This week marks a year since I started my trek up Federal Boulevard for the weekly A Federal Case series
. I've hit 53 eateries in just under six miles -- a distance I could easily cover in less than twenty minutes, depending on traffic and luck. But in taking a year to travel the distance, I've gained an appreciation for the subtle differences in the way dishes are prepared from place to place; I've noticed the pride that waiters and restaurant owners have in serving the food of their home countries; I've experienced the wonder of tasting things completely new to me. Sure, I ate a few bad meals, but the fiery sauces, slow-cooked meats, and fresh and unusual greens have been more the norm than the exception.
Since its Christmastime, I've picked my twelve favorite dishes of Federal Boulevard so far, each representing a gift that the cooks and servers of this street have given me. Here they are, in the order that I originally ate them -- from south to north. Maybe there's a new pair of pajama pants from Santa waiting under my tree for me to wear out the next time I getting a craving for any one of these.
See also: Twelve best Thai restaurants in Denver