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 email@example.com.
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:
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
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.