Monday, September 04, 2006

Taste of Colorado

It should come as no surprise that my favorite Denver event involves practicing the traditional Osakan sport of "kuidaore", or "eat until you drop". This year signified possibly my 10th year of attending the Taste of Colorado.

To fully enjoy the Taste, and not drive yourself crazy, it is imperative to go with a plan of action. I first decide which day would be best to go. It used to be Sundays, but the last couple of years seem to be less busy on Saturdays. I also recommend going early. It opens at 10:30am, and I try not to arrive later than 11:30. Plan on spending about 2 hours if you have gone at these slower times. If you do choose to sleep in, or put off your pigging out until Monday, plan on more like 4 hours as you will spend at least half of this fighting crowds and waiting in lines.

The festival is laid out in a large circular shape around Civic Center Park. The food is on the Capital and City and County Building sides of the circle. The middle is full of vendors selling their crap. If you don't care about said crap, and want to skip some crowd-surfing, cut through the very middle of the park by the main stage to avoid these very crowded areas.

I also like to take a look at the Taste's website before I go and decide what I really must have. That way I can keep an eye out for these places and not fill up or spend all my money before I've made it to them.

So, with this plan, I attended not one, but two days of Taste of Colorado madness. The first trip was on Saturday morning around 11am. It was cloudy and about 50 degrees outside. We parked approximately 2 blocks away for $5. Thanks to being early and having cooler weather, it was busy, but the lines were very short or nonexistent. The second trip was Monday at around 2pm. The temperature was now around 70+ degrees and sunny. As a matter of fact, around all those people with the sun beating down on us, it was friggin' hot. We parked a bit further away this time and had to pay $1 more. It was unbelievably crowded. The most people I have ever seen at the Taste, and several restaurants were out of certain foods. See? This is why I follow my plan. ;)

Now on to the food! Some of my favorites this year:

Louisiana Hot Links at Alpine Sausage Company
Fried Pickles and Alligator Tail at Bayou Bob's (a perennial fave of mine)
Plantains at Caldonia's BBQ
Buffalo Nachos at Colorado Buffalo Grill
BBQ Pork Ribs at Famous Dave's
Cinnamon Roasted Pecans at Rocky Mountiain Nut Roasters
Kennebunkport Pizza at Pizzeria Mundo
RoRo's Funnel Cake with Bavarian Cream Topping
Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato and Elderflower Gelato at Panzano (where I got to meet Elise Wiggins! Yay!)

The only place I was really disappointed with was Wholly Tomato. I'd been looking forward to trying it because I'd heard so many good things about their wraps. I got a Caesar wrap and I thought it was really dry and sour. I'll probably give them another try at their actual establishment some time.

Overall, a good time was had, lots of food was eaten, but unfortunately- I did not pass out from overeating.

Next up: I hope to give Steuben's a try- it's the newest place from the owners of Vesta Dipping Grill. Upscale comfort food. Mmm...

Monday, July 17, 2006

I Ate Aspen!

I was out-of-town last weekend visiting a friend in the Aspen area. So, although I was unable to eat Denver, I was able to eat some delicious mountainy goodness. My first night in town, we didn't want to go into Aspen proper for dinner, so we headed into the closer El Jebel for sushi. One wouldn't expect much for a sushi joint in a strip mall in El Jebel, and one would be correct. I think my friend has been in the mountains too long as she actually thought that Sushi Ya Go-Go (the name really says it all, doesn't it?) was good stuff. I personally thought it was pretty nasty. One roll was decent, but only because they covered the poor quality fish with a spicy Sriracha sauce. Blech. But the El Jebowl Bowling Alley did serve a mean Flying Dog Ale.

The next day proved better for eating. After sleeping and waiting for the rain to stop (it didn't), I finally ventured into Aspen on the bus ($3.00!). I had been wanting to try The Big Wrap since I first saw it on Rachael Ray's $40 A Day in Aspen. It's in the bottom level of a little shopping center in the middle of town, and there's really no seating to speak of (a couple of chairs at a bar). I waited in the long line (after grabbing some cash from the ATM, as they don't take credit cards), and ordered a Pesto Wrap. It was a tasty burrito-like concoction with black beans, chicken, pesto and lots of other stuff. I enjoyed it on a bench overlooking the ice skating rink, which is a surprisingly boring locale in July.

