Best High-Mountain Shrimp Denver 2004 - Bear Creek Tavern
Chuck and Martha Koch, owners of the Bear Creek Tavern, have family living on the Alabama shore, and while visiting there in 1991, they discovered Royal Reds. These beauties have been on the menu ever since, shipped in fresh every week straight from the Gulf Coast shrimpers to Kittredge. As far as the Koches know (and as far as we've been able to determine), Bear Creek Tavern is the only restaurant in the Rocky Mountain West that serves them. These are deep-sea shrimp, huge, with pale red shells, a meaty texture softer than that of most Asian varieties, and a flavor like very good crab dressed up as lobster. They come to the table in a massive, salty pile, with heads, legs, antennae and shells intact, attended by real drawn butter and lemon (no cocktail sauce unless you ask, and you shouldn't), Handi Wipes, a roll of paper towels and directions for coaxing the big monsters out. What they should come with is a pistol or something, so that you can defend yourself in case one of the bigger ones is only playing dead.