Not Ready for Prime Time

When they use the “cow town” descriptor, what most folks mean is podunk, provincial, lacking in the sort of taste and culture found in the big cities on the coasts. They’re saying that while we, the people of Denver, may be urbane enough to understand that going out for a fine meal is a cause for dressing up, our idea of sartorial rectitude is pulling on our best pair of overalls and knocking the cow shit off our boots before stepping into civilized company.

I, on the other hand, will quite deliberately track manure on the carpets of the swells, but when I say that Denver is a cow town, I mean it in the best possible way. I’m saying that here in this town, we know a thing or two about cows -- and one of those things is that the highest calling to which any bovine might aspire is being turned into a really good steak. Denver is a cow town because we eat more of them than almost any city in America.

For this week’s review, I hoofed it over to the second steakhouse to take on the 121 Clayton Lane address: Prime 121. Although all the beef here is prime, I still have a few bones to pick with the restaurant.

Particularly since even in this city overcrowded with gourmet (and not-so-gourmet) beef-a-terias, it’s still possible for a steakhouse to stand out from the rest of the pack. The Capital Grille, Elway’s, Cowbobas, Bastien’s -- the list goes on and on.

So this week’s Café section is prime time for the grillardins and those who love them. All you vegetarians can make yourself a nice sprout patty, fry up some tofu and wait your turn. This one’s for the carnivores. -- Jason Sheehan

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun