Eating Adventures

What's New and Returning This Week

Lunch is served! Ace Eat Serve has added Happy Go Lucky poke bowls for weekday lunch.
Lunch is served! Ace Eat Serve has added Happy Go Lucky poke bowls for weekday lunch. Anna Regan
More and more restaurants are reopening after the coronavirus shutdowns, some with new ideas to add flavor and spice to summer dining. Expanded patios, takeout offerings, new lunches and new themes are all on the menu at these five eateries.

click to enlarge A preview of the Cherry Cricket's Burger Garden shows temporary tables that will be replaced with bigger, sturdier furniture in time for weekend guests. - MARK ANTONATION
A preview of the Cherry Cricket's Burger Garden shows temporary tables that will be replaced with bigger, sturdier furniture in time for weekend guests.
Mark Antonation

The Cherry Cricket

2641 East Second Avenue
303-322-7666

Denver's original burger bar, the Cherry Cricket, has been open for takeout and delivery since mid-March, and reopened its dining room the first week of June. But today (Friday, June 26), the bar and grill unveils its new "Burger Garden," which takes over the parking lot at the back of the building. Cushy turf covers half of the spacious patio, while colorful pavement art painted by Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy students (who received gift cards in exchange for their labor) decorates the other half. The back fence will serve as a community wall where guests can hang messages and mementos after enjoying the Cricket's full selection of burgers, green chile and other bar grub. Touchless menus and pay are in the works, adding a little tech to the outdoor experience. The Burger Garden will be open during the Cricket's normal business hours as long as the weather permits.

click to enlarge LINNEA COVINGTON
Linnea Covington

Coperta

400 East 20th Avenue
720-749-4666

The only taste we've had of Uptown's Coperta and its sibling, Beast + Bottle, since March 15, is the Saturday farm stands at Beast + Bottle selling Ollin Farms produce and pre-made foods from the B + B kitchen and other local producers. But Coperta just launched takeout and delivery service, so the Italian restaurant's full menu is now available for you to enjoy at home. Go à la carte or choose from more than a dozen meal kits, including a pizza package that lets you assemble and bake your own pies. Wine, beer and cocktails are also available, including Aperol spritz kits and batched drinks that serve eight or nine drinkers. Call 720-749-4666 or order online from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

click to enlarge The Avocado Queen is one of four Happy Go Lucky lunch bowls. - ANNA REGAN
The Avocado Queen is one of four Happy Go Lucky lunch bowls.
Anna Regan

Happy Go Lucky

501 East 17th Avenue
303-800-7705

Ace Eat Serve recently reopened its dining room for dinner guests, but one thing you haven't been able to get from the pan-Asian eatery for years is lunch — until now. Chef Thach Tran just introduced Happy Go Lucky, a takeout lunch concept serving a variety of poke bowls. Choices include the Slammin' Salmon, Sassy Tuna, Hama-Hama and a meatless Avocado Queen. Add bao doughnut holes or matcha sugar cookies for a sweet finish. Tran says he uses the best quality fish (not frozen cubes) he can obtain, and all the sauces are made in-house. Lunch is served from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; order from Happy Go Lucky's DoorDash site.


click to enlarge Slide on in to Lou's for Friday sliders. - COURTESY OF LOU'S ITALIAN SPECIALTIES
Slide on in to Lou's for Friday sliders.
Courtesy of Lou's Italian Specialties

Lou's Italian Specialties

3357 Downing Street
720-287-3642

New Jersey native Joshua Pollack continues to load Denver up with East Coast eats, whether at Rosenberg's Bagels & Deli, Famous Original J's Pizza or Lou's Italian Specialties. The restaurateur is diving deeper into New Jersey foodways with a slider pop-up happening every Friday evening starting tonight (Friday, June 26). Pollack's sliders are a tribute to White Manna, a Hackensack icon since 1946. Come from 5 to 8 p.m. for the mini-burgers ($3 for a single or $5 for a double), or stop by from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday for Lou's regular lineup of Italian deli sandwiches and other specialties. A newly expanded patio offers seating so you can enjoy your sandwiches in the open air without having to lug the hefty heroes home.

click to enlarge Burgers and fries add to the Colfax Avenue ambience at Route 40 Cafe. - MARK ANTONATION
Burgers and fries add to the Colfax Avenue ambience at Route 40 Cafe.
Mark Antonation

Route 40 Cafe

2550 East Colfax Avenue
303-355-5445

The Goods, at the Lowenstein Theater Complex, recently rebranded and is opening this weekend with a new menu, theme and name: Route 40 Cafe. The change comes with a new installation of the Colfax Museum inside, and plenty of well-spaced seating outside. Sure bets are the burgers, a classic peach-glazed pork chop with mashed potatoes, and comforting breakfast platters served all day. Call 303-355-5445 for hours and reservations before you go, as COVID-19 restrictions are currently limiting table availability.
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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