Aug
15
2013

Wandering Traveler

Amaro plus lobster & cheese curds in gravy at Old Major

Amaro plus lobster & cheese curds in gravy at Old Major

DENVER (Still) ROCKS

Article & Photos by Virginia Miller

Williams & Graham

Williams & Graham

Denver is one of the more underrated dining scenes in the country, accompanied by lauded craft beer and distilling booms in the state. With frequent visits there last couple years, I already claim a long list of favorites. This Spring, I spent another nine days in Breckenridge and Denver for ADI’s (American Distilling Institute) Craft Spirits Conference, packing in many a meal and cocktail bar visit in between working the conference.

There were some solid tastes at Red Star Deli, Sweet Action Ice Cream (cherry Oreo!), and unfortunately lackluster ramen at Bones. I was grateful for a little time to return to favorites like that dim den of cocktail and spirits perfection, Williams & Graham.

The Squeaky Bean's foie gras dippin' dots

The Squeaky Bean’s foie gras dippin’ dots

Creative Cocktails-Experimental Food

SQUEAKY BEAN, Northwest/LoDo

Artful vegetable starter

Artful vegetables from the Bean Acre

I visited cult Denver favorite The Squeaky Bean in its chic, new location no less than three times this Spring. You can call it “the whole package”, mainly because its seasonally changing menu is exciting, even if not always consistent, and its cocktails, thanks to Bar Manager Sean Kenyon (Denver’s great barman, also of Williams & Graham), are some of the best in town.

Beet Street cocktail

Beet Street cocktail

Whether you gather at the large, half circle bar for bites and cocktails next to a shrine of Farrah Fawcett, or dine in the airy space, graced with funky touches like a vintage cigarette machine filled with empty spirits bottles, there are pleasures to be had. Start with blissfully unique, salty-tart bar food: Snack Attack ($7), a generous bowl of charred lime peanuts accented by crispy chicken skin, shrimp chips, contrasted with dates.

Master Chef/Partner Max Mackissock’s skilled playfulness is widely apparent in foie gras parfait and dippin’ dots. Yes, I said dippin’ dots: icy cool with currant pâte de fruit hidden underneath its fluffy, rich folds. The pate de fruit became a bit gummy and hard under the cool foie, yet points for ambition. One can’t help but taste the potential even in the unrealized dishes. Smaller plates are $14-18, large plates $28, lovely desserts (like their version of a mud pie), and there’s a killer cheese platter. Making me feel back at home in Cali, they source much of their produce from their own garden, the Bean Acre.

Cheese platter

Cheese platter

But it’s the cocktails ($9-12) that brought me back numerous times. Grouped by cheesy-cool 1980′s movies (Weird Science, Up the Academy, and Rocky III), sections move from light long drinks to experimental preparations. Though boozy, spirituous joys are plentiful (like Dukes of Hazzard tribute, The Uncle Jesse: Old Grand-Dad bourbon, Rothman & Winter Orchard Cherry, Cynar), I was most gratified by vegetal concoctions like Mr. Green Jeans, a spritely blend of new Colorado craft darling Spring 44 Gin, celery, cucumber, given just the right contrast from black pepper and lemon. It’s balanced, green, intoxicating, commandeered by a stalk of celery. Or take beets, in the case of Beet Street, a layered, earthy cocktail of Ocho Plata tequila, basil, sorrel, lemon, sugar, and, yes, beets, frothy and elegant with egg white.

In its new incarnation, the Bean is a sophisticated-cool dining and drinking venue that handles it all with a touch of levity.

OLD MAJOR, Northwest/Highland

L

Lobster Hot Plate

Old Major (named after the character from Orwell’s Animal Farm) was merely 6 weeks old when I visited early this Spring… a restaurant and bar to watch. Hipster leanings infuse “farmhouse” cuisine and an in-house butcher program, alongside a globally-savvy wine list, and Denver’s most extensive amaro collection to date. The bill adds up quickly but entrees are generous and the experience hits high notes in service, food, cocktails and wine (like a treat of a bottle of 2009 Franz Hirtzberger Smaragd).

s

Experimental fried fish

Executive Chef/Owner Justin Brunson heads an ambitious menu that includes whole fried fish, which in my early visit was a bit dry and overcooked, but striking in presentation (current fish dishes include a fried walleye in remoulade, $26).

The dish that best exemplifies the vision of Brunson was a “lobster hot plate” ($21) in a red-and-white-checked paper tray, fair/festival style. Both high and lowbrow, large chunks of lobster, tater tots and peas are smothered in cheese curds and lobster gravy. Delightfully decadent.

Amari cocktails shine at Old Major

Amari cocktails shine

Cocktails, wine and beer are selected from iPad menus, a trend at a handful of restaurants around the country in the past decade, while the Old Major bar stocks heavily on amaro, the kind of selection I commonly see in SF, NY, Chicago, Seattle. My happiest cocktail moment was an off-menu amaro beauty, lush with spice and bitterness, mixing Old Grand-Dad Whiskey, two amari – alpine Braulio and B. Nardini, and house cascara bark bitters and syrup. A pea sprout flower delicately rests atop large chunks of ice for visual effect.

Sake chilled and in a can at Uncle

Sake chilled and in a can at Uncle

Killer Ramen

UNCLE, Northwest/Highland

Uncle's ramen

Uncle’s ramen

Uncle is the ramen house I wish I had at home. While there’s similarly trend (as well as traditional) ramen houses aplenty in the Bay Area and NYC, Uncle’s bare bones decor, packed crowds, and in-and-out speed just illuminate the fact that this is damn good food.

Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts

Denver native Tommy Lee opened the restaurant with minimal culinary background and a desire to make creative ramen, but not necessarily being “schooled” in it. His fresh perspective breathes new life into a genre that continues to trend around the nation and a staple in cities with rich Japanese cultures. But unlike lackluster ramen at nearby Bones (which has been in Denver longer), his ramen explodes with flavor and unexpected touches. Spicy chicken ramen ($14) is revelation, the broth creamy with tahini paste, laced with scallions, bean sprouts and egg. Kimchi ramen ($14) with shredded pork and Napa cabbage packs a little heat. But it’s sesame notes of the tahini chicken ramen I long to revisit.

