Best Of :: Food & Drink
Coney Island is known for its thrills, and its most thrilling accomplishment may have been the invention of frozen custard back in 1919, a confection that later reached its peak popularity in the Midwest. Neighbors Cathy Haug and Joy Gunderson so missed the frozen custard of their youth that they decided to open CJ's Frozen Custard, in the process giving all of Denver a sweet treat. The main difference between frozen custard and regular ice cream is the butterfat content (10 percent for custard, as opposed to ice cream's 35 to 50 percent) and the amount of air (up to 90 percent less in custard). That makes for a creamy, creamy texture and a rich eggy quality; since the confection is only frozen to 23 degrees, it's also softer eating. Compared to this frozen custard, that stuff spouting off at Dairy Queen might as well be chilled milk. CJ's offers chocolate and vanilla every day, along with a third flavor that rotates (the root beer float is weird and wonderful). Cool!
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.
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.)
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'.