We've all seen the five o'clock news stories on Krispy Kreme franchise openings. The block-long lines, the goofy paper hats, that terrible, hypnotic "Hot Doughnuts Now" sign shining down from the windows. We've all laughed at the people willing to wait hours for their first dozen, fresh out of the oil at a new store, and vowed that we'd never do that ourselves. But there's a reason the appearance of any Krispy Kreme outlet is met with the kind of pomp and boosterism usually reserved for presidential whistle-stops and visits by the pope. These are doughnuts the way doughnuts were meant to be, served hot and fresh, all sugar and ethereal lightness. Glossy, bulging jelly-filleds and too-perfect original glazed share space on the short-and-sweet menu with sugar-dusted apple-filleds and chocolate-glazed doughnuts stuffed with fluffy cream. Yes, Krispy Kreme is as bad as any Starbucks outlet, driving the little mom-and-pop neighborhood shops out of business and whatnot, but you know what? Life is tough. These doughnuts aren't.

We've all seen the five o'clock news stories on Krispy Kreme franchise openings. The block-long lines, the goofy paper hats, that terrible, hypnotic "Hot Doughnuts Now" sign shining down from the windows. We've all laughed at the people willing to wait hours for their first dozen, fresh out of the oil at a new store, and vowed that we'd never do that ourselves. But there's a reason the appearance of any Krispy Kreme outlet is met with the kind of pomp and boosterism usually reserved for presidential whistle-stops and visits by the pope. These are doughnuts the way doughnuts were meant to be, served hot and fresh, all sugar and ethereal lightness. Glossy, bulging jelly-filleds and too-perfect original glazed share space on the short-and-sweet menu with sugar-dusted apple-filleds and chocolate-glazed doughnuts stuffed with fluffy cream. Yes, Krispy Kreme is as bad as any Starbucks outlet, driving the little mom-and-pop neighborhood shops out of business and whatnot, but you know what? Life is tough. These doughnuts aren't.

Devil's Food Cookery
Cassandra Kotnik
Make no mistake: Devil's Food is a dangerous place firmly dedicated to helping those with a weakness for the venal wrongs of gluttony to pave their way to hell with waffles. The house serves whipped sweet butter, real maple syrup -- thin, nutty and sweet with raw sugars -- and real whipped cream with its treacherous Belgians, working from a scratch mix that results in a perfect sweet-and-sour batter. But you've been warned: Owner Gerald Shorey is the devil's own when it comes to pastry work, and even after you've finished off one of the kitchen's huge, hot waffles (and maybe a side of the excellent, thick-cut, honey-cured bacon), you'll have to walk by a row of bakery cases on your way to the door. It would take an iron-willed saint to not be tempted.

Make no mistake: Devil's Food is a dangerous place firmly dedicated to helping those with a weakness for the venal wrongs of gluttony to pave their way to hell with waffles. The house serves whipped sweet butter, real maple syrup -- thin, nutty and sweet with raw sugars -- and real whipped cream with its treacherous Belgians, working from a scratch mix that results in a perfect sweet-and-sour batter. But you've been warned: Owner Gerald Shorey is the devil's own when it comes to pastry work, and even after you've finished off one of the kitchen's huge, hot waffles (and maybe a side of the excellent, thick-cut, honey-cured bacon), you'll have to walk by a row of bakery cases on your way to the door. It would take an iron-willed saint to not be tempted.

El Taco De Mexico
Courtesy El Taco de Mexico Facebook
Long touted as mankind's only guaranteed cure for the common hangover, menudo is a hearty, spicy, slow-cooked stew made from hominy, chiles and stock, plus tripe, feet, knuckles, trotters or any other unattractive leftover cut of a cow requiring several hours (or days) of cooking to bring out its more subtle charms. El Taco de México -- which serves menudo only on the weekends -- knows exactly what it takes to make a pot powerful enough to cure any human ailment, hangovers included. Using a combination of smooth and honeycomb tripe, this menudo is strong and heavily flavored, not too greasy, and spicy enough that you'll work up a good sweat. Use the limes, chiles and condiments that come in little black-footed bowls on the side to further doctor your cure.