D

Root beer-pretzel vanilla semifreddo

Other joys might be a fresh Fuji apple-turnip salad ($7) tossed with duck prosciutto and fennel in a red wine vinaigrette, or bao buns ($7 for two), the best being flavorful vegetarian bao: fried green tomato, miso, pimento, Thai basil, or avocado, spicy mayo, red onion, mint.

All this, set to chilled cans of draft sake – like dry Funaguchi Young, Kikusui ($13), and finished with a salty-sweet vanilla semifreddo ($5) drizzled in root beer sauce, under flakes of pretzel and potato chips. Sigh. 

Pinche Tacos' queso: cheesy, happily greasy with chorizo, plus a bag of chips

Pinche Tacos’ queso: happily greasy with chorizo & a bag of chips

Give Me Comfort

PINCHE TACOS, Northeast/City Park

Good times with Pinche Tacos

Good times with Pinche Tacos

Growing up in and spending a good portion of my life in Southern and Northern California, Mexican food is often sadly lacking outside of the state except when I’m in Mexico proper. Moving to NJ in high school or visiting family in the Midwest growing up made this painfully apparent.

Though I’ve certainly tasted an improvement in recent years on what is loosely deemed “Mexican”, authenticity and flavor are still often lacking, depending on what region of Mexico (or Cali, for that matter) you prefer stylistically. I love many categories, even “white people” Mexican.

House-fried chicharrones & a Paloma

House-fried chicharrones & a Paloma

Which is exactly what Pinche Tacos is (hence the cheeky, swear word name). It is not necessarily the best of the genre nationally-speaking, as hipster taco and tequila spots like this have sprouted up in numerous cities. But it’s well done and certainly as good or better than many similar places around the country, satiating cravings with serrano-cilantro-tomato-laden guacamole, greasy queso fundido with chorizo, and tacos ($2.95-$4.50), like a chipotle beer battered fish taco topped with slaw and avocado-pineapple guac, or surf & turf of lengua (beef tongue) and fried shrimp. I loved rajas con crema y maiz tacos: cotija cheese griddled to a golden brown with roasted chile poblano peppers and creamed chipotle corn.

Blissfully pair with $3 Palomas, Margaritas or limeades during happy hour, or cocktail pleasers like Oaxaca Shocka ($8): Del Maguey Vida Mezal, house habanero and lime liqueurs, and one more housemade item, grapefruit bitters.

CAFE/BAR, Southwest/Speer

Cafe/Bar

Cafe/Bar

Cafe/Bar is a lovely, airy corner restaurant, ideal for lunch. While a Bison Pastrami Ruben ($13) was not as life-changing as I’d hoped (um, actually not at all -  I’m quite picky about my pastrami), it was a solid sandwich lathered in cheese, sauerkraut, smoked garlic dressing, between rye bread. Sweet potato fries – a worthy partner.

Stuffed Heirloom tomato

Stuffed Heirloom tomato

Fairing better was a vegetarian entree: a roasted Heirloom tomato ($15) stuffed to overflowing with quinoa, leeks, corn, and squash, doused in pistachio pesto and jauntily garnished with Parmesan tuile. Also solid but not amazing: shrimp ceviche dotted with roasted peach gazpacho, Fresno chili, lime, red onion and jicima, scooped up with sweet potato chips and best accompanied by a Fiery Gimlet ($12) of Death’s Door gin, lime and St. Germain elderflower liqueur, shaken with habanero extract.

Classic: Cherry Cricket

Classic: Cherry Cricket

CHERRY CRICKET, Cherry Creek/Southeast

It is all that: an old school gem of a burger in a charming, friendly, sports bar-meets-diner, multi-room dive with an outdoor patio.

From the moment you meet Cherry Cricket’s revolving, neon-retro signage, sparks fly. Then you decide you’re gonna go for the staff favorite of cream cheese and jalapenos added to your 1/2 lb. Cricket burger ($6.95) and you fall completely in love.

Have I had better burgers? Sure. But when I’m in Colorado, I crave none more than Cherry Cricket.

Bao buns at Ace with spoonfuls of mustard seed sauce

Bao buns at Ace with spoonfuls of mustard seed sauce

ACE EAT SERVE, Uptown/Northwest

Ace's ping pong hall

Ace’s ping pong hall

The mixed reviews are true: food and drinks at Ace are inconsistent. But the massive, garage-like space, filled with ping pong tables, eclectic pieces and neon signage, Asian and retro themes, reclaimed wood and a playful mash-up menu of Asian cuisines, is a smart concept… and damn good fun.

It may all look better than it tastes, but it’s worth a look.

STEUBEN’S FOOD SERVICE, Uptown/Northwest

Steuben's menu & cocktails

Steuben’s menu & cocktails

Right next door to Ace, Steuben’s is a modern day Denver classic. The food is not revolutionary but it is that hip sort of comfort food that begs for a bracing cocktail (of which they offer plenty) or a cold beer. The beloved mac n’ cheese ($8) was the better of the number of dishes I tried, though nothing was particularly noteworthy for gourmands or hardcore foodies.

I may be more in love with Steuben’s retro ’50′s/60′s diner design, vintage glassware collection and laid back funkiness than its food. But I’ve got a crush just the same.

The colorful retro exuberance of Steuben's

The colorful retro exuberance of Steuben’s

Ice Cream in Coffee

2914 Coffee

2914 Coffee

2914 COFFEE, Jefferson Park/Northwest

Using Kaladi Brothers beans from Alaska, 2914 Coffee does right by a cup coffee. But the menu treasure is affogato – not authentically delicate Italian affogato, mind you, so much as heaping scoops of local ice cream doused in espresso.

They use local favorite Little Man Ice Cream. Try dreamy Salted Oreo ice cream in an affogato. You won’t regret it.

Don’t Forget BOULDER

OAK AT 14TH, Boulder

Eater Does It aperitif

Eater Does It aperitif

When in Boulder, one would do well to eat and drink at Oak at Fourteenth, reopening a little over a year and a half ago after a fire.

The cocktails are arguably the best in Boulder (I had lackluster service and cocktails at the locally loved Bitter Bar) in visits past) from Bryan Dayton (GQ’s Most Inspired Bartender in the Country in 2011). Drinks are broken down into low alcohol aperitifs like Eater Does It ($7) – Aperol, Grand Marnier, Kila Cava, OAK Fire Bitters, kumquats and honey, or high alcohol imbibements such as the Alpenglow ($11), a layered bittersweet blend of Anchor Genevieve Genever, Nardini Amaro, lemon, orange and honey.

