By Jamie Swinnerton
By Mark Antonation
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By Cafe Society
By Juliet Wittman
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I'm more than a little surprised that we made it to the movies the other night. Typically, when we plan an Institute Movie Night, we are no more likely to actually reach the theater than the space shuttle is to launch on time. One reason for this is our strong belief that if you don't get there for the previews, you might as well not get there at all. I know this is a point of contention in many homes, and no doubt why the divorce rate is about 93 percent, but most smart people love previews. With two-thirds of the movies released these days about as useful as those little rats that pose as "dogs," we believe it's important to maximize our time and see the good parts set to loud music so that we don't waste our hard-earned money on something below the intellectual level of your standard Ultimate Fighting fan. Unfortunately, I'm sure it's only a matter of time before the surgeon general bans previews because the rapid-fire scenery may trigger seizures in some people.
Anyway, seeing as how we're usually still in the bar several hours after the feature for Institute Movie Night movie has started, we chose Angelo's Pizza Parlor(620 East Sixth Avenue) as our movie-prep site this time. Since it's an actual restaurant, we figured we'd have a fighting chance of staying sober enough to make the theater. Angelo's is a very unassuming little place, frequented that night by a bunch of families and several cops. And it has a pleasant patio out back, so we didn't need to worry about getting caught in the drinker's equivalent of a speed trap: forced to imbibe next to a table of Denver's finest.
Like any good Italian place, Angelo's features Birra Moretti, one of the better beers for a hot summer day, and its crappy, mass-produced, Heineken-esque counterpart, Peroni. It also features a nice wine list for those folks looking for a horny buzz. The beers came fast and furious as we waited for our entire party to arrive, and after a good warmup, we were ready for dinner.
620 E. 6th Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
Region: Central Denver
Many local restaurateurs seem to think that once you've ordered food, you've given up on your buzz. True, you have to plan your solid intake carefully in order to maintain the toasty feeling you've so lovingly crafted, but if you stick with a liquid diet, you're likely to end up with your face in some strange toilet that looks like the repository for the WMDs Saddam smuggled out of Iraq. Then again, you don't want to get such a food buzz that you wind up needing a nap.
One solution is to stick with bar food, like wings and nachos -- but even your average Institute member wants something more than a hunk of Velveeta for his nightly meal. This is why we like pizza joints, and also why it's crucial to have an attentive server who keeps the beers coming while you're consuming pounds of carbs. But when our waitress delivered our pizza, she didn't ask if we wanted our beverages refreshed -- which I'm pretty sure is a felony -- and then she dropped off the face of the earth.
While it was a great day for patio drinking and the pizza was delicious, our overall Angelo's experience was somewhat unsatisfying. The Oriental Representative summed it up best: "I don't know what they're thinking. We're not here for the food!" So if you want to make a movie on time, you might want to consider Angelo's. You'll even catch the previews.