Jay Fox's Dining Guide
Things going on in Foodville
“I’ll bet what motivated the British to colonize so much of the world is that they were just looking for a decent meal.” — Martha Harrison
AIN’T THAT THE TRUTH, ABOUT THE BRITS? I spent time trying to find a meal in London some years ago. Their idea of a deluxe ham sangie was 2 1/8 ounces of ham and 1/16th ounce of lettuce between two slices of thin bread without mayonnaise or any dressing. They’re so damn stingy, they even shaved the lettuce. For many years, the only decent food in London was found in Indian restaurants. I’m told that the dining scene has improved recently, and now there are many ethnic and American restaurants in London. Most still tend to be upscale, but there has been an influx of modest-priced Italian restaurants. I wonder what Kate and Billy are serving for their Big Dinner? Probably roast beef, Yorkshire pudding and bangers and mash, or maybe some bubble and squeak. You don’t know of this latter dish of which I use the name in my column regularly? Well, I’ll tellya. Bubble and Squeak is a dish typically made from cold vegetables that have been left over from a previous meal, often the Sunday roast. The chief ingredients are potato and cabbage, but carrots, peas, brussel sprouts, and other vegetables can be added. The cold chopped vegetables (and cold chopped meat if used) are fried in a pan together with mashed potato until the mixture is well-cooked and brown on the sides. The name is a description of the action and sound made during the cooking process. The dish sounds disgusting but I luv the name. At my house the leftovers have been left over for so long, we don’t know from whence they came.
RECENT CLOSING. Several restaurants have closed recently after a relatively short life. Leo Goto’s Restaurant just east of Santa Fe on Bowles Avenue closed after a few months of life. I’m sorry I never got to check it out. G and I were to attend a wine tasting there, but the doors were locked. The event was moved to Café de France (7301 S. Santa Fe, Littleton, 303-347-2424; www.coloradorestaurantguides.com/cafedefrance). The new place, obtained on very short notice, was a big hit. The food was excellent. In fact it was so good, G and I and two friends stayed for dinner and had a great meal. The room where the wine-tasting was held was rather small, and about 47,003 more folks showed than had RSVP’d. How tacky! If you’re going to go to an event, do the right thing and RSVP. And if you make a reserv somewhere and can’t go, call and cancel in time for the eatery to schedule someone who wants to go. Methinks restaurants ought to charge a fee for no shows, even in bad weather. $50 on your credit card and you won’t do that again. Café de France is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The Counter, a great bugger joint in Park Ghetto recently closed due to lack of business. G and I luved the place but unfortunately the lack of service and inconsistency in the kitchen drove the nail in the coffin.
WE’VE BEEN EATIN’ OUT. G and I’ve found several new places that we really like. Buggers of course are always the leader of the pack. Walk-In Burgers (2255 Sheridan Blvd, 303-238-2002; www.walkinburgers.com) maybe the current BBIT (best bugger in town). It’s a bit over 1/3 pound, hand-packed fresh patty cooked to order on a flat grill. The bun is fresh and yummy. They also serve a Vienna dog (Chicago style), a small bugger for rug rats, chicken sangies, the best french fries and sweet potato fries around, and a super yummy slow-roasted meat of the day on a great hoagie roll. They also have yummy carrot cake from Bluepoint Bakery and other excellent desserts. If you ain’t been there yet, you’re the only one in town who hasn’t been since they opened last February.
Right next door to Walk-in Burgers, is a super sub store named Jersey Mike’s (2255 Sheridan Blvd, 303-232-2785; www.jerseymikes.com). The sangies are great; even their tuna is yummy. They have several others around town. Check ‘em out. They’ve been around for over fifty years.
Found a terrific bugger in Tucson, but that may be a bit far to run down to for lunch. It’s one of Fox Concepts (North, Bloom, etc) eateries. Zinburger has stores in Phoenix and Tucson. The entire experience was deliteful; the food and service were terrific and the joint is gorgeous. G and I will be back down to Phoenix and Tucson over the year-end holidays.
Being an ex New Yawker, I have a fondness for bagels. For many years, Moe’s Broadway Bagels (550 Grant St, 303-733-7331; www.moesbagel.com) has served the best. The line is often out the door, even at off hours. Stopped in for a half dozen last weekend, waited the usual 20 minutes or so, was starving so I decided to buy a chocolate chip cookie. Well, the name of the store is not “the chocolate chip cookie” store, so I guess I shouldn’t have. The cookie was not chocolate and there were as many chips as there are bright, conscientious congressmen. You pick a number but don’t go over 4. Not very good. Stick to the bagels.
My good bud, Michael Floorwax and I have been dining out regularly. Earlier this week we hit on Davies’ Chuckwagon Diner (9495 W. Colfax Ave, Lakewood, 303-237-5252; www.davieschuckwagon.com). I hadn’t been in several years and Wax had never been there. They still serve the best grilled ham and cheese sangie in town, maybe the World. Everything there is good, even the service. Sometimes the cook gets carried away, so a rare hamburger may come overcooked, but send it back and he’ll do it right. They now have three locations. I guess Dwayne Clark, the proprietor for the last 30 plus years, age 145, can’t stand not being busy. Check the web site for hours and locations.
Today Wax and I had lunch at Dazzle (930 Lincoln St, 303-839-5100; www.dazzlejazz.com). Take a hint from the website name, and you’ll know this is also a jazz club, one of the best in America. They only serve lunch on Friday but the menu is terrific. They serve happy hour nightly and have the best in the world. The menu is huge and the food is mostly terrific. The sliders and buggers were superb. The mac and cheese needed work. Actually, the cook needs to follow the directions on the Kraft box. Didn’t stay for dessert cuz the place was packed and we were late getting served and I had a client waiting. Hear tell they do one heck of a Sunday brunch buffet. Replete with the sounds of jazz.
Portofino Pizza and Pasta (10920 S. Parker Rd, Parker, 303-841-9900; www.portofinopizzaandpasta.com) opened a few weeks back in a shopping center at Parker Road and Main Street in downtown Parker. Oh, my. The house-made marinara sauce is superb, and I don’t even like marinara sauce. But get a bucket of garlic knots and the marinara and you have a meal fit for a king. A fat king, but a king nevertheless. The house-made meataballs are equally fantastic. I get ‘em by the dozen.
As reported several weeks ago, Chick-fil-A opened at 5260 S. Wadsworth Blvd, and the lines have been out the door ever since. They do breakfast thingies in case you’re hungry in the a.m.
One of muh favs in town is Steuben’s (523 E. 17th Ave, 303-830-1001; www.steubens.com). But they have a consistency problem. Sometimes the deviled eggs are fab, other times they have more liquid in ‘em than Chatfield Reservoir. The beef sliders are fantastic. Except when they cook them for 40 days and 40 nights. Recently with a friend and after polishing off two plates of yummy sliders, I ordered a full-size bugger. Ohhhhhhh, it was sooo bad. The W told me they put cumin in the mix. Cumin? Don’t have a clue why and the W didn’t offer an explanation or offer to send a manager over. I didn’t eat the bugger but it was on the bill. Tacky, tacky. They also make the best egg creams and malts in town.
Jay Fox is the dining and restaurant critic for The Statesman.