We wanted to go to a decent restaurant for dinner, but neither of us could afford crazy Aspen prices. So, we checked out the bar menus at a couple of places and ended up at Jimmy's. They're supposed to have the best crab cakes ever, but they were outrageously priced even in the bar. I settled for a big old cheeseburger (a steal at $9.50 in that town) and a totally unnecessary side of mac n cheese. It was rainy and I was in need of comfort food. It was good stuff (burger was a bit overcooked), and I washed it down with a knock-you-on-your-butt Capirhina.

We later indulged in a martini at 39 degrees at the Sky Hotel. I had the Botox Martini, which I would have preferred much colder, but it still hit the spot. The atmosphere made up for it, as we lounged by a fireplace and watched people play board games.

The next morning before I left, we made a breakfast stop at Cafe Bernard on the cute little main street of Basalt. The food was just decent and the service was miserable. Probably wouldn't head back there again anytime soon (although I did score an awesome build-your-own pinhole camera at a nearby stationery store).

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Capital Grille

I was lucky enough to recieve a $25 gift certificate to the Capital Grille recently. I've passed it a million times, while browsing at Z Gallerie, grabbing a latte at The Market or dining at Lime. I have to admit that the big cement lions outside sort of intimidated me. I never really figured I'd eat there. But hey... I'm not one to pass up free food.

After browsing their menu, I decided lunch would be the best option, as the prices are much lower. At dinner, that 25 bucks would have bought me like, a baked potato. So, I dragged my mom away from work and we stopped in early on a Tuesday afternoon. My first impression was not great. Don't get me wrong... the space is gorgeous. Dark woods, leather, giant paintings of horses and hunting dogs. Behind the hostess is a wall of lockers with name plaques beneath them (a veritable who's-who of Denver), containing what I assume to be frequent guests personal liquor bottles. What I didn't appreciate was a) being pushed out of the way by 'businessmen' in suits and b) feeling silly for not having a reservation at 11am on a Tuesday.

Regardless, we were sat in the lounge area near the bar (the only place you don't need a reservation for). The chairs were comfy and the atmosphere was calm. We were certainly the only people in the room not wearing suits, but the server/bartender still treated us very well. I've been to other similar establishments where you can just feel the service sizing you up. I didn't get any of that vibe here.

On to the most important thing, though: the food! Admittedly, we couldn't afford to run the gamut of appetizers, specialty drinks, desserts. Instead, I opted for what I thought would be a simple Ribeye Steak Sandwich. I should have known it wouldn't be your typical shaved-beef slices when our server asked how I'd like it cooked. What I got was an entire, beautiful, juicy ribeye steak on a warm, crusty roll. This gorgeous piece of meat was finished with caramelized onions and havarti cheese. Out of this world! It came with a side of homemade potato chips, which were a touch salty. (The best homemade chips are at Village Tavern, IMO.)

My mother chose the Parmesan Sourdough Club. This sandwich was massive, and differentiated itself from the traditional club with a smattering of prosciutto and a topping of coleslaw. Many of the diners around us were choosing the day's special- a spinach salad topped with hot, steaming steak bites.

I don't think a diner at Capital Grille could go wrong, from what I saw. Everything coming out of the kitchen looked delicious, and they clearly have a heavy amount of return visitors. It is very heavily-geared towards the urban businessman, but we were still made to feel comfortable. Valet parking was complimentary with validation- a huge plus on busy Larimer Square.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

New Stuff Soon!

Don't worry- I'm still alive and I am still planning on doing reviews here. Unfortunately, I've been poor beyond my wildest dreams, so I'm not eating out much. (Why don't people ever use that term in a negative context? Maybe I should say beyond my wildest nightmares?) But, I'm going to lunch at Capital Grille this week (thanks to a nifty gift certificate), so I plan on writing up a little review for ya.

