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Oh Denver, we're hungry.

MaltedMilk Sep 30, 2009 08:29 AM

We, my 2 lucky coworkers and I, are heading out from Boston to your fair city for a 5 day conference. We need to eat, and eat well. And not spend a lot of money for ambiance.

The conference is downtown. Anywhere we can get bison burgers? How about chile verde (Mexican food in general, becuase I will die unless I eat something actually Mexican soon)? What about a breakfast spot? Cocktails? Beer?

Anywhere you would rather see tourists NOT go?

I know I have posted before - just wondering if there's anything else for us to check out.


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  1. c
    ClaireWalter RE: MaltedMilk Sep 30, 2009 10:54 AM

    Bison burgers: See http://www.boorah.com/restaurants/279... (Ted's, of course, is a chain).

    Chile verde: Yes, there have been lots of posts about green chile/chili. Search board. Also see http://www.milehighonthecheap.com/200... for a good deal on margaritas -- and hopefully good food too. Emili's starred as a cart vendor and is now a brick-and-mortar place -- just east of downtown.

    Breakfast: Snooze in the Ballpark neighborhood, but beware that there will probably be a line. Directly downtown: Dixon's, Panzano, and definitely Cafe Options. Near downtown: Racine's.

    Cocktails: Cruise Room in the Oxford Hotel (LoDo), Peaks Lounge in the Hyatt Regency
    (superlative view), Colt & Gray in the Platte River Valley (near downtown). You DO pay for ambiance, but IMHO, in these places, it's worthwhile.

    Beer: Oodles of breweries/brewpubs, Wynkoop in LoDo having been the first.

    For my part, I hope tourists/conventioneers/visitors going everywhere/anywhere to discover the city. When I travel elsewhere, I don't want people looking down at me because I'm not a local. Enjoy your stay, and get up into the mountains if you can.

    7 Replies
    1. re: ClaireWalter
      tatamagouche RE: ClaireWalter Oct 1, 2009 06:42 AM

      Hi Malted Milk—

      Not sure what extra info you're looking for since the last thread covered a lot of this same info, but I'll second Claire that visitors (especially chowhounds) are welcome anywhere!

      Re cocktails: I agree with all Claire's suggestions but would emphasize that if you're serious about craft cocktails a la Drink, Eastern Standard, and Green Street, Colt & Gray's the place to go, maybe the new TAG too. Cruise Room is a gorgeous old art deco space, and Peaks has a great view, and the drinks at both are fine, just not special.

      I also agree with Claire that you can get bison burgers at Ted's, but it's too bad that I can't think of any other place downtown that does a buffalo burger...Oh wait! If you're willing to splurge, Elway's at the Ritz does one for lunch. To get the full-on hilarious Denver experience, though, I'd probably hop the light rail a few blocks and go to Buckhorn Exchange for lunch, whose food I don't generally recommend but the trophy head covered space is amazing, and they hopefully can't screw up a buffalo burger.

      There are reviews of most of the places I mentioned in the last thread on my blog, and here's a couple more:

      Here's a post about Peaks:

      Here's one about the Cruise Room:

      And I just did a slew of posts about Colt & Gray on the blog as well, should be on the home page.

      1. re: ClaireWalter
        MaltedMilk RE: ClaireWalter Oct 5, 2009 09:14 AM

        What I meant was anywhere you wish tourists wouldn't go to make their decisions on Denver. An example: Here in Boston, you really can get a true city feel without going to Cheers.

        1. re: MaltedMilk
          tatamagouche RE: MaltedMilk Oct 5, 2009 09:28 PM

          In fact, you *can't* get a feel of Boston *by* going to Cheers.

          Well, for instance, I mentioned Buckhorn Exchange above. It's a trip, but I wouldn't want you going home think it was representative of Denver.

          1. re: tatamagouche
            MaltedMilk RE: tatamagouche Oct 7, 2009 01:25 PM

            We both said the same thing.
            You can't get a feel of Boston by going to Cheers.
            You really can get a true city feel without going to Cheers.

            Stay away from Cheers.

            1. re: MaltedMilk
              tatamagouche RE: MaltedMilk Oct 7, 2009 02:12 PM

              That's what it comes down to, to be sure.

              The closest thing Denver has to Cheers is probably Casa Bonita, simply b/c it was immortalized by South Park, but really *is* worth visiting for a laugh—not as a place to eat.

              1. re: tatamagouche
                ClaireWalter RE: tatamagouche Nov 4, 2009 12:05 PM

                "Closest" except that Cheers represents a neighborhood bar for grownups and Casa Bonita is for long-suffering parents because their kids have fun there. Being a totally mean and selfish mother, I managed to steer my son through his childhood without ever going to Casa Bonita. OTOH, he went to a lot of good restaurants when he was growing up and is now on the sommelier certification track.

                1. re: ClaireWalter
                  tatamagouche RE: ClaireWalter Nov 6, 2009 05:46 PM

                  That's what it was on the show, but the actual location in Boston is just a theme parkesque burger bar...just as CB is a theme park Mex restaurant.

                  I didn't know that about your son! That's awesome!