Long touted as mankind's only guaranteed cure for the common hangover, menudo is a hearty, spicy, slow-cooked stew made from hominy, chiles and stock, plus tripe, feet, knuckles, trotters or any other unattractive leftover cut of a cow requiring several hours (or days) of cooking to bring out its more subtle charms. El Taco de México -- which serves menudo only on the weekends -- knows exactly what it takes to make a pot powerful enough to cure any human ailment, hangovers included. Using a combination of smooth and honeycomb tripe, this menudo is strong and heavily flavored, not too greasy, and spicy enough that you'll work up a good sweat. Use the limes, chiles and condiments that come in little black-footed bowls on the side to further doctor your cure.


You're in Denver on business, and you know that your boss, Mr. Dipstick, is a hardass when it comes to expensing meals out. He doesn't care what the circumstances are: If you're not entertaining a client at a business dinner, then you ought to be staying close to your room and snacking off Tic Tacs and pocket lint. But how can he argue when you're eating breakfast at the restaurant right inside your hotel? At Mirepoix, the fancy restaurant in the fancy new JW Marriott, you can order anything from a simple spread of breakfast pastries to beef-cheek hash with ginger-molasses ketchup topped by a single perfect duck's egg, thanks to chef Bryan Moscatello, who brought his Adega sensibilities to Cherry Creek. And the Mirepoix kitchen delivers, which means you can have French toast, freshly squeezed orange juice and a couple cups of hot coffee brought up while you sit around in your underwear watching pay-per-view porn on TV. For foodies, though, there's no better fantasy than thinking about sitting down to a Moscatello meal. Just don't tell Mr. Dipstick.

You're in Denver on business, and you know that your boss, Mr. Dipstick, is a hardass when it comes to expensing meals out. He doesn't care what the circumstances are: If you're not entertaining a client at a business dinner, then you ought to be staying close to your room and snacking off Tic Tacs and pocket lint. But how can he argue when you're eating breakfast at the restaurant right inside your hotel? At Mirepoix, the fancy restaurant in the fancy new JW Marriott, you can order anything from a simple spread of breakfast pastries to beef-cheek hash with ginger-molasses ketchup topped by a single perfect duck's egg, thanks to chef Bryan Moscatello, who brought his Adega sensibilities to Cherry Creek. And the Mirepoix kitchen delivers, which means you can have French toast, freshly squeezed orange juice and a couple cups of hot coffee brought up while you sit around in your underwear watching pay-per-view porn on TV. For foodies, though, there's no better fantasy than thinking about sitting down to a Moscatello meal. Just don't tell Mr. Dipstick.


The power brokers at Racines can be tough to spot, because they look just like everyone else. But they're right there -- elbows on the tables, with green chile on their khakis and their sleeves rolled up -- having breakfast just like the neighbors, the college kids, the pols and the yuppies who surround them every morning at this funky, easygoing bastion of good taste and big plates. Racines offered the top power breakfast for decades until it had to leave its old home on Bannock; it's amazing anything got done in this town during the many months it was gone. But last spring it came back with a powerful vengeance, in a spot that feels like the old space but looks ready for the next twenty years. When business gets done at Racines -- and more serious business gets done here than at any other address in town, except, perhaps, for Dixons, its downtown sibling -- it's of the million-dollar-handshake variety. Casual and chummy, with futures decided over plates of huevos and contracts signed and sealed with coffee rings on the cover sheets.

The power brokers at Racines can be tough to spot, because they look just like everyone else. But they're right there -- elbows on the tables, with green chile on their khakis and their sleeves rolled up -- having breakfast just like the neighbors, the college kids, the pols and the yuppies who surround them every morning at this funky, easygoing bastion of good taste and big plates. Racines offered the top power breakfast for decades until it had to leave its old home on Bannock; it's amazing anything got done in this town during the many months it was gone. But last spring it came back with a powerful vengeance, in a spot that feels like the old space but looks ready for the next twenty years. When business gets done at Racines -- and more serious business gets done here than at any other address in town, except, perhaps, for Dixons, its downtown sibling -- it's of the million-dollar-handshake variety. Casual and chummy, with futures decided over plates of huevos and contracts signed and sealed with coffee rings on the cover sheets.


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