Best of Denver

Denver's five best weekend-only restaurant specials

"Everybody's working for the weekend," Loverboy once observed in a song that sticks in your head for hours every time someone mentions it (as I just did -- sorry). That's because weekends are awesome. And making them even more awesome are a handful of local restaurants that really sweeten the two-day-off deal with weekend-only specials.

Here are the five best reasons to make a special trip to a restaurant on the weekend:

5. Everything at Thai Street Food Restaurant For years, Utumporn Killoran ran a cart on the 16th Street Mall, slinging wicked curry for downtown diners. And then a couple of months ago, she quietly opened an actual restaurant out in Aurora, where she serves up those curries as well as a number of other Thai dishes, dusted with enough pepper to melt your face off -- if you ask for it. The only catch? The place is just open on Saturdays, so plan accordingly. 4. The parrillada at Caminito Tango Weekends in Argentina frequently revolve around a country asado, where friends and family get together and throw meat and offal on the grill for a day-long fiesta. Caminito Tango channels the spirit of this tradition with its parrillada, a massive pile of sausages, chicken breasts, ribs, intestines and sweetbreads. It's a real taste of the Southern Hemisphere, as I report in my review of Caminito Tango, and while we've managed to order it on a weeknight, this dish is officially only a weekend thing. 3. Brunch at Beatrice & Woodsley The heady environs of Beatrice & Woodsley make for an interesting meal any time you choose to visit, but we're particularly fond of stopping by this enchanted forest-themed restaurant for brunch. Between the sweet monkey brains pastry, the open-faced Kentucky Hot Brown sandwich, the pancake-wrapped pigs in a blanket and the kick-ass seasonal charlottes, the daytime menu on the weekends is stellar. And if you're not a mimosa fan -- the restaurant makes a blood-orange version -- a half-dozen special morning cocktails should be enough to make you rise and shine. 2. The taco tent at Carniceria y Taqueria La Flor de Michoacán There are few sights we appreciate more than smoke pouring out from under a tent, perfuming the air with the smell of tacos al pastor. And that's what you'll see every weekend at Carniceria y Taqueria La Flor de Michoacán, a taqueria in Commerce City that hauls out the spit on weekends to make the tacos that nabbed our Best Street Taco award in theBest of Denver 2011. The only thing better would be to get these tacos on other days of the week. 1. The ramen at Sachi Sushi Six days a week, Tsukasa Hibini runs a delicious but predictable sushi restaurant in a corner of the Niwot Market. But on Sundays, he cooks up a giant vat of real Kyushu-style ramen, serving big bowls of rich tonkotsu broth thick with pork fat and floating with nests of skinny noodles and the appropriate accoutrements. We love this soup so much, it landed our Best Ramen award in the Best of Denver 2011 -- and it's made the drive up to Niwot our very favorite weekend tradition.

Have another favorite dish you can only find on the weekend? Tell us about it below.

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- Denver's five best martinis

- Denver's five best burgers

- Denver's six best pizzas

- Denver's five best dive bars

- Denver's five best dinners under $10

- Denver's five best first-date restaurants

- Denver's five best nachos

- Denver's ten best french fries

- Denver's five best green chile fixes

- Denver's five best dishes of mac & cheese

- Denver's five best breakfast sandwiches

- Denver's five best wings

- Denver's five best happy hours

- Denver's ten best draft beer lists

- Denver's five best spots for ice cream

- Denver's five best BBQ joints

- Denver's five best brunches

- Denver's five best spots for sandwiches

- Denver's five best street tacos

- Denver's five best hot dogs

- Denver's five best plates of fried chicken

- Denver's five best French restaurants

- Denver's five best dessert spots

- Denver's five best Chinese restaurants

-Denver's five best chips and salsa

- Denver's five best lunches under $5

- Denver's five best Indian restaurants

- Denver's five best breakfast burritos

- Denver's five best rooftop patios

- Denver's five best underrated patios

- Denver's five best tap rooms

- Denver's five best restaurants that are hidden in other businesses

- Denver's five best bars in restaurants

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk