Spice Raconteur’s 25 (more) Things to Taste

Denver, CO

Denver Magazine Just came out with their opinion on 100 Things to Taste in and around Denver. We’ve assembled our own list of things that could have been included.

  1. Stranahan’s Whiskey Brickle Ice Cream – Sweet Action Ice Cream
  2. Chocolate Covered Sea Salt Caramel Ice Cream – Red Trolley Ice Cream
  3. Hen of the Woods Poutine (Porcini mushrooms and cheddar cheese curds) – Euclid Hall
  4. Blackberry-Sage Smash – Steubens
  5. Pizza Siciliana- Parisi’s
  6. Pho and/or Vietnamese Eggrolls – New Saigon
  7. Housemade Bloody Mary – Shazz Cafe and Bar
  8. Reuben – Masterpiece Delicatessen
  9. Cheeseburger – Bang!
  10. Chocolate and fleur de sel caramel tart – Olivea
  11. Burbon-style whiskey – Stranahan’s Distilery / Rackhouse Pub (also try their wasabi mayo!)
  12. Colette (Summer seasonal brew) – Great Divide Brewery
  13. Dylan’s Masa Fried Oyster Shooters – Delite
  14. Chicken & Waffles – The Corner Office
  15. Bhakti Chai – Various independent coffee shops and grocery stores
  16. Anything brewed for Stout Month – Mountain Sun/ Southern Sun/ Vine Street Pubs
  17. Chicago Dog – Top Dog in Coors Field
  18. Chicken Pesto Burrito – Illegal Pete’s
  19. Burger – My Brother’s Bar
  20. Greyhound – Cruise Room
  21. Smothered Chile Relleno – Brewery Bar II
  22. Beef Tacos – Los Carboncitos
  23. Shredded Buffalo Indian Taco – Tocabe, An American Indian Eatery
  24. Silver Coin Margarita – Lola
  25. Jerk wings- Eight Rivers

Denver Magazine’s 100 Things to Taste

Denver Magazine just came out with their 100 Things to Taste in and around Denver. And it looks like a fun to do list for the dark winter months. (The items bolded are the ones we’ve sampled already.)