      2. p
        PitLab RE: MaltedMilk Oct 1, 2009 07:59 PM

        My favorite buffalo burgers but, you need a car..............

        Old Louisville Inn. Louisville. Duh.
        The Cork. Boulder.
        Corner Bar in the Boulderado Hotel. Boulder.
        The Fort. I think that they have burgers. I always have the buffalo steak. Morrison.

        4 Replies
        1. re: PitLab
          tatamagouche RE: PitLab Oct 2, 2009 06:08 AM

          I live in Denver now, and lived in Boston for 10 years before that, but before that, in the mid-90s, I lived in Boulder, and went on my first couple dates with an old flame to the Corner Bar. I'm not sure I even knew they served food, and I haven't been back since...are my fond memories of it strictly romance related, or is it really as great an old bar as I remember? Really need to get back there.

          1. re: tatamagouche
            LurkerDan RE: tatamagouche Oct 2, 2009 11:01 AM

            The Corner Bar is one of my go-to places in downtown Boulder. The food is consistently good (it's the same kitchen as Q's), the ambiance is comfortable, and it is rarely so crowded that you have to wait a long time to get a table. Plus they have a decent amount of patio seating for those warm evenings. It's not a "blow your socks off" kind of place, but it is good.

            Bonus: it's a "hotel bar" so it is open on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas!

            1. re: LurkerDan
              tatamagouche RE: LurkerDan Oct 2, 2009 04:15 PM

              I'm such a sucker for hotel bars. Any kind—from the ritzy ones in 5-stars to the haphazard ones in roadside chains. Just something about the atmosphere of anonymity and transience.

            2. re: tatamagouche
              PitLab RE: tatamagouche Oct 3, 2009 08:55 AM

              Corner Bar is great place. Always local beer on tap such as Avery, Twisted Pine or Boulder's Hazed. Nice menu prepared by Q's as Lurker mentioned. During the summer the patio is the place because we can leash our unruly dogs to the metal fence so that they can lunge at toy poodles.

          2. s
            SeattliteChower RE: MaltedMilk Oct 6, 2009 09:41 AM

            I usually go to D'Corazon for mexican food in the central biz district.

            City Grille has a really good burger downtown (with or without green chile), anyone had their buffalo burger?

            1530 Blake St Unit C, Denver, CO 80202

            3 Replies
            1. re: SeattliteChower
              SE_ME RE: SeattliteChower Oct 8, 2009 09:43 PM

              Yes I've tried the buffalo burger at City Grille...not the best buffalo burger I've had. They do beef burgers better at City Grille, though I prefer a good Cherry Cricket w/ smoked cheddar. Just wish the Cricket could be more consistent....seems they have one temperature regardless of what you order, so I'm less than thrilled on med-well nights.

              As a side note, I once had an amazing plate of green chile cheese fries at City Grille. Subsequent visits not nearly as good, but with crossed fingers we still order them every time.

              1. re: SE_ME
                PitLab RE: SE_ME Oct 9, 2009 05:27 AM

                Had a bison burger and 471 IPA at Breckenridge Brewing last week. Both were excellent.

              2. re: SeattliteChower
                lancerben RE: SeattliteChower Nov 4, 2009 10:45 AM

                D'Corazon is maybe my favorite mexican restaurant in town. Green chilli there is awesome. Food is a little heavy for mexican food (not sure if they use more lard or something) but it sure makes it delicious. Also, check to see if the Nuggets, Avs, or Rockies (although no rockies at this time of year) are playing at home that night...if so, you might wait longer for a table (I guess the same can be said about anything in LODO near the stadiums though).

              3. tenacity RE: MaltedMilk Oct 11, 2009 02:57 PM

                Mexican hasn't been covered yet!

                My personal fave: Tacos Y Salsas.

                Simply the best real-deal tacos, variety meats included, and they serve alcohol all the time (?). Cheap, cheap, cheap. On Federal Blvd, where many good ethic eats can be found.

                1 Reply
                1. re: tenacity
                  tatamagouche RE: tenacity Oct 11, 2009 03:03 PM

                  There was an earlier thread.


                2. k
                  kosslerj RE: MaltedMilk Nov 2, 2009 05:46 PM

                  Boston poster - a local magazine recently posted the top 100 eats in Denver and there's quite a few downtown. I've got the list up on my blog: http://www.musteatdenver.com

                  I'm going through every single one, snapping a picture, rating it, and writing a review. Hope it helps.

                  1. s
                    southdenverhoo RE: MaltedMilk Dec 14, 2009 12:31 PM

                    I think you (well, "you" have probably come and gone, but anybody looking for similar ideas) should go to the Bonnie Brae Tavern. Nothing fancy but it's a third generation slice of Denver life, and three generations is a LONG time in Denver history. (The second generation is still holding court at the bar, and barking a few orders from time to time, and members of the fourth are doing the jobs that the third were doing when I first started coming in, so I think "third generation" is probably as accurate as possible)

                    Just take the light rail to the DU stop and wait a few minutes for the northbound 24 bus....
                    reverse this to get back downtown.

                    Ask for a "Hank"....


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