Restaurants go urban in the suburban Streets at SouthGlenn

The first shops and residences in the Streets at SouthGlenn opened a year ago -- the development will celebrate its first anniversary on August 28 -- giving the southern suburbs a sparkling outdoor shopping district in place of the decrepit mall that once stood in its place. With that development came a bevy of restaurants, many of which are urban concepts. In addition to Tarbell's and the Oven Pizza e Vino, both of which I review in tomorrow's Westword, here are some of the other highlights:

Saj Mediterranean Grill, 6955 South York Street. This breezy, fast-casual Middle Eastern joint serves up shawarma, kabobs, and hummus to patrons passing through its line. The name comes from a Middle Eastern flatbread, which is baked on a griddle over a wood fire. Owner Ali Awada opened his place in August 2009.

Hodson's Bar and Grill, 6851 South Gaylord Street. The restaurant group behind such city spots as the Dusty Boot Steakhouse and Saloon, Reiver's Bar and Grill and Spanky's Roadhouse chose the suburbs for its next venture, a restaurant featuring American fare, including rotisserie chicken and prime rib.

Pho 95, 6879 South Vine Street. Aaron Le's original pho shop is a popular spot on South Federal Boulevard. When he decided to open a second location, he went to the 'burbs, and chose a space twice as large as the original -- in a neighborhood where many of the residents weren't even sure what pho was. But now they're hooked on Le's authentic Vietnamese noodle soups.

And that's not all. SouthGlenn has a dozen other eateries, some local, some links in national chains, some links in local chains that have gone national. The roster includes: the first Mellow Mushroom to open in Colorado; Peet's Coffee & Tea; Bar Louie; a Tokyo Joe's outlet; Maggie Moo's Ice Cream and Treatery; Fire Bowl Café; a Noodles & Co.; a Qdoba; Diego Zhang's (the original on Arapahoe has closed); Crepes on the Go; the new Cantina Laredo; Simple Addictions and SkyboX Bar and Grill in the Stadium 14 movie theater.

And coming soon: Snooze! That hometown hit will open its fourth location at SouthGlenn this fall.

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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