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By the time the remnants of our happy-hour binge were cleared away, I was regretting having ordered a BLAT — but one look at this monster and I was hungry again. It was nearly as thick as the hamburger, but this time the bacon was perfect, crisp and smoky, and played well against the fat avocado slices, crunchy iceberg and fresh, flavorful tomato. Everything was stacked on toasted sourdough smeared with sharp, blue-cheese mayonnaise — a surprising and welcome addition. I managed to polish off this sandwich, too, as I stayed at the bar for a few more hours, nursing a Standard Etiquette cocktail made with whiskey, grapefruit juice and honey, chatting with my friend and enjoying the anecdotes of co-owner Newman, who was manning the bar. It was an immensely pleasant evening, and I might have hung out until the late-night happy hour if I'd thought I could possibly eat anything more.

Although I love Interstate's convivial bar and the community that has sprung up around it, when I returned with a group, we grabbed a comfortable booth in the massive, low-lit, all-too-often empty dining room. But our table, at least, filled up fast. We started with spoonbread, a take on a Southern classic dish that straddles the line between cornbread and corn soufflé and is eaten with an actual spoon. I loved the spongy texture and the way the kitchen had improved on the original recipe with a red-chile-infused honey, making each bite a mix of sweet, spicy and savory. The fried chicken was our best entree: The tender, oil-free leg and breast were encased in a crunchy, airy batter and smothered in a thick, creamy country gravy, and came with a side of lardon-laced green beans studded with black-eyed peas and slick caramelized onions. The ribeye was another winner, seared a perfect medium rare and topped with a warm potato salad that mixed biting blue cheese and firm fingerlings with sautéed arugula and more onions. After those two stellar dishes, the Philly cheesesteak seemed dull: The mix of mushrooms, onions and peppers that smothered the thin slices of beef and melted Swiss cheese also smothered any flavor the meat might have had while lacking any flavor of its own; the beef jus helped a little.

We finished the meal with a thick slice of all-American blueberry pie: plump, sweet blueberries exploding out of a flaky, golden crust topped with a light Chantilly cream. Then we lingered over mugs of coffee and talk about our grandparents and Midwestern small towns — remembering, but not quite remembering, the United States of yesteryear.

Andre Lobato and his partners made Interstate a must-stop in Denver.
mark manger
Andre Lobato and his partners made Interstate a must-stop in Denver.

Location Info

Map

Interstate Kitchen & Bar

1001 Santa Fe Drive
Denver, CO 80204

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Central Denver

Details

Interstate Kitchen & Bar
Spoonbread $5
Mac & cheese $5
Fried chicken livers $5
Fried pickles (happy hour only) $3
Bacon corn (happy hour only) $3
Burger and fries $9
Fried chicken $13
Seared ribeye $16
901 West Tenth Avenue
720-479-8829
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-1:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, 4 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday

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When we finally asked for our check, it came in a candy cigarette box with real candy cigarettes.

America, fuck yeah.

At Interstate, the partners have created a tricked-out, sexed-up version of our communal roots — a must-stop roadside reminder of what makes this country, and its food, great.

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Guest
Guest

Ate here for the first time over the week...amazing food! Quite possibly the best lamb shank I've had. The wait staff only made the experience more pleasurable.

 
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