists the best restaurants in select cities, Denver is always one of them. Here’s the shout-out in the site’s “Hottest Restaurants in 15 American Cities” post about Señor Bear, the site’s choice for the Mile High City. The “powerhouse team” referred to is headlined by Max McKissock, Blake Edmunds and Juan Padro and Katie O’Shea Padro. For McKissock, it’s a bit like old home week, since he was the chef at The Squeaky Bean, when it occupied the LoHi space.

Denver: Señor Bear
Built by the powerhouse team behind Bar Dough, this bright, breezy, instant destination in LoHi showcases the flavors of Latin America — from Peru to Puerto Rico — in both food and drink.

Must-order: Start with a pisco cocktail and any of the elegantly executed dishes comprising the mariscos section of the menu, including mofongo with shrimp and crab (pictured).

Insider tip: If you’re noise-sensitive, ask to sit on the patio — the small dining room can get extra-festive.

3307 Tejon St.; 720-572-5997

Two Denver Eateries on “Best New” List

Bon Appétit picks 50 in the country.

There seems to be no end to the “best of” and “top” lists. When a national publication or organization does the listing, I’m pleased when Colorado gets a nod.

The latest is Bon Appétit’s selection of the nation’s 50 best new restaurants. The magazine must have a thing for food halls, because it selected Annette in the Stanley Marketplace in Aurora (restaurants and so much more) and the entire Central Market in RiNo. Click here for my post on Annette, and here for my post about the then-anticipated opening of the Central Market in RiNo.

Denver’s Tender Belly Named a Top Bacon

Time Inc. launches food site with bacon rating.

Another “best” list has appeared on the cyber-scene. Well Done is a new daily newsletter from the editors of Food & Wine,  Real Simple, Cooking Light, MyRecipes and other publications from the Time Inc. Network.  Bacon critic Scott Gold started off with a sampling of bacon from all across the country to crown the Best Bacon in the United States.  He cited Tender Belly, which makes thick-cut and delicious bacon in several flavors. 5149 Race Court, Denver, 800-975-6806.

PHOTO BY SCOTT GOLD

Tender Belly was highly recommended by one of my food writer friends in Denver as their great local bacon. It has a lovely, dark lean to it that you’ll only find in quality pork, and good striations of fat without being overly unctuous. It also boasts an excellent thickness quotient, right there in my favorite “Goldilocks” zone. Most distinctively, though, is that Tender Belly opts for cherrywood in smoking their signature bacon, and while you can hardly taste the apples in applewood-smoked bacon, you can actually taste the cherry here. It might not be for everyone, and it’s certainly unique among the bacons I’ve sampled, but I enjoyed the bold decision to go with such a heavily flavored fruitwood for