The National Western Stock Show is rolling into town, which means there will be almost as much beef on the hoof as on the plate in this cowtown, although steakhouses definitely anticipate fattening up. And this year, in addition to the usual funnel cakes and turkey legs and pork chops on a stick, the culinary offerings at the Stock Show will include fare from gourmet food trucks, including Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs.
We caught up with Jim Pittenger this morning, when he was at the Denver Department of Environmental Health acquiring the proper permitting. "We're actually going to be legal and everything," he says of Biker Jim's appearance at the stock show, in a corral north of the Coliseum that will also include Quiero Arepas and Wok in the Park, the Aramark Corporation creation that made its debut at Coors Field last season.
Wok in the Park was the first food truck to be stationed inside a major sports venue in the country, according to Aramark regional director Richard Hesse. At the time, he says, the goal was to offer "something that is cool and something that is different, and something that the fans will find interesting and fun." And to keep it fun, Wok in the Park won't just be serving its specialties of noodle bowls and egg rolls; it's also going to wok up some Rocky Mountain oysters.
Talk about East meets West!
As for the Biker Jim's menu, Pittenger says it's going to be "fairly limited," with Sonoran dogs as well as elk, boar and veal sausages, and maybe a daily special. And probably not many vegan dogs, even though that dog rated as one of Westword's ten best vegetarian meals in 2011. "That award made my wife feel so much better," says Pittenger. "She's gone all vegan on us."
The trucks will be at the Stock Show for the duration, and after that, Pittenger has dates for the mobile Biker Jim's booked in Las Vegas and Palm Springs. Like the Wok in the Park truck, Pittenger's was made by Mobi Munch, "and if this appearance goes well," he says, "there will be more in the works."
A version of this story first appeared in Cafe Bites, our weekly e-mail newsletter that covers the food and drink scene in metro Denver. Find out how to subscribe here.
Follow @CafeWestword on Twitter and at facebook.com/denvercafesociety
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.