Tomato-braised meatballs

Tomato-braised meatballs

While some dishes, like a buttery, pan-roasted Skuna Bay salmon ($28) alongside sugar snap peas, fingerling potatoes and cipollini onions, were well-executed if not exciting, it’s two straightforward-sounding, even common, dishes that shine the brightest. Kale salads are a dime a dozen, but Oak’s much-lauded version ($10) tossed with shaved Honeycrisp apples, Parmesan, togarashi spice and candied almonds is unexpectedly addictive.

Kale salad

Kale salad

Likewise, their tomato-braised meatballs ($10) arrive in a cast iron skillet over Anson Mills grits, decadently inflected with creamy burrata cheese, a ridiculously comforting dish.

It doesn’t hurt to finish with a Smoked Sherry cocktail ($11) of musky-sweet Lustau Pedro Ximenez Sherry intermingling with smoky Laphroaig 10 year, brightened by grapefruit, lime, Angostura Bitters.

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Aug
15
2013

Wandering Traveler

Amari cocktails shine at Old Major

Amari cocktails shine at Old Major

3 Cocktail Havens in Denver & Boulder

Article & Photos by Virginia Miller

Williams & Graham

Williams & Graham

Denver is one of the more underrated dining scenes in the country, accompanied by lauded craft beer and distilling booms in the state. With frequent visits there last couple years, I already claim a long list of favorites. This Spring, I spent another nine days in Breckenridge and Denver for ADI’s (American Distilling Institute) Craft Spirits Conference, packing in many a meal and cocktail bar visit in between working the conference, explored in this issue.

As I savored Colorado craft spirits, like the rums of Montanya (my recent interview with their female distiller/owner, Karen Hoskin in Distiller Magazine), the earthy, vanilla oak of Black Canyon Whiskey (made from a custom still), and the delightful Old Tom and gin from Spring 44, I also returned to former favorite cocktail bars like Williams & Graham, and frequented three new cocktail favorites.

SQUEAKY BEAN, Northwest/LoDo neighborhood of Denver

Beet Street cocktail

Beet Street cocktail

I visited cult Denver favorite The Squeaky Bean in its chic, new location no less than three times this Spring. You can call it “the whole package”, mainly because its seasonally changing menu is exciting, even if not always consistent, and its cocktails, thanks to Bar Manager (aka “Bean Slinger”) Sean Kenyon (Denver’s great barman, also of Williams & Graham), are some of the best in town.

Whether you gather at the large, half circle bar for bites and cocktails next to a shrine of Farrah Fawcett, or dine in the airy space, graced with funky touches like a vintage cigarette machine filled with empty spirits bottles, there are pleasures to be had. Maybe it’s blissfully unique, salty-tart bar food: Snack Attack ($7), a generous bowl of charred lime peanuts accented by crispy chicken skin, shrimp chips, contrasted with a touch of sweet from dates.

Mr. Green Jeans

Mr. Green Jeans

But it’s the cocktails ($9-12) that brought me back numerous times. Grouped by cheesy-cool 1980′s movies (Weird Science, Up the Academy, and Rocky III), sections move from light long drinks to experimental preparations. Though boozy, spirituous joys are plentiful (like Dukes of Hazzard tribute, The Uncle Jesse: Old Grand-Dad bourbon, Rothman & Winter Orchard Cherry, Cynar), I was most gratified by vegetal concoctions like Mr. Green Jeans, a spritely blend of new Colorado craft darling Spring 44 Gin, celery, cucumber, given just the right contrast from black pepper and lemon. It’s balanced, green, intoxicating, commandeered by a stalk of celery. Or take beets, in the case of Beet Street, a layered, earthy cocktail of Ocho Plata tequila, basil, sorrel, lemon, sugar, and, yes, beets, frothy and elegant with egg white.

In its new incarnation, the Bean is a sophisticated-cool dining and drinking venue that handles it all with a touch of levity.

OLD MAJOR, Northwest/Highland neighborhood of Denver

Old Major cocktails

Old Major cocktails

Old Major (named after the character from Orwell’s Animal Farm) was merely 6 weeks old when I visited early this Spring… a restaurant and bar to watch. Hipster leanings infuse “farmhouse” cuisine and an in-house butcher program, alongside a globally-savvy wine list, and Denver’s most extensive amaro collection to date. The bill adds up quickly but entrees are generous and the experience hits high notes in service, food, cocktails and wine (like a treat of a bottle of 2009 Franz Hirtzberger Smaragd).

Cocktails, wine and beer are selected from iPad menus, a trend at a handful of restaurants around the country in the past decade, while the Old Major bar stocks heavily on amaro, the kind of selection I commonly see in SF, NY, Chicago, Seattle. My happiest cocktail moment was an off-menu amaro beauty, lush with spice and bitterness, mixing Old Grand-Dad Whiskey, two amari – alpine Braulio and B. Nardini, and house cascara bark bitters and syrup. A pea sprout flower delicately rests atop large chunks of ice for visual effect.

OAK AT 14TH, Boulder

Alpenglow

Alpenglow

When in Boulder, one would do well to eat and drink at Oak at Fourteenth, reopening a little over a year and a half ago after a fire.

The cocktails are arguably the best in Boulder (I had lackluster service and cocktails at the locally loved Bitter Bar) in visits past) from Bryan Dayton (GQ’s Most Inspired Bartender in the Country in 2011). Drinks are broken down into low alcohol aperitifs like Eater Does It ($7) – Aperol, Grand Marnier, Kila Cava, OAK Fire Bitters, kumquats and honey, or high alcohol imbibements such as the Alpenglow ($11), a layered bittersweet blend of Anchor Genevieve Genever, Nardini Amaro, lemon, orange and honey.

It doesn’t hurt to finish with a Smoked Sherry cocktail ($11) of musky-sweet Lustau Pedro Ximenez Sherry intermingling with smoky Laphroaig 10 year, brightened by grapefruit, lime, Angostura Bitters.

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Jul
01
2013

Wandering Traveler

Breathtaking view from my room at The Lodge & Spa at Breckenridge

Breathtaking view from my room at The Lodge & Spa at Breckenridge

FIVE EDIBLE BRECKENRIDGE DELIGHTS

Article & Photos by Virginia Miller

Horse drawn carriages in downtown Breck

Horse drawn carriages in downtown Breck

Breckenridge is a striking mountain town. More laid back than Aspen or Vail, its Main Street is not so much hip or chichi, but a welcoming center from which to explore the mountain glories surrounding the town. Less than a 2 hour drive from Denver, it’s all too easy to make a quick jaunt.

