Even if you haven't come up for air this week, we assume you've still heard the farcical prediction by crazy Christian radio host Harold Camping -- namely that tomorrow is doomsday (some call it heaven) for at least 200 million of us. God forbid, it could be you! Or worse, me (although I'm in Mexico City right now, where it's far more likely that I'll die getting sandwiched between two trucks while waddling away from a taqueria).
In any case, you'll want to eat like a heathen before you get swallowed up, so we've put together a list of five Denver restaurants where you must eat before you meet heaven's gates. You've got just over 24 hours -- the Rapture will consume us sinners at 6 p.m. -- to get your grub on. But if you start now, it's conceivable that you could hit them all.
The Squeaky Bean 3301 Tejon Street
We've already established that Squeaky Bean executive chef Max MacKissock is a culinary wizard, turning out dish after dish of stellar food bombs, all of which incorporate signature touches of irreverence and whimsy, while highlighting what he does best: creating flavor swells that no one else in this city would ever dream of. We're enamored with the cocktail program, too, overseen by startender Sean Kenyon, and we can't get enough of jokester and prankster, Johnny Ballen, aka the Bean's head pipsqueak, who's known for everything from sending helium-filled balloons torpedoing through the dining room to running around town in his polyester leisure shoot stamped with the Squeaky Bean logo. In other words, if you want to go out in style, this is your calling card.
Euclid Hall 1317 Fourteenth Street
Three words: Sausage and beer. Since you're going to die anyway, you may as well be fat on sausages and drunk enough to burp the alphabet one last time before your demise, and there's simply no better food temple/watering hole in town at which to achieve both that at Euclid Hall. Go all out, inhaling every sausage available, add a plate of poutine to make it a gustatory blow-out (and foie gras because you can) and go down the tap line, ordering every beer with a handle. And if the Rapture happens to spare your life, clearly you're a nun and you'll get another opportunity to do it all again.
El Taco de Mexico 714 Santa Fe Drive
I don't know about you, but if I'm going to kick the bucket tomorrow, I definitely want a final fix of green chile -- and I want it from El Taco de Mexico, preferably ladled in large quantities over a seam-busting chile relleno burrito. And just once, maybe the women who work the line -- They Who Only Smile At Babies -- will crack a tiny grin, even a smirk, but I doubt it, which is fine, because if they did, that would mean that the world is well and truly fucked up, and that I'm probably in the three percent of the population who's sinned a million times over. For extra credit, hit up the new Tacos Y Salsas, too, and drink the salsa bar.
D-Bar Desserts 1475 East Seventeenth Avenue
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Ditching the planet without dessert would be blasphemy, and while the line at D Bar will knock precious time of the clock, it's worth the effort for Lisa Bailey and Keegan Gerhard's bread pudding and the justifiably revered cake and shake -- especially if you're a consummate chocolaholic. But even if you want to forgo a sweet finale, you don't want to abstain from the garlic-scented and Parmesan-dusted fries heaped with crumbles of bacon and fresh chives, tarped with melted cheddar and Jack and pooled in a diabolically rich cheese sauce whose synonym is arguably "sin."
Crave 3982 Limelight Ave., Castle Rock
Crave, which is off of the beaten path for most of us, is well worth crossing geographical boundaries to get to burger heaven (or hell, depending upon your point of view). And there's no better joint at which to confess your last misdeeds, especially if it's in between bites of the Luther burger -- a glorious damnation ratcheted up with bacon, melted cheddar that oozes down the sides of the juice-dribbling patty, an egg that splashes rivers of yolk and onions all sandwiched between two sugar-smacked doughnuts, soft and glistening with glaze. It's a wickedly good burger that delivers fundamental pleasures -- the kind that will send you into rapture with a gastrogasm.