“A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.” — Gloria Steinem
HERE’S PART II of my favorites in the area near the capitol or a short shuttle ride away.
Jimmy John’s Subs
Multiple locations including:
110 16th St — 303-623-5050
I luv these sangies. The bread is superb, but only when it’s fresh. The quality of the meats is first class and they use real Hellman’s mayo. What else can a dude want? I get the plain slims sangies, for about a buck less than one with all the guk, cuz I don’t eat the guk. A tuna sangie for $3.60 is a steal. You can get double meat on most any sangie for a buck 25 extra. Prices vary at different locations in different cities. You can also buy the bread after its a few hours old for a huge discount. Just remember to ask them to cut your sangie cuz they don’t like to do that for some reason. There are about a dozen in metro Denver. ” Your mom wants you to eat at Jimmy John’s!”
Joey’s New York Pizza
329 E. Colfax Ave — 303-832-3007
Here comes yet one more “New York” pizzeria. All it means is that it has a thin crust. Since I really don’t like pizza, you’ll have to judge their quality. They have the usual pizza, strombolis, salads, heroes, and of course the required New York cheesecake. The menu doesn’t say the cheesecake’s homemade, so I’ll assume not. But that’s OK, cuz there are many fantastic frozen New York cheesecakes on the market. Stop in and check ‘em out. They offer free delivery. The Capitol is well within the delivery area.
Lala’s Wine Bar & Pizzeria
410 E. 7th Ave — 303-861-9463
Some say the best flatbread pizza in town. Others say darn good. I say… so it’s pizza. Since pizza is not my thing, I’ll let y’all be the judge. Four blocks from the Capitol. It’s alleged to be the classiest all-you-can-eat deal in town. You get all the pizza, pasta and salad for one low price. And they keep bringing more. But this is more than a pizzeria. The menu is certainly more extensive than just pizza, with a variety of traditional upscale dishes and an excellent wine list. G and I will check it out soon. The desserts sound amazing — howsabout sweet potato — cherry cobbler, or Flight of Chambord — crème brulee, panna cotta and chocolate pot de crème, all for a measly $5.50?
Las Delicias I
439 E. 19 Ave — 303-839-5675.
It musta been about ought four when Roberto Torres and wife Norma opened the first Las Delicias in metro Denver. Over the years, they’ve added four additional stores, but this seems to be the most popular. Nothing fancy, just good fresh Mexican fare with good service by people who care. Known for their variety of combinations.
112 E. 8 Ave — 303-863-8094
This is “the affordable French restaurant,” where the grub is truly exquisite. Desserts are 2-die-4. Sunday brunch is killer. If you like mussels, this is The Place. The French bread — maaavelous. G takes ‘Lil Emma, age 10, when I’m outta town. They feast on mussels, Caesar salad with extra anchovies for Emma, and lotsa bread and french fries. Now we take Harper B, age 8. She devours a bucket of mussels without sharing. Nor does she share her chocolate mousse. G has to get her own mussels. I get the leftovers. Want a great steak and some veggies? This is also the place. One of muh favs for lunch, you’ll find me at table 110. Try one of their unbelievable cakes for your next party. They offer monthly wine dinners, weekly soufflé nites and terrific cooking classes. And the best French fries you’ve ever had.
Luca d’ Italia
711 Grant St — 303-832-6600
This Italian trattoria serves unusual dishes not found elsewhere in Denver. Fresh seafood, game, and meats showcase regional cuisine. If you've dined at Mizuna (just around the corner), you'll see it in the menu cuz the same folks run both great eateries. The menu is always changing, using the freshest of local ingredients whenever possible. This is reputed to be the best Italian eatery in the West. Sorry, dinner only.
McCormick’s Fish House and more
1659 Wazee St — 303-825-1107
Great seafood as well as steaks, pasta, and a munchie list that goes on for days. Front Room is a gas; main dining room is gourmet at its best. Service is top-notch. If it swims, it’s on the menu. They have a second eatery in the Denver Tech Center but I ain’t crazy about that place.
225 E. 7 Ave — 303-832-4778
Maybe the Best Restaurant in Denver. Dinner only, seats 65, no group larger than six. Great grub and service. It’s quite intimate. The menu changes monthly. Service is The Best. The menu is Continental. Famous for Chef Bonanno’s mac and cheese. Which, by the way, also contains poached Maine lobster and Mascarpone. If you ain’t tried it, don’t even think about giggling.
Moe’s Broadway Bagel
550 Grant St — 303-733-7331
Over the 18 years Moe’s has been open lotsa competitors have come and gone; bagel companies buying other bagel companies. You remember, A bought C, then B bought A, then C bought B. It was very confusing, but all those companies made bagels. Fortunately, most are gone and we have a few companies making decent bagels, but only one great one and that’s Moe’s. If you don’t love Moe’s, you really don’t like bagels. You can quote me on that. Yeah, yeah, they got sangies and other good stuff.
P.F. Chang’s China Bistro
1415 15 St — 303-260-7222
The food is good and service damn near. Every meal should start with a wrap and some ribs. I crave the chicken wraps but all are yummy. Try the ribs, after the wrap. The menu may be the most extensive of any in town. The room is gorgeous.
