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Mouthing Off

By the way, Wild Ginger is owned by the same people who own the estimable Tommy's Oriental (3410 East Colfax Avenue), important information that the manager didn't share with me (or that was lost in translation--our conversation was hampered by a major language barrier). If Tommy's is involved, Wild Ginger should be able to smooth out any rough spots. Give 'em a break, Patti, and try again.

I've also managed to piss off the people at the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council, whose public-relations person sent a cranky letter informing me that dry peas and lentils don't appreciate being mocked (Mouthing Off, December 18). "I hope after seeing some of the things that the council does for the Palouse farmers, pea and lentil industry and American consumers, you realize our importance," writes Randy Duckworth. "As you read the enclosed information, this should help you broaden your limited knowledge of the council." Well, Mr. Duckworth, I read it, and I still think National Split Pea Soup Week is silly. I especially like this statement in the annual report: "Anyone who reads newspapers and magazines knows that the media can often be an unsentimental, cynical and condescending group. However, they are not impenetrable." To which I reply, "Anyone who reads the annual report for the Dry Pea & Lentil Council knows that they have no sense of humor." And by the way, Duckworth: You've penetrated my column twice now. You're good.

Meal deals: RosaLinda's Mexican Cafe (2005 West 33rd Avenue) is now offering a $5.99 all-you-can-eat buffet running from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays. The fare includes salsa and chips, green chile, Spanish rice, beans, cactus with red chile, bean tostadas and such specials as ground-meat-and-pasta soups, with cinnamon crisps and rice pudding for dessert. The regular menu is available too, of course. And Jax (1539 17th Street) is making happy hours very happy with $1 tapas available from 4 to 6 p.m. weekdays. The quartet of ambitious offerings changes daily, and there's not a sucker in the bunch.

Heart's delight: So you like him/her more than just a box of chocolates but less than a diamond tennis bracelet. How about dinner for Valentine's Day? McCormick's Fish House & Bar (1659 Wazee Street) has a special menu, as does Maverick's (4851 East Virginia in Glendale). Both locations of Tosh's Hacienda (3090 Downing Street and 5071 South Syracuse) will do sweetheart dinners Mexican style, and Alcatraz Brewing Co. (8405 Park Meadows Drive in Littleton) says it offers unpretentious dining along with special V-Day dishes and the rock band Brass Hats. All five of those restaurants are serving their specials both February 13 and 14. Over at the Fourth Story (2955 East First Avenue), chef David Steinmann, formerly of Barolo Grill, is cooking up a five-course love meal on the day itself for $90 per person, which includes five glasses of wine; food only is available as well, at $50 per person.

If you're thinking about a romantic drive, head up to The Fort (19192 Route 8 in Morrison) for what sounds like a dream meal: a glass of Mumm's Cuvee Napa Brut, filet Oscar made from buffalo tenderloins topped with lobster, asparagus and bearnaise, the Fort's famous Negrita dark-chocolate dessert and a milk-chocolate hazelnut kiss to top it off, and that gorgeous view--all for $44.95 per person. Or you can smooch at padiddles on the way to El Rancho (29260 U.S. Hwy 40) for dinner specials or the all-you-can-eat prime rib buffet ($18.95 per person). There's just nothing like a full belly to put you in the mood.

Kidneys' delight: The 16th annual Great Chefs of the West, February 24 at the Marriott City Center Downtown, is a great place to sample fare from dozens of area chefs. A benefit for the National Kidney Foundation of Colorado, the evening costs $75; call 713-1523 for reservations.

I scream: The next two nights, February 25 and 26, will see Tommy Chong in town for a show at the Comedy Works (1226 15th Street). From now until then, Josh & John's Ice Cream (1444 Market Street) is offering Peach & Chong, a very peachy ice cream sure to satisfy even the most persistent of munchies. Every time you buy Peach & Chong, you get a chance to win a gallon of the stuff, an autographed photo, four tickets to the show and maybe even a meeting with the Chongster. Duuuude.

--Wagner

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