Like any other diner, sometimes plant-based eaters are looking for a nice sit-down meal, sometimes quick and casual grub, and sometimes we just want a place to kick back and relax with some craft beer, maybe play some skeeball or pool, and possibly sit down in a photo booth with friends to commemorate the meal. The problem is that not all neighborhood-style bars and grills offer veggie-friendly foods, but one that does is Stoney's Bar and Grill, 1111 Lincoln Street. There aren't a ton of veggie options on the menu, but what's there is definitely worth the trip.
The massive space seemed deceptively slow on a recent Monday night, but that's only because the space is, well, massive. A large table just finishing up a game of some sort, decked out in matching shirts, took up one section of the dining room, while a couple sat out on Stoney's patio with a puggle, and various small groups adorned the tall and short tables in the dining room while yet another crew held down the bar. The interior is very Colorado, but not in a precious way; old barn wood lines the walls, and there are antique skis and bikes adorning the space, which also includes a gondola-turned-photo-booth. Even the menu describing Stoney's mixed-drink specialties is designed as a ski map.
Every item on the food menu comes with a suggested beer pairing, many of which are local Colorado brews. Nachos and chips with salsa or guacamole are the only vegetarian items on the appetizer menu, but Stoney's also serves baskets of deep-fried goodness that are suitable for vegetarians (although vegans might want to steer clear of some of the 90-Shilling-beer-battered items, as the batter contains egg to help it bind). Apart from fried zucchini, pickles and okra, there's also fried avocado; while definitely not a health food, it's creamy, decadent and delicious.
(Full disclosure: The basket is normally fuller than it appears in this photo; we were so ravenous that we grabbed and munched before remembering to snap a shot. The fried avocado is served with cucumber wasabi aioli (also not vegan-friendly).
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At the top of the page is one of two veggie-friendly Stoney's sliders; that version is the $7 vegetarian black-bean slider, comprising a flash-fried black-bean cake and caramelized onions, served with spicy pineapple chutney and crispy tater tots on the side. We also tried the ghost-pepper aioli, because we're suckers for punishment, and, no joke, that aioli is scorching hot. You've been warned! Stoney's also offers a caprese slider, which features beefsteak tomato, buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil and a balsamic reduction.
Of course, if you start with something deep-fried, it's understandable you might crave something a little lighter for dinner, and the $8 quinoa salad delivers. A bed of spinach is topped with quinoa, red onion, red peppers, scallions and even more avocado; served with a tangy, refreshing lemon vinaigrette, it's substantial enough to fill you up, but light enough for hot summer lunches and dinners.
Stoney's is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday; call 303-830-6839 or visit www.stoneysbarandgrill.com.