Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Best Grub In Denver

The Mile High City is most known for its lack of oxygen and stuck-up residents who inwardly look down upon anyone who's favorite state isn't Colorado. However, this wonderful city has several other wonderful aspects that are often forgotten, such as skiing, outdoorsy stuff, and 300 days of sunshine every year. Much like any large city on planet earth, Denver needs plenty of food options to support its thriving metropolis. I've taken it upon myself to perform a 6 year study on the eateries, restaurants, and grub joints in town so that I could provide a good survey for those with high food standards such as myself.

During year 1 of this study I discovered Denver's pride and joy when it comes to restaurant chains. No, not Quiznos, that place that refuses to make a cold sandwich. Denver's pride and joy is Chipotle Mexican Grill and I found it at the end of a 10 mile walk to the Denver capital. It's the best cheap mexican food out there and really should never be compared with places like Taco Bell, Del Taco, and Wahoo's Fish Tacos. I often look at the keywords that people use to get to this blog and I saw this today while looking at the keywords for the week:

Somebody had the audacity to seriously compare Chipotle to taco bell. I made the comparison a long time ago, but only in jest. One might compare Chipotle to Qdoba, however, thanks to Qdoba's queso burrito, but the simplicity of their menu, the lack of sticky rice, and the lack of sticky tortillas sets Chipotle far above their "rival."
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Best Dish: Steak burrito with black beans, fajitas, rice, pico de gallo, red salsa, sour cream, cheese, and lettuce.

Year 2 was a restaurant drought for me because I was poor.

Year 3 I was rich again and was introduced to Lebanese food for the first time. My roommates at the Den first introduced me to this wonderful restaurant called Ali Baba's after we stayed up all night working on a cardboard boat and then sank it in the morning in the frigid waters of Clear Creek. Their gyros and hummus were a great pick-me-up as we were all depressed about losing the race.
Alibaba Grill
Best Dish: Gyro with a side of hummus and pita bread.

One Sunday afternoon during year 4, my food research partner Jelly Roll and I worked up the courage to try the Asian restaurant next to Chipotle. This was very difficult since we loved Chipotle so much and we had become accustomed to frequenting it every Sunday for lunch. Nevertheless, we did try out Pei Wei Asian Diner and were pleasantly surprised. They have an amazing selection of asian food including Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and, my favorite, Thai. I've tried several of their dishes and most of them are phenomenal. Now James and I go to Pei Wei as often as we go to Chipotle, which says a lot about how good it is.
Pei Wei Asian Diner
Best Dish: Thai Coconut Curry

Eventually I made it to year 6, which was the best year for discovering new restaurants in the Denver area. I moved to a hispanic neighborhood, which is guaranteed good food, and my research group started going to lunch together every week. I found many new restaurants and loved most of them, but I'll only talk excessively about one of them. That one is the restaurant I fondly call "That One Mexican Restaurant On 1st and Knox." I've recently found out that it's actually called Los Molcajetes Tacqueria. You know this is a good Mexican restaurant because you have a 50/50 chance of needing to order in Spanish. It's exciting to try your luck! Their food is amazing and it's a nice, quiet, relaxed, family-owned restaurant. They also have several items on their menu that I've never heard of before, so there are plenty of opportunities to try your luck at this autentica tacqueria.
Los Molcajetes Tacqueria
Best Dish: Tortas

There are many more delicious restaurants, but I don't have the energy to write about all of them. Here are the honorable mentions.

The Alley, D' Deli, Woody's, The Sherpa House, Tuk Tuk, Paris on the Platte, Jose Oshea's, Tacos Y Salsas, and Tommyknocker Brewpub and Restaurant.

View this map for restaurant locations. You should try them all out and tell me about your favorite Denver restaurants.

1 comment:

  1. What? No Santiagos?! Watercourse? Mad Greens?