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Dems and don'ts for the DNC

For a real taste of Denver's history, hit My Brother's Bar (2376 15th Street), where Neal Cassady did a lot of his best drinking (his older brother tended bar here back in the day) and left an open tab after landing in the reformatory. My Brother's also makes a killer cheeseburger. Eight blocks away, at 1600 15th Street, you'll find the Wazee Supper Club. It's not the best restaurant in town, not the greatest bar ever, but it has a weird gravity that makes it a destination for Denver's drunkerati. And no matter how many times booster groups insist that I take my out-of-town visitors to the Fort, the Wazee is where I actually end up taking them.

Denver is an immigrant city, not a melting pot. It's a smorgasbord of little joints, dives and holes-in-the-wall; of ethnic neighborhoods and pocket enclaves where English is not the first language, or the second, or the third; of bizarre and non-geographical transections that make up an imaginary map of need and hunger and homesickness. We have a large Russian population (though no Russian restaurants that I can recommend in good conscience), a huge Vietnamese population, Koreans, Indians (both kinds), Japanese families that go back to the days following WWII, and whole, unnamed neighborhoods that have become the toeholds of Ethiopian and Eritrean and Ghanaian immigrants. I am not so deluded as to believe that anyone here for the convention will use this as an opportunity to brush up on his knowledge of Ethiopian cuisine, but if you come all the way to Denver and don't avail yourselves of our Mexican food, I'm gonna have to punch you.

Ignore what everyone else has suggested and head to Señor Burrito, off Broadway at 12 East First Avenue. Order the pork chop plate and thank me later. At lunch, lose the security detail and go to La Fiesta, a cement bunker at 2340 Champa Street. Or try Taquería Patzcuaro (2616 West 32nd Avenue) or Tacos y Salsas (910 South Federal Boulevard), which does things with tacos and gorditas that you gotta see to believe.

Location Info

Map

Palm Restaurant

1672 Lawrence St.
Denver, CO 80202

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Downtown Denver

Frankly, if you've wandered far enough afield that you're on Federal already, you really can't go wrong. Just lift your nose and follow it wherever the urge takes you. Pho for breakfast, burritos and desebrado for lunch, maybe a little sushi (though I would suggest Sushi Sasa at 2401 15th Street, or Sushi Den, at 1487 South Pearl Street, if you're on a raw-fish kick; they serve the best you're going to find between L.A. and Manhattan), and then back inside the security cordon by dark. Wander over to Larimer Square and hit Osteria Marco for dinner, then wander back again to the Brown Palace, at 321 17th Street, to do some business over whiskey and cigars at the Churchill Bar, one of the only places in town where you tobacco lobbyists and southern-states delegates can light up indoors. If you want to stick close to the convention center, there's always the Denver Diner (740 West Colfax Avenue). It's open all night, and before I got thrown out of the place three or four times in a row and stopped going, it was one of my favorite haunts in Denver.

If none of this appeals, go to www.westword.com/bestof for a comprehensive listing of everything I love about the Mile High; you'll also find out where to score anything your twisted little heart might desire. And if you need me, I'll be at the Wazee.

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