The Westin Hotel
1672 Lawrence St — 303-572-7222
The Westin Hotel houses the world-famous Palm Restaurant, known for huge prime steaks and monstrous lobsters, serving both lunch and dinner. I luv the place. The lunch menu offers good steaks and a (most of the time) damn good bugger. You can order off the dinner menu at any time (dinner prices, of course). Great service. The NY strip steak salad at lunch is still the deal. Don't waste your $ ordering dessert. Eat free bread instead. And free sour pickles.
229 E. Colfax Ave — 303-832-3154
Pho seems to be in. What’s pho? Traditional Vietnamese noodle soup, using fresh produce, often including beef or chicken, even tripe, and broth cooked for hours. The menu also includes other Vietnamese “street food” dishes, desserts, and even a kids’ menu. Plus, some of the best iced-coffee Vietnamese style, with the sweet condensed milk at the bottom. Very calming inside, or at least that’s what The Statesman staff says about their hangout these days. A hop, skip and jump to the capitol, which makes it crowded during the lunch hour. But they have take-out, too.
550 Grant St — 303-765-5878
Zee Best in fast Mexican fare at looo prices, super-size burritos with you selecting the fresh ingredients: chicken, steak, rice, beans, and other goodies. They're national but the grub is still great. The website is next to impossible to find a location if there’s more than one in the state. Now they offer Mexican Gumbo.
Panera Bread Company
1330 Grant St — 303-830-7101
The line goes all day long. Great breads, yummy sangies, unbelievable desserts, and the prices are perty dang reasonable. The tuna sangies are super. Now if they had a place to park, I’d go there. They got these really yummy cobblestone thingies, cinnamon raisin bread dough with chunks of apple and spices, topped with streusel and white icing. Oh, my! They now serve all-natural steak chili with corn bread.
650 Sherman St — 303-595-0418
This is the place to see and be seen and have damn good food at the same time. If you ain’t been for breakfast, you ain’t important. The store is convenient, free covered parking, great food and service, and sapient prices. More salads than anywhere around. Best steak and eggs in town. Open for every meal. Muh FOC (Favorite Omaha Cousin) sez they have the best open-faced turkey sangie in the world. Buggers are great but order the “flat top” bugger, not the flamed-grilled bugger. Both are on the menu.
The Warwick Hotel
1776 Grant St — 303-861-2000
A perty set of rooms house some super grub served by a well-trained staff. Good buggers, great sangies, good soups and salads. Even desserts are yummy. Lotsa legislators lunch here. Many return after their workday is done.
1431 Larimer St — 303-820-2822
When Rioja opened a little over six years ago, they opened to packed crowds for lunch and dinner. They’re still packing ‘em in. Chef partner Jennifer Jasinsky serves the finest Mediterranean fare. The operative words are “fresh” and “unique.” General Manager partner Beth Gruitch makes it all happen at the front of the house. Beautiful surroundings, first-rate service and fab food. Why eat anywhere else? Except maybe across the street at their French eatery, Bistro Vendome. Or around the corner at their latest venture, Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen (1317 14th St – 303-595-4255; www.euclidhall.com).
Rock Bottom Brewery
1001 16 St — 303-534-7616
I’m not into brewpubs, but this place knocks my socks off. Not only is it a great people-watching spot, but also the quality of the grub and the service are super. The spicy spinach cheese dip is yummy; the grilled steak salad is fantastic. The sangies, including the prime & cheddar sangie, are excellent. Desserts usta include Triple Chocolate Stout cheesecake, which had my attention. Desserts not on the web menu.
Rocky Mountain Diner
800 18 St — 303-293-8383
The history is captivating but it’s the food that will bring you back. Buffalo meat loaf, braised beef pot roast, pan-fried chicken and much other fare make this an extraordinary eatery, but the huge array of fine bourbons and humongous desserts make it extra special. Prices are modest; service is adept and friendly. Great for late dinner.
550 Broadway — 303-991-1000
Now with four locations, you gotta be near one of the great Kenny Sonoda’s. If you’re into sushi, this is one of the best. Lunch 6 days, dinner 7 nites. Cool website. Try the chicken yakitori. Oh yeah, that’s not sushi.
1400 Larimer St — 720-946-1433
This nine-year old eatery is still serving fab Mexican fare, but not what you’d expect. This is the fancy stuff. Gourmet fare. Great grub. The guacamole dip is 2-die-4. They do your favorite dish with flavors that will astound you. Maybe even scare you. Heavy on the seafood, but all wondrous.
1801 Broadway — 303-293-2288
An elegant eatery, directly across from the Brown Palace Hotel. Stop in for pan-fried catfish or a steak bugger, fine pasta, the best Maryland crab cakes in town, or just a salad. Dinner is up-scale with fine steaks and other fare. Plan to wait for a table at lunch. The green chile, almost like a stew, is UN-believable!
Wazee Supper Club
1600 15 St — 303-623-9518
I’m not a pizza fan, but this ain’t no ordinary pizza. Not only do they pile on toppings (don't even think about more than three), but the pizza itself is delish. Served on high trays with legs soes you don’t have to move your swig out of the way. I usually have one of their terrific sangies or a Stromboli. The menu is huge.
Y’all have heard that Wolfe’s Barbeque has closed after 47,003 years. Louis, The Man, decided to pack it in and do something else. Let’s all wish him well.
If I left out one of your favs, either I didn’t hear about it, I didn’t like it or it’s outside the area I intended to include. Drop me a line and tell me what you like or didn’t like and I may even answer you. Reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jay Fox is in his element when he’s eating and/or writing about eating. He’s been doing the latter for more than 15 years for The Statesman.