The Cherry Cricket
Courtesy of the Cherry Cricket
The town's chefs love the Cherry Cricket. Softball teams, musicians, barflies, night creatures and neighbors all love the Cricket. Why? Because the Cricket is a classic burger bar where the smoke is thick (unless you're in the new non-smoking section), the company good, the coolers stocked and the burgers among the best in town. With its dark wood, chrome-edged tables and long history as Cherry Creek's anti-Creeker hangout, it's the kind of joint all those chain-burger outfits want to be and are trying their best to imitate. But the Cricket has something those places will never have: a soul.

The town's chefs love the Cherry Cricket. Softball teams, musicians, barflies, night creatures and neighbors all love the Cricket. Why? Because the Cricket is a classic burger bar where the smoke is thick (unless you're in the new non-smoking section), the company good, the coolers stocked and the burgers among the best in town. With its dark wood, chrome-edged tables and long history as Cherry Creek's anti-Creeker hangout, it's the kind of joint all those chain-burger outfits want to be and are trying their best to imitate. But the Cricket has something those places will never have: a soul.


Pat's Philly Steaks and Subs
For reasons that have never been entirely clear, Denver -- a city 2,000 miles removed from the front lines of the Pat's-versus-Geno's sandwich war -- has always been a battleground fought over by rival cheesesteak operations. There's east side versus west side, foothills against flatlands, and that competition is all good for cheesesteak consumers. But Pat's #1 is the winner, edging out all comers with a sublime, authentic Philly cheesesteak that's a perfect combination of shredded, flat-grilled beef gummed together with melted cheese and an easy dose of fried onions, all mounded up inside a soft, chewy bun that's just dense enough to soak up the excess grease. Despite the obvious handicap of doing its best work half a continent away from the center of the cheesesteak universe -- and for a crowd that still sometimes labors under the ridiculous delusion that a cheesesteak ain't proper without green peppers and mushrooms -- Pat's stays true to its school.

For reasons that have never been entirely clear, Denver -- a city 2,000 miles removed from the front lines of the Pat's-versus-Geno's sandwich war -- has always been a battleground fought over by rival cheesesteak operations. There's east side versus west side, foothills against flatlands, and that competition is all good for cheesesteak consumers. But Pat's #1 is the winner, edging out all comers with a sublime, authentic Philly cheesesteak that's a perfect combination of shredded, flat-grilled beef gummed together with melted cheese and an easy dose of fried onions, all mounded up inside a soft, chewy bun that's just dense enough to soak up the excess grease. Despite the obvious handicap of doing its best work half a continent away from the center of the cheesesteak universe -- and for a crowd that still sometimes labors under the ridiculous delusion that a cheesesteak ain't proper without green peppers and mushrooms -- Pat's stays true to its school.

Taste of Philly is a little storefront operation that looks, feels and smells more like a real Philly joint than some places actually operating in sight of Independence Hall -- from the cramped seating (six tables set nearly on top of each other) and counter that opens straight onto the tiny galley kitchen, to the Tastykakes by the register and the birch beer in the cooler by the door. The walls are hung with the requisite East Coast paraphernalia -- Eagles pennants and framed posters of Rocky Balboa -- and, most important, both the cheesesteaks and the hoagies are enough to send blue-state refugees into paroxysms of homesickness. With every sandwich made on an Amaroso roll (the gold standard of hoagie rolls), stacked thick and well dressed by the sandwich artists in the kitchen, a lunch here is exactly what the name promises: a Taste of Philly for those lonesome for the East Coast.

Taste of Philly is a little storefront operation that looks, feels and smells more like a real Philly joint than some places actually operating in sight of Independence Hall -- from the cramped seating (six tables set nearly on top of each other) and counter that opens straight onto the tiny galley kitchen, to the Tastykakes by the register and the birch beer in the cooler by the door. The walls are hung with the requisite East Coast paraphernalia -- Eagles pennants and framed posters of Rocky Balboa -- and, most important, both the cheesesteaks and the hoagies are enough to send blue-state refugees into paroxysms of homesickness. With every sandwich made on an Amaroso roll (the gold standard of hoagie rolls), stacked thick and well dressed by the sandwich artists in the kitchen, a lunch here is exactly what the name promises: a Taste of Philly for those lonesome for the East Coast.


The Philadelphia Filly was once a stationary restaurant, but then Sally Rock and Dale Goin decided to take their authentic Philly cheese-steaks on the road. They now serve their sandwiches at fairs and other annual events; during the Taste of Denver, for example, there are always huge lines snaking out from the Filly's booth. But the rest of the time, they simply operate the best little cheesesteak carts in town -- at 16th and Broadway during the lunch rush, and at 16th and Market late at night (when Rock's son Willy takes over the grill). No matter what time of day you're getting your Filly Philly, though, you can count on it being a huge, double-cheese monster capable of taking the edge off even the worst kind of hunger.

The Philadelphia Filly was once a stationary restaurant, but then Sally Rock and Dale Goin decided to take their authentic Philly cheese-steaks on the road. They now serve their sandwiches at fairs and other annual events; during the Taste of Denver, for example, there are always huge lines snaking out from the Filly's booth. But the rest of the time, they simply operate the best little cheesesteak carts in town -- at 16th and Broadway during the lunch rush, and at 16th and Market late at night (when Rock's son Willy takes over the grill). No matter what time of day you're getting your Filly Philly, though, you can count on it being a huge, double-cheese monster capable of taking the edge off even the worst kind of hunger.


New York City is famous for lots of things. It's got Broadway and the Empire State Building, the Rockettes, Donald Trump's hair, more hookers per capita than any city outside of Southeast Asia, and the best restaurants anywhere in the world. Of those, some of the most universally recognizable are the delis that dot Midtown and the outer boroughs, and it was to these bastions of old-world sandwich craftsmanship that the owners of Deli Tech looked when seeking inspiration. As a result, in Denver you now can get a killer Reuben (literally -- the sandwich is big enough to choke a donkey), a decent bowl of chicken-and-matzoh-ball soup, and a slice of real New York cheesecake imported straight from the cheesecake sweatshops of Park Slope. But if a true taste of the Big Apple is what you're after, skip the preliminaries and go straight for the stacked pastrami and corned beef on rye. Assembled from ingredients brought in from some of those same New York delis and served with the best sandwich mustard in town, this monster is piled so high you've got to unhinge your jaw like a python just to get a bite. But once you do, you'll never be satisfied by another sandwich.

New York City is famous for lots of things. It's got Broadway and the Empire State Building, the Rockettes, Donald Trump's hair, more hookers per capita than any city outside of Southeast Asia, and the best restaurants anywhere in the world. Of those, some of the most universally recognizable are the delis that dot Midtown and the outer boroughs, and it was to these bastions of old-world sandwich craftsmanship that the owners of Deli Tech looked when seeking inspiration. As a result, in Denver you now can get a killer Reuben (literally -- the sandwich is big enough to choke a donkey), a decent bowl of chicken-and-matzoh-ball soup, and a slice of real New York cheesecake imported straight from the cheesecake sweatshops of Park Slope. But if a true taste of the Big Apple is what you're after, skip the preliminaries and go straight for the stacked pastrami and corned beef on rye. Assembled from ingredients brought in from some of those same New York delis and served with the best sandwich mustard in town, this monster is piled so high you've got to unhinge your jaw like a python just to get a bite. But once you do, you'll never be satisfied by another sandwich.


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