Breathtaking views from my home base of The Lodge & Spa at Breckenridge invigorated me with renewing inspiration. Rooms are homey and comfortable, mine with a fireplace, couch and lounge chair from which to contemplate the peaks.

Breck in April

Breck in April

Though roughly a 45 minute drive from Breck in the town of Leadville, White Mountain Tours, which offers zip lining and snowmobiling, is well worth a detour. I’m decidedly not athletic but I’d gladly snowmobile in these conditions any time. A fresh layer of just-fallen snow added to the mystique on a Saturday morning in April. It was unforgettably perfect weather – sunny and crystal clear – allowing us to zip and speed above treeline at over 12,000 feet elevation with panoramic vistas across multiple mountain ranges.

Killer views from a morning of snowmobiling in Leadville with White Mountain Tours

Killer views from a morning of snowmobiling in Leadville with White Mountain Tours

Breckenridge Distillery's downtown tasting room

Breckenridge Distillery’s downtown tasting room

As a town known for its brewery (Breckenridge Brewery) and distillery (Breckenridge Distillery), there’s a couple notable festivals. Twice a year, in April and July, the Breckenridge Beer Fest packs a few blocks with tents and tastings from mostly CO craft brewers and a handful of beers from other states. Though rowdy, it’s a fine way to sample brand new and classic Colorado craft beers in a mountain town setting. In October (this year, it’s 10/4-10/6), the Breckenridge Craft Spirits Festival offers tasting of some of CO’s best craft brewers (representing the state’s burgeoning scene) and a few national craft distillers.

Bracing mountain air – and beer sampling – means an increased appetite. Here are some notable Breck bites and watering holes.

Briar Rose Chophouse & Saloon

Briar Rose Chophouse & Saloon

IMG_7421

Old World elegance

BRIAR ROSE CHOPHOUSE & SALOON

The Briar Rose stands out with rosy pink exterior, and a historic dining room just off Breck’s main street. Old West elegance, stained glass, woods and a multi-room setting is both homey and classy.

There are steaks, game, fish (like Rocky Mountain trout), generous sides, and key lime pie for dessert. Classic Cesar salads ($8), mac ‘n cheese ($9), and steaks ($21-45) stand alongside curry mussels ($12), green chile creamed corn ($8), and mustard-herb-crusted Colorado rack of lamb ($39).

Owners and brothers, Ken and Todd Nelson, offer one of the more upscale dining experiences in town, while retaining Breckenridge’s relaxed vibe. The brothers run three other nearby restaurants (Giampietro’s, Park & Main, Empire Burger), and Ken is president of the Breckenridge Restaurant Association.

PARK & MAIN

Park & Main

Park & Main

Park & Main, another spot owned by the aforementioned Nelson brothers, feels like a casual urban eatery set in a mountain town. Ideal for breakfast/brunch and lunch, eat-in or take-out, there’s a solid international wine selection, affordable and conveniently also available by the half glass. Check the board for craft beers on draft. They happen to make the best (proper Italian style using Lavazza coffee) espresso in town.

On the food front, their gourmet breakfast sandwiches ($6-9) are worthwhile fuel before a day of mountain activity, as are their all-day sandwiches ($6-15), from a grilled cheese selection, to the likes of a zucchini parm or Vietnamese bahn mi.

ABSINTHE BAR & SWISS HAVEN

Absinthe Bar

Absinthe Bar

With an extensive absinthe collection from Switzerland to the US, Absinthe Bar’s basement div-iness adds to its charm, housed in a soft, yellow Victorian house. Pours of absinthe (and appetizers) are half price during a daily 4-7pm happy hour.

Upstairs from Absinthe Bar is Swiss Haven, from the same owners. Pricey, tiny portions of cheese fondue do not compare to my beloved fondues in Switzerland or the authentic Matterhorn in SF.  But in brisk mountain air, there’s little I want more than melted cheese and chocolate – even with small portions and lackluster sides, Swiss Haven satisfies the craving.

ANGEL’S HOLLOW

Angel's Hollow

Angel’s Hollow

Angel’s Hollow is an absolute dive – one where far-from-gourmet fish tacos and margaritas are what’s on order. Go for the mostly-local crowd, a peek behind the tourist veneer passing by on Main Street, via this low key, insider’s hangout.

MARY’S MOUNTAIN COOKIES

Mary’s Mountain Cookies, with a South Main Street storefront, have been a Breck mainstay since 1998. Don’t be deceived. These cookies look leaden, dry and dense. Old school? Yes – particularly with flavors like M&Ms or Snickerdoodle. But to taste, they’re chewy and down home, particularly oatmeal raisin or peanut butter.

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May
15
2012

Wandering Traveler

Retro, funky fun: brunch at Root Down

WINTER in DENVER

Entering Williams & Graham storefront

Since my last visit to Denver in the Fall, I’ve had another visit with brother, sister-in-law, and dear friends this winter, finding even more reasons why Denver’s dining and cocktail scenes are small but vibrant, growing by leaps and bounds… more interesting a scene than some cities that get more press.

Cocktail Haven

WILLIAMS & GRAHAM, Highlands (3160 Tejon St., Denver, CO 80211, 303-997-8886)

Visiting Williams & Graham three weeks after it opened, I couldn’t help but be smitten with (yes, another) speakeasy theme in an old bookshop storefront, complete with Bob Cratchet-esque book ledger where reservations are kept in a small, book-lined entrance. Disinterested hosts (my one complaint) opened up a “secret” bookshelf door (where we passed an already waiting few at 5pm), into a dim, wood-lined room with intimate booths, a wood bar with Old West saloon vibe, red walls and moody lighting.

Romantic booths

Denver’s lucky to have Sean Kenyon in their midst. He opened Williams & Graham with a proven track record of great bar menus at Euclid Hall (which I wrote about last visit) and formerly Steuben’s. Unlike longtime speakeasies that led the trend (such as our own, longtime Bourbon & Branch in SF, or the much newer neighboring Denver speakeasy, Green Russell), there are no rules or reservations required, though I would recommend them or utilize their call ahead process the day-of to be put on a waiting list since most nights there will be a wait. Kenyon’s goal was to open a quality neighborhood bar without pretension – it is also blessedly a magical, transporting setting.