In the meantime, a couple of tidbits:

Rock Bottom Brewery has an awesome beer called Molly's Titanic Brown Ale. Yummers.

Comedy Works has delicious macaroni n' cheese wedges! They also do a mean Roy Rogers. Yep, I drank a non-alcoholic beverage at a comedy club. Everything is over-priced, but it's fun. BTW, Josh Blue is ridiculously funny.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

221B Baker St. Pub

First things first: I'm hoping to integrate more beer info into this site. I'll be perfectly honest... I'm no beer expert (yet). I couldn't tell you too much about different types of hops and such, although I do know there is such a thing. And I know the general process of brewing a beer. But most importantly- I like to drink beer. I don't drink it to get drunk. I truly savor a delicious microbrew (or macrobrew if it's decent). I look forward to the Great American Beer Festival every year, and willingly dole out 40 bucks to be in the presence of greatness. As Ben Franklin said, "God made beer because he loves us, and wants us to be happy."

And now on to the review. I recently ventured out into suburbia to drink and dine at a little place called 221B Baker St. Pub. Located in the new Belmar shopping/dining/living conglomeration at Wadsworth & Alameda in Lakewood, it was actually fairly difficult to find. You can't drive past it on the street, as it overlooks a little outdoor seating area and some construction that is a future pond. We ended up parking on the street (which costs $1... silly, considering there is a ton of parking around there for free) near a directory. Luckily, we were just around the corner. For future reference, it is next door to Chama, which is visible off the street.

The atmosphere is very much like an English pub, but enormous. It's a large space, with lots of tables, nice booths and some little seating areas of comfy leather chairs. It seemed very cozy, and there were lots of people enjoying the outdoor seating (until it rained).

I considered writing solely about the beer here, because... well, I hate to write a bad review. I really do. Especially because I would go back to this place to just sit in the corner with a pint of cold Baker St. Draught (made by Tommyknocker Brewery in Idaho Springs). And I would encourage others to do just that. Just that. To start with, the service was surly at best. Not in a good way- because I highly enjoy the good kind of surly. Rather than greet us as we walked in, I felt we were intruding upon the servers, who seemed annoyed at our presence. The feeling continued with our own server, who was nice enough, but certainly didn't go out of her way.

I can forgive poor service if the food is good. I don't know if I was silly to expect good food in a Pub. I have been to my fair share of pubs in England, and the food is never fantastic. It's just food. We began our meal with a simple appetizer- chips with queso and salsa. The chips and queso were fine, but the salsa was very salty and runny. I love a really spicy salsa with lots of fresh cilantro. This wasn't it. For my entree, I opted for a simple burger with bacon, mushrooms, and blue cheese. I expect when blue cheese is offered as an optional topping for my burger that it will be actual blue cheese. What I got instead was some blue cheese dressing in a cup, on the side. Blech. The burger itself, which I ordered medium, was dry and overcooked. I didn't even finish it, or the incredibly overseasoned fries. Which for me, is rare. I like to eat, and I finish my meals. My dining companion ordered the highly-advertised soft tacos. She said they were good, but were unfortunately ruined by the bland salsa. We decided to skip dessert there, and instead headed over to Ben & Jerry's across the street. Mmm. Now that I recommend highly!

Again, I'm not saying don't go to the Baker St. Pub. The beer was awesome, and they've got a great happy hour. The aforementioned Baker St. Draught was only $2.50. I would totally go back later in the evening and hang out on the patio. I'll just eat before I go next time.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Bump 'n' Grind Cafe

First thought upon walking up to the Bump 'n' Grind Cafe at 17th & Pennsylvania: This ain't Denny's. It may have been the brightly painted walls, the disco ball, or the tempting array of baked-goods on display. Or maybe it was the male servers (poorly) dressed as women. Yeah, it could have been that.

