Fast Food

Is Denver a chain-restaurant town? 104.3 FM's Joel Klatt thinks so, but we disagree

Occasionally while driving, I'll take a break from scanning the strip malls for the next great undiscovered hole in the wall. To occupy my time in the car, I'll tune the radio to sports talk to be amused by just how far past the end of the Broncos' football season commentators can still dissect one play over and over again.

With the Super Bowl fast approaching, many Denver radio stations have taken their show on the road and are broadcasting from New Orleans, site of Super Bowl XVII. Seasoned radio veterans and ex-jocks turned commentators are even now being feted with Louisiana's best food and drink while schmoozing with current players and coaches ramping up for the big game. And because opinions are being thrown around with the frequency of Peyton's Manning slant passes, the topic of food is certain to come up -- especially considering New Orleans' reputation as one of the best food cities in America.

I was surprised, though, to hear former CU Buffalo quarterback and current 104.3 FM morning sports guy Joel Klatt so wholeheartedly endorse the Big Easy at the expense of Denver.

See also: - Five Super Bowl deals you can score on Sunday in Denver - Photos: Ten epic Super Bowl meat stadiums - Ten restaurants that will bowl you over with New Orleans fare on Super Bowl weekend

He raved about an alligator burger with tiger sauce that had been served to him the previous night, while at the same time stating that nothing so good was to be found in Denver -- primarily, he said, because Denver is "a chain-restaurant town."

I was incensed. I was livid. I was sure that this was some suburban cul-de-sac dweller complaining about the sad state of food affairs in Highlands Ranch or Parker. But as I listened, it became clear that Klatt is a seasoned traveler who takes full advantage of his restaurant-industry connections in cities outside of Colorado. His argument was backed by evidence, even if ultimately I knew he was wrong.

I could barely pull over fast enough to tweet the following:

To my amazement (I'm pretty new at this Twitter thing), he responded:

I sent a few more messages with lists of my favorite spots, including some of the best and most creative new restaurants as well as a few of the more exotic, if not quite so chic, dives and joints that are dear to my heart and belly. He said he liked a few, but that some were not so good. Eventually, he sent this out...

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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

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