100 Favorite Dishes: The Sloppy Joe at Thunderbird Imperial Lounge

Go get the Sloppy Joe at Thunderbird Imperial Lounge. It's comfort food at its finest.EXPAND
Go get the Sloppy Joe at Thunderbird Imperial Lounge. It's comfort food at its finest.
Linnea Covington

No. 23: Sloppy Joe at Thunderbird Imperial Lounge
It's not often that you see an old-school Sloppy Joe coming from a restaurant kitchen, so when the dish popped up on the menu at this new Highland eatery, we had to try it. Good thing too, because consulting chef Goose Sorensen (of Solera Restaurant and Wine Bar) knows how to whip up an American classic that fits in perfectly with the vibe of the Thunderbird.

Run by restaurateur Jesse Morreale (formerly of El Diablo and Rock Bar), the lounge, with its 1950s-America theme, has a well-worn aura that makes it feel as if the Thunderbird has always been there — even though it just opened two months ago. In fact, the space long housed Longo's Subway Tavern, so perhaps it's the spirit of that venerable institution that haunts the booths and bar stools of Morreale's lively joint — though we're pretty sure the Thunderbird's food will stand out from the old-school Italian of its predecessor.

Now, back to that Sloppy Joe. To start with, you'll want ask for a side of napkins to go with your sandwich; it's as messy as the lunches you remember from grade school. Then, get ready to dive into a the heaping pile of locally sourced ground beef spiced up with sautéed onions, peppers and tomato paste. The mixture spills out between a fresh, slightly toasted Hinman's Bakery egg bun, the perfect pillowy vehicle for sopping up the sauce and meat juices. The bread can even stand in as an extra napkin for your own Sloppy Joe-covered fingers. The $7 sandwich also comes with fresh sliced tomato, chopped lettuce and square of melted American cheese. Add fries or housemade onion rings on the side and call it a memorable lunch, happy hour, dinner or late-night bar snack.

Hungry for more? All of the dishes in our 2016 countdown are linked below.

No. 100: Masala Beef at Biju's Little Curry Shop
No. 99: Bacon Shrimp and Grits at Bacon Social House
No. 98: Porchetta and Kimchi Sandwich at Brider
No. 97: Squab-and-Sunchoke Tortellini at Abejas
No. 96: Housemade Burrata at Viand
No. 95: Schweinshaxe at Rhein Haus
No. 94 Kimchi Jeon at Seoul BBQ
No. 93: Zuppa Pomodoro at Parisi Italian Market & Deli
No. 92: The Ocean Salad at Sushi-Rama
No. 91: The Signature Bowl from Churn & Burn
No. 90: Green Chorizo at Los Compadres
No. 89: The Diavola Calzone at Pino's Neighborhood Pizzeria
No. 88: Biscuits and Green Chile at the Noshery
No. 87: Chirashi at Izu Sushi
No. 86: Brisket and Ribs at GQue Championship BBQ
No. 85: The Tornado at the Chowder Room
No. 84: Korean Fried Chicken Wings at Yong Gung
No. 83: A Meatball Hero at Lil' Ricci's New York Pizzeria
No. 82: Shakshuka at Stowaway Coffee + Kitchen
No. 81: Late-Night Ramen at Brazen
No. 80: Potato Tacos at El Tejado
No. 79: Corned Beef Heart at theWay Back
No. 78: The Fried Bologna Sandwich at Snarfburger
No. 77: Sweet Corn Mezzaluna at Bar Dough
No. 76: Duck Confit at Table 6
No. 75: Croque Monsieur at Fire
No. 74: Tahini Cookies at the Preservery
No. 73: The Alferd Packer Salad at MAD Greens
No. 72: The Tuna Poke Bowl at Ohana Island Kitchen
No. 71: Mini Chile Rellenos at La Loma
No. 70: The Combination Banh Mi at Vinh Xuong Bakery
No. 69: The Falafel Waffle at Moxie Eatery
No. 68: Korean Fried Duck Wings at Chow Urban Grill
No. 67:  Spaghetti Alla Carbonara at Spatola
No. 66: The Classic Burger from Skirted Heifer
No. 65: The Chicken Salad Stuffed Avocado at Poppies
No. 64: Super Pass Key Special at Pass Key
No. 63: How the West Was Won at Dozens Restaurant
No. 62: Manzo With Polenta at Spuntino
No. 61: P & S Snack Mix at the Pig & the Sprout
No. 59-60: Sloppers at Gray's Coors Tavern and Diego's
No. 58: Potstickers at Zoe Ma Ma
No. 57: Griddle Cooked Bullfrog at Yum Yum Spice
No. 56: Macaroni and Cheese at Work & Class
No. 55: Lobster, Egg and Caviar Bruschetta at Bar Fausto
No. 54: Orecchiette at Coperta
No. 53: Cheese Steak at Steuben's Food Service
No. 52: PB&B Acai Bowl at ProsperOats
No. 51: Gold Miner's Breakfast at River and Woods
No. 50: Bison Pastrami at To The Wind Bistro
No. 49: Spicy Beef Hot Pot at Bronze Empire
No. 48: Brad's Neo Gyro at Avelina
No. 47: The Egg and Croissant Sandwich at La Fillette Bakery
No. 46: Smoked Brisket Stroganoff Pot Pie From Humble Pie and Kitchen Table
No. 45: Hisbiscus-Flower Tacos at Comal
No. 44: The Juicy Lucy at the Midwestern Saloon
No. 43: Italian combo #2 at Carbone's
No. 42: Huevos Rancheros at Las Potrancas
No. 41: The Roti Taco at Mister Tuna
No. 40: Mile High Nachos at Racines
No. 39: Classic Rooster at Royal Rooster
No. 38: Toomkha Soup at US Thai Cafe
No. 37: Smoked Lamb Shank at Roaming Buffalo Bar-B-Que
No. 36: Banh Mi Tacos at Vital Root
No. 35: Barbecue Sandwiches at Globe Hall
No. 34: Ebelskivers at Three Little Griddles
No. 33: Bagna Cauda Broccoli Rabe at Dio Mio Handmade Pasta
No. 32: Flavorsome Ramen at Sera's Ramen Enclave
No. 31: Chicken Tenders at the Fainting Goat
No. 30: Sesame Chicken at Red Dragon
No. 29-28: Last Great Lunch of 2016, First Great Plate of 2017
No. 27: Rocky Mountain Oysters at Lulu's Inn
No. 26: The Shawarma Sandwich at Edri's International Market
No. 25: Panuchos at Que Bueno Suerte
No. 24: Fish and Chips at Public School 303

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The Thunderbird Imperial Lounge

3759 Lipan St.
Denver, Colorado 80211

720-255-2485

facebook.com/thethunderbirdus


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