"The Junk Food Angel. Me."
"You should wear a cape."
The pigeon man was next, and he refused my offer of free doughnuts, obviously suspecting the Junk Food Angel of trying to poison him. A bum screaming at the traffic passing on Colfax also refused, but only because I had no plain glazed left: Beggars apparently can be choosers. The bike courier waiting on the corner of 13th and Broadway took a sugared twist and sped off. I managed to unload all of my doughnuts before reaching 10th and Broadway, and most people seemed to like them. Actually, I think they liked the idea of a man walking the streets of Denver passing out free doughnuts more than they cared for the doughnuts themselves, and almost no one thanked the Junk Food Angel for his selfless commitment to the joy of his fellow man, but what can I say? My fellow men are mostly a bunch of jerks.
As for the highly unofficial results of my on-the-street taste test, of the eleven doughnuts I managed to give away in the six blocks between Glazed and Confuzed and the Westword office, four (two flavored glazed and two plain glazed) were met with what I would consider overwhelming satisfaction: smiles, that blissful roll of the eyes and offers of cold, hard cash. Another four were sampled with little or no comment. One made a goth kid smile. One (a fruit-filled with the filling bursting out the top) was said to be too big to be eaten one-handed. And only one person said she preferred Krispy Kreme, and that person's vote should really be discounted, because she already had a McDonald's bag in her hands and so was obviously not possessed of the kind of discriminating palate I expect to find in Denverites wandering the streets of downtown with nothing better to do at nine o'clock in the morning than take free doughnuts from a stranger.
Leftovers: Brasserie Rouge isn't the only restaurant to surrender. Max Burgerworks, the restaurant at 15th and Lawrence streets that never really found its footing in a year-plus of business ("The Kid's Not All Right," January 1), closed this past weekend. Going into that spot will be a second Zaidy's Deli, which owner Gerard Rudofsky (who was involved with Max, too) is bringing back to downtown after removing the eatery to Cherry Creek a decade ago. (The Zaidy's at 121 Adams will stay put.) Also moving downtown is the excellent Cafe Berlin ("You're Darn Teuton," June 5, 2003). After dinner on Saturday, November 20, it will abandon its East 17th Avenue location, and at some unspecified later date (probably within a few weeks), will reopen in new digs at 323 14th Street, the former home of Sage Southwestern Grill -- which lasted less than a year there after moving downtown from Littleton -- and, long before that, the original Zaidy's! And still on the Teutonic beat, Helga's (728 Peoria Street) has a new menu and a new booze board featuring all German beers and wines.
After trying to get his hands on the place for years, Tom Marabito of Bruno's Italian Bistro finally picked up the old Holly Inn (2223 South Monaco), just two doors down from Bruno's. He completely remodeled the space to give it a lighter, more airy feel, and added a separate bar with a stained-glass bar top as well as a big fountain in the middle of the dining room. Two months ago it opened as La Fontana, a Southwestern-themed joint featuring burritos, rellenos, chipotle-spiked ribs and stuffed chicken in jalapeño cream sauce.
WaterCourse Foods has also made a lateral expansion, opening WaterCourse Foods Bakery in the former clothing store next door to the vegetarian eatery at 206 East 13th Avenue. The bakery services WaterCourse the restaurant while also doing its own retail business, providing both vegan desserts (no eggs, no cream, no butter, but plenty of tofu) and more traditional pastries. The Celtic Tavern, at 1801 Blake Street, also expanded sideways, opening a new spot named Delaney's one door down at 1805. While more or less just another Erin-Go-Brewski McDrinkery, Delaney's has more of a sports-bar vibe, according to the management. Up in Niwot, chef Dale Lamb and his crew at Le Chantecler are opening up the Bader House next door for catering, big parties and special events.