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Curious about what kind of steaks would be served in a restaurant that has its own butcher shop, I returned to Westerkamps with a friend for lunch. This time the dining room was close to full, packed with families and lone diners who looked like they were coming off of night shifts and grabbing something to eat before heading home to bed. A man in an apron was standing behind the meat counter this time, working with a side of beef.

We took a table in the center of the room and asked for a ribeye, which came with Texas toast and a side, and a Mexican hamburger, since I'd been going on and on about the green chile. And then we waited. And waited. My friend quietly surveyed the room while I listened to the couple at the next table interpret passages from the Bible. Finally, after almost half an hour, our food came out of the kitchen. But when the plates landed on our table, accompanied by a profuse apology from the server, we became totally oblivious to our surroundings.

Most Mexican hamburgers I've had in this town — and this town is probably where they were invented — consist of a thin, once-frozen patty and a glop of refried beans wrapped in a flour tortilla, then covered with gravy-like green chile and melted plasticky cheese. The Westerkamps version switched out the crappy burger for chuck ground in-house. It was infused with iron from the grill and slightly overcooked — but completely revived by the refried beans that must have been stewed in lard. And then, of course, there was that awesome green chile.

Chris Gonzales is pleased to meat you at Westerkamps Steakhouse. More photos from Westerkamps.
Mark Manger
Chris Gonzales is pleased to meat you at Westerkamps Steakhouse. More photos from Westerkamps.

Location Info

Map

Westerkamps Steakhouse and Meat Market

5106 Washington St.
Denver, CO 80216

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: North Denver

Details

Westerkamps
Pork, eggs and potatoes $3.49
6 oz. ribeye $12.99
Mexican hamburger $8.50
Pint of green chile to go $3.99
5106 Washington Street
303-296-3622
Hours: 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday

The ribeye could have used some. Like the pork chops, it was a thin cut — which rendered my requested medium impossible. The steak was gray along the edges and pale pink within, but expertly seasoned and still supple enough to eat, though I would certainly have preferred it less well done. The meat here is choice or higher — a step above what you'd get in a grocery store — and it comes from the same supplier who stocks the Westerkamps butcher counter, usually with loins and steaks rather than whole sides of cow, and most of those from Omaha (hello, corn-fattened cattle). The toast was all Texas, big and painted with so much butter that it practically oozed, then popped on the griddle until the bread was both flaky and crunchy. But the salad of shredded iceberg lettuce and straight-from-the-bag grated cheddar was basically just plate filler; I wished I had forked over the extra $1.50 for a baked potato.

By the time we finished lunch, the couple at the next table had moved on to rehashing Heavenfest with the waitress. So we got up and paid our check at the counter by the door.

The last thing I saw before exiting into the sunshine was a sign that instructed me to "Smile, Jesus loves you."

And I did smile. Because while I may not have seen Jesus at Westerkamps, I did find some heavenly green chile.

See more photos from Westerkamps

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12 comments
jenniferALO
jenniferALO

I just paíd $20.87 for an íPad 2.64GB and my boyfriend loves his Panasoníc Lumíx GF 1 Cámera that we got for $38.79 there arriving tomorrow by UP S.I will never pay such expensive retail príces in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LCD T V to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy. Here is the website we use to get it all from : BidsBit.com

juliaal
juliaal

I just paíd $20.87 for an íPad 2.64GB and my boyfriend loves his Panasoníc Lumíx GF 1 Cámera that we got for $38.79 there arriving tomorrow by UP S.I will never pay such expensive retail príces in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LCD T V to my boss for $657 which only cost me $62.81 to buy.Here is the website we use to get it all from : http://BidsBit.com

Johnnyyootaw
Johnnyyootaw

I enjoyed an excellent breakfast today and my eyes met the most beautiful girl in the world!! Whoa, whoever you are your gorgeous!

Mike Knight
Mike Knight

I understanding that divisive writing can bread controversy and subsequently attention, however trying to intertwine religious inflections to a food review is just desperate.

A Jesus candle in a Mexican restaurant is not a unique point of interest any more than clown at a hamburger stand.

This writing, in almost a FOX news way, is more smarmy than compelling.

Gyutuy
Gyutuy

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ikos
ikos

Although I agree that right-wing politics and Christianity often mix closely and the idea of Heavenfest is nauseating at best, I think it is unfair to assume that the folks at WEsterkamp support extremist politicians like Bachmann. Or that they don't drink. Or that Mexican hamburgers were invented in Denver. ??? Food looks good, though.

Barbdeck
Barbdeck

Well Johnny, I guess it depends on what girl you were referring to. Another costumer, waitress, or ?

Mantonat
Mantonat

There's a big difference between a discreet candle placed in a restaurant and making your beliefs a central aspect of the restaurant's decor and operations (days and times open, etc.). The owners of Westerkamps made their religious views public and prominent in the operation of their restaurant, which makes it fair game for a restaurant review, not a desperate attempt to stir up controversy.

Also, I'm wondering where I can get ahold of some of that breaded controversy you mention. Probably really tasty with a little aioli.

Mantonat
Mantonat

See the research results of Gustavo Arellano and others, who have concluded that the Mexican hamburger as it is served in most restaurants was most likely invented at a now-defunct restaurant on Santa Fe Blvd.

Also, it is unlikely that Bachmann supporters consider themselves extremists or that Christians consider their own events nauseating. In a ven diagram, Bachmann conservatives, Christians, and teetotalers would have a pretty decent overlap. Not at all a leap to think that they could be guests or employees of Westerkamps. Or to assume that they would be in any way embarrassed to be associated with any of those three things.

guest
guest

Why would a Bachman support be considered an extremist unless their own comments and actions actually showed that to be the truth? Before the flood gates are opened, I am NOT a Bachman supporter but this kind of thinking is what the powers that be want. Divide and conquer is not a new way to win a war. The powers and the people are in a war but everyone's to busy hating to see the things they agree on.

Mantonat
Mantonat

Extremists are people who fly airplanes into buildings, bomb clinics, or vandalize an entire neighborhood under the guise of political freedom. It's just plain silly to compare Bachmann to people like this. It's also silly to think that you wouldn't find Bachmann supporters in a blue collar steakhouse at lunchtime. Most silly of all is to assume that everyone thinks like you and that anyone who differs from your beliefs is an extremist with nauseating views. I know Christians of both liberal and conservative political beliefs. I know both Christian and atheist Republicans. I would say the one thing they all have in common is that they enjoy a good, cheap lunch every once in a while.

guest
guest

Lets's not forget that most good being done all over the world is done by religious people. Not the religions themselves but the people who believe in being good. The Red Cross, The Salvation Army, churches throughout the country feeding the hungry, clothing the cold and many more religious groups of people. I understand the disdain for organized religion, but you shouldn't hate the people. We are in a republic where many things are done that I don't believe in but I do believe in the tennants of the Republic. Does that make me wrong?

 
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