Judging by the masses waiting for a table at 10:30 on a Sunday morning (the brunch is served 10-2:30 Saturday and Sunday), I knew this place had to be good. Our hour wait passed painlessly, thanks to beautiful weather and the walk-up coffee bar. Not to mention the entertainment. As we walked to our garden-patio style table, a passing server said nonchalantly to my friend, "You have really big boobs." How can you not love that?

Now, sometimes places with so many gimmicks do it simply to cover up poor food. This is certainly not the case at Bump and Grind. I did have one disappoint food-wise. I was agonizing over whether to order the Kevin Bacon panini or the Mexican Benedict. I finally decided on the panini (including bacon, avocado, scallions and aioli), but they were out of the necessary ingredients! Sacre bleu! So my friend and I both ordered the Mexican Benedict. Holy crap, was it out of this world! Honestly, I could go on for days. I'm not usually a big Benedict fan, because I don't like Hollandaise sauce. Fortunately, this isn't your grandma's Eggs Benedict. Delicious sweet pineapple cornbread is topped with roasted pepper slices and poached eggs, all covered in an amazing spicy chipotle sauce. The combination of sweet and spicy will blow your dang mind.

Most of the meals come with potatoes and fruit. The potatoes also have that amazing sweet and spicy flavor, but different than the Benedict. We spent a large portion of our meal trying to figure out what the flavors were in the potatoes, but to no avail. Some guesses included nutmeg, cinnamon and chile powder. Other guesses included magic fairy dust and love. Nobody knows.

Honestly, if I could eat brunch here every weekend, I would. I would want to hear my waiter tell the table next to me to 'Put your hands up. No seriously. Put your f*ing hands up!'. I would want to watch the birthday lap dance over and over again. And next time I will get my damn panini.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Cafe Gondolier

Technically, Cafe Gondolier is in Boulder. And yes, I realize this is the I Ate Denver blog, not the I Ate Boulder blog. Five years from now it's all going to be one city, though, so I'm just trying to give you a head start. You're welcome.

According to Cafe Gondolier's website, they are the oldest family-owned restaurant in Boulder. This alone makes it worth a try, no? I first ran across this restaurant when they were located on Baseline at US-36. I used to see their sign with the big advertisement of 'All-You-Can-Eat Spaghetti!' and shiver inside. I figured they were just another medicore red-sauce joint trying to appeal to the CU kids with limited incomes, so I never gave it a fair try. When I graduated from that hilly mecca for hippies and Mercedes-drivers alike, I didn't think I had ever eaten at Cafe Gondolier.

I was wrong. I was fooled! Bamboozled, if you will. Cafe Gondolier had moved, and my little college brain was unable to process that the lovely Italian cafe where I enjoyed an evening before a formal event was the same 'All-You-Can-Eat' place. So, when I arrived back at the new Cafe Gondolier (17th & Pearl) this weekend, I finally put two-and-two together. Sure, it only took me 3 years, but I get it now.

No longer waving a gaudy red-and-white banner heralding cheap pasta, the cafe now seems a respectable place from the outside. Located right next to Boulder's well-known Frasca, the 'new' location offers a large, romantic patio that smartly faces East (preventing the foothills' famous winds from whisking away your napkin). Inside, cute murals of stereotypical Italian scenes adorn the golden-hued walls, and a piano player adds a bit of ambiance.

In addition to a regular menu, Cafe Gondolier also offers a tapas menu. (Wait... aren't tapas Spanish? Well, regardless...) A couple could easily make a light meal out of a few items off of the affordable list. Add a bottle of wine and call it a night. The night I visited, I had a heartier appetitite. One that could not be tamed by mere tapas! We began with a huge plate of calamari. Lightly breaded, not too chewy. Only complaint was that it came with a simple marinara sauce. I prefer a spicier sauce with calamari since it doesn't have a ton of it's own flavor. It was a large serving though, and with all that food that was to come, I could probably have gone with the tapas size.

