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Englewood, CO - please save me from PF Chang's!

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Hi all - in Englewood, CO on business next week from Los Angeles. I'm staying at the Inverness. Friends tell me that this is in "deepest suburbia" and that I will be surrounded by mediocre chain food, and little else. Please tell me there are some gems in walking distance!

My likes: grilled meats and seafood, fresh veggies, Thai, Indian, Mexican.

My dislikes: sushi, Italian or pizza (or anything involving tomatoes), sandwiches, most chain restaurants with the exception of Chipotle.

My restrictions: I'm diabetic so have to watch carbs. Nothing bread- or rice-centric or vegetarian. Obviously no desserts.

So, with that to go on - any recommendations? From here it's looking like I'll be eating salad with grilled chicken breast all day, every day from the hotel restaurant. Would love something to break up the monotony. Thanks!

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  1. On the far edge of deepest surburbia, in my opinion. The bright spot, if you don't have a car, is the light rail extends out to Lincoln avenue. Most hotels will shuttle you to and from the light rail. This will open up downtown options to you. Along the light rail route to downtown, I recall Brooks Steakhouse and Pappadeaux Seafood.

    Near the Colorado Blvd. stop (on the other side of the big parking lot on Evans Ave.) is Spicy Thai that is a weekly stop for me.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Pampatz

      Thanks - thing is, I don't think I'll be able to enjoy the luxury of the light rail. My company's office is next door to the Inverness, and I'll need someplace to go for an hour lunch.

      When my boss, also travelling with me, recommended PF Chang's enthusiastically, I thought - I'm doomed :(

      I'm hoping I'll have some after-work downtime to maybe enjoy something good. Spicy Thai? Now that sounds tasty!

      1. re: Vaya Con Carne

        There are many other restaurants around PF Chang's. It is on the edge of a large shopping mall complex. We have eaten at Alexander's for dinner several times and liked it. Another choice is Pasta Bella - pastas with your choice of sauces and really good lunch-size salads.
        Sorry I'm not more helpful, but we live closer to downtown and Cherry Creek.

        1. re: Pampatz

          That actually is helpful, thanks - just knowing that there are other choices besides bad, sugary faux-Chinese food gives me hope!

          1. re: Vaya Con Carne

            Jason's Deli (in the same strip mall complex as J Alexanders) is a chain, but a pretty good one, IMO. Good sandwiches, salads and soups, and free ice cream!

            There is also a Wahoo's Fish Tacos in that same shopping area. I've not been, but have heard decent things.

            In the next shopping complex further west, there is a Buffalo Wild Wings, Fatburger, Tokyo Joe's (my favorite fast casual lunch, but probably not for you...rice and noodle bowls and sushi!) and the previously mentioned Pasta Bella. A little bit further down the road is Heidi's Brooklyn Deli, which I love. I highly recommend the Hell's Kitchen (egg salad with avocado and bacon and a spicy cajun sauce)!

            If you head north instead of south, there's Brothers BBQ on Arapahoe and Landry's Seafood House just south of Arapahoe. Or further north in the heart of the Tech Center are Illegal Pete's for burritos, Deli Tech, Brooks Steakhouse, and many other places!

            Yeah, these are mostly chains (albeit local ones), but some of them are actually pretty good, especially for lunch. Unfortunately there isn't a ton of non-chain stuff in that area.

            1. re: itri

              It's starting to look like Englewood is a big sandwich and pasta town - stuff I just can't have :(

              Wahoo's is pretty bad; we have those here in Los Angeles. Tiny portions, overpriced for fast food.

              I'll keep the local chains in mind though. Anything would be better than the dreaded Cheesecake Factory, PF Changs, and California Pizza Kitchen that I know are nearby. I'm determined to avoid all three.

              Keep the suggestions coming - thanks :)

              1. re: dhedges53

                Yeah. Being diabetic is a "need."

                I really do wish I had the mobility to leave the area - I've heard some good things about places in Denver.

    2. Maxwell's is good for dinner (it's just over a mile away so might be too far for lunch) and you should find plenty of things you can eat there - they serve up great fish and steaks.

      3 Replies
      1. re: SeattliteChower

        Maxwell's sounds great - hopefully I can get there for dinner on my non-work day. Thanks!

        1. re: Vaya Con Carne

          fwiw- the restaurants in the Inverness Hotel actually provide IMO very solid food and service. Hotel-priced? yes, but if you want to avoid the white ghetto without a car you are severly limited and in fact crippled.

          It's a local chain but one option is to try the southern outpost of Hacienda Colorado. You don't like a lot of Mexican fare but a mesquite grilled steak w/ avocado and cabbage slaw should at least be a solid compromise.

          1. re: e_bone

            Thanks, you and I totally see eye to eye here. That's how I'm feeling - crippled by lack of transpo.

            Good to know re: the Inverness restos. The company's paying, so price isn't the issue here :) I had been hoping to at least come away from this trip having tried something unique to the area, but maybe that's asking too much. That steak sounds delicious - let's hope I get there!

      2. Vaya Con Carne - You said you don't like most chain restaurants, but most of the recommendations are for chains -- which kind of confirms your suspicion that you will be in "deepest suburbia." Besides, Inverness is a golf-oriented resort hotel surrounded by an office park. Truly little choice within lunch-hour distance. Hope you dan escape at dinner.

        1. Too bad you don't have a car. The Little Saigon area is about a 4 mile straight shot to the north.

          1. Not much in walking distance, but some good options via a quick and cheap cab ride..
            Brewery Bar III - New Mexican and Mexican Cuisine ( local chain)
            Hacineda Colorado recommendation is a good one - they call it "Mountain Mex"
            J Alexanders is a "small chain", but this location is really really good - great entree salads and steaks
            California Cafe - in the mall (Park Meadows) - not to be confused with California Pizza Kitchen! Eclectic cuisine
            Thai Basil - solid Thai restaurant, gorgeous decor.
            If you have some time on your hands in the evening, jump on the light rail and head downtown - lots of great dining there, including Rioja, Bistro Vendome, Jax Seafood and many others!