La Pera Fumada

Tattooed, mustachioed Kenyon is the ideal bartender: he warms up with a dry sense of humor and welcome East Coast attitude (we share a New Jersey past, I soon found out). I enjoyed his whole bartending team, weaving in and out of conversation with them and my companions at the bar as we sipped the likes of a refreshing, smoky La Pera Fumada ($8), mixing Del Maguey Mezcal Vida, muddled pear, lemon, honey, and Angostura bitters, topped with ginger beer. The Tokyo Dagger ($10) satisfies my Japanese whisky and bitter cravings utilizing Yamazaki whisky, Bonal (the bitter), and Lusta San Emilio Pedro Ximenez Sherry to round it out.

Drinks at Williams & Graham

The menu is an engaging read (if you can read in the dim space) grouped by spirit categories with summaries of each written by nationwide experts, including our own Jon Santer at Prizefighter and Dave Wondrich. Other drink pleasures include The Smoking Frenchman ($10), a ginger/cognac cocktail made with Prunier Axel Gay Cognac, Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, Angostura & Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters, it’s subtly smoky with a Talisker rinse.

Next time I’ll try the intriguing food, from snacks like candied popcorn ($3) mixed with with peanuts, masala caramel, and fleur de sel, to boar bacon ($16) with wild mushroom fricassee. Dessert includes sweet/savory blends like chocolate beet cake ($6) with spiced walnuts and chevre cheese.

Kenyon says people return to bartenders not drinks. In the case of Williams & Graham, the bartending team would bring me back. Thankfully, so would the environment and the drinks. Call it the whole package. I’d call it Denver’s best bar.

Restaurants

ROOT DOWN, Highlands neighborhood (1600 West 33rd Avenue  Denver, CO 80211, 303-993-4200)

Hanging telephone wall in Root Down's bar

You could call Root Down hipster, and it is, with spacious, funky rooms lined with brightly colored vintage telephones and Esther Williams’ era swimming photos. I hit up brunch where pitchers ($28/$8 glass) of The Hummingbird (St. Germain, sparkling water, Cava brut) flow alongside coffees from fine local coffee roaster, Novo. Besides coffee, I went for Beet Down # 2 ($11), a rosy pink cocktail, which I wished tasted more like beets. Instead, you taste the gin (London dry), Aperol, Domaine Canton ginger liqueur, lemon and mint. A Cardamom gin fizz ($10) likewise would have benefited from a strong hit of cardamom with Plymouth gin, lime, cream. Both are better conceptually than in execution, though the base recipes could be great. They barrel age Last Words and Martinis, a generally playful, if not overwhelming, cocktail list.

Cozy booths, mid-century chairs & vintage swimming photography

Lemon ricotta poppyseed pancakes ($5/9) with spiced rhubarb syrup aren’t the best I’ve ever had of that combo (though certainly good), but they corner Eggs Benedict ($10), whether “classic” with house-cured heritage Canadian bacon, a Root Down Benedict, with quinoa “English muffin” and Iberico cheese, or Shrimp and Grits Benedict. A pulled pork omelette ($10) with smoked mozzarella, scallion puree, lime creme fraiche, and pickled habaneros, wasn’t as tasty as it sounded (pulled pork was a tad bland), but a fried egg sandwich ($9) on a croissant hits the spot with romesco sauce, Iberico cheese and avocado.

Many dishes are available gluten free or vegan, which will please some. Though I want to return for dinner, I’d wager the hit-and-miss nature of daytime offerings might hold true at night… but all in all, the place is so much fun and ideal with friends that everything automatically tastes better.

TRILLIUM, Five Points/Northwest (2134 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80205, 303-379-9759)

Trio of cured salmon and rainbow trout, pickled shrimp

By all accounts, I should have been in love with Trillium – though it is a worthwhile Scandinavian restaurant. Years before Scandinavian food became the hottest culinary movement on the planet, I bemoaned the lack of Scandinavian restaurants and cuisine in the US, getting my fix at stalwarts like Aquavit in NY.

Denver newcomer Trillium has the menu I crave on paper, even if the modern, open dining room of brick and white walls isn’t particularly notable. The restaurant serves ambitious rounds of caviar, cheese, and flavored aquavits ($5 for one, $9 for three, $13 for all five), most of which did not work near as well as the infused aquavits at NY’s Aquavit. As fun as they sounded, infusions like lemon verbena, golden beet, hot tamale, cocoa & star anise, pear fennel & ginger, tasted more candy-like or unnatural than vividly pure.

Cool, satisfying skagen

Aquavit cured salmon, lemon & dill pickled shrimp, maple sugar cured rainbow trout are bites ($7 each), each bright, none necessarily a standout. Truffled tator tots in hollandaise sauce and Lake Michigan smelts ($11) soaked in buttermilk, fried in cornmeal, dipped in lemon vodka tartar sauce, are happily comforting, if a tad bland.

Steelhead trout raaka

Skagen ($11), a traditional toast topped with cool poached shrimp, dill mayo, salmon roe, fennel salad, on soft, brown butter brioche did me right, as did a steelhead trout raaka ($11), a mixture of the trout, shallots, apple, fennel, horseradish “snow”, and whitefish roe, on grilled marble rye. A grilled Harris Ranch beef tenderloin ($28) is an unexpected treat of an entree, with a healthy accompaniment of roasted root vegetables, ultimately decadent in black pepper brandy caramel and bacon whipped cream. It’s like a meaty dessert.

In addition to the aquavits, there’s local beers on draft and a reisling of the month, which they rightly deem on their menu the most “dynamic and adaptable” white grape varietal. There’s also cocktails like the Scotch Bonnet ($9 – named after the pepper) with Black Bottle Scotch, Amaro Montenegro, Dolin Blanc vermouth, Bitter Truth Decanter Bitters.

Russell's Smokehouse backroom w/ church-like stained glass doors

RUSSELL’S SMOKEHOUSE, Lodo/Northwest (1422 Larimer St., Denver, CO 80202, 720-524-8050)

ColoRouge cheese fondue

Despite early mixed reviews on the new barbecue restaurant, Russell’s Smokehouse, from the Bonnano folks (Green Russell, Wednesday’s Pie), I visited the basement restaurant less than thrilled with high prices for BBQ (yes, it is $24 for a combo plate), food pleased in the understated basement with church-like stained glass sliding

Russell's Smokehouse logo

doors and solid cocktails ($9) like a Nuevo Jalisco Sour with Espolon blanco, Leopold’s Peach liqueur, Del Maguey Mezcal Vida, and spice and smoked sea salt rim, or their barrel aged Martinez (Tanqueray gin, Dolin vermouth, Campari, Leopold’s Maraschino liqueur) over house smoked ice. There’s also a fun range of non-alcoholic drinks, like a Rickey the Lime ($5): lime, lavender syrup, muddled cucumber, Pellegrino Limonata.