For my meal, I surprised even myself. All these years after being a poor college student, and well into my years of making fun of poor college students... I ordered All-You-Can-Eat spaghetti. And guess what? It was freakin' amazing, and arguably the best value in Boulder. $10.95, and just an extra 2 bucks to add some delicious Italian sausage. The value doesn't stop there, folks! This 'spag' also comes with soup or salad and bread. Although I'm not sure if the bread is the same every night, we received some wonderful focaccia, that worked well to soak up the remnants of the chunky Tomato Soup with Basil and Gorgonzola. Mmm...

On my next visit (and there will be a next visit), I plan on trying one of their pizzas. I don't think the table next to us appreciated me drooling on theirs. The sandwiches also look fantastic. And if you're in the area for lunch, they do a quick take-out of spaghetti for ridiculously cheap. I will let this be yet another lesson in judging a book by its cover... or in this case, judging a restaurant by it's tacky banner. Mangia!

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Denver (but not food) related: Check out my new Real World- Denver blog!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Best Of...

Every year I look forward to Westword's 'Best of' Issue. Pretty much everyone I know does, too. The thing is, I generally only enjoy it to hear about new places, but I don't always agree with their choices. So, here's a quick 'best of' from me (I'm sure more will be added as time goes on):

Burger: Cherry Cricket. I love that there are no pre-determined topping combos. Try the cream cheese and jalapenos on a turkey burger. Mmm.

Happy Hour: McCormick's. Twice a night, every night. $1.95 gets you a yummy burger and fries, so you have money left over for their perfectly shaken martinis.

Root Beer: Wynkoop's Tiger Root Beer.

Sushi: Expensive: Sushi Zanmai; Mid-Price: Japango in Boulder, Sonoda's in Denver; Cheap: I Love Sushi

Italian: Panzano

Mexican: El Noa Noa right now, but that changes frequently

American: Sam's No. 3

Late-Night: Pete's, of course

Pizza: Pizzeria Mundo. Try the Nantucket!

That's it for now. I'll add more as I think of things.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Fear Not!

Don't give up. I know there has been a lull, but I am not even close to done. I have tons of reviews in the pipeline, including Jack-n-Grill and Rocky Mountain Diner. 10 days of work in a row is killing me right now, and then I am on vacation 5/19-5/22 in Vegas. Maybe some Vegas buffet reviews if you're lucky ;) Keep checking back! I promise the new content is on its way!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Irish Snug

To me, a well-poured Guinness is one of the better indulgences in life. According to the brewers of Guinness, it should take 119.6 seconds to pour the proper pint. A Guinness can't be ruined by a bad pour, but it can take away much of its appeal. Luckily, the Irish Snug knows this. This cozy little bar off of Colfax is a nice change from another Irish pub chain downtown, which I haven't been a fan of for a couple of years. It was cool when I was in my partying stage and didn't realize there was life outside of LoDo. The Snug has at least 4 awesome things going for it (besides their superb Guinness pour):

1) Waffle fries! Served plain, nacho-style, or buffalo-style, and available in half-sizes. Mmm.

2) Live music

3) Free parking at the meters in the area after 6 pm (unlike downtown's 10pm)

4) Snugs! These cute little rooms are only big enough for 2-3 people, but they're great for a little quiet couples time if you want to get away from the noise and smoke. You order food and drink through a small stained-glass window that opens on to the bar. Otherwise, you are left in total privacy. Use only as directed!

So go sneak into a snug, eat some waffle fries, drink a Guinness and enjoy!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Dining Out for Life

Every year, Denver restaurants team up to raise money for an amazing nonprofit called Project Angelheart. Project Angelheart provides meals for people with life-threatening illnesses. It's a wonderful group that I have volunteered with in the past. This Thursday, April 28th, I encourage everyone to go out for an awesome meal at one of Denver's great restaurants. 25% of the money made that night will go to Project Angelheart! So, you get a great meal and you help provide meals to some people who really need them. How can you go wrong? Check out this link for a list of participating restaurants. Hint: You can even go at lunch, because all front range Tokyo Joe's and Wahoo's Fish Tacos are participating! Rock!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

El Noa Noa

Speaking of patios, there is nothing I would rather enjoy on said surface than some excellent Mexican food. I always feel like good Mexican food is meant to be enjoyed outdoors. Maybe it's the fresh flavors of cilantro, avocados, and tomatoes. Or maybe I just like to pretend I'm on the beach in Puerto Vallarta while I sip my perfectly blended, icy margarita.

