Denver Central Market, 2669 Larimer Street
Open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily
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What we saw:
The Mediterranean boxx with rotisserie chicken makes for a satisfying meal.
At noon on a recent weekday, Denver Central Market
was filled with people posted up at tables with laptops, sipping cocktails at the bar or grabbing food from one of the eleven vendors. The energy was high, and a sharp contrast to the to-go-only times. But even with the place buzzing, the wait for food was easy to swallow, even at the first new spot to debut at the food hall since it opened five years ago: Lunchboxx.
The concept comes from chef Zach Spott, who also runs GreenSeed
at the market and was formerly the chef at downtown cocktail bar Brass Tacks
. Lunchboxx took over the spot once occupied by SK Provisions, which is tucked away toward the back of the building and sometimes overlooked — but if you're hungry for something light yet filling on your lunch break, Lunchboxx is a new go-to.
Like SK Provisions, this concept offers rotisserie chicken — available à la carte in quarter, half or whole sizes, making for a good grab-and-go meal when paired with a selection of sides. Other proteins include skirt steak, pork carnitas and tempura mushroom, all of which are also available in "boxxes" that come in five pre-set styles, from Vietnamese lettuce wraps to Mediterranean with hummus, baba ghanoush and other accoutrements. There's also a build-your-own boxx option.
Sides like pasta salad, grain salad, charred elote and grilled veggies, plus snacks such as chips served with whatever dips are available in the deli case that day (if you see the pimento cheese, go for it) are on the menu, too. Rounding out the roster are seven sandwiches that range from a deli-style egg salad on toasted sourdough to a burger and a fried chicken sandwich.
This is clean, simple food — the kind I like to cook at home, when I have the time. It's not going to expand your culinary horizons, but Lunchboxx is the type of place you can hit up on the regular and always feel good about what you're eating. Plus, the variety and ability to order everything from a small watermelon feta salad to get you through the afternoon to a full-on rotisserie chicken dinner for a family make it a solid addition to Denver Central Market's lineup.
What surprised us:
Gochujang honey glaze kicks this fried chicken sandwich up to new levels.
The fried chicken sandwich. Lunchboxx is almost like a quick-service version of the Whole Foods deli case (in a good way), so this item stands out among the mostly lighter fare. It's almost impossible to avoid ordering it, because fried chicken sandwiches are insanely popular for a reason.
And this is a damn good one. Buttermilk fried chicken with a respectably craggy, crunchy coating is glazed with gochujang (fermented Korean chile paste) honey. The sesame brioche bun is topped with cherry pepper slaw that cuts the richness of the overall situation, and there's a hint of citrus brightness from the chile lime mayo.
A lot of flavors are going on here, but they all work together for a nicely balanced sandwich that's far less grease-heavy than those popular fast-food varieties. On days when you're okay with feeling like you may need a nap after lunch, this decidedly heavier Lunchboxx option is the way to go.