The BBQ itself was better than expected: both pulled pork and brisket are heartwarming. Platters are expensive for ‘que at $14-$26 but at least are generously portioned with sides of spiced black beans & cole slaw (note there are no substitutions). There’s Benton ham plates and smoked potted trout to start, while an oozing round of local ColoRouge cheese fondue was miniscule on the cheese ($12) but delights in flavor, served with a loaf of bread and grilled jalapeno.

Bottling at Great Divide Brewery

Beer

GREAT DIVIDE BREWING COMPANY, Northwest/Five Points (2201 Arapahoe St., Denver, CO 80205, 303-296-9460)

Great Divide Brewing Co.

Great Divide is doing it right. Not only is their restored downtown building a conveniently located brewery space for tours and after work rounds in a small but comfortable bar, their beers are consistently quality. I am a fan of their Espresso Oak-Aged Yeti Imperial Stout using local Pablo’s espresso, with its malty, coffee, vanilla oak, even hoppy notes. Speaking of hoppy, their Hercules Double IP is an aggressive citrus, grass-laden winner, and their Smoked Porter pleases Scotch and mezcal drinkers like myself. Beer fans would do well to take advantage of the location and affordable pours to taste through their beer line and take the free tour.

Bottling in GD's back room

Great Divide's tasting room

Spirits

LEOPOLD BROTHERS, Stapleton/Northeast (4950 Nome St., Unit E, Denver, CO 80239 303-307-1515)

Column still at Leopold's

Those of us who take any note of the craft spirits world have long known Leopold Brothers, two actual brothers distilling an impressive range of spirits, eaux de vie and fruit liqueurs. It was a pleasure last fall spending a day with Todd, Scott and their hard working crew, touring the distillery, tasting liqueurs, and sampling the, at the time, not yet released absinthe, which is already making waves in awards competitions and behind bars in SF.

The brothers and their operation exemplify the reason I fell in love with craft distilling years ago: a strong care for family, history, quality and craft drives them, along with sustainable, environmental practices.  Taste anyone (I promise you, it has converted non-drinkers and drinkers alike) on their Michigan Tart Cherry Liqueur and see if the tart taste of fresh cherries and cherry skin doesn’t evoke childhood and the simple, sweet pleasures of life.

Leopold's whiskey barrel

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Written by in: Wandering Traveler | Tags: ,
Oct
01
2011

Wandering Traveler

DENVER – A FOODIE TOWN? Dining & Drinking between Denver and Boulder

My brother and sister-in-law recently moved to Denver which means I’ll be there more often. I hadn’t been back in 5 years and was pleasantly surprised at how the dining scene has unfolded compared to my last trip. I have a long list of recommends and suspect you, too, might find Denver an unexpectedly solid food town.

The lower level dining room at Linger, Denver

Denver Food

Cocktails and complimentary spiced popcorn to start

LINGER, Denver, CO
Probably my top overall restaurant in Denver is Linger from chef/owner Justin Cucci. It wins on many fronts: an eclectic, Asian-influenced menu grouped by continent, with nothing over $15 (except a lovely cheese platter). They focus on mostly organically sourced food from many local farmers and producers, using rice bran oil for frying. Then there’s the space. In a multi-floored former mortuary, one could get the creeps, but everything has been completely redone with recycled materials. It’s a stunningly hip, playful space with front row views of downtown.

1960's mug shots on bathroom doors

Industrial and modern, it’s warmed by a funhouse of touches like pool table balls filling the floor next to a ramp, 1970’s smoking ads from India, and 1960’s-era mug shots covering bathroom doors. A dramatic staircase leads to an upstairs bar with that same city view. The space is festive, full of life, ideal for groups (though make reservations), particularly to share plates.

Dishes are prepared with finesse though approachable. Cocktails I tasted were made with quality ingredients though required more balance. I appreciated that they didn’t make them too sweet, though their Corpse Reviver # 2.5 went the other extreme with far too sour citrus.

Here are a few dish highlights by menu grouping:

Korean BBQ pork on onion pancakes

ASIA - Korean BBQ pork on a Chinese spring onion pancake with poached egg and kimchi (everyone at the table was crazy about this one)
- A bright Pad Thai ($9) with farm egg, pickled veggies
- Cold Peanut Noodles ($7) using Kombu noodles, miso-pickled cucumbers, cilantro, radish, Fresno chilies, peanuts
- Vietnamese “Goi Bo” ($12): wok-seared wagyu skirt steak, pickled daikon, carrots, crispy shallots, peanuts, bean sprout, shrimp chips

Biker Jim's dog w/ sweet potato waffle fries

AMERICAS - Biker Jim Dog ($9), Denver’s great local sausage, is topped with Boylan’s Cola-braised onions, layered with warm, oozing cream cheese, and a side of addictive sweet potato waffle fries with chipotle ketchup

SOUTH ASIA - Bhel Puri ($7) puffed rice, crunchy lentil noodles, chickpeas, red onion, cashews, tomatoes, cilantro, melon raita, tamarind-date chutney
- Masala Dosa ($9): rice & lentil crepe filled with masala potatoes, peas, black mustard seeds, dipped in tamarind-date chutney and coconut chutney

AFRICA & MIDDLE EASTChicken B’stilla ($12), my favorite Moroccan dish of a phyllo pastry filled with shredded chicken, almonds, apricots, golden raisins, Saigon cinnamon, harissa and a side of preserved lemon yogurt

Striking downtown view from the upstairs bar (same view from main dining room)

The fabulous Biker Jim's

BIKER JIM’S, Denver, CO
Chicago has Hot Doug’s and Denver has Biker Jim’s. All the Anthony Bourdain and press raves are rather warranted, I must say. Sports and beer overtake the casual space (newly opened – Jim’s used to be merely a food cart – those are still in operation), but sausages rule.

