This week in Cafe Society, Gretchen Kurtz visited the latest outpost of The Kitchen -- The Kitchen Next Door Glendale -- and realized it could be the next TGI Fridays...in spirit, if not execution. We also talked about building sandwiches and a life in Colorado with Stack Subs owner Rick Koerner in ... More >>
Get ready for the kickoff of the fall food season! On Sunday, September 7, DISH will return to Sculpture Park at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. This is Westword's twentieth annual celebration of the Denver drinking and dining scene, and it promises to be quite a party. Now we're inviting Cafe S ... More >>
A few weeks ago, when a rash of readers were claiming that the best meals were made in their own kitchens, we asked what you wanted to read about on Cafe Society. Home cooks? Professional cooks? Good restaurants? Bad restaurants? National trends? Local trends? See also: Reader: I love all the resta ... More >>
Cafe Society served up five Guess Where? contests last week, zigzagging from a bourbon mule from Jimmy's, the unofficial party headquarters of the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, to an all-vegan Middle Eastern feast from Damascus to an excellent Reuben from a lovely little sandwich shop and cafe parke ... More >>
When a friend and I sat down to dinner at this restaurant, we had originally planned to graze, but as soon as we saw the astoundingly huge platter of carved, crimson-hued ribeye being delivered to another table, we promptly shut our menus and announced, "We'll have what they're having." Best decisio ... More >>
Middle Eastern restaurants have plenty for vegetarians to chew on, but this particular Mid-East feast house recently added an all-vegan plate to its menu -- and there's enough on that platter to feed carnivores, too. Can you guess where I'm eating? Special bonus: Anyone who gives the first correc ... More >>
It sounded good on paper, but the queso fundido at this highbrow Mexican restaurant was a bit like eating rubber bands. But while you can stretch a rubber band only so far, this queso fundido would have stretched all the way to the ceiling and back had we played that game. Can you guess where I'm e ... More >>
Cafe Society served up five Guess Where? contests last week, ranging from a fat al pastor burrito blanketed with green chile from Socorro's to a delicious Korean feast from Han Kang to a boozy whiskey-and-berry cocktail from a burger joint.
Every time I drive down a certain stretch of asphalt, I pass by a dusty parking lot with a dilapidated truck and a huge smoker that emits the scent of barbecue. Over the weekend, my curiosity got the best of me, and I stopped to get a closer whiff -- and a closer look. And when I saw the meats in th ... More >>
This restaurant has gone through several changes since it first opened, morphing from a vast space with a center island of prepared foodstuffs to a full-fledged restaurant that's feeding enthusiastic crowds. And the beef-and-onion samosas, served with lemon wedges and a duo of tamarind and cilantro ... More >>
Who says that suburban restaurants have to bow down to the chain-ganged masses? In the case of this further afield restaurant, which recently boasted a plate of fantastic arancini, coupled with head-on shrimp, the kitchen turns out terrific foodstuffs that make even city folk leave their sheltered b ... More >>
The guy who cooks the food at this diminutive Mexican joint always has a twinkle in his eye, and his chalkboard of south-of-the-border eats, especially the al pastor with pineapple, always turns a good day into a great day. Awesome housemade horchata, too. Can you guess where I'm eating? Special ... More >>
The small cocktail syllabus at this neighborhood hangout doesn't require a mixologist and a bag of tricks, but the admittedly sleep-deprived bartender who mixed my cocktail -- a concoction of whiskey, berries, lemon and basil -- rose to the occasion, making me a strong cocktail was just what the lo ... More >>
Cafe Society served up five Guess Where? contests last week, ranging from a box of noteworthy scones from Adagio Baking Company to a vase of citrus-sprayed bay scallop ceviche from El Chingon to a plate of chicken wings from a steak joint in LoHi.
While this Mexican restaurant dispenses tacos, burritos and tostadas, the kitchen performs best when it detours from cheese and green chile. In fact, it's the ceviches, all citrus and sweet ocean, that are the star of the show. Can you guess where I'm eating? Special bonus: Anyone who gives the ... More >>
The mood was incredibly convivial on Saturday afternoon at this shrine to stellar fried chicken, where big platters of gold-tinged fowl arrive with all the fixings that go with it: hush puppies, macaroni and cheese, corn bread and hand-mashed potatoes with gravy. Can you guess where I'm eating? Sp ... More >>
After last night's dinner, our server came back to the table and mentioned that the chef wanted to send out a complimentary dessert. Curious, I asked why, and while this is a restaurant that I've been to at least two dozen times, our server thought it was my first time...and she wanted to make sure ... More >>
I ordered the tom yum and the panang curry Thai hot. Big, BIG mistake. My kid, on the other hand, has more common sense than I, and just shook his head knowingly at the server when he ordered his own pad Thai, asking for a spice level of medium. He wins. Can you guess where I'm eating? Special bon ... More >>
Cafe Society dished up five Guess Where? contests last week, parading everything from a jar of pickled vegetables from Gallo di Nero to a plate of nachos at El Tepehuan to a way overdone burger from a steakhouse that you'd think would know the difference between crimson and ashen. Alas.
