Upscale Sandwiches at the Pepsi Center

Club Level fans have access to Masterpiece Deli’s masterful sandwiches.

MasterpieceDeli-logoMasterpiece Delicatessen, Denver’s award-winning deli that prides itself on providing “fine dining between bread,” is partnering with Kroenke Sports & Entertainment to provide its popular sandwiches at the Pepsi Center, home of the Denver Nuggets, the Colorado Avalanche, special events venue and more. Masterpiece is or soon will be located on the Club Level of the arena and serve a “Sandwich of the Event,” as well as provide in-suite catering and fulfill in-seat sandwich box orders. Masterpiece’s “Sandwich of the Event” includes items off the daily menu like the Cubano, Braised Beef Brisket, Reuben or Italian and also specials such as a Lamb and Curry Cole Slaw sandwich and BBQ Smoked Turkey with Denver Bacon Company (DBC) Bacon.

Sandwiches are supposed “closely resemble” the favorite cuisine of performing artists or resemble themes of events at Pepsi Center. Tasty times are ahead for Club Level ticketholders. For the rest of us, it’s the usual hot dogs, popcorn, burgers and such. Sigh.

New Aurora Ethnic Dining Guide

Great freebie for adventurous foodies.

Yum coverEarly in September, we went to Aurora to have our passports renewed. We ended up grabbing lunch at Sam’s Number 3, because while we knew the city has lots of interesting restaurants, we didn’t know where — in relation to the passport office — to find them. I know I had a pocket guide to Aurora’s myriad ethnic eateries but couldn’t find it.

Since then, the second edition of “YUM Aurora” has come out. Like the first published two years earlier, it features independent ethnic restaurants from African to Vietnamese, plus ethnic markets. Not a single Taco Bell, Olive Garden or other chain among them. Thankfully.

This edition was assembled and written by John Lehndorff, who has double credentials for this project. He has written about food for several Front Range newspapers, including the Boulder Daily Camera and the late Rocky Mountain News, and also did a tour as editor of the Aurora Sentinel, so he knows food and restaurants and the city.

The guide is available online. Anyone wishing a print come can click here and request any number, or find them on the racks in the Aurora Municipal Center at 15151 East Alameda Parkway.

American Classics at the Parkway Cafe

Affordable East Boulder breakfast & lunch eatery draws regulars.

021 The Parkway Café (sometimes referred to as the Parkway Restaurant) serves breakfast and lunch to a loyal cadre of regulars, sometime visitors and the occasional newbie like me. My husband and I got up really early in the hopes of catching the blood moon eclipse from a high spot off East Arapahoe. We’ve had luck there before, but this time, clouds intercepted our eclipse viewing, so eventually, our thoughts turned to breakfast.

My husband tends to go to the Parkway Café on mornings when he donates blood, and we went there today, because it opens very early. It was my first time, but unlike the Village Coffee Shop where everyone cheers the arrival of a “Village Virgin,” my entry went unnoticed. I’m glad. The place looks like a classic American coffee shop (bare tables, a choice of booth or captain’s chair seating, baseball memorabilia on the walls, bright lighting) and turns out simple diner food, plus some Mexican specialties. The portions are generous, the prices moderate and plating and presentation non-existent. No one cares. When regulars come in, the waitress knows what “the usual” is.

French toast with butter....
French toast with butter….
...and crisp bacon on a separate plate.
…and crisp bacon on a separate plate.
A single pancake is called
A single pancake is called “flat,” and this one had blueberries mixed into the batter and a huge scoop of butter on top.

Still, being in Boulder, the parkway offers not only juices, coffee, decaf, tea and milk, but also such exotica as chai, espresso drinks, Mexican hot chocolate. And guests arriving by bicycle get a 10 percent discount.

Price check: At breakfast, “favorites,” $6-$9.79; omelettes (3-egg omelette with 2 sides), $6.50-$9; pancakes and waffles, $3.50-$7); “extras,” $1.50-$2.75.

Parkway Cafe on Urbanspoon

Good Morning, Ella

North Boulder restaurant serves full breakfasts.

Ella is so new that the sign is still a temporary banner.
Ella is so new that the sign is still a temporary banner.

If you want a bagel in the vicinity of Boulder Community Hospital’s Broadway campus, there’s Moe’s. If you want fantastic breads and pastries, there’s Breadworks. If you want designer coffee-and, there’s Vic’s. But if you want a full hot breakfast delivered to your table, there has been a void since Marie’s closed — until early this summer when Ella’s Restaurant opened in the former Radda Trattoria space next to Ideal Market.

The spare dining room is a backdrop for food and congeniality.
The spare dining room is a backdrop for food and congeniality.

Ella’s serves breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, and a lovely morning called for a walk to check out this restaurant, opened by Edwin Zoe of Zoe Ma Ma renown. Radda had noise issues, and for all I know, Ella might still have them in the evening, but on a weekday morning, the few early customers tended to be on the quiet side. It was not quite warm enough for the patio, so we selected a window table with a view of the Flatirons over the parked cars.