Pheasant sausage special w/ milk stout Dijon cream & citrus poblano salsa

While not everyone is as amazing as the last, they are all so plump, juicy, and loaded with flavor… choose reindeer, rattlesnake, boar, elk, pheasant, etc… then a topping like “The International”, an irresistible mix of wasabi aioli, caramelized apples and shaved Irish cheddar. This is some seriously good eatin’.

Yes, these hefty sausages will rest heavy on your stomach (both in feeling and weight gain). I had to re-heat half a dog for later… I just couldn’t finish it. But even reheated, Biker Jim’s is one of Denver’s greatest treats.

Little Man Ice Cream at the base of the Linger building

LITTLE MAN ICE CREAM, Denver, CO
After a meal at Linger, don’t miss Little Man Ice Cream, a milk cream tower just outside the huge Linger space, with light-strewn courtyard, live music, lines down the sidewalk… a local’s favorite for homemade ice cream. Some flavors work better than others, but each are rich, evoking childhood with unfussy, homegrown heart. When it comes to flavors, I have two words for you: Salted Oreo. Oh, man.

Euclid Hall's historic, cavernous space

EUCLID HALL, Denver, CO
Another striking space, Euclid Hall’s 1883 building downtown was once used for everything from Women’s Relief Corps to flea market, its pressed tin ceilings and dramatic two story, atrium-style bar/restaurant an inviting place to linger over hearty, gourmet pub fare. Yes, we’ve seen many an upscale gastropub, but I suspect there’s nothing else like this in Denver and it helps that it’s all done with exceptional quality.

Two top notch sides: caraway spätzle & apple cabbage slaw

The beer selection is strong, with many Colorado beers on draft, Belgians and beyond. Sean Kenyon created the cocktail menu which is an equally solid way to go. El Diablo ($8) refreshes with Pubelo Vieja tequila, Leopold’s blackberry liqueur, Regatta ginger beer and lime. Go classically boozy with a Smoking Frenchman ($11): Germain-Robin Craft Method Brandy, Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur, Talkisker Scotch and bitters.

Roasted Duck Poutine

There are many dishes ideal for soaking up craft beers. I’m delighted to see poutine on the menu, roasted duck poutine ($12) with ducky gravy, black pepper and Wisconsin cheddar curds being hearty, gut-filling food. A brat burger ($9.50) on a bretzel (aka pretzel) bun oozes with pickled cabbage, house 10,000 Island dressing and Jarlsberg cheese.

Brat Burger

Chicken & Waffles ($12.50) are, similar to many in the Bay Area, a fresh interpretation of the classic dish using organic Petaluma chicken alongside sourdough waffles with pure maple syrup and salty walnuts. E-dog ($5) is exactly as they describe it on the menu: “all turkey kick-ass corn dog”.

A melting griddled camembert & peach preserve sandwich ($14.50) with a tasty Waldorf salad was unexpectedly my top dish. I’d crave it on a rainy day, while the salad gives crunchy green apple tart to go with the gooey, sweet sandwich. Sides ($3.50 each) of caraway spätzle and apple cabbage caraway slaw are both above-average interpretations. Finish with funnel cake fried bananas ($4) in peanut butter caramel, evoking the spirit of bananas foster.

CHOLON, Denver, CO

House pappadum appetizer w/ a Full Moon Margarita

Cholon, a downtown Asian fusion restaurant, is a business lunch spot during the week and sleek, bamboo-lined Asian space for nighttime dining. This place particularly impressed with clean, focused tastes and preparation. It all went down well with their Full Moon Margarita ($11) using Republic Plato organic tequila, Sombra mezcal, with tamarind chili salt rim. Smoky, tart, hot yet refreshing.

I could keep popping cheesesteak wontons ($9), with quality beef and raclette fondue standing in for cheesesteak Cheez Whiz. I particularly loved lemongrass beet salad ($8): multi-colored beets are savory with blue cheese, sweet with candied walnuts, the lemongrass adding a tart kick.

Cheesesteak Wontons

Chili crab rolls ($12) are another crowd-pleaser, fresh spring roll style in rice paper wraps stuffed with crabmeat and charred corn salad with Sriracha mayo to dip.

Lunch entrees fell short of appetizers. An Asian lobster shrimp roll ($19) plays like a New England-style lobster roll tossed in mayo alongside avocado and lettuce. All in all it works, but as a pricey sandwich, it’s missing a flavor punch, as fresh and well-executed as it is.

My favorite: lemongrass beet salad

Veggie fried rice ($10) was disappointingly bland, falling short of most hole-in-the-wall Thai versions of pineapple fried rice. There were only a couple pieces of pineapple in the whole bowl and other items from nuts to scallion were equally minimal. Only a smattering of poached egg adds some flavor.

Overall, I’d return to Cholon, which has been voted one of the year’s best new restaurant in Denver by Denver’s 5280 Magazine (so was Euclid Hall, above), due to its attention to detail and fresh focus.

Under Larimer Square lights on Tag's front patio

TAG, Denver, CO
Under Larimer Square’s ceiling of white lights lining the street,  I sit in Tag’s small, outdoor patio. They offer a range of sake, beer and spirits, with solid, though not exceptional, cocktails ($9-11): Smoke on the Water is simple but refreshing with watermelon, Bulleit bourbon, lemon, agave; Blushing Geisha is Tyku soju, sparkling sake, lavender syrup, pineapple.

Tag chef/owner Troy Guard wins points for being willing to play, whether it all works or not. Flash-seared hiramasa ($14) is a sashimi-style platter bright with yuzu, jalapeno, white soy, tatsoi (spinach mustard green) and myoga ginger. The clincher is pop rocks dotting the dish. Admittedly, it’s not the best candy taste with fresh fish, but the textural pop is as fun as one expects (I’ve seen a handful of chefs in the past decade use this on occasion to perk up a dish). Australian kangaroo ($14) is meaty but not gamey, contrasted with watermelon, Sriracha, lime, and soft goat cheese.

Australian kangaroo

Interestingly enough, Kobe beef sliders ($13) topped with gorgonzola aioli and shallot confit was the best dish, as tired and overdone as sliders are. Overall, it seemed to have the most harmony, particularly with duck fat fries, which aren’t unusual either, but dusted with a bit of sugar and spice here, are savory, sweet, and utterly satisfying. Caramelized butterfish ($13) was as lovely as it ever is, particularly with lump crab, apple, English peas, and hon shimeji (East Asian mushrooms).

