Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Photographer's Food Blog: Denver, CO

When ever I want to discuss food, my mind reverts back to the 2nd Ice Age movie, The Meltdown, and I start to sing... "Food, glorious food". ;)  And our food in Denver was just that... Glorious!
We had done SO much research on TripAdvisor (reading reviews, looking at photos) and had found our top picks of food that we must try while down there. We tried all, except 1 (but that's ok, because when we go back... that'll be the first thing we eat πŸ˜‰). But, where do I start? LOL. I guess in order of favorites (Least to Most)

Well, I'm a donut-holic. I recently gave it up so that I can lose weight, but when in Denver, right?! πŸ˜‰ We passed a Voodoo Donuts and I just had to try!

We only got 6 - 2 classics (powdered sugar & cinnamon sugar) and they were AMAZING! We also got 4 of the yeast donuts. Dirt (vanilla frosting with Oreo crumbles), No Name (chocolate frosting, Rice Crispy treats, and a drizzle of peanut butter), Voodoo Doll (filled with raspberry jelly topped with chocolate frosting and a pretzel stake), and Gay Bar (full of luscious Bavarian cream and topped with vanilla frosting and all the colors of the rainbow *Fruit Loops).
Although I LOVE donuts... I only loved the classic cake donuts and the Dirt was my favorite of the yeast (that I tried). So, as much as I love donuts... it appears I'm a "classic" kind of gal who doesn't want to pay $15 for 6 donuts. 😬 

Next on my list is a place that was featured on 'Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives'.
Sam's No#3 

This place has all the 'diner' vibes, it was awesome, but the menu is HUGE!  After about 10 minutes, I still didn't know what I wanted to try. So, I decided to look at those marked as being on the show. From there I chose the 'Kitchen Sink' breakfast burrito. While my husband got his favorite thing... Biscuits and Gravy.
The burrito was good, huge but good. The biscuits & gravy were good, but nothing really made it better than any other gravy, from any other restaurant.
Onions, bell peppers, tomato, mushroom, ham, bacon, sausage & gyro. Topped with melted cheddar. Oh, yeah and it's smothered w/ Kickin' Pork Green Chili.

Although, the location, service, and food was good, it wasn't amazing(!)... but for the price and chance to eat at a Drive Ins, Diners and Dives, it is worth it.

One of our many hours research, led us to Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs, which had been featured on an episode of No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain.

Here they have all sorts of 'dogs'... Alaskan Reindeer, Elk, Veal, etc... Then they top it with amazing concoctions. They were really delicious. I'm not as adventurous with my food as my husband is. He ordered a couple dogs that I probably wouldn't have ordered, but I did try them and they were pretty damn good!
 On the left, we have my order... The All Beef and topped Coney style.
(New Jersey style chili with diced onions and yellow mustard)
Middle is the Alaskan Reindeer topped B.A.T. style
Avocado purΓ©e, tomato cream cheese, caramelized onions, bacon bits, and tomato bacon powder)

Right is the Rattlesnake & Pheasant topped El Diablo style
(Tomatillo green chile salsa, sriracha lime mayo, and smoked bacon bits)

All 'dog's were delicious! And the toppings were AMAZING!! But it really was too much toppings. It took away from the flavor of the dogs. All in all, it was good. The price averaged about $7-9 per dog. When I go back to Denver, I'd eat there again. 

So, now we're getting up on the top 3 of the week. My husband and I don't agree with the order, but that's because he's a classically trained chef who has a high end pallet LOL. Me, on the other hand... give me all the tacos and I'm a happy girl πŸ˜‰ In this blog, we'll go with my order.

We have this totally amazing building & concept. In the 30's, the building was a brothel and some of the artwork remains.  
Ophelia's Electric Soapbox

The menu's options have an amazing gastropub feel with eclectic and creative ideas, that actually works. The price range is definitely on the higher side, but is absolutely worth it. Especially if you can make it on a night that they have shows (bands, burlesque, etc...).

We started with Scandinavian Duck Meatballs.
Balsamic Onions, Lingonberry Jam, Parsnip Grits & Hemp Seeds

Also, the Shisito Poppers & Cheese Curds.
Spiced Cream Cheese, Horseradish Mustard & Blood Orange Marmalade

Both starters were so delicious, but those meatballs... I could have ordered another 🀀
For our entree, my husband ordered the Frontier Bison Burger. It was amazing! The ketchup was an Indian inspired Vindaloo.
Mushroom Duxelle, Caramelized Onions, Swiss, Poblano Peppers & Turkish Chili Aioli