Hard to beat the morning view of the sun-kissed Flatirons, lovely even over the parking lot.
Hard to beat the morning view of the sun-kissed Flatirons, lovely even over the parking lot.

Ella’s bills itself as a “fine diner” with an eclectic menu that calls for a return in the evening — despite the breakfast hiccups. Coffee for my husband, a cappuccino for me and two entrées that surprisingly took way longer to arrive than they should have, given that only two other tables were occupied — and those folks were already eating. Maybe getting there shortly after the doors opened was too early. I’ll always cut a new restaurant some slack.

Spinach eggs Benedict suffered from an English muffin that required a serrated steak knife to cut, hard-poached egg yolks and thin Hollandaise.
Spinach eggs Benedict suffered from an English muffin that required a serrated steak knife to cut, hard-poached egg yolks and thin Hollandaise.
Huevos rancheros, a mash-up of eggs (easy over here), chorizo sausage, red onions, black bean puree,  corn tortillas, avocado, ranchero sauce, tomatillo salsa and Cotija cheese plus has browns and a heap of shredded iceberg lettuce.
Huevos rancheros, a mash-up of eggs (easy over here), chorizo sausage, red onions, black bean puree, corn tortillas, avocado, ranchero sauce, tomatillo salsa and Cotija cheese plus hash browns, sour cream and shredded iceberg lettuce.

Price check: At breakfast, entrées, $9-$16; sides, special condiments and à la carte items, $2-$4.

Ella on Urbanspoon

Savory Spices in Ketchup & Pickles

Vindaloo adds distinctive flavor to two local artisanal products.

SavoryKetchupSavory Spice Shop, a Denver-based provider of fresh-ground spices and handcrafted seasonings, has partnered with The Real Dill and Elevation Organic Ketchup to provide new spice-infused pickles and ketchup respectively. These products are available for a limited but unspecified time beginning on October 1, and The Real Dill actually had some jars at the Boulder County Farmers’ Market (we bought one).  They both use Vindaloo curry powder, one of Savory’s original signature blends. Savory takes the Vindaloo heat level down to what it calls “an approachable level so we could highlight those other flavors, particularly the cinnamon.”

This is the first co-branding in Savory’s 10-year history. The shops are now found in 13 states (California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Washington). Savory Spice Shop offers more than 500 high-quality spice-related products, including freshly ground herbs and spices, specialty salts and more than 175 handcrafted signature seasoning blends.

 

 

National Kale Day is October 1

Celebrating this nutritious green with pesto.

NationalKaleDay-logoComing right up on October 1 is  the second annual National Kale Day, and I am going to celebrate by harvesting and doing “something” with the kale in my garden that has continued to grow even as I’ve been traveling. That “something” will probably be kale pesto, thanks to a recipe from the country’s kale promoters, who remind us of the benefits of this leafy green superfood.  National Kale Day was spearheaded by Dr. Drew Ramsey and Chef Jennifer Iserloh, authors of the bestselling book 50 Shades of Kale. The recipe that follows is from the book.

Kale Pesto with Toasted Walnuts

2 cups packed torn kale leaves, stems removed
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the kale leaves, basil leaves and salt. Pulse 10 to 12 times, until the kale leaves are finely chopped. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Scrape down the sides of the processor. Add the walnuts and garlic and process again, then add the cheese and pulse to combine. Toss with your favorite pasta and serve immediately.

Makes 8 servings. Nutritional Information: Per serving (about 1/4 cup): 139 calories, 4 g protein, 3 g carbohydrates, 13 g fat (2 g saturated), 4 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 279 mg sodium.

‘5280 Magazine’ Publishes Best Restaurant Issue

The top Denver restaurant again is Frasca in Boulder.

5280-logoOld restaurants, new restaurants names the “25 Best Restaurants” in Denver — and again the number one, Frasca Food and Wine, is in Boulder and Acorn in The Source has Boulder roots. Here’s the list, with the links going to the magazine’s write-up, not the restaurants’ websites:

1. Frasca Food and Wine
2. Acorn
3. Cholon
4. Sushi Den
5. Mizuna
6. Fruition Restaurant
7. The Plimoth
8. Basta
9. Colt & Gray
10. Bittersweet
11. Oak at Fourteenth
12. Luca
13. Bistro Barbès
14. The Populist
15. To the Wind Bistro
16. Rioja
17. Lower48 Kitchen
18. Stoic & Genuine
19. Barolo Grill
20. Work & Class
21. Old Major
22. Beast + Bottle
23. Potager
24. Duo Restaurant
25. Tables

Claire Walter's Colorado-oriented but not Colorado-exclusive blog about restaurants, food and wine events, recipes and related news. For address of any restaurant, click on the Zomato icon at the end of the post.