Flash-seared hiramasa topped w/ pop rocks

Buratta cheese salad ($8) was sad with a mere couple tiny drops of buratta, and spare few cherry tomatoes and marcona almonds over greens. I usually can’t resist ordering buratta salad (as the ultimate form of mozzarella) at home… but I’ve never seen less than huge dollops of buratta. I could barely find it here.

Chef Guard makes his own ice cream flavors – some more exciting in theory than actuality. I headed straight for the most unusual: uni and salted caramel lobster ice creams ($4 per scoop). I figured they’d both be amazing together but the uni was far too salty (and I love savory desserts). Still, kudos for the concept. I’d like to see those perfected: creamy, rich and appropriately salty.

WEDNESDAY’S PIE, Denver, CO

Wednesday's Pie shop

After dinner at Tag, or anywhere else in Larimer Square, for that matter, a real treat is Wednesday’s Pie, the “front” for Green Russell, a faux speakeasy culinary bar (below). Thankfully, the shop is open all day, too, so you can pick up a pie or a slice as you wish ($20 pie, $5 slice). These are all-American pies with childhood favorite fillings.

Though I’ve had more buttery, flaky crusts elsewhere, the fillings are superb. An uber-tart cherry pie evoked summer and was my favorite. A creamy oreo and a warm apple caramel pie were happy taste experiences both. They also do chocolate peanut butter pie and vary flavors seasonally.

Retro romance in the basement of Green Russell

Three booths lie in the back corner around Green Russell's long bar

Denver Drink

GREEN RUSSELL, Denver, CO

A drawing of Green Russell, a founding father of Denver, at the entrance

It’s a speakeasy with a sign… so not really secretive in the faux speakeasy way that eventually became the rage in NYC and SF over the past decade plus. But head downstairs off Larimer Square, through darling Wednesday’s Pie shop (see above) decked out in 1950’s black and white tile with red stools, on through to a subterranean den of romance: Green Russell.

Described as a “chef-driven cocktail joint”, it is culinary cocktails like I’m used to at home. The long space snakes around a wonderfully huge bar that is runs the length of the entire space. Lined with retro red chair stools, there is no shortage of spots to sit at the bar and take in the team of friendly bartenders who clearly love what they’re doing. Behind the bar is a glass-walled greenhouse of sorts, growing a range of herbs used in their drinks.

Green Russell's subterranean space

A small food menu offers some funky, gourmet bites (like BBQ rabbit on toast). The drink menu reflects a handful of house cocktails and thought-out spirits list, though much of the fun here is chatting with your bartender about what they might make you based on your mood and preferences.

On menu, It’s Japanese ($12) followed a whiskey citrus trail with a twist. Suntory 12 year bring the Japanese piece, using Leopold’s American Orange liqueur, lemon, yuzu, and a house ginger balsamic honey. Served tall and on the rocks, it’s refreshing as it is boozy.

The highlight was a Bitter Mai Tai, a delightful recipe in the July/August issue of Imbibe magazine which I’ve been making at home on more than one occasion. Here, however, after expressing being in the mood for either a bitter (like Campari) or mezcal, willing to go either direction, my sweet bartender did both. Mezcal, Campari, orgeat (almond syrup), and orange bitters. Served over crushed ice in an icy metal cocktail shaker (sans lid), it’s garnished with mint, refreshing, smoky, creamy, bitter on the finish, awakening all the taste buds.

Green Russell marries romance and craft cocktails, making it a destination place to linger over conversation with good friends.

COLT & GRAY, Denver, CO

Cocktails at Colt & Gray

Next time I must dine at Colt & Gray (the type of offal, meat and fowl menu long common in big cities but ever a joy when done well). It was clear to me from the moment I sat down at the bar of this newer downtown restaurant that felt like I hadn’t left SF.

Five years ago there was nothing like this in Denver, but here I could walk in and find spirituous cocktails, both classic and new, good American whiskies, and a range of local spirits… not to mention classic films playing on a flat screen over the understated bar.

Most importantly, head barman Kevin Burke ended up being my bartender and his knowledge and skill for what he doing is, again, what I’ve long been used to at home, the kind of care that showed me what drink could be when I first converted. With plain old great service, he made me an off-menu rye cocktail with house tinctures and homemade orgeat… I was hooked.

Boulder

THE MED (aka Mediterranean Restaurant), Boulder, CO

Winning tapas spread at The Med

I may not have loved entrees or Neapolitan pizza at The Med, a favorite hangout in Boulder, but all was solid. What really works is their outdoor patio courtyard with wall fountain, reminiscent of many restaurants I’ve dined at in Mexico. Happy hour tapas run 3-6:30pm every day, are merely $2-4 each, and are quite good, particularly with a tall glass of their passion fruit-laden sangria ($4). I recommend bacon-wrapped dates with garlic sauce ($3.50); ajo ($2.75), a roasted garlic bulb with balsamic jam and blue cheese; gambas ($4.25), Gulf shrimp in lime sherry vinaigrette; and tender albondiags ($3), pork meatballs in a sweet tomato sauce.

The Cup, Boulder

THE CUP, Boulder, CO
Strong, bracing, bold, The Cup makes a fine cappuccino that with micro-foam that goes down like silk.

Roasting their own beans and sourcing them from all over the world, the student vibe of the comfortable space does not signify typical college hangout coffee shop quality. This is the right stuff and the best coffee I had in Boulder.

Louisville

Louisville is a charming, tiny town a short drive from Denver, walkable and slow-paced. For next time, Lucky Pie intrigues with beers and pizza using locally grown-flour, and Cactus Wheel has a 60+ tequila selection, was playing 1970′s country music as I walked up, and sports a big patio out front (Mexican food there, however, looks like an uninformed white person’s idea of what Mexican food is).

SWEET COW, Street, Louisville, CO

Sweet Cow ice cream

Ice cream at Sweet Cow, a blue and white local shop with vintage lawn chairs out front and little cows for the kids to play with. Though it looks sugary and some flavors are, there are little dozens of flavors. Just start reading the long list of flavors on the back fridges. I enjoyed their ice cream sandwiches with crusty cookies evoking childhood,

PAUL’S COFFEE & TEA, Louisville, CO
Another coffee standout on my trip was Paul’s Coffee and Tea. At the Louisville Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning, it was the highlight of the market, sourced globally through a California contact and roasted locally.

Sweet Cow's fun front patio

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