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100 Favorite Dishes: Dan dan noodles from Euclid Hall

100 Favorite Dishes: Dan dan noodles from Euclid Hall
Lori Midson

Suffice it to say that I eat out more than the general population, unless, of course, the general population can catalogue more than 450 restaurant meals in a year -- which is about the number of breakfasts, lunches and dinners that I stomached in 2012. Pathetic, isn't it? But all those food dates are worth the gluttony, because it allows us to tell you where you should eat, a little favor that we started in late 2009, when we embarked on a culinary journey that took us through our favorite dishes in the Mile High City -- 100, to be exact. Now we're back with round three, counting down (in no particular order) 100 more of our favorite dishes in Denver (and Boulder). If there's something in particular that you think we need to try, reveal it in the comments section below, or shoot me an e-mail at lori.midson@westword.com.

No. 78: Dan dan noodles from Euclid Hall

The first time I had dan dan noodles, or dan dan mian, was decades ago in San Francisco at a sticky Chinese noodle joint, the name of which I can't remember. But I can certainly recollect the vinegary, Sichuan pepper-laced broth in which the slippery noodles glistened, the strands stained scarlet from the sludge of the numbing chiles. The dan dan noodles at Euclid Hall are quite different from my first experience, but given that chef Jorel Pierce is the kind of guy who thinks -- and cooks -- outside the culinary monarchy, that doesn't surprise me. Nor was I surprised by how much I loved his take on what's typically a dish that doesn't dole out the unexpected.

See also: Euclid Hall's Jorel Pierce on the egg man, life without salt and f*cking up the art of cuisine

Pierce's version is fiercely tied to the pig, the anatomy of which he breaks down in the basement kitchen of Euclid Hall. Crumbles of pork, char siu edged with an arch of seasoned fat and pork loin, all of which are the gift of a suckling Yorkshire pig, float in a salty, musky, pork-intensive broth swamped with udon noodles and fragrant with the scent of Sichuan peppers and housemade oyster sauce, which pigments the broth a deep amber. He adds a fistful of scallions, textures the dish with peanuts and pairs it with a little bowl of housemade hot sauce that gives the dish -- not that it needs it -- a shock of heat. Pierce has always a profound skill set when it comes to the pig, and in this dish, in particular, the swine shines. It's not the dish I had in San Francisco; it's much better.

Hungry for more? All the dishes in our 2013 countdown are linked below:

No. 100: Foie gras oysters from Sushi Sasa

No. 99: Porchetta from Parisi

No. 98: chocolate caramel sea salt tart from Spuntino

No. 97: Nachos from the Pioneer

No. 96: Fried pickles from TAG Burger Bar

No. 95: Breakfast burrito from Jalapeños Mexican restaurant

No. 94: Jajangmyeon from Yong Gung Dragon Palace Chinese Restaurant

No 93: French fries from Jonesy's EatBar

No. 92: Fried rice from Benihana

No. 91: Lobster macaroni and cheese from Mizuna

No. 90: Schezuan beef in numbing chile oil from Chef Liu's Authentic Chinese Cuisine

No. 89: lamb tartare from Epernay

No. 88: Reuben from the Bagel Deli

No 87: Wood-fired chicken from Pizzeria Basta

No. 86: Watermelon and frisee salad from EDGE

No. 85: Chicken-fried eggs and smoked buffalo hash from Sassafras

No. 84: English pea agnolotti from Harman's Eat & Drink

No. 83: Sushi - any sushi - from Land of Sushi

No. 82: Sopressata pizza from Kaos

No. 81: Philly Phanatic from Large Marge's

No. 80: Migas tacos from Moontower Tacos

No. 79: 100 Favorite Dishes: Pozole from La California Panaderia


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Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen

1317 14th St.
Denver, CO 80205

303-595-4255

www.euclidhall.com


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