Like the working-class neighborhood where it's based, At Home Remedies is more function than fashion. The mudroom-turned-waiting room at the front of the house is furnished with scrolled antique furniture with a loud, gaudy and awesome 1970s-style white floral print, and AstroTurf is liberally used as flooring both there and down the front steps.
At Home Remedies
4735 West 38th Avenue Denver, CO 80212 303-455-0079 www.athomeremedies.net
Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. Other types of medicine: Hash, BHO, edibles, tinctures, medicated drinks. Online Menu: Yes. Handicap-accessible? Yes.
Other thrift-store items adorn the shop, including a collection of vintage lunchboxes in the small hallway cubby between the waiting room and the tiny bud bar and office area. A large shellacked Bob Ross-style painting of a blue, orange and yellow ocean sunset on a large chunk of wood like you would win at a cut-rate carnival hangs behind the vintage counter. One of the owners told me she loves collecting strange antiques from flea markets and garage sales.
All the place was missing to complete the Raising Arizona-esque motif was a velvet Elvis portrait hung prominently above the edibles counter in the former dining room, Jesus candles grouped together on a windowsill, and pink flamingos decorating the lawn. Even my budtender looked the part, dressed in his half-buttoned Hawaiian shirt, questionably dark tan and shiny necklaces. He resembled a used-speedboat salesman in Pensacola or your party-time uncle a few hours before his annual trek to a Jimmy Buffet concert.
All of which was cool with me. Unpolished, vintage thrift-store kitsch is pure Americana, and At Home Remedies has it down whether it's intentional or not. The herb, on the other hand, could use some old-fashioned work.
The bud bar takes up what was formerly the living room of the house, with a fireplace on one end of the space and a small dining nook off the other; that's where the shop keeps all of the ganja food and BHO. Edibles from Dr. J's, Rocky Mountain High, Bens and Dixie are kept in a wood-and-glass antique display cabinet. The shop doesn't have an infused product license, but it sells wax from a third party called Goldmine. The week I was in, the focus was on half-grams of Golden Goat shatter oil.
The two people working that day were both owners. But instead of hovering over me and pushing deals like employees at some shops do with new patients, they were laid-back (as the ambience would suggest) and let me scope out the entire stock at my leisure. Which took me all of three minutes, because there weren't many strains on the shelves, and what remained was down to the jar bottoms -- including a half-eighth of Flo still up on the shelf for display.
Other strains varied in quality. The Headband looked scraggly on the stalk, and though it featured the stacked calyxes it should have, it lacked the traditional nose-tickling lime-rubber funk. Same for the jar labeled OG Kush. But others showed promise, like the Qrazy Train and Killawatt, which had a sugary finish to the smell and chunky, full buds. The center also had an AK that could have used at least another week flowering but otherwise had a spicy, enticing odor. Members pay between $25 and $30 an eighth and up to $180 an ounce, tax included. Non-members pay about $5 more on the small end but are still capped at $180 an ounce.
My budtender told me the shop sees lots of patients in the neighborhood every Monday and Wednesday, when new product arrives. Apparently if you're not there in time, the pickings are slim. Good for them in terms of sales, but the rush in sales also seems to mean rushing flowers out to the shelves and sacrificing some quality that could easily be attained otherwise.
Out of the meager selection I was still able to pick indica and sativa strains worth a closer look at home and a half-gram of the Golden Goat wax just to be safe.
Qrazy Train: $30/eighth The shape and development of this nug was nothing amazing -- just a well-grown and well-trimmed cone of dense calyxes and scraggly red pistils. The smell was sweet, with a light hint of fresh-turned garden soil out of the jar in the shop that dulled out overnight in a Ziploc baggie in my office. Breaking up the dense, hard nugget let the funk back out. It wasn't anything overpowering or mind-blowing, but still a decent mid-tier smoke. It burned with less flavor than smell and a thick, yellowing smoke out of a dry pipe. At Home's Qrazy Train was a near-instant head- and upper-body hit of relaxation. About a half-hour later, I was lucid but energetic and had a fridge-clearing appetite. Side note: It was nearly impossible not to hear a certain Ozzy Osbourne tune in my head when smoking this strain, and I know I'm not alone.
Killa Watt: $30/eighth Very cool neon-green and bright-orange coloring to this bud, plus a fuzzy appearance on the claw-like sugar leaves left behind. Out of the jar in the shop, it had a sweet kief finish to the buds' otherwise generic, hydro smell. Broken up, it left a head shop-like incense smell on my fingers along with a tacky coating of resin. But the Killa Watt was one of those strains that looks better than it tasted. It burned without much flavor, leaving a generic (but tasty) light, pressed-mixed bubble-hash aftertaste. Medically, this strain was killa, though, and I had very noticeable muscle tension relief after a bowl. Still, I'm sure I can find a better cured example down the line to help me firm up my opinion.
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Golden Goat wax from Goldmine: $20/half gram Appropriately for the company and strain name, this near-shatter-consistency wax came in half-grams of heavily-viscous golden globs. Out of the fridge where the shop kept it, the Goldmine was solid as a rock. But a few minutes in the palm of my hand warmed it up enough to snap the photo above and then pick out a smaller sized dab without cracking it and sending shards of oil across my desk. The wax burned down clean on a titanium nail and had a distinctly Golden Goat finish to the taste. Very potent, this blended strain wax left me buzzing like an electrode for a good two hours, after which I had a food crash and devoured leftovers from the fridge like they were going out of style. Maybe $5 too pricey at $20 a half-gram, but I'll definitely check out Goldmine products again when I see them.