  1. Cheese Sampler – Opus Restaurant
  2. Sticky Toffee Pudding – Duo
  3. Absinthe Verte – Leopold Brothers 
  4. Kurobuta Pork Belly – Venue
  5. The King – The Berkshire
  6. Pho – Parallel Seventeen (it’s pretty good, but it’s not better than my favorite, New Saigon)
  7. Chile Relleno “en Nogada” – Chili Verde
  8. Soup of the Month – Twelve Restaurant
  9. Wonton Tacos – Zengo
  10. Chocolate Sandwich Cookie – Cake Crumbs (i.e. The Denver Cupcake Truck)
  11. Hercules Double IPA – Great Divide Brewing Co.  (this is one of Edward’s favorites, and our favorite tap room in Denver!)
  12. Calamari – Il Posto
  13. House-Smoke Idaho Trout- The Oceanaire Seafood Room
  14. Shrimp Cocktail – Elway’s Cherry Creek
  15. House-Cured Duck Prosciutto – The Village Cork
  16. Chapchae – Seoul BBQ
  17. Housemade Sodas – Hutch & Spoon
  18. Chicken Franki – Mirch Indian Grill
  19. Veg Taco – Gastro Cart
  20. Grilled Jumbo Artichoke – Cherry Creek Grill
  21. Raw Kitfo – Africana Cafe
  22. Torpedo Farms Chinese BBQ Pork Belly – Vesta Dipping Grill
  23. Moroccan Spiced Pork – Cafe Aion
  24. Ajo – The Med  (this roasted garlic, gorgonzola and tomato jam concoction is worth the drive to Boulder) 
  25. Mac & Cheese Fries – Jonesy’s EatBar
  26. Long Farm Crispy Pig Trotter – Colt & Gray
  27. Z Cassoulet de la Maison – Z Cuisine
  28. Breakfast Charcuterie – Table 6
  29. Banh Mi Slider – Deluxe Street Food Truck 
  30. Ramen with Poached Lobster, Edamame & Miso Lobster Broth – Bones (I die. This is buttery and amazing. But, everything at bones is amazing. We also really like the Udon Noodles: Slow Cooked Pork Shoulder from Salmon Creek Farms with a Poached Egg).
  31. Pasta Carbonara- Fruition Restaurant
  32. All-Veal Brats- Continental Sausage
  33. Housemade Soup of the Day – Cafe Options
  34. Sauteed Wild Mushroom Breakfast Sandwich- Masterpiece Delicatessen
  35. Sourdough Baguette – City Bakery
  36. Garlic Dip with Pita – Phoenician Kabob
  37. Signature Bone-in Filet- Shanahan’s Steakhouse
  38. French Onion “Soup” Dumplings – TAG
  39. Fig & Crispy Prosciutto Pizza – Osteria Marco
  40. Cinnamon Roll – Johnson’s Corner
  41. Spicy Sesame-Cashew Jerky – New Saigon
  42. Scoth Egg – Argyll GastroPub
  43. Raisin Bran Muffin- The Market (at Larimer Square)
  44. Queso – El Camino Community Tavern  (I’m not a fan of queso in any form, but this is better than most.)
  45. Fried Chickpeas with Harissa Aioli – Olivea
  46. Chicken and Crawfish Gumbo – Jax Fish House
  47. Ginger Sashimi – Izakaya Den
  48. Soul of Autum Benedict – Gallop Cafe
  49. Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge New School Milkshake – H Burger
  50. Campania Pizza Napoletana – Marco’s Coal-Fired Pizza
  51. Seitan Buffalo Wings – WaterCourse Foods  (Chewy, crunchy spicy. Vegetarian! Yum! And they’re just as good at City O’ City)
  52. Chef Mickey’s Famous Red Beans – Lucile’s Creole Cafe (Everything here is amazing, but these beans are fantastic… although they must be eaten with a beignet and strawberry-rhubarb jam)
  53. Potstickers – Lao Wang Noodle House
  54. Larkburger – Larkburger
  55. Pecan Caramel Bars – Living the Sweet Life
  56. Pecorino Ravioli with Fava Beans and Preserved-Lemon Vinaigrette – Rioja
  57. Frites- Mateo
  58. Pepperoni Piccolo – Il Mondo Vecchio
  59. Mojito – Cuba Cuba Cafe & Bar  (I love mojitos, and this is a good one. I think this is a little simple to put on the list, though.)
  60. Baked Garlic Bread – Kaos Pizzeria
  61. Calves’ Liver – Strings
  62. Paella- Solera Restaurant & Wine Bar
  63. The Crippler – Vine Street Pub
  64. Mint Julep Gelato – The Red Trolley
  65. Croquetas de Jamon – Ondo’s Spanish Tapas Bar  (Really good and authentic!)
  66. Yellowtail And Salmon New Style Sashimi – Sushi Sasa
  67. Huevos – Lola (Lola’s brunch in Denver’s best kept secret. Some of the best food, and never a wait. Plus, you can stay after brunch for happy hour from 2-5 for live music.) 
  68. Broiled Mushrooms – LoHi SteakBar
  69. Spicy Thai Beef Salad – Delite  (A great place to go for happy hour. We also really like the “Dylan’s Ass” — their take on the Moscow Mule, and the Steamed Pork Bun Sliders and the Masa Fried Oyster Shooters.)
  70. Escargot – Simms Steakhouse
  71. Soul Food Eggroll- CoraFaye’s Cafe
  72. Housemade Sausage, Caramelized Onion and Ricotta Flatbread Pizza – Encore
  73. Pepper Blossom Cocktail – Rootdown
  74. Shrimp Po’Boy – Steuben’s Food Service
  75. Lobster in French Style – JJ Chinese Seafood Restaurant
  76. Peel & Eat Shrimp – Billy’s Inn
  77. Tom’s Tavern Burger – Salt Bistro
  78. Cast-Iron Skillet Cookie – Second Home
  79. Potato Gnocchi – Fuel Cafe
  80. Denver Venison with Lingonberries – Cool River Cafe
  81. Chile Fried Calamari – Black Pearl
  82. Di Rucula, Pere e Asiago Salad – Undici Ristorante
  83. Beef Tenderloin Tartare – Shazz Cafe and Bar
  84. Farmer’s Croissant – Buffalo Doughboy Bakery
  85. Ojo de Agua – Novo Coffee
  86. Croque Monsieur – Brassarie Ten Ten
  87. Uni- Sushi Den
  88. Sables – Andre’s
  89. Tostadas al Pastor – Tacos y Salsas
  90. Crawfish Beignets – Beatrice & Woodsley
  91. Shroom Pizza – Brava! Pizzeria della Strada
  92. Frank’s Salumi Plate – Luca D’Italia
  93. Smoked Pheasant Soup – Palace Arms
  94. Ruby Scones – Spruce Confections
  95. Nutty Cheese Salad – Racines  (One of my favorite salads, hands down. So simple. So nutty, cheesy and delicious. The banana and the honey mustard sound strange but make it sooo good.)
  96. Tofu & Black Egg Mix – East Asia Garden
  97. Bresaola- Panzano
  98. Sopa Azteca- Centro Latin Kitchen & Refreshment Palace
  99. Chicken Liver Mousse – The Squeaky Bean
  100. Any Farmers Market Salad – Potager

