Word of Mouth

A little reminder to frequent the little, hole-in-the-wall spots

There's a certain sense of excitement I get when I walk into a restaurant I’ve never been to. When I stumble upon a small, somewhat rundown, definitely risky place, that excitement is amplified. The excitement is the hallmark of an adventurous eater.

It seems like there are fewer and fewer of these places now, especially as economic times really put the squeeze on. Couple that with the continued explosion of fast-food joints, and these small restaurants are really being pressed right now.

Still, I just left a little restaurant that I will probably have a dream about tonight. It's Yoisho, at 7236 East Colfax Avenue. The prices are cheap and the food is authentic.

I had driven past this place probably thirty times and never noticed it. But for some unexplained reason today, it jumped out at me and I went in. The entire place is probably 500 square feet, kitchen included, with four booths and a little bar for eating. There's no soda machine out front, no pseudo-hippie working the register. Mainstream marketing would say avoid this place, sinc it has no catchy artwork, no recognizable name, no value meal. But please ignore that advice. Because the best finds aren’t part of a chain, don’t do advertising, don’t change to match the latest research.

If you’re tired of eating of grabbing a quick lunch at the same four chains, try eating at the places that inspired these chains. These are the originals, and have been doing what they’ve been doing for a very long time. So when I say “adventurous” eating, it’s really the opposite; these spots are time-tested. Take a chance with the nanoscale noodle house, the tiny taqueria and the scaled-down sandwich shop. Stop by Yoisho.

Your stomach will thank you. -- Tyler Nemkov

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun