When it comes to Caesar salad, Bravo! plays a different tune. Not content to offer the usual romaine pile topped with Caesar dressing, croutons and parmesan, this elegant Italian eatery hails Caesar by adding endive and radicchio, which boosts the bitterness and also inserts color, and then tosses the greens with crisp romaine in a well-balanced blend of garlic, anchovies, oil and vinegar. More saltiness -- the real appeal of Caesar, wouldn't you say? -- is provided by unexpected olives, and a crunchy slice of Gorgonzola-topped crostini adds texture and extra flavor. Encore!

When it comes to Caesar salad, Bravo! plays a different tune. Not content to offer the usual romaine pile topped with Caesar dressing, croutons and parmesan, this elegant Italian eatery hails Caesar by adding endive and radicchio, which boosts the bitterness and also inserts color, and then tosses the greens with crisp romaine in a well-balanced blend of garlic, anchovies, oil and vinegar. More saltiness -- the real appeal of Caesar, wouldn't you say? -- is provided by unexpected olives, and a crunchy slice of Gorgonzola-topped crostini adds texture and extra flavor. Encore!

Charlie Brown's Bar & Grill
Mark Antonation
While recent Census Bureau statistics enlightened some locals to the fact that Denver is becoming an increasingly diverse city, patrons of Charlie Brown's Bar & Grill have known it all along. On any given night (or late morning, or mid-afternoon), the deliciously dilapidated interior crawls with the young, the old, the hip and the downtrodden -- all united under a common appreciation for cheap drinks, friendly service and getting blotto in comfortable surroundings. Nestled in the lobby of the historic Colburn Hotel -- a sociological study in and of itself -- Charlie Brown's may be the only place in town where you can order a double Bloody Mary with a side of eggs at 8 a.m. and not be looked at sideways by your server. Charlie's is best experienced during happy hour, on the patio, in the summertime, when the first round is two for one and the people-watching is prime. But this 75-year-old gem is always a divey treat, right down to the collection of nautical gear decorating the island bar (eat your heart out, Ship Tavern!) and the Tin Pan Alley-era soundtrack provided by pianist Pauly Lopez. And now, a toast!
While recent Census Bureau statistics enlightened some locals to the fact that Denver is becoming an increasingly diverse city, patrons of Charlie Brown's Bar & Grill have known it all along. On any given night (or late morning, or mid-afternoon), the deliciously dilapidated interior crawls with the young, the old, the hip and the downtrodden -- all united under a common appreciation for cheap drinks, friendly service and getting blotto in comfortable surroundings. Nestled in the lobby of the historic Colburn Hotel -- a sociological study in and of itself -- Charlie Brown's may be the only place in town where you can order a double Bloody Mary with a side of eggs at 8 a.m. and not be looked at sideways by your server. Charlie's is best experienced during happy hour, on the patio, in the summertime, when the first round is two for one and the people-watching is prime. But this 75-year-old gem is always a divey treat, right down to the collection of nautical gear decorating the island bar (eat your heart out, Ship Tavern!) and the Tin Pan Alley-era soundtrack provided by pianist Pauly Lopez. And now, a toast!
Is that a pickle in your pocket, or are you just happy to see the best sandwiches in town? Both Spicy Pickle outlets specialize in friendly, efficient service that quickly crafts sandwiches out of top-notch ingredients. The breads provide the base: They're made by Il Fornaio and prove the ideal foundations for subs (thick, chewy Italian loaf) and panini (a soft focaccia). Then pile on any Boar's Head meat (we like the rosemary ham), cheese (the goat gets us), topping (check out the corn relish) and spread (harissa mayo is a zinger) in any combination you can think of. The kitchen remembers to pay attention to details: The lettuce is shredded extra-thin and then mixed with the mayo for super-gloppicity; if you get your sandwich to go, each half will be wrapped snug in butcher paper for easier eating. And everything, of course, comes with the Spicy Pickle's signature snappy, housemade pickle. Is everybody happy?
Is that a pickle in your pocket, or are you just happy to see the best sandwiches in town? Both Spicy Pickle outlets specialize in friendly, efficient service that quickly crafts sandwiches out of top-notch ingredients. The breads provide the base: They're made by Il Fornaio and prove the ideal foundations for subs (thick, chewy Italian loaf) and panini (a soft focaccia). Then pile on any Boar's Head meat (we like the rosemary ham), cheese (the goat gets us), topping (check out the corn relish) and spread (harissa mayo is a zinger) in any combination you can think of. The kitchen remembers to pay attention to details: The lettuce is shredded extra-thin and then mixed with the mayo for super-gloppicity; if you get your sandwich to go, each half will be wrapped snug in butcher paper for easier eating. And everything, of course, comes with the Spicy Pickle's signature snappy, housemade pickle. Is everybody happy?
Over there -- isn't that the city's top attorney having someone for lunch? And over there -- a greedy developer eyeing his companion's steak the same way he'd eye an empty plot in the Platte Valley! Take note of all the action on your special Palm Restaurant notepaper, thoughtfully provided by the management of a steakhouse known as much for its deals as its meals. Just be careful not to drip any grease on those notes -- you may need them in court.
Over there -- isn't that the city's top attorney having someone for lunch? And over there -- a greedy developer eyeing his companion's steak the same way he'd eye an empty plot in the Platte Valley! Take note of all the action on your special Palm Restaurant notepaper, thoughtfully provided by the management of a steakhouse known as much for its deals as its meals. Just be careful not to drip any grease on those notes -- you may need them in court.
The Over-the-Top Burger at 3rd Ave. Eclectic Burgers and Cuisine is off the charts in more ways than one. If you have too many, your bank account may seize up even before your heart: This burger will set you back a fast $22. But it's worth experiencing at least once if you're intrigued by the thought of a half-pound of juicy, hand-ground beef topped with seared foie gras, sautéed chanterelles, caramelized onion, a thick slice of beefsteak tomato and peppery arugula -- all soaked with a red-wine-spiked butter. Rich, rich, rich.
The Over-the-Top Burger at 3rd Ave. Eclectic Burgers and Cuisine is off the charts in more ways than one. If you have too many, your bank account may seize up even before your heart: This burger will set you back a fast $22. But it's worth experiencing at least once if you're intrigued by the thought of a half-pound of juicy, hand-ground beef topped with seared foie gras, sautéed chanterelles, caramelized onion, a thick slice of beefsteak tomato and peppery arugula -- all soaked with a red-wine-spiked butter. Rich, rich, rich.

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