Food News

Social Sightings: Mapo Tofu, Mussels and More of Our Food Editor's Best Recent Bites

Map tofu from Meet & Eat Bistro.
Map tofu from Meet & Eat Bistro. Molly Martin
Monday mornings are tough, but this series isn't. Social Sightings is a quick taste of recent food tidbits that goes down as easy as your first cup of coffee, and should whet your appetite for the week ahead.

Midway through the second month of the year, dining out in Denver is getting tastier every day. New in east Denver, just before you cross into Aurora on East Hampden Avenue, is Meet & Eat Bistro, a Chinese restaurant that replaced Mr. Hao's. The menu has a wide variety of traditional Chinese dishes; on a recent visit, I tried the steamed eggplant with salted egg yolk in a savory, soy-based sauce and the Sichuan crispy fish with cabbage, a mild take on the more common chile-loaded Sichuan fish. My favorite, though, was Meet & Eat's rendition of mapo tofu, with plenty of ground pork, a generous dusting of powdered Sichuan peppercorn on top and a pleasantly soft tofu texture.
Address: 10021 East Hampden Avenue
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The feta toast at Fox Run Cafe.
Molly Martin
After putting out our most recent edition of the best brunches in the city, I made a return trip to Fox Run Cafe, at 3550 East Colfax Avenue, to eat through more of its offerings. While the thick-cut banana bread is tough to beat as a starter, those looking for a savory option should go for the whipped feta toast topped with honey and pistachios. Pair it with the Bloody Mary Has No Clothes, a lighter, more cucumber-forward take on the classic brunch cocktail.
Instagram: @foxruncafe
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The croque madame Danish at Little Finch.
Molly Martin
Chef Mary Nguyen recently debuted a sister concept to Olive & Finch, an all-day cafe called Little Finch, at the corner of Blake Street and the 16th Street Mall. A stellar, locally owned addition to the neighborhood, it's loaded with both sweet and savory hits, but the bite I can't stop thinking about is the flaky croque madame Danish filled with cheese, ham and an egg that maintains its runny yolk. Order it alongside an Italian cream soda for an indulgent breakfast or lunch, even if you're on the go.
Instagram: @littlefinchdenver
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Mussels at Annette.
Molly Martin
Annette, the Stanley Marketplace restaurant from James Beard Award-winning chef Caroline Glover, is a great place to take out-of-town visitors who are hungry for a taste of Denver's fine-dining scene. And that's exactly what I did recently, ordering a table full of favorites like the grilled beef tongue with marrow toast and the radicchio salad with Castelvetrano olives and anchovy. But the standout was a dish I hadn't had before at Annette, the mussels and frites — though we opted to pair it with grilled bread because we also ordered the steak frites. The broth was so flavorful, I found myself eating it straight with a spoon even after I was too full to consume any more carbs.
Instagram: @annette_scratchtotable
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A club sandwich with onion rings at Charlie Brown's.
Molly Martin
A club sandwich is certainly not a culinary innovation, but sometimes it's exactly what you need. My go-to place for a fix: the historic Charlie Brown's, a piano bar that's been in Capitol Hill since 1933. Throw in a side of onion rings and a couple of rounds of buy-one, get-one happy hour drinks, and the next thing you know, you're joining in on a rendition of "Rocket Man" in the lounge.
Instagram: @charliebrownsdenver
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Molly Martin is the Westword Food & Drink editor. She’s been writing about the dining scene in Denver since 2013, and was eating her way around the city long before that. She enjoys long walks to the nearest burrito joint and nights spent sipping cocktails on Colfax.
Contact: Molly Martin

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