As a countdown to the Best of Denver 2010, coming April 1, Cafe Society is serving up, in no particular order, a hundred of our favorite dishes in Denver. Send your own nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Number 37: Lamb shank from Mecca Grill
The service is peculiar, and the droning music even weirder at Mecca Grill, a mini-mall storefront with a saffron-stained dining room that smells unmistakably of mothballs. But still: The Middle Eastern food, which consists of all the usual suspects -- herby falafel, hummus, gyros, lemony fattoush, shawarma, kabobs and grape leaves -- is is good as any in Denver. But it's the bold-flavored lamb shank, an extravagantly huge, unwieldy weapon-like thing whose meat flecks at the prod of a fork, that keeps us coming back for more. Propped against a mound of fluffy rice scented with Mid East spices and submerged in a pungent soak of lamb-y juices, garlic, spices and tomatoes sweetened with carrots, it's the sort of barbaric animalistic abundance that you'll wake up dreaming about -- and craving -- at 2 a.m.
Hungry for more? The dishes in our countdown thus far are linked below:
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No. 100 Chicken-fried steak from Lola No. 99 Alaskan reindeer sausage from Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs No. 98 Mac-and-cheese fries from Jonesy's EatBar No. 97 Soft egg ravioli from Prima No. 96 Pho - any pho -- from Pho 95 No. 95 Assiette de charcuterie maison from Z Cuisine À Côté No. 94: Cheeseburger from Larkburger No. 93: BBQ Masher from Cabin Creek Smokehouse No. 92: Apple pancake from the Original Pancake House No. 91: Burrata from Osteria Marco No. 90: Eggs Benedict from Devil's Food Bakery No. 89: Chile Relleno from La Fiesta No. 88: Deviled eggs from Steuben's No. 87: Corn-in-a-cup from Jack-n- Grill No. 86: Enchiladas from Taco House No. 85: Pupusas from Pupusas Sabor Hispano No. 84: Baklava from Ali Baba Grill No. 83: Masa-fried oyster shooters from Deluxe No. 82: Tacos al pastor from Los Carboncitos No. 81: Salsa bar from Tacos Y Salsas No. 80: Dim Sum from Star Kitchen No. 79: Green chile cheeseburger from Cherry Cricket No. 78: Fries from Encore No. 77: Shanghai-style dumplings from Chopsticks China Bistro No. 76: Chile relleno burrito from El Taco de Mexico No. 75: Fish fry from GB Fish and Chips No. 74: Posole from Tarasco's No. 73: Sausage, ham and egg biscuit from Table 6 No. 72: Bacon flight from the Berkshire No. 71: Tasty Treats from Gaetano's No. 70: French dip from Udi's No. 69: Panang curry from US Thai Cafe No. 68: Pineapple upside-down pancake from Snooze No. 67: Saag paneer from India's No. 66: Udon noodle bowl from Bones No. 65: Grilled corn soup from Lola No. 64: Sesame pockets from Lee's Garden No. 63: Whiskey-braised beef from Steuben's No. 62: House special from Viet's No. 61: Sultan Combo from Phoenician Kabob No. 60: Cake and a shake from D Bar Desserts No. 59: Caprese salad from Gaia Bistro No. 58: Fried chicken from Tom's Home Cookin' No. 57: Molcajete a la Mexicana from El Paraiso No. 56: Corned beef hash from Argyll Gastropub No. 55: Aye Conyo from Buchi Café Cubano No. 54: Fig n' pig flatbread pizza from Encore No. 53: Toro sashimi from Sushi Den No. 52: Spinach pinwheels from Virgilio's No. 51: Chicken-fried steak from the Breakfast King No. 50: Hot dog with hot sauce from from the Old Fashioned Italian Deli No. 49: Adobada gordita from Tacos Y Salsas No. 48: Curried Indian mussels from Argyll Gastropub No. 47. Pasta carbonara from Fruition No. 46: Amarena cherries and chocolate from Sketch No. 45: Aloo gosht salin from the British Bulldog No. 44: Head cheese from Olivea No. 43: Braised pork belly ramen noodle bowl from Den Deli No. 42: Lemon cheesecake from L'Atelier No. 41: Croissant with Asiago and prosciutto from Buffalo Doughboy Bakery No. 40: Prosciutto eggs Benedict from Panzano No. 39: Double cheeseburger from Bud's Bar No. 38: Calabacitas pupusas from Tambien