The camarones del diablo and super nachos come with a heaping helping of downhome atmosphere at this longtime Mexican joint. Can you guess where I'm eating? Special bonus: Anyone who gives the first correct answer to a Guess Where post -- on the Cafe Society blog, not on Facebook -- is entered in ... More >>
Heading for the hills this holiday weekend? A breakfast tradition at this spot, the posole will bowl you over -- and is so popular that the hostess will even hand you the recipe on request. Can you guess where I'm eating? Special bonus: Anyone who gives the first correct answer to a Guess Where po ... More >>
Cafe Society dished up four Guess Where? contests last week, featuring everything from a less-than-appetizing carne adobada at D'Corazon to a fantastic corned beef hash at Creekside Cafe in Steamboat and more. See also: Guess where I'm eating asparagus salad?
The above photo is from a Mexican restaurant that does a bang-up lunch business, but I can't imagine it's because of the carne adobada...or the queso...or the enchilada...or the chile relleno, because we tried all of those dishes, only to push them to the end of the table, pay our tab and enjoy a mu ... More >>
Cafe Society dished up five Guess Where? contests last week, ranging from a cocky, chocolate-frosted doughnut from Voodoo to a burger paved with cream cheese and rings of jalapeno chiles from Providence Tavern to a lovely slice of chocolate cake from a super-tiny restaurant that's doing everything r ... More >>
The arrival of May brings mud season to the mountains -- unless, of course, they're still frozen solid. This restaurant just reopened last Saturday after a long winter's nap -- but thanks to plenty of shady days, there was no shortage of the white stuff outside. Can you guess where I'm eating? Sp ... More >>
Years ago, when my parents split (where was conscious uncoupling in the 80s?) and I spent the obligatory weekends with my dad, we'd usually go out to for a steak-and-crab dinner, which wasn't always a particularly pleasant experience. But last week, as part of a birthday celebration, I ended up at t ... More >>
Ah, indulgence. An awesome burger and a glass of highly potent barley wine equals the kind of night out that's all too infrequent. Can you guess where I'm eating? Special bonus: Anyone who gives the first correct answer to a Guess Where post -- on the Cafe Society blog, not on Facebook -- is ente ... More >>
It take balls to swallow a twelve-inch doughnut iced with the words "Don't be cocky." Can you guess where I'm eating? Special bonus: Anyone who gives the first correct answer to a Guess Where post -- on the Cafe Society blog, not on Facebook -- is entered into the contest pool, and every Monday, ... More >>
Cafe Society dished up four Guess Where? contest posts last week, ranging from a vegan cheese plate that was consumed at Nectar House to venison ragu punctuated with spring vegetables from Vesta Dipping Grill to a Vietnamese crêpe hugging fried duck meatballs, a dish that hails from the kitchen of ... More >>
A recent dinner at this long-standing neighborhood restaurant revealed a new menu full of vibrant dishes, including a Vietnamese-inspired, vegetable slaw-crowned rice crepe hugging fried duck meatballs. Can you guess where I'm eating? Special bonus: Anyone who gives the first correct answer to a ... More >>
For the most part, the menu as this Mexican joint is a carbon copy of its competition -- burritos, enchiladas, chile rellenos, tacos and combinations of all four -- but there a few dishes that stand apart from the usual suspects, including a plate of shrimp bobbing in a garlic-scented butter punctua ... More >>
Man does not live by bread alone. There's vegan cheese, for example, and raw crackers, all part of this cheese plate that was far from half-baked. Can you guess where I'm eating? Special bonus: Anyone who gives the first correct answer to a Guess Where post -- on the Cafe Society blog, not on Face ... More >>
Cafe Society served up four Guess Where? contests last week, ranging from a bowl of gumbo, paired with a side of cornbread, from Bang! to a chicken salad sandwich from Modmarket to a cheese-blanketed bowl of spaetzle that may be Denver's best drunk food.