I have a love of gyros. Living in South Carolina, there aren't many places (if any) that have a decent gyro. So when I saw it on the menu, I knew I had to have it. However, this wasn't your typical gyro. It was lamb thinly shaved (like roast beef) and combined with amazing flavors.
Superior Farm Land Gyro
Cucumbers, Olives, Roasted Tomatoes, Pickled Red Onions, Pita & Creamy Feta Dressing

This was dinner on our last night in Denver, so we included dessert ❤️ and BOTH were so freaking delicious and full of the right flavors!
Tim ordered the Butterscotch Pudding.
Passion Fruit Coulis, Toasted Coconut Tuile & Whipped Banana Cream
I ordered Fried Ice Cream Sundae
Sticky Bun Ice Cream, Strawberries & Cinnamon Crème Anglaise
Ophelia's is definitely a place you need to eat at when in Denver! Shoot, even the next 2 restaurants I talk about. These 3 are a MUST!

Moving right along to the next...Star Kitchen. This place isn't much to look at on the outside. It's in a plaza on the other side of Denver city limits, but SO worth the drive and the food takes all your woes away... if you like Dim Sum (which we do!). 
I didn't get any photos of the inside. I almost forgot to take photos of the food, until I was 1/2 way done with my noodles. I got the important shots, though. 
Dim Sum - All were so good. I've never had Dim Sum before, and now I need it in my life, daily. Because the food was so delicious and the price is just right... We're definitely going to go back when we're in Denver again.
TL: Pork & Leek Dim Sum. TR: Soup Dumpling  BL: Lobster Dim Sum. BR: Shrimp Dim Sum.

I also tried this puff ball of deliciousness, a steamed bun filled with BBQ pork. SO GOOD!
But my favorite from there was the BBQ Pork Pie... That pie pastry was so good, I wish I had tried that first.

The favorite place (of mine) that we ate at.... Machete Tequila + Tacos.
Oh MY GOSH! It was so good that we went back a 2nd time AND my husband was so inspired that we are making our own Al Pastor tacos. πŸ˜€

 The atmosphere is great here. It's located in the Cherry Grove district, where the high end city/suburban stores are located. During Happy Hour, certain tacos are $3. However, these tacos are so good, that they're worth the $3.50-$5 price range.
 So the first time around, we went during lunch (Happy Hour) and we ordered the chips w/4 types of salsa. Each one equally good.
L: Fresno. T: Rustica. R: Jalepeno B: Gringo
The tacos, oh the tacos. This chef knows what he is doing. The tortillas are all made from scratch, and absolutely divine.  
L:Ararrachera- Hanger Steak/Avocado Salsa/Onion & Cilantro. R:Pollo Rostizado- Rotisserie Chicken/Avocado Salsa/Crispy Potatoes

L:Lengua - Triple cooked beef tongue/Salsa De Chile Cascabel/Onions & Cilantro. R: Tripa - Crispy Beef Tripe/Salsa Roja/Onions & Cilantro. T: Al Pasto (I;ll get to that one πŸ˜‰)

Cordero - Braised Lamb Shank/Avocado puree/Queso Panela

Camaron - Grilled Shrimp/Lettuce Poblano Pesto/Avocado/Pickled Radish

The 2nd BEST taco is their Al Pastor.  
Al Pastor - Duroc Roasted Pig/Guajillo Chile Marinated Pork/Pineapple/Onion & Cilantro

The Absolute BEST taco, I've ever had... the Campechano. The steak & chorizo with melted cheese... 🀀🀀🀀 When we went back the 2nd time, we were stuck in the corner... waaaaaaaay in the back, so I apologize for image quality. But, the food totally made up for the lack of light. I mean, who needs to see what they're eating, right?
Campechano - Hanger Steak/Red Chorizo/Melted Oaxaca Cheese/Onions & Ciantro

The thing that every cheese lover will dream about... is a small skillet of melted Asadero Cheese mixed with onion & jalapenos and topped with Chorizo. OH MY GOSH 🀀🀀🀀 It comes with warm homemade tortillas and then you just spread this melted cheese (& chorizo) onto the tortilla and yeah. Delicious!
Quesos Fundidos - Asadero Cheese/Onions/Jalapenos/Mezcal and topped it with Rojo Chorizo

Our vacation was perfect and with my husband being a chef, the food only enhanced it for him. 
 I truly cannot wait to go back to Colorado one day. But other adventures are a brewing and I'm excited for what the future is going to bring  πŸ˜‰

If any of you find yourself in the Denver area... You must try Machete Tequila +Tacos, Star Kitchen, and Ophelia's! You will not be disappointed! 

Oh, and if any of you are curious... My husband's favorite was Ophelia's, Machete, and then Star Kitchen.  

That's all for now! 


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