100 Favorite Dishes

100 Favorite Dishes: Braised Brisket Sandwich from Masterpiece Delicatessen

No. 63: Braised Brisket Sandwich from Masterpiece Deli 1575 Central Street 303-561-3354

Masterpiece Deli has been chugging along, serving destination-worthy sandwiches to a neighborhood crowd, since 2008 -- almost an eternity in LoHi years, where some of the hottest restaurants can measure their lifespans in months. These days, Justin Brunson's other restaurant, Old Major, gets most of the attention, but Masterpiece still fills its tiny space to overflowing every day, offering consistently good and innovative sandwiches in an almost Manhattan-like ambiance. The cramped quarters, high ceilings and looming shelves make it feel like the entire place is about to collapse around you, but one bite -- in our case, of the braised beef brisket sandwich -- will center your attention on only one thing: the next bite.

See also: 100 Favorite Dishes of 2014

The crew at Masterpiece braises its brisket for twelve hours, until the succulent meat is ready to fall apart, then mixes the shredded strands with taleggio fondue. It's a rich and creamy mixture that's cut with a spoonful of caramelized onions, a few arugula leaves and a tangy red wine gastrique.

All of this is piled onto a crackling Grateful Bread baguette that yields just enough under the teeth to keep the filling from squeezing out on every side. Sandwiches come with a choice of sides; we recommend the house-made cole slaw, which has enough vinegar bite to stand up to the brisket and fondue mixture.

A second location of Masterpiece Deli recently opened in Uptown, so now you don't have to fight cross-town traffic to get your brisket fix.

In advance of the Best of Denver 2015, we're already loading our plates with contenders for the best dishes in the city. And over the next nine months, we'll be sharing many of them with you, counting down (in no particular order) one hundred of our favorite dishes before the the Best of Denver 2015 hits the streets on March 26. In the meantime, if there's a dish you think we need to try, tell us about it in the comments section below, or shoot us an e-mail at [email protected]

Hungry for more? All the dishes in our 2014 countdown are linked below.

No. 100: Chile Relleno at La Fiesta No. 99: Gurage Kitfo at Megenagna Ethiopian Restaurant No. 98: Cochinita Pibil at Work & Class No. 97: The Greggers Tongue Sandwich at Olive & Finch No 96: Baum Cakes at Glaze by Sasa No. 95: Goat hot pot from Viet's No 94: Head cheese from Beast + Bottle No. 93: Kettle Chips from Amerigo Delicatus No. 92: Pork Belly Confit at Solera Restaurant and Wine Bar No. 91: Tacos Campechanos from La Calle Taqueria No. 90: Biscuits from Denver Biscuit Co. No. 89: Clams and Chorizo at Gozo No. 88: Aburi Sushi at Sushi Den and Izakaya Den No. 87: Kimchi and Sausage Torta at City, O' City No. 86: Mar y Tierra Molcajete at Paxia No. 85: Crispy Pork Spare Ribs at Table Top No. 84: Chips and Dip at Euclid Hall No. 83: Chile Relleno Burrito at El Taco de Mexico No. 82: Scallop Crudo at Stoic & Genuine No. 81: Ceylon Curry Dosa at Khazana No. 80: The Lambada Torta at La Torteria No. 79: Pork Bulgogi at Dae Gee No. 78: the Pulled Pork Pig Pen Sandwich at Boney's No. 77: IPA Mac & Cheese at Hops & Pie No. 76: Chiles en Nogada at Chili Verde No. 75: Udon Noodle Bowl at Bones No. 74: Cinnamon Rolls at the Duffeyroll Cafe No. 73: Smoked Turkey Croque-Madame at Acorn No. 72: Pickled Lake Michigan Perch at Trillium No. 71: Oysters at Jax Fish House Glendale No. 70: Venezuelan Tostadas at Empanada Express Grill No. 69: Tahini Cauliflower from Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs No. 68: The Ham and Cheese Tartita from Maria Empanada No. 67: Ronnie's Favorite from Rosenberg's Bagels and Deli No. 66: Shoo-fly Pie from the Long i Pie Shop No. 65: Czech Potato Pancakes at Sobo 151 No. 64: Fried Chicken at the Post Brewing Co.

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