Bite Me

Gone Wishing

Some kids ask for a trip to Disneyland to see the magic rat. Some kids ask for tickets to a baseball game. But when eleven-year-old Galen Batson got his shot, he asked for a road trip to Cape Cod so that he and his two siblings could play music at his cousin's wedding -- and the good folks at the Make-A-Wish Foundation were only too happy to oblige.

And what makes for a good road trip? Well, first you need a vehicle. And while my preference would have been a midnight blue Plymouth Fury with a big engine and a loud stereo, Galen went for a motor home -- one of those big-ass Winnebagos, which, now that I think about it, wouldn't be a bad way to see the country.

Next, you need food, and Galen was very specific about his desires in his letter to the Make-A-Wish Foundation: a whole lotta snacks from Marczyk Fine Foods (770 East 17th Avenue). Here the kid and I are on the same page.

Location Info


Marczyk Fine Foods

770 E. 17th Ave.
Denver, CO 80203

Category: Restaurant > Market

Region: Central Denver

While Galen was receiving treatment for leukemia at Children's Hospital, he and his family stayed at Brent's Place (their home is in Steamboat Springs), which is right around the corner from Marczyk's. So whenever the kid got hungry for something, he'd stop by the market. "He was a fruit-and-veggie kid," says Marczyk's Barbara Macfarlane. "He didn't head for the bakery or anything like that." Galen's mother told Macfarlane and her husband, Pete Marczyk, that she thought all the good food Galen got at their market played a big part in keeping him healthy.

And Galen had plenty for his trip, because Marczyk's and the Make-A-Wish Foundation came through in spades. Judie Jamros at Make-A-Wish (who has the best job title in the world: Director of Wish Granting) says the foundation was thinking along the lines of a nice gift basket, but when the family stopped by the market earlier this month to stock up for the cross-country trek, Marczyk's loaded them up with three carts filled with supplies. "We sent him off with steaks and vegetables," says Macfarlane. "Some fresh peaches, snacks and drinks, crackers and cheese. We even gave him a little grill that we found in the back and some charcoal to cook with while he was traveling."

So happy trails, Galen. We here at Bite Me HQ hope you rocked that wedding.

Members only: Believe it or not, I'm a shy guy -- and the thought of speaking in front of a crowd is enough to give me a screaming case of the heebie-jeebies. So the fact that I have a job that I must do anonymously is a blessing, because I have an easy excuse for getting out of any event that might involve more than three people. Yet I still managed to find myself down in the poker room at the Denver Press Club (1330 Glenarm Place) last week as the main course at one of the club's "Lunch on Deadline" shindigs.

Come to find out, it was a pretty mellow event. Only about a dozen people showed up to hear yours truly hold court on the danger of celebrity chefs, the evils of vegetarianism, and the very long list of famous food writers to whom I owe my livelihood. And not a single local chef showed up to shank me with an oyster fork.

Not only did I survive, but I got a chance to sample the cooking of new Press Club chef Daniel Young, who put together a simple spread of field green and summer vegetable salad, and chicken in a cream sauce over brown rice with yellow and green squash and carrots. It was good, fresh and bright, perfect for a room full of newspaper and PR-types all talking with their mouths full.

Young -- who got the gig after former Bistro Adde Brewster owner Adde Bjorklund dropped out -- had been the top dog at Fat Daddy (12 East 11th Avenue) until the March snowstorm put Daddy out of commission. Before that, he was in the kitchen at the long-gone Diced Onions (whose spot at 609 Corona Street then became the Beehive and will soon be taken over by the folks from Adega). So he's not exactly walking into this gig cold. And I have it on good authority that soon -- very soon -- Young will have the Press Club kitchen up and running on a full schedule.

And Daniel? Just because I left most of my lunch on the plate doesn't mean I didn't like it. A few bites of anything is more than enough for me these days. Since I've given up jogging (after the first try) and yoga (after just one look at the brochure), controlling portion size is the only method I have for keeping my trim and girlish figure.

Leftovers: The modest storefront at 2900 West 26th Avenue that had been El Tucan and then, briefly, El Bikini is now Roberto's. Not El Roberto's, just plain old Roberto's. At 15320 East Hampden Avenue, the small space that had housed the Aurora outpost of Shead's Fish and Barbecue Heaven (which served some of my favorite small ends and the best peach cobbler this side of the Mississippi -- the river, not the avenue), is now the Coffee Spot, serving the good stuff from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with shorter hours on Sunday.

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