I recently spent a beautiful Friday evening on the excellent patio of El Noa Noa at 7th & Santa Fe, in the heart of the Santa Fe Arts District (making this a perfect spot for First Friday noshing). I haven't encountered a Mexican restaurant with better atmosphere since Casa Bo. Granted, there are no cliff divers, but the food is quite edible. A large trellised wall seperates the eating area from the street, keeping out the noises of Santa Fe. On the weekends, a mariachi band plays in one corner- just loud enough to be atmospheric without being overwhelming. The patio is large enough to seat big parties, as well as give everyone the breathing room which is lacking in some more crowded spots downtown.

El Noa Noa offers some interesting, authentic dishes along with the classic chile rellenos, enchiladas, etc. I opted for the shrimp tacos on my recent trip there, and they were excellent. Large, juicy shrimp and marinated mushrooms and onions stuffed into three warm, fresh tortillas served with a massive helping of guac and chopped tomatoes. Messy but delicious! My friend (who introduced me to this fine establishment) ordered the enchiladas suiza, which were also reported as excellent.

I'm well aware that there is another Mexican joint in LoDo with a very popular patio and very popular marg's. That place is great if all you want to do is get drunk with the rest of the after-work crowd on a Friday night. But if you want to actually, say... eat, skip that bordertown cafe and make the short trek to El Noa Noa.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Patio Time!

Ahh... thank goodness for warm weather. Now, I know this is Colorado, so it could snow tomorrow, but I'm personally ready to enjoy the nice weather. One of the things I miss most during the winter is sitting out on a nice patio downtown, sharing a cool drink with friends and people watching. The time has come! Here are some of my favorite places to do just that:

Rock Bottom at 16th & Champa- Huge patio, live music in the summer, good beer
LoDo's Bar and Grill at 20th & Market- Rooftop patio, good burgers, best before a Rockies game
(I was going to include Above the Dove here, but I just found it is changing to a different name/format very soon, so it remains to be seen what the patio will be like.)
Paramount Cafe on 16th- Cheap drinks, patio gets very crowded with the after-work crowd
Rialto Cafe on 16th- Try the warm chicken salad...mmm

For lunch, check out the food court on 16th & California. The patio is on about the 3rd floor, overlooking 16th Street. Very nice in the summer.

And if I can tell you only one more thing... wear sunscreen.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Beer is Good

I am a total beer snob and I'm totally not afraid to admit it. I live in a city where beer is an art, a religion, a hobby. It's not just a drink. So, as part of this blog, I want to give you the heads up on some of the city's best hops and barley libations. Today's brewery of choice: Breckenridge. There are 3 locations of this venerable institution. The one located on Main St. in the brewery's namesake town and the location at 2220 Blake St. are both more brewpub/restaurant than straight up bar. If I want to eat with my beer, I certainly hit up the Blake St. locale, which has an awesome sausage and cheese app. But for just straight-up beer (and some not-too-shabby bbq), I recommend the location at 471 Kalamath St. You just missed the amazing Vanilla Porter (produced only Jan-Mar), but you can now get your hands on the seasonal Summerbright all the way until August. This is a fruity wheat beer that goes perfectly with a hot summer day. So go out, drink beer, enjoy the summer, and thank me later.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Victory American Grill and Bar

Let me start by saying that I had high expectations of Victory American Grill and Bar. It's not their fault, I built them up in my own head. Why? They are owned by one of my favorite little greasy spoons, Sam's No. 3. At the same time, Sam's isn't exactly where you go for the ultimate dining experience. But they do serve a mean breakfast burrito, and their green chile is out-of-this-world. And I digress, because this isn't about Sam's.

