Jim Walker -- best known as "Dr. Daddio" -- may be a smooth hand when it comes to dishing out the tunes on KUVO, but the man also knows his way around good barbecue. While this little restaurant counter on the left-hand side of a gas station out on Airport Boulevard may not be the prettiest or the best-stocked joint in town (it has a tendency to run out of nearly everything on a good day), it's definitely the best place to get some 'cue and peach cobbler as you're gassing up the Hummer. Dr. Daddio's sauce is an addictive, thin, sweet mop that his kitchen applies liberally to everything from ribs and chicken to brisket and hot links. And at just $11 for a full rib dinner with baked beans, bread, potato salad and a slice of lemon pound cake, you can fill your belly for a lot less green than it'll take to fill your tank.

If you think Denver barbecue takes a walk on the mild side, run to your computer and order up some Brick-Hot Bar-B-Que Sauce. Produced and packaged in Lakewood, this sauce has a smoky, dark and ever-present heat that runs right along that ragged edge between really friggin' hot and just too hot, without becoming so forward that it kills any sense of flavor. Brick-Hot goes wonderfully with everything from ribs to brisket to those whole roasted chickens sold in most grocery stores. It worries us a little that one of the main ingredients is Liquid Smoke, but when the final product tastes this good, we're willing to let it go.


If you think Denver barbecue takes a walk on the mild side, run to your computer and order up some Brick-Hot Bar-B-Que Sauce. Produced and packaged in Lakewood, this sauce has a smoky, dark and ever-present heat that runs right along that ragged edge between really friggin' hot and just too hot, without becoming so forward that it kills any sense of flavor. Brick-Hot goes wonderfully with everything from ribs to brisket to those whole roasted chickens sold in most grocery stores. It worries us a little that one of the main ingredients is Liquid Smoke, but when the final product tastes this good, we're willing to let it go.

The pizza at Proto's Pizzeria Napoletana straddles that dangerous line between honest, wood-fired thin-crust excellence and faddish, overdone, cracker-crust nonsense. So far, though, Proto's has stayed on the right side of that line, turning out wonderful, hand-tossed pies that are first-rate examples of the thin-crust form, even if they're irregularly shaped, sometimes unevenly covered, and never consistent from one 'za to the next. How does it manage this trick? By taking great care with every pie that goes through the ovens and never using anything but the best ingredients available, from the simplest cheese and pepperoni to fresh tomato and veggies. A pizzaman is only as good as his next pie -- and you can count on that next pie here being very, very good.

Proto's Pizzeria Napoletana
Cassandra Kotnik
The pizza at Proto's Pizzeria Napoletana straddles that dangerous line between honest, wood-fired thin-crust excellence and faddish, overdone, cracker-crust nonsense. So far, though, Proto's has stayed on the right side of that line, turning out wonderful, hand-tossed pies that are first-rate examples of the thin-crust form, even if they're irregularly shaped, sometimes unevenly covered, and never consistent from one 'za to the next. How does it manage this trick? By taking great care with every pie that goes through the ovens and never using anything but the best ingredients available, from the simplest cheese and pepperoni to fresh tomato and veggies. A pizzaman is only as good as his next pie -- and you can count on that next pie here being very, very good.

Ben Guest had been talking about opening a pizza joint for fourteen years, ever since he moved to Denver from Chicago's South Side. His friends were getting kinda sick of hearing about it. But he finally took the plunge, and his pizzas were worth waiting for. The Mile High City was badly in need of a decent stuffed pie, and Beniamino's are beautiful: high-walled and golden-brown, filled with quality ingredients, sealed with a layer of soft dough, then topped with an herb-heavy sauce and cooked (for upwards of twenty minutes, so be prepared to wait) in authentic Chicago-style steel pans. Every one of these pies is a candidate for a Food Arts centerfold, and they taste just as good as they look.


Ben Guest had been talking about opening a pizza joint for fourteen years, ever since he moved to Denver from Chicago's South Side. His friends were getting kinda sick of hearing about it. But he finally took the plunge, and his pizzas were worth waiting for. The Mile High City was badly in need of a decent stuffed pie, and Beniamino's are beautiful: high-walled and golden-brown, filled with quality ingredients, sealed with a layer of soft dough, then topped with an herb-heavy sauce and cooked (for upwards of twenty minutes, so be prepared to wait) in authentic Chicago-style steel pans. Every one of these pies is a candidate for a Food Arts centerfold, and they taste just as good as they look.

New Yorkers agree that there are just two ways to do a pizza: the New York thin-crust way, and the wrong way. Lucky for us, that's the way they feel at the New York Pizzeria, too, and that's the way the kitchen has been making its pies since the day this pizzeria opened. With crusts that are thin but never crunchy, good-quality toppings that include real shredded mozzarella, and plenty of that magical orange grease that separates a real New Yorker from the legions of pale imitations, this pizza is as authentic as you're going to get without changing zip codes.

New Yorkers agree that there are just two ways to do a pizza: the New York thin-crust way, and the wrong way. Lucky for us, that's the way they feel at the New York Pizzeria, too, and that's the way the kitchen has been making its pies since the day this pizzeria opened. With crusts that are thin but never crunchy, good-quality toppings that include real shredded mozzarella, and plenty of that magical orange grease that separates a real New Yorker from the legions of pale imitations, this pizza is as authentic as you're going to get without changing zip codes.

Technically, what A La Tomate serves isn't even a pizza. It's a tarte à la tomate -- a golden-brown, braided, buttery, pastry-shell tart filled with pizza-like toppings that comes straight from the cafes of Provence to Denver's 17th Avenue. At first bite, the pie tastes...weird. The sauce is keyed to French tastes, kicked up with a strong dose of herbes de Provence, and the crust seems to be made from crushed-up Keebler butter crackers. But once you get past the initial shock of this being unlike any other pizza you've tasted, you quickly realize that different is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it's a pretty good thing, especially when the kitchen brings all the skills of a pro pastry department to the construction of each shell.


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