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Best Of 2001

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Best Of :: Food & Drink

Best Chile Relleno
Playa de Oro

Get stuffed at Playo de Oro, a quiet, corner eatery that's half takeout, half eat-in -- and all about delicious, soft chiles rellenos. While many Denver diners are fans of the egg roll type of relleno, that's probably because they've eaten one too many disappointing soft versions, which too often go wrong in the cooking process. But Playa de Oro knows how to avoid all those grease pitfalls. It packs long, skinny poblanos with Monterey Jack, dunks them in a thick egg soufflé of a batter, and then fries them until just the thinnest, crispiest, golden-brown shell forms around the chile. That means no soggy goo that turns to lead in your stomach, and no fast-cooling cheese that turns to lead outside of your stomach. This relleno is the stuff of dreams, a crunchy beauty until the very last bite.

3555 W. 38th Ave., Denver, 80211
MAP
303-433-5777
Best Barbecued Ribs

As fans of the unbelievably good ribs at Brothers BBQ on Leetsdale since it opened three years ago, we didn't think the British-born O'Sullivan brothers could get any better. But then they opened a second location in an old convenience store in central Denver -- a spot where they can serve cold beer alongside their hot 'cue -- and Brothers is now a real double threat. The dry-rubbed, slow-smoked, St. Louis-cut ribs are so tasty, so tender, we could eat a rack plain, but we also love the peppery, vinegary Memphis-style sauce and the sweet, smoky Kansas City-style sauce. Dem bones, dem bones.

Best Barbecued Ribs
Brothers BBQ

As fans of the unbelievably good ribs at Brothers BBQ on Leetsdale since it opened three years ago, we didn't think the British-born O'Sullivan brothers could get any better. But then they opened a second location in an old convenience store in central Denver -- a spot where they can serve cold beer alongside their hot 'cue -- and Brothers is now a real double threat. The dry-rubbed, slow-smoked, St. Louis-cut ribs are so tasty, so tender, we could eat a rack plain, but we also love the peppery, vinegary Memphis-style sauce and the sweet, smoky Kansas City-style sauce. Dem bones, dem bones.

6449 Leetsdale Dr., Denver, 80224
MAP
303-322-3289
Best Dinner After 10 p.m.

You'll be dazzled by the late-night look of Dazzle. Even after the funky dining room closes, the intimate, elegant lounge keeps things cooking, serving up down-home favorites with an upscale twist. Stumble in at midnight on a Friday or Saturday night, and you can still snag a dazzling bar burger: a quarter-pounder on focaccia with your choice of Stilton or smoked Gouda, along with exceptional thin-cut French fries. If your night's been a rough one, add some iron via a soothing salad of spinach with candied walnuts and blue cheese. Better to eat late than never at Dazzle. (Fair warning: On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the kitchen closes at 10 p.m., and Dazzle is closed entirely on Sundays and Mondays.)

Best Dinner After 10 p.m.
Dazzle

You'll be dazzled by the late-night look of Dazzle. Even after the funky dining room closes, the intimate, elegant lounge keeps things cooking, serving up down-home favorites with an upscale twist. Stumble in at midnight on a Friday or Saturday night, and you can still snag a dazzling bar burger: a quarter-pounder on focaccia with your choice of Stilton or smoked Gouda, along with exceptional thin-cut French fries. If your night's been a rough one, add some iron via a soothing salad of spinach with candied walnuts and blue cheese. Better to eat late than never at Dazzle. (Fair warning: On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the kitchen closes at 10 p.m., and Dazzle is closed entirely on Sundays and Mondays.)

930 Lincoln St., Denver, 80203
MAP
303-839-5100
Best Kosher Pizza

Pete's Pizza makes a righteous pie -- and that's even more impressive since all of the pizzas that come out of this kitchen are completely kosher, right down to the meat toppings. For anyone who keeps kosher but still craves America's favorite food, Pete's is a real garden of eatin'.

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Best Chile Relleno: Playa de Oro

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