Mouthing Off

Street eats: Hey! We thought it was against the rules to take food into Elitch's. So why were two pizzas delivered to employees of the amusement park's guest relations office last Thursday?

Nice of Wellington Webb to grab coffee at Dixons, 1610 16th Street, when he took his walking tour through downtown Tuesday. But if the mayor really wanted to support homegrown businesses, he should have eaten lunch there, instead of at that chain-gang Cheesecake Factory in the Tabor Center. Or he could have dropped by City Spirit Cafe at 1434 Blake Street and thanked owner Mickey Zeppelin for taking a chance on LoDo before that area even had that name; Zeppelin plans to sell his restaurant/bar/coffeehouse.

Another lower downtown pioneer, McCormick's Fish House & Bar at 1659 Wazee Street, is still going strong after a decade-long tenure in LoDo--and an equally long commitment to good causes. From 2-6 p.m. Sunday, August 24, that good cause is the Lower Downtown Arts District, the beneficiary of the first annual lodo fais do do crawfish boil and street party. The event promises all the flavors of New Orleans--grilled salmon and sausages, boiled crawfish and corn-on-the-cob, courtesy McCormick's executive chef Erik Huber--without the humidity or bugs. And the Zukes of Zydeco band will keep cooking through the afternoon. Admission is free; profits from sale of food and beverage (frozen daiquiris and Railyard Ale) go to the arts district. "We wanted to give something back to those wonderful folks who provide us with standing-room-only patrons on First Fridays whenever they throw a bash," says McCormick's Tito Christensen. After all, long before there was baseball in LoDo, there were art galleries--and there was McCormick's.

After that, the good times roll over to the Fourth Story, high atop the Tattered Cover at 2955 East First Avenue. At 6:30 p.m. August 24, five local chefs will collaborate on a six-course meal to honor Jess Roybal, the Fourth Story chef killed last month by lightning. The dinner starts with crepe-wrapped veal sweetbreads by David Minty, chef at the Gourmet Alternative; then moves on through courses created by John Gilbertson, the Fourth Story's current chef; Tyler Wiard of Mel's Bar and Grill; Roger Scheel of Wyoming's Saratoga Inn (cinnamon smoked duck with gingered barbecue sauce--yum) and Strings's Noel Cunningham. Good food, good cause: Every penny of the $70 per-person tab goes to the Denver Dumb Friends League, since the staffers are all volunteering their time and the food and wine (one for each course!) has been donated. For reservations, call 322-1824.


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