100 Favorite Dishes

100 Favorite Dishes: Corned Beef Heart at the Way Back

No. 79: Corned Beef Heart at the Way Back
We recently included the Way Back, which opened at 4132 West 38th Avenue in March, on our list of the ten most promising new bars of the year so far. But co-owner Chad Michael George says he considers his hip Highland stop to be as much a restaurant as a bar. And we can't disagree, especially not after a certain small plate won our hearts: a surprisingly delicate presentation of cured beef heart shingled atop herbed new potatoes.

Those leery of organ meats should consider beef heart as a safe plunge into offal goodness. Unlike liver, kidneys, sweetbread or the notorious Rocky Mountain oyster, heart is nothing but muscle, just like the steaks and roasts that meat lovers generally crave. Heart is also very lean and so needs little cooking to bring out the best in its flavor and texture.  The Way Back's version is corned — which means it has been cured with salt and spiced — before being gently cooked. The result comes out like a cross between top-quality deli meat and a medium-rare filet. 

The Way Back doesn't always have a heart — at least not on the menu — but you're likely to find something to please your palate there, whether you're an avowed carnivore or profess a preference for produce. Seasonal veggies get equal attention and respect, from foraged mushrooms to zucchini carpaccio. 

Hungry for more? All the dishes in our 2016 countdown are linked below.

No. 100: Masala Beef at Biju's Little Curry Shop
No. 99: Bacon Shrimp and Grits at Bacon Social House
No. 98: Porchetta and Kimchi Sandwich at Brider
No. 97: Squab-and-Sunchoke Tortellini at Abejas
No. 96: Housemade Burrata at Viand
No, 95: Schweinshaxe at Rhein Haus
No. 94 Kimchi Jeon at Seoul BBQ
No. 93: Zuppa Pomodoro at Parisi Italian Market & Deli
No. 92: The Ocean Salad at Sushi-Rama
No. 91: The Signature Bowl from Churn & Burn
No. 90: Green Chorizo at Los Compadres
No. 89: The Diavola Calzone at Pino's Neighborhood Pizzeria
No. 88: Biscuits and Green Chile at the Noshery
No. 87: Chirashi at Izu Sushi
No. 86: Brisket and Ribs at GQue Championship BBQ
No. 85: The Tornado at the Chowder Room
No. 84: Korean Fried Chicken Wings at Yong Gung
No. 83: A Meatball Hero at Lil' Ricci's New York Pizzeria
No. 82: Shakshuka at Stowaway Coffee + Kitchen
No. 81: Late-Night Ramen at Brazen
No. 80: Potato Tacos at El Tejado
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Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation