The sandwich: Rare Roast Beef What's on it: Rare roast beef, grilled red onions, lettuce, tomato, horseradish havarti and aioli on a baguette Where to get it: Cafe Options (1650 Curtis Street, 303-573-0733) How much: $7.25
Do you believe in second chances? I do.
That's why I'll probably try a cheesesteak again, even though I can't stand them. And it's why I keep sampling sandwiches that combine roast beef and horseradish, a popular combo that's difficult to pull off, judging from the lackluster versions I've tried.
Roast beef itself can be tricky. The meat is often overcooked and can be bland or filmy or slimy or gamey. Horseradish is a delicate matter as well; it can easily overpower everything else on a sandwich, leaving even the biggest horseradish lover longing for something more.
That's what made the Rare Roast Beef at Cafe Options all the more rare. (For more on Cafe Options, see this week's story at westword.com.)
The piles of thinly sliced and very rare roast beef -- roasted in the Cafe Options kitchen -- were delicious and fresh. The horseradish, which came in the form of horseradish havarti cheese, was both subtle and powerful, adding a huge supporting flavor without blotting out the other flavors.
And with those basics taken care of, the kitchen spiced up this sandwich with a couple of other ingredients -- grilled onions and aioli -- that pushed it over the top.
Not everyone believes in second chances. Not everyone gets one. But I'll give Cafe Options the benefit of the doubt every time.
For previous sandwich reviews, see the Our Weekly Bread archive.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.