Oskar Blues Homemade Liquids and Solids — Worth the Drive

This was a busy week for the Spice Raconteurs. One of my best friends who I have known since middle school got married this weekend. I was a bridesmaid which also means that I devoted Thursday-Sunday to spending time with the bride and other friends, primping, chatting, eating, drinking and partying. It was all SO fun, but this borderline interovert needed some good old time my herself after the weekend. Luckily, Netflix started streaming season 4 of Friday Night Lights so maybe it was meant to be.

A picture from the OB website

Back to food, one of the great things we did this weekend was visit Oskar Blues Home Made Liquids and Solids in Longmont. We’ve been to the original outpost in Lyons several times on the way back from Rocky Mountain National Park and both of us Raconteurs love the beer they brew. And, we went to this new location in Longmont for brunch a few weeks ago after a camping trip. Now, after a second try, I just want to say, it is definitely worth the trip (but find a DD).

The menu at the new location is larger with a greater focus on theme– there’s a nice mix of Southern BBQ (pulled pork, brisket, fried pickles) and New Orleans style grub (crab and corn fritters with remulaude sauce, oysters, red beans and rice, dirty rice, Po’ Boys). The food is tasty and well-made and certainly better than most pub food. And most importantly, the food complements the tasty and creative beers brewed there as well as the large selection of guest beers they provide. Most of my dining companions opted for the beer sampler so they got to taste 5 beers of their choice for about $10.

I was driving so I got two half beers– Mama’s Little Yella Pils (a Pilsner that is light and refreshing, but still with a bit of hoppy flavor to keep it interesting) and the Columbian Supreme which was a dark stout packed with coffee flavor.

This place is getting a lot of good press, and is a much needed alternative to the chains ever present in lovely Longmont so it is also getting a lot of people to visit for happy hour and dinner most days of the week. If you go on the weekend, be prepared for long lines. But still go. It is worth the drive!

Delite (Review)

Delite is a new “lounge” and bar located at 30 S. Broadway in Denver. It is truly a delightful experience. Owned and operated by the same folks that run the also fantastic Deluxe next door, Delite offers small plates with all of the simplicity, and delicious creativity offered over at Deluxe.

Edward and I recently visited Delite for happy hour (Tues-Sun from 4-7) and were VERY impressed. I had the happy hour wine ($3 per glass), Edward had beer (also half price). The small plates are all half price (usually $8-10 each) at happy hour so we ordered a smorgasbord. First we ordered our favorite, not to be missed EVER, Dylan’s Fried Oyster Shooters. Dylan Moore is the chef-extraordinaire behind both ventures and serves these shooters in both Deluxe and Delite. He starts with a tasty pico de gallo nestled in a Chinese soup spoon. He tops this with a delicately fried oyster, and then tops the oyster with chipotle (smoked jalapeno) aioli and a leaf of cilantro. It might be a little hard to fit it all into your mouth at once, but it is truly worth it. For happy hour these babies top out at an extremely reasonable $5. We also sampled the House Made Potato Chips topped with, get this, TRUFFLE OIL AND MAYTAG BLUE CHEESE. I actually drempt about these the next day. To round out our meal, we also tried the Thai Beef Salad and the Goat Cheese Stuffed Pablano Chile. As a woman who used to be vegetarian, I don’t usually find things called “beef salads” all that appealing, but this one was great. Marinated in the same flavors you’ll find in a seaweed salad, this beef was perfect and tender. Edward devoured the stuffed Chile too. I found it a bit too smoky, but I don’t really enjoy smoky flavors, and he does. A lot.

Though we didn’t sample them this trip, the mixed drinks are also fantastic. On a previous night I tried a tasty number with the awkward moniker of “Dylan’s Ass”. Based on a Moscow Mule, this one has fresh ginger, vodka and sweetness. These drinks, however, are not included in the happy hour so be ready to pay $8-10 for each of the fancy drinks.