100 Favorite Dishes

100 Favorite Dishes: The Signature Bowl from the Churn & Burn Food Truck

No 91: The Signature Bowl from the Churn & Burn Food Truck

So you love barbecue and everything that comes with it: cornbread, some tangy slaw, a drizzle of sauce —and don't forget the scoop of creamy mac and cheese. But when you're at a food-truck rally, craft brewery or festival, finding a place to sit down and enjoy a knife-and-fork platter isn't easy. Josh Bolte and Sean Dionisi of the Churn & Burn food truck are here to help with a portable barbecue meal that's as delicious as it is ingenious.

Bolte and Dionisi start with a bowl made from a cornbread waffle, created from a waffle-cone recipe that's been modified with enough cornmeal to give it country-style appeal. The waffle is pressed into a bowl shape, which hardens just enough to maintain its form while adding crunch and a touch of sweetness.

Into the bowl goes a generous heap of baked macaroni and cheese made primarily with sharp cheddar, but with an added hit of pecorino Romano and Parmesan. Then comes the meat — your choice of brisket, pulled pork, hot link or smoked chicken, with sauteed portobello mushroom as a meatless option. There's also a selection of five sauces; we were thrilled by the combination of brisket and smoked-jalapeño chimichurri for the balance of spicy, tangy, herbal and smoky. Dionisi says that's the combo they had in mind when they added the chimichurri to the menu — the Argentinian sauce is made to pair with beef — but that customers also enjoy it with chicken (pictured above).

Topped with slaw, the signature bowl contains a complete picnic in a handy edible bowl. "We wanted something people at an event or a festival could carry around," Dionisi adds. "A barbecue sundae, if you will."

Bolte and Dionisi smoke all of their own meats and make everything on the menu from scratch. Catch Churn & Burn on Saturdays at Declaration Brewing or check the truck's Facebook page for upcoming appearances. And don't forget the "churn" part of the equation; the crew also makes liquid-nitrogen ice cream to order in a variety of fun and ever-shifting flavors.

Throughout this year, we'll be counting down the best dishes in the city — from longtime classics that keep us coming back to new additions that have caught our attention. If there's a dish you think we need to try, tell us about it in the comments section, or shoot us an e-mail at [email protected]

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
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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