Best guesses: As I eat my way through another couple hundred recommendations for Westword's Best of Denver 1997, coming your way June 26, I am once again forced to swallow some of the worst meals imaginable. Case in point: my lunch at Mad Platter, 5950 South Platte Canyon Road, Littleton, a place that several people told me had stellar fish-and-chips. So I recently visited the dark, woody Platter, where my companion and I slogged through a salty clam chowder ($3.50) and a really salty beef-based vegetable soup ($3.50). Then things got worse. My companion's walleye pike ($12.75) had been frozen--and not properly--and subsequently cooked into a dry slab that could have been any kind of fish, so bland and nebulous was its flavor. It came with a side of butter-soaked fettuccine Alfredo and a side of butter-soaked canned green beans. I'd ordered the much-praised fish filet sandwich ($4.50), which turned out to be a mediocre, heavily breaded piece of fish on a mediocre bun served with mediocre fries. (Believe it or not, I later returned to the Platter with a friend who'd recommended the place, and she says the fish sandwich isn't prepared the way it was a year ago when she tried it--and liked it.)
We drowned our sorrows by partaking of several of the beers the Platter has on tap (which came in those convenient foot-high glasses) and also decided to risk the cheesecake ($3.50). It was amazingly good: fluffy and rich, with the kind of texture that made us want to hold every bite in our mouths to savor the smooth creaminess. Of course, the Mad Platter doesn't make the cheesecake it serves; I'm trying to track down the artist who does.
Calling all beer nuts: If you're in Boulder on April 10, stop by the Microbreweries for the Environment event--any excuse to drink beer, huh?--at the Boulder Theatre, 2034 14th Street, from 7 p.m. until midnight. Seventeen microbreweries will offer their wares at a buck a pint to patrons who've already anted up the $12 admission fee, which will support various recycling and environmentally related projects. Among the micros will be new offerings from Broadway Brewing, which has just put out Light Rail Ale for the Wynkoop Brewing Company, and Great Divide's Denver Pale Ale, an American-style pale that has less bitterness than most.
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There won't be anyone from Irons Brewing Co. at the fundraiser, but that's because employees of the five-year-old Lakewood brewery are busy at their new Ironworks Brewery & Pub, which opened last week at 12354 West Alameda Parkway, right next to the brewery's production facility. The menu involves a lot of New Mexican fare with a few South American and Spanish influences; it should go well with Irons's excellent Long Iron Pilsner and Dark Iron Brown Ale.
Drink and be merry: Wine, not beer, will be the drink of choice at an April 13 fundraiser at Bistro Adde Brewster, 250 Steele Street. Proceeds from the $50 ticket benefit the Simone Institute for Women, which helps women who are single parents become self-sufficient.
If you just want to drink for the hell of it, try one of the wild-and-crazy flavored martinis at Bourbon Street Pizzabar & Grill, 5117 South Yosemite, where the so-called "Sexy Dozen" include an After-Dinner Mint martini, along with watermelon and espresso flavors. They taste much better than they sound.