“I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead — not sick, not wounded — dead.” — Woody Allen
WHEN DINING OUT AT DINNER, G is my constant companion, along with anywhere from just the two of us to several other diners. I try to keep the count to six or less cuz after that it’s tuff to chat. Four is even better for serious and fun conversations. But at lunchtime I try to find a client to foot the bill. Unfortunately sometimes I get stuck with the tab. Sometimes I dine alone. Here are some of the new places I’ve been to in the past several months. None of these constitute a “review” but I might eat there several more times and develop a column.
I also try to sponge a freebie at any event I can scam my way into. Recently I attended an event where they served box lunches. Box lunches? Oh yuk. While y’all know I’m a sangie junkie, box lunches are rarely edible. Not enuf meat, the bread is old, and the caterer always puts foo foo on the sangie. Surprise! The folks at Gourmet To Go (303-762-1212; www.gourmettogo-denver.com) do an amazing job. I had a chicken salad sangie with lotsa good stuff, a fresh side of pasta salad and a yummy dessert. The going rate for their box lunches is $10.50 per, plus delivery. They also do buffets, breakfasts and most any meal you want catered. They don’t have a place where you can pick up the order, which is a shame, but delivery is fast and reasonable. Fella by the name of Mike Schwartz has been running the company for over 20 years. Call ‘em by 4 p.m. and you got your grub delivered the next day.
Not far from my office is Danny’s Carnation Restaurant (1395 Wadsworth Blvd, Lakewood, 303-238-3045). The place has been there for centuries. The food is very good, prices are reasonable and service is fast and friendly. I actually had a darn good burger with good fries. They’re a breakfast and lunch place, altho they’re open til 8 pm six days and til 3 pm on Sunday, give or take. The menu runs the entire gamut of diner grub.
On the subject of breakfast diners, stopped over on West Colfax at a fairly new place called Hits The Spot (5637 W. Colfax Ave, Lakewood, 303-284-6278). This eatery serves til 4 p.m. daily, ‘ceptin til 3 p.m. on Sunday. Another diner-type restaurant that specializes in breakfast all day, but good everything including service. It’s not the nicest neighborhood, and it’s not the nicest building, but I’ve eaten great grub in worse places. Last week I had a half-pound burger that was cooked perfectly and perty darn good.
If you’re worried about neighborhoods, don’t be. There usta be a steakhouse in Detroit called Carl’s Chop House, where the parking lot was behind a secured fence cuz the neighborhood was sooo bad. But the restaurant was as upscale and fantastic as any steakhouse in America. I was there the week after the riots in 1966, so I’ve been there when things weren’t the best. Unfortunately it closed some years ago but not cuz of the great grub or super service.
Shucks, folks, I remember a bar in Dearborn, Michigan that was so tuff… It was so tuff that when you walked in they frisked you. If you didn’t have a gun, they gave you one. Tuff place.
Gotta tellya about Tia Maria’s Mexican Restaurant (7260 Pecos St, 303-427-2572; www.tiamariamexicanrestaurant.com.) The restaurant has been there a long time. Recently listeners were talking about it on Warren Byrne’s Restaurant Show on KOA radio — if you don’t listen, you don’t know what’s happening in town. Realizing I had known about the place for years but never had been, I called an old bud and we meandered theta way. It’s one terrific restaurant, with excellent and friendly service and great grub. They even serve complimentary sopaipillas during lunch. The house-made green chili is hot but very flavorful, and does not contain cilantro. Got that G? There are a few dishes that contain cilantro but they can leave it off if you’re allergic. ‘Ceptin for the salsa and pico de gallo. They even make their own yummy chips.
What’s this about booze-infused milkshakes at Red Robin? Right. Let that 17 year-old W serve alcohol and then go to jail for serving drinks. Howsabout Dad’s six year-old son sipping on Dad’s Pina Colada? That oughta go over big, especially when the rug-rat passes out on the floor. I never did like Red Robin and now I like them even less.
BUBBLE AND SQUEAK
Sign on Burger King — “California burgers are back.” Shucks, ma’am, I didn’t even know they were missing… I see that Wolfgang Puck is spending $4 million to facelift his LA restaurant. All that money and he’ll still serve bad food. I do like his canned soups, but only when they’re on sale. Wonder where he got the recipe… Flash!! Hot off the presses. E-mail just arrived. La Renaissance, Pueblo’s premier eatery, is now serving lunch Monday thru Friday.
Jay Fox satisfies our culinary cravings by letting us know about what’s hot and what’s not on the local dining scene. He can be reached at: email@example.com.