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100 Favorite Dishes: Kettle Chips from Amerigo Delicatus

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No. 93 Kettle Chips at Amerigo Delicatus 2449 Larimer St. 303-862-9850

Although we have a long way to go, these crispy delights may end up being the cheapest item on our list of favorite dishes. That's because they're actually free — but only if you order a sandwich from the lunch menu. We walked in fully expecting a sandwich to make our list, only to be blown away by the pure and simple flavor of this unassuming side, presented modestly in a white paper bag.

See also: The top ten doughnuts in Denver

The sandwich in question, a sausage and red sauce combo flecked with pecorino romano, is certainly no slouch. Since everything about Amerigo Delicatus, from the hand-lettered sign outside to the light fixture made from a jar and Christmas lights inside, screams DIY, it's no surprise that the menu is also riddled with hand-made flourishes that other restaurants would be content to outsource. Owner Ian Chisholm says he sources whole hogs and breaks them down several times a year, using the various cuts for seasonal menu items. Part of those pigs end up as the sausage for this sandwich, crumbled and mixed with a vibrant tomato sauce deep with flavor that Chisholm says results from nothing but tomatoes and time.

But back to those chips. Crunchy and toasty, the predominant flavor is still potato. There's no secret to coaxing the most from Idaho russets, says Chisholm, other than serving them fresh. Fried in canola oil and finished with just the right amount of sea salt, they're more than the sum of the three ingredients. Each crunch is just an invitation to the next chip, and before you know it, the bag is empty. The solution? Come back soon for another Italian-style deli sandwich and a side of perfection.

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 cafe@westword.com.

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



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