City O' City Serves Up a Slice of Denver

When I walked through the door of City, O’ City the first time, late in the evening on a Saturday when the joint was in full hipster-utopian swing, I thought only of how immediately comfortable I found its spare décor, widely-spaced tables, high-backed booths and long bar; how buzzing and vital it felt, how much more I liked it than I had the old WaterCourse, with its anarchic vegan/hippie militancy, fluttering handbills, perpetually wan and humorless staff and stink of wheat germ and patchouli.

This was, of course, before I’d seen the menu. This was before I’d tried to settle in behind a cold beer and my well-thumbed copy of World War Z and found myself too distracted by the crowd and their endlessly looping conversations about meatless nutrition, art, films I’d never heard of and what-the-fuck-is-seitan to appreciate Max Brooks’s brilliant depiction of an underwater zombie attack on a Chinese submarine…

At the end of a long week of tempeh bacon, grainy pizza and a few surprisingly good moments, I am still somewhat conflicted over City, O’ City. Of all the vegetarian restaurants in Denver, I like this one the best -- but considering the competition, I still don’t know if that’s saying very much.

You can see for yourself in my review of City, followed by a visit to the new WaterCourse Foods, which moved to 17th Avenue last year and surrendered its old spot to City. And then, for those of you who either didn’t get quite enough of last week’s hot dog debate or (like me) can only take so much vegetarian talk before the urge for pork products becomes overwhelming, have no fear: Bite Me will wrap up the wiener discussion with a visit to Biker Jim Pittenger’s gourmet hot dog cart and his new concession stand. And I’ll also tell you where to pick up a gallon of bacon ice cream. – Jason Sheehan

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Sean Cronin