Jay Fox's Dining Guide

Stuff off the top of muh head

“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread and pumpkin pie.” — Jim Davis

CLOSINGS AND OPENINGS. Some of this info is kinda outta date cuz I been working for bucks instead of writing for funzies. Sorry.

Anywho, G and I were saddened with the closing of Prime 121. In spite of some other writer’s opinions, they had fab food and good service. But Elway’s (2500 E. First Ave, 303-399-5353; www.elways.com) just sucked the steakhouse business away, and that’s the way the mop flops. I don’t particularly like Elway’s. The ambiance is wondrous, the food generally good — altho I can tell you some horror stories. The service generally sucks. I don’t know why there are two stores that share a Web site; they don’t have anything in common other than the name. The store in Cherry Creek is owned by John Elway and Tim Schmidt, while the store downtown is owned by other folks. Tim Schmidt is one of the best restaurant operators in Colorado, so I don’t know why this store is the way it is. But I digress.

G’s favorite food at Prime 121 was the cherry sourballs in a supersize bowl by the front door. There was a spoon there for you to scoop up a few treats as you left. G got so addicted to the damn things that she brought an oversize duffel bag to stuff a pile of ’em in when we left, hoping that no one would see her. I think GM Scott Fickling added some bucks to my bill on the next visit.

After several visits, they quit putting the sourballs out when we came, but I found out where they came from. The company is located in Texas and offers dozens of different candies. A small bag cost $3. I bought two dozen bags of different candies, but mostly cherry sourballs. They were gone in under 30 days. Now I buy a 30-pound box of cherry-only sourballs which costs $50 bucks including shipping. If I take G out to dinner, it can cost $200 or more, but if I feed her a box of sourballs and I have a tuna sangie and a dish of ice cream, I’m in for less than $60 total. So I say to myself, “Why not, Harold? Why not?”

FROM THE NATIONAL SCENE. Word is that Wendy’s International will be sold by Dec. 1, so maybe what useta be hot and juicy but has become cold and dry will return to its former state. They do offer senior discounts, and that’s good. G luvs the stuff. In the bakery-café segment, industry leader Panera Bread Co. is gonna raise prices, but not quality. If you get back East, Au Bon Pain has far better quality and service. If Taco Barf hasn’t confused y’all with the menu changing more often than Britney Spears changes undies, get ready; they’re about to double their introduction of new products. Burger King, muh least fav of the fast foodies, has introduced some new yummies that moved them to the top of muh list. The $1 menu has two items. First is a two beef patty sangie with onion thingies and some mild cheese, so mild you don’t even know it’s there. Sometimes the putter-person (the person who puts the food on the bun) is so stingy, you don’t find the onion thingies. But ask for extra, cuz it’s a yummy sangie, and has much more meat than the $1 one from that Scottish dude, McDonald. BK also has a ham and egg omelet sangie for a buck, but it comes with a honey sauce. Kill the sauce, and it’s very good. My big complaint with BK has always been their ads. The Whopper look so thick and juicy you almost want to run out and order one. Till you remember the ad bears no relationship whatsoever to the real thing.

THINGS THE WORLD CAN DO WITHOUT, ACCORDING TO FOX:

• peanut butter
• small paper clips
• puny paper clips
• colored paper clips
• mini staples
• pennies
• Starbucks
• Chipotle´
• ham salad
• pizza
• beets
• brussel sprouts
• competitive eating
• Iron Chef
• Zagat surveys
• restaurant reviews by readers
• restaurant reviews by writers
• reality TV shows
• clothes hampers
• childproof caps
• bicyclists on the streets

If you’ve got some favs that you think the world can do without, send a list to me, and we’ll publish it someday.

STRANGENESS. Why does Abrusci’s (3244 Youngfield St., Wheat Ridge, 303-232-6161; www.abruscis.com) not take dinner reservs if you call after 4 p.m.? What difference does it make? The hostess told me they’re too busy. Duh? Maybe not swift enuf to deal with the complications of seating people. The food and service are fab, so why give folks cause to not come here?

At the NRA (National Restaurant Association) convention last May in Chicago, they had some really dumb stuff. Talking menus. Text messaging from the kitchen to the patrons, sending ads to customers while dining. Who thinks up this garbage? Anything to make a buck, I guess. Too bad, cuz those ideas will go right down the tube.

The folks at Nabisco don’t have e-mail, so I can’t ask a question. I’m too lazy to write a real letter, and with the postage rates going up every hour, I can’t afford it. Why are Ritz crackers toasty brown on one side and a completely different shade of bakeness on the other?

The Rebellion (2231 S. Broadway, 303-733-4511) prides itself on a cooked-to-order buffalo bugger. But the menu sez to “Due to its size, allow 20 minutes extra to your order.” Now that’s 20 minutes on top of their already allowed time. And why are their beef burgers only 6 ounces? Sure don’t want either.

CORRECTIONS AND ERRORS. In my January “Welcome Back Legislators” column, I mentioned the pot roast at the Rocky Mountain Diner (800 18th St., 303-293-8383; www.rockymountaindiner.com). Well, bad me. Manager Pamela called to tell me that they unfortunately no longer offer pot roast. But they got meatloaf and brisket and other wondrous goodies. I guess that’s all the corrections I have, and the only one I’ve published in the 21 years I’ve been writing this column. I’m good. I thought I made a mistake once, but I was mistaken.

FOX ON OTHER STUFF. Teds Montana Grill (all 47,003 locations). I’ve eaten here at least 80 times, and in all those times only twice has muh bugger been cooked perfect. Seriously. They just don’t know how to cook a bugger. Even if I ask for them not to put the dome over it, it still comes out either overdone, raw or so salty you can fill a can of Morton® salt with it. Whew! But I keep going back and ordering them, cuz I luv the bun, and even overdone (if not too), it’s a damn good bugger. Besides, I send it back if it’s too done and it usually comes out fairly OK.

At the new Denver area store a few weeks ago, the bugger came out very well done. So, as usual, I sent it back. Now it came medium rare as ordered, but it fell apart. All of a sudden I had six pieces of beef every time I tried to pick up the bun. Now I know why someone invented a knife and fork. Our W was lousy. Never saw the dude after he took our order. Someone else brought the food. Then, when he came to bring the check, he was all smiles and warm and friendly. Fortunately, this is the first time I recall having bad service, so I’ll be back. Just not to this store. Maybe next time I’ll go back to muh other fav, the salad with grilled chicken. And, when the chocolate chip cookies are fresh, they’re the best in town. Yummy.

Cya.

Jay@coloradostatesman.com