Victory is conveniently located right next door to Sam's at 15th & Curtis, just 1 block from the Denver Performing Arts Complex. This makes it an excellent location for those stopping for a quick bite on their way to the theater. The design of Victory actually reminds me of the dramatics of a theater. High ceilings, dark woods, heavy velvet curtains, and servers in the requisite black. The bar area has a couple of nice pool tables and a pin-ball machine to while the time away. Another bonus in Victory's bar: PBR. On tap! I don't remember the last time I encountered PBR on tap at a real restaurant, but I have to say- I'm impressed.

Victory's menu is eclectic and interesting. They have a decent sized wine list, and they don't seem put off by strange drink orders. Two appetizers really stand out: the Fried Pickle Spear & Pretzel Basket, which is exactly what it says. I've personally been a huge fan of fried pickles since I first tried them at Bayou Bob's Taste of Colorado booth back in 1997. They are hard to find, and they're generally made with pickle chips, so this is an interesting take. The other appetizer that you can't help but notice is the Cheese on Fire!!! (exclamation points theirs). I wasn't sure whether this involved actual flames or just heat and/or spice. The description assures that it is 'flaming saganaki'. While I have yet to order this myself, the table next to us did. Let me say that this is quite the attention getter. It is literally a flaming plate of food. They show it to everyone, who 'oohs' and 'aahs' then quickly extinguish it with lemon juice. Very cool presentation. Once again, I'm impressed. But if you prefer something less fried or flaming, I suggest a cup of the creamy, smooth lobster bisque.

In the world of entrees, Victory offers a nice selection of sandwiches, burgers, pasta and steaks, plus some specialty dishes ranging from Carribean Salmon to Pork Souvlaki. I'd describe it overall as 'upscale comfort food'. None of the entrees are offputting, but they still sound slightly fancy in a way that makes an adult feel just fine about ordering a grilled cheese sandwich or mac and cheese. Both of these involve chevre, which I enjoy just saying. I had the Victory Mac-N-3-Cheese- a beautiful amalgamation of gouda, cheddar and prosciutto baked together with that good ol' chevre on top. The mixture of cheeses wasn't too rich, as some baked mac and cheeses are, and the breadcrumbs added a nice little crunch. Filling and satisfying in the most basic way. My dining companion had the Baked Ziti, which had a delicious mix of sausages covered with a slightly spicy marinara. Many diners around us had ordered the Yiayia's Fried Chicken and it looked fantastic. It's definitely next on my list.

I rarely end a dining experience without dessert, because life is short. I realize I may be making it shorter with this bad habit, but at least I will die happy, with a mouthful of chocolate mousse. Regardless, Victory has a nice looking dessert tray. I've always loved dessert trays and I don't know why every restaurant doesn't take advantage of these. I am much more likely to be tempted when I can see that fantastic cheesecake or creme brulee than just read about it. Everything on Victory's dessert tray looked great, but we chose the Mija Chocolate Mousse Pie. Not only did it look delicious, but I enjoyed the story behind it. Apparently, it is based on an original recipe from Baur's Bakery, who occupied the space Victory is in now back in 1891. The pie was rich and chocolatey, but not overwhelmingly sweet, punctuated by slivers of toffee on top of the whipped cream.

Victory lived up to my expectations in the food department. It also has a beautiful atmosphere that can be both professional and cozy. The only problems we encountered were in the service department, but they were the problems of any new restaurant. Our waiter was exceedingly friendly, but he seemed to lack some confidence and sense of humor and was a bit slow on the clean-up side. These are all easily fixed with time and comfort in a new environment. I see great things for Victory's future, and I know I'll be back soon for that fried chicken!


Welcome, welcome. Let me introduce myself. I am a Concierge in Denver. As such, it is my personal responsibility to know what's up in this great city's restaurant scene. Since a large part of my life is spent talking about restaurants, eating at restaurants, and reading about restaurants, I've decided I might as well write about them, too. Denver isn't known as a culinary capital (yet). I wouldn't mind being part of a force that changes that opinion. I also hope to be a resource and an inspiration. Try new places! Eat new foods! Get out there. Denver is waiting for you to eat it.