Spring menus are in full bloom all across the city, and this dish, a tangle of tagliatelle, fresh peas and morels (my favorite mushroom) straddling a venison ragu, beautifully summarizes the season. Can you guess where I'm eating? Special bonus: Anyone who gives the first correct answer to a Gues ... More >>
This week on Cafe Society, Gretchen Kurtz visited The Abbey Tavern, which turns out to be much more than just a neighborhood watering hole for Park Hill. In Chef and Tell, Sharif Villa Cruz, executive chef at Corner House, talked about the importance of fresh, made-from-scratch ingredients and more. ... More >>
Years ago, at 7 p.m. on a sunny weekday evening, the patio at this diminutive restaurant would have been packed, but last night, it was just me and another table of three, which prompted the server to wonder out loud: "Where is everyone?" Good question, because the gumbo and the accompanying cornbre ... More >>
Cafe Society served up five Guess Where? contests last week, ranging from the highly addictive house-baked pretzel twists at Old Major to a plate of completely forgettable sushi rolls from Red Ginger to a Mid-East kabob feast from a suburban strip mall joint.
I didn't partake in pot this weekend, but that's not to say that I didn't have the munchies. Still, instead of stuffing Twinkies and chips down my gullet, I satisfied my hunger pains with a hearty sandwich of chicken salad, melted cheddar, tomatoes and arugula. Not exactly the kind of food that you ... More >>
If you've ever been to this restaurant, then you'll recognize these pretzel twists immediately -- and you'll understand, too, why two is never enough. I have no plans to partake in 4/20 this weekend, but if I did, this is where I'd go for my munchie fix, and it's not a stretch to admit that along wi ... More >>
It's an attractive offer: all sushi rolls priced 50 percent off, all day long. But like a lot of things in life, you get what you pay for, and aside from the fact that the fish tasted faded and the rice was even duller, with no hint of the obligatory tang of vinegar, when I asked if freshly grated w ... More >>
Don't put all your eggs in one basket. If you haven't made your Easter plans, it's not too late to get out of the house and bend an elbow, if not a knee. Although you won't find a lavish brunch spread here, the proprietors want you to know that the bar will be open for business? Can you guess where ... More >>
Yesterday, after briefly stopping at a restaurant that made me sprint to the nearest wash sink to slather my hands in soap, I didn't have much of an appetite, but that all changed when I took a seat at a well-known deli and ordered a corned beef sandwich stacked with coleslaw and melted Swiss. I onl ... More >>
It was a chef who recommended that I drag my butt to the suburbs -- and to this joint, in particular -- to get my Middle Eastern fix, and so I did, feasting on a well-dressed plate of meaty kabobs, baba ghanoush and spicy hummus. Can you guess where I'm eating? Special bonus: Anyone who gives the ... More >>
Cafe Society dished up five Guess Where? contests last week, ranging from an Argentinean pizza topped with egg and hearts of palm from Buenos Aires Pizzeria to a sizzling platter of tandoori chicken from India's Castle to a bowl of crab dip with housemade potato chips from a restaurant that just tro ... More >>
With the flurry of new restaurant openings, it's all too easy to sweep some of the older ones -- like the restaurant where this photo was snapped -- under the rug, but this lively spot, which is celebrating ten years feeding the neighborhood in which it resides, continues to command my attention, tu ... More >>
Cafe Society served up five Guess Where" contests last week, ranging from a white pizza slapped with bits of bacon from Grimaldi's to a plate of brilliant wood-fired octopus from Gozo to a toasted sandwich -- a re-imagined Big Mac -- from a restaurant that sports a secret menu full of surprises.
A recent Denver Blogs post featured a Cafe Society reader comment railing against restaurants beloved by "hipster douchebags." The term definitely raised the hackles of many readers, both positively and negatively. Here's one take that decries the pejorative use of this particular H-word.
Cafe Society served up five Guess Where? contests last week, ranging from a do-your-body-good vegetarian plate from the Kitchen Next Door (Glendale) to a whiskey-potent cocktail from Work & Class to big bowl of fleshy mussels bobbing in a saffron-smooched broth.
Cafe Society served up four Guess Where? contests last week, ranging from a spring plate of house-crafted burrata from Cafe|Bar to a plate-spanning slab of juice-dribbling steak from the Red Rooster Cafe to a terrific salmon burger from a new neighborhood hang.