Everyone, insists Jensen Cummings, the exec chef of Row 14 Restaurant & Wine Bar, and one of the partners of a new fast-casual restaurant that will haul balls, owns a slotted spoon, knows someone who owns a slotted spoon, or, at the very least, has seen a slotted spoon in a kitchen shop. And that's why, he says, his new restaurant, which he co-owns with partners Johnny Coast and Alex Comisar, has been christened the Slotted Spoon Meatball Eatery, which will open in late fall somewhere in metro Denver.
"It took us a long time to decide on a name, but we're calling it the Slotted Spoon because of its universal appeal: Everyone's grandmother had a slotted spoon, most everyone today has a slotted spoon -- it's timeless -- and since we love sauce and meat, a slotted spoon best represents our brand," says Cummings, who admits that he spent hours on Thesaurus.com before he, Coast and Comisar settled on the name. "I now know twelve different synonyms for every meatball, meat technique and sauce technique," he quips.
And since Cummings, Coast and Comisar intend to multiply their meatball hall nationally, they also wanted a name that they could trademark, plus, says Coast, "We also like the way the double s's roll off the tongue, and the name just resonates with our global food concept."
Global insomuch that the meatball joint won't be limited to Italian balls slicked with red sauce. "There are meatballs in every culture from Asia to the Middle East, from Italy to Sweden -- the world loves meatballs -- and our goal is to appeal to everyone: the old, the young, foodies, students, business clientele and everyone in between," explains Cummings, who notes, too, that the balls won't be strictly meat, either.
"You'll see all different sorts of playful approaches to the meatball itself, and while we're hand-forming everything into traditional balls, there will be vegetarian balls with black beans, quinoa and chickpeas and balls that we make with tuna salad," says Cummings. And the six staple meatballs on the menu will all be gluten-free. "It's important to recognize that people are health-conscious, have dietary restrictions or lighter appetites, so we made a purposeful decision from the very beginning to build a menu that engages everyone."
The location of the Slotted Spoon Meatball Eatery, which sees a lot of foot traffic from just about every demographic that Cummings refers to, has been solidified, but we're going to let you guess where it is, based on the above photo.
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Here's a hint: It resides in a strip mall/shopping center/mega mall/small mall, and what we want from you are the two major cross streets of that location; you don't need to give us the exact address. And if you're the first person to supply those cross streets in the comments section below, you'll win a meal for two, plus a few beers, at the meatball shop when it opens.
We'll give you until next Monday, June 18, to wager your guesses.
Ready, set, sleuth!