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Jun 23, 2008 01:12 PM

Ideas for Delegates????

Found out over the weekend that my hubby will be a delegate from our homestate of North Carolina for the DNC Convention in August. This is our third convention in a row and we love exploring the host cities. We've both been to Denver on business before, but would love ideas from the locals for great places for the following:

Local Hot-Spots
Breakfast spots

We'll be staying in our host hotel of the DoubleTree at Tech Center. Not ideal for getting to and from the convention, but we'll make it work and we have no problem with traveling for a good meal.

I also have a friend who is in the NC legislature who will be looking to host an event in Denver. Any ideas for good locally owned places where we could host the event and help the local economy?

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  1. For local hotspots try Fruition, Mizuna, Vesta Dipping Grill, Zengo. For Mexican, Tamayo. Breakfast, somewhat near your hotel you could try Sam's No. 3 on Havana. I've heard of some good BBQ down in the tech center (near where I live) but can't remember the names for the life of me.

    Any of those local hotspots may be able to assist you with an event but you better call now, like yesterday. I wouldn't be surprised if they're already booked up for the convention time.

    1. Don't worry about getting to the convention, the DNC has chartered armored Humvees so you can make your way through the 50,000 or so protesters (including the group Recreate 68) that will be demonstrating. After tough days swooning over Obama, here are a few suggestions to get your mind out of politics and into food, where it belongs:

      The Fort. Uniquely Denver steakhouse. Or, really, Buffalo Steakhouse.
      Vesta Dipping Grill - 2nd vote. There were only two shootings in LoDo over the week-end, but they weren't close to Vesta.
      Rioja in Larimer Square.
      Panzano for Italian downtown.
      The 9th Door for tapas.
      Kevin Taylor is a personal favorite.
      If the convention is too conservative for you, head up to the People's Republic of Boulder for Lucile's Cajun/Creole breakfast. The Kitchen, Sunflower, Aji, Brasserie 1010 and Q's are all good bets for dinner.

      1 Reply
      1. re: wagger

        Actually, there's a Lucile's in Denver as well on Lincoln I believe. Can't believe I didn't mention Rioja.

        Boulder is going to be a trek from your hotel though so keep that in mind if you head up that direction. I know well as my family is up there and I live in the DTC.

      2. Down that way, I'd recommend Del Frisco's for steak in Greenwood Village. There was also a great Vietnamese restaurant just west of I-25 in that general area. Unfortunately, I cannot bring up the name.

        Others will have more contemporary recs.


        1. Well, DC Girl. I'm also a member of the NC delegation and while it sounds like they plan to wine and dine us well, the venues chosen (corporate hosted events, brew pubs, and the master suite at Coors Field which I'm sure sounds great to most folks) aren't our style. My hubby and I will be looking for local hole-in-the-walls and cheap ethnic food. We're staying at Doubletree Tech Center as well, but will have a car.

          Looking for ideas along these lines...

          Also, similar fare in Boulder where we'll be for a few days after the convention.

          4 Replies
          1. re: TerryG

            Latest news is that many of the parties are being canceled because the Looper (Mayor Hickenlooper) is falling way short of the money they need to raise. There will also be Green Police on the convention floor to make sure you recycle/compost/re-use according to PC green line. All plates served in the Pepsi Center also will have mandatory 50% fruit/vegies to be healthy and fried foods, although not banned, are being discouraged. This is the absolute truth, I couldn't make this up!

            So, if you want to secretly buck the trend and head to Boulder, I'd suggest Pupusas Al Sabor on North Broadway. Dish Gourmet on Pearl for exquisite sandwiches. Tibet's in Louisville for Tibetan/Nepalese. The West End Tavern for pub food and Bourbon. You might want to burn your receipts in case the DNC KGB decides to check you for bad eating habits when you try to get back into the convention.

            1. re: wagger

              What a refreshing idea! Healthy sounds just wonderful to this North Carolinian coming from the land of salt, sugar, and fried everything. Not that we don't have good organic eating here. We do, but not usually in our public -- especially sports/ entertainment arenas. The Boulder recs sound right on target. Anything similar in the DTC area?

            2. re: TerryG

              For cheap ethnic food, drive to Valley for your pick of very authentic Chinese. If you're not feeling so daring, there's a few other tasty Chinese places nearby that are more non-Chinese speaking friendly...

              1. re: TerryG

                "My hubby and I will be looking for local hole-in-the-walls and cheap ethnic food."

                Southeast Denver is your mecca then - particularly Havana which turns into Hampden and heads west.

                Your categories are:


                On Havana, check out the Aurora Summit. My Dad says they serve a mean steak. However, they lack the inflated ego of other Denver steakhouses. If you are willing to drive, I would definitely encourage a visit to either the Fort or the Buckhorn Exchange if you want a memorable, quirky experience.

                I can't think of any good Mexican out that way. Ajuua's (7777 E Hampden Ave, Ste 232) apparently got good reviews from our daily newspaper food critic. Personally, I love Chubbie's smothered burritos - think hole-in-the-wall becomes a chain (9865 E Hampden Ave, Denver, CO).

                Eh...San Lorenzo Ristorante (2500 E. Orchard Rd, Littleton, CO) in Greenwood Village won Westword's best mid-priced Italian food this year. Italian? In Denver? Eh.

                Um...This is Colorado. We just put KC Masterpiece on it and consider it done. Actually, since Luther's closed up and packed it's Texas-style bbq out, I haven't found any bbq that I adore. Brother's BBQ will suffice in a pinch but I can put the KC Masterpiece on the meat myself.

                Local Hot-Spots

                I guess most of these will fall under "local hot spots". There is amazing Korean food on Havana. Sae Jong Kwan (2680 S. Havana St., Aurora, CO) won best Korean food this year from Westword (a regional weekly) and rightfully so.

                My favorite Korean dumplings / potstickers in town, however, are behind the Big-O tire around Mississippi and Havana (maybe Jewell?).

                There is/was amazingly good Afghani food at Yale and Havana (think Indian meets middle eastern food).

                For breakfast, I'll second the Original Pancake House. I dream of their dutch baby. Servings are ridiculous sized so buy one thing for 2 or even 3 people or plan on having breakfast-for-lunch leftovers.

                Kathy and Bill's (Mississippi and Havana) reminds me of the great greasy spoon I had breakfast at in Charlotte, NC. Cheap, hot, greasy goodness. The only thing missing is the best grits in the world.

                If you have never had Pho, I would highly recommend it. Pho 79 is the best place to do it - 1080 S Havana St, Aurora, CO‎. This soup is flavorful, rich yet light, all while satisfying.

                God I miss living in SE Denver. The cheapest, best and most interesting food in town.

              2. In the Tech Center area: Old Pancake House is one of my favorites... it's a chain, but they do breakfast so marvelously that it's one of the few that deserves to be multiplied. If you go on a weekend, go very early (8 am) or else the lines are ridiculous.

                2 Replies
                1. re: oryza

                  Many ethnic holes in the wall are concentrated along Federal Boulevard (west of (I-25) and the city of Aurora (east and southeast of Denver). Get a book called 'The Gyros Journey' by Joey Porcelli and Clay Fong.Two other books you might want to look at are 'Denver Dines' by John Lehndorff and 'The Gabby Gourmet Guide' (or something like that). Both have restaurants in all price ranges, cuisines and styles..

                  1. re: oryza

                    Do you mean Original Pancake House?