Although the career waiter has gone the way of the Studebaker and the eight-track, that sad fact doesn't slow John Carl one bit. After fifteen years as the most graceful, attentive server at one of the town's most graceful, attentive restaurants, Carl still loves his job at Tante Louise. "It's not what I went to college for," admits the Iowa native, whose first job in Denver was at Top of the Rockies in the early '70s. "But I do like to say I'm in the business of marketing escargot." First, though, he sizes up the mood and sensibilities of the diners at a table, then suggests just the right dishes -- escargot or no. After that, he goes about serving the meal with seamless, invisible efficiency; items appear and disappear from the table with barely a movement of air. You won't realize that Carl's at work unless you make it a point to watch him -- and then you'll be rewarded with quite a show. Watch Carl handle a difficult table with the greatest of ease. Watch Carl float like a butterfly without stinging like a bee. He's pure poetry in motion. "I was pretty green when I got to Tante Louise," Carl admits. "So I guess I've come a long way." And how, baby.
Flagstaff House Restaurant
Mark Antonation
The Flagstaff House has been a special-occasion destination for three decades now, and its coffee service goes the extra distance for diners who've made it up the mountain -- and must still find their way back down. Rather than the usual stuffy coffee presentation, the Flagstaff offers a fun "Sugar Tray," its compartments filled with colorful, squeal-inducing tidbits used to flavor a cup of java that tasted pretty good to start with. Choose from licorice or mint "lentils"; butterscotch, chocolate or white-chocolate chips; raw, regular or brown sugar (loose or cubed); and orange-flavored sugar and candied limes. Then top it off with a blob of unsweetened whipped cream. We guarantee one cup will be a stirring experience.

The Flagstaff House has been a special-occasion destination for three decades now, and its coffee service goes the extra distance for diners who've made it up the mountain -- and must still find their way back down. Rather than the usual stuffy coffee presentation, the Flagstaff offers a fun "Sugar Tray," its compartments filled with colorful, squeal-inducing tidbits used to flavor a cup of java that tasted pretty good to start with. Choose from licorice or mint "lentils"; butterscotch, chocolate or white-chocolate chips; raw, regular or brown sugar (loose or cubed); and orange-flavored sugar and candied limes. Then top it off with a blob of unsweetened whipped cream. We guarantee one cup will be a stirring experience.

Hey -- nice buns! John Stamper, owner of Full Measures, has the bottom line on baking. He knows how to pack all the butter and sugar that will fit into a ball of dough, then makes it even sweeter and richer by coating the outside with butter and sugar, too. The result is the sugar addict's drug of choice, a chewy, super-sweet bun that'll have you licking your fingers long after the last bite.

Hey -- nice buns! John Stamper, owner of Full Measures, has the bottom line on baking. He knows how to pack all the butter and sugar that will fit into a ball of dough, then makes it even sweeter and richer by coating the outside with butter and sugar, too. The result is the sugar addict's drug of choice, a chewy, super-sweet bun that'll have you licking your fingers long after the last bite.

There are many theories as to how it happened, but the most popular one goes like this: A while back, a cook was standing behind the counter at the Chubby Burger Drive-In enjoying his favorite snack -- a plate of French fries (a hangover menu item from the previous owner) drowned in cheddar cheese and green chile (a speciality of the new owner) -- when a few customers asked what he was eating. "Smothered fries," he replied. The customers ordered a plate, wolfed down the fries, and later returned for more. Word spread, one thing led to another, and smothered fries became the hottest-selling item on a roster of of hot-selling items. Now practically everything at this 33-year-old, family-owned burrito stand comes drowned in green chile and cheese. There have been many imitators, but there is only one original plate of smothered fries. And there's only one place to find it: the original Chubby Burger.
There are many theories as to how it happened, but the most popular one goes like this: A while back, a cook was standing behind the counter at the Chubby Burger Drive-In enjoying his favorite snack -- a plate of French fries (a hangover menu item from the previous owner) drowned in cheddar cheese and green chile (a speciality of the new owner) -- when a few customers asked what he was eating. "Smothered fries," he replied. The customers ordered a plate, wolfed down the fries, and later returned for more. Word spread, one thing led to another, and smothered fries became the hottest-selling item on a roster of of hot-selling items. Now practically everything at this 33-year-old, family-owned burrito stand comes drowned in green chile and cheese. There have been many imitators, but there is only one original plate of smothered fries. And there's only one place to find it: the original Chubby Burger.
Anyone can take a slice of bread, soak it in an egg batter, fry it and call it French toast. But chef/owner Dan Landes pays attention to the details at his vegetarian-focused WaterCourse Foods, and so he uses sweet, nutmeg-flecked banana bread, sliced thick and fried until golden, for his French toast. You can skip the syrup (although it's available); the toast is always moist, and honey-roasted walnuts on top add a deep sweetness that goes well with the bread. There's no bacon, of course, but fresh fruit rounds out the plate nicely. Add a tall, expertly poured latte and get ready to go with the flow at WaterCourse.

Anyone can take a slice of bread, soak it in an egg batter, fry it and call it French toast. But chef/owner Dan Landes pays attention to the details at his vegetarian-focused WaterCourse Foods, and so he uses sweet, nutmeg-flecked banana bread, sliced thick and fried until golden, for his French toast. You can skip the syrup (although it's available); the toast is always moist, and honey-roasted walnuts on top add a deep sweetness that goes well with the bread. There's no bacon, of course, but fresh fruit rounds out the plate nicely. Add a tall, expertly poured latte and get ready to go with the flow at WaterCourse.

Best Place to Score With a Fifty-Something Whose Ex-Spouse Got the Mercedes

D�jà Vu

There they sit, mostly at Deja Vu's bar, well-manicured and well-lubed, looking for someone with whom to lament their lot in life and talk tax shelters. Their purses (or their money clips) match their shoes (or their bolo ties), and they look longingly at the bar menu before announcing that the Atkins diet has been a godsend. Food of choice: martini, dry, with many olives to relieve sexual tension.

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