Ask the Critic: What is Denver's food scene missing?

So here's a question for all you hardcore gastronauts out there: We all know that Denver is a good food town. There are seasons when it can almost feel like one of the great ones. We have fine dining and we have innovation, we have French, we have Italian, we have Chinese and Japanese in several varieties. We have ethnic food coming out of our ears and more cheeseburger joints than you can shake a stick at.

But my question to you (which, by process of relay, was actually a question that I was asked at one of my book signings a few weeks back) is, what is Denver missing? What do we need more of in order to make this the great food city we all want it to be.

Don't say big New York operators. Don't say our own Trader Joe's. Both of those are the standard responses and neither are going to help us at all. Don't say we need restaurants that stay open later because, yeah, we need that desperately, but that's a wish we've all been making since long before I ever came to town.

But other than that, the discussion is wide open. So let's hear your ideas, folks. Fight it out among yourselves and, who knows? Maybe someone out there with a dream and a couple nickels to rub together might actually be listening and will suddenly open up the 24-hour tea-cake-and-goulash-shop you've always been dreaming of.


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