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DFW Chowhound visiting Aurora - need RECs

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Hi, I'm arriving next Sunday and leaving the following Friday, I'll be staying at the Hilton Garden Inn and traveling back and forth to the Business Center area 4 miles away.. I am asking for recommendations for breakfast, lunches and dinner although I might just eat at the hotel for breakfast. I prefer to stay away from the chains unless locally owned and operated.Also, have budgeted >$25 per meal. Favorite foods are Mediterranean, Mexican, American/Grill, pizza, big juicy burgers, Thai/Asian, Italian, and Diner-style. Also, feel free to suggest any 'not to be missed' places in and around the Denver area as this is my first visit north of Oklahoma and am eager to see as much of the area as my colleagues will tolerate.
Thanks so much, in advanced.

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  1. your questions are broad and it's hard to know where to start. Are you at the HGI near the airport on 40th street? If so- what do you refer to as "the business center"? Downtown? The Tech Center in Greenwood Village? Give me the starting coordinates more precisely and we can take it from there.

    6 Replies
    1. re: e_bone

      HI.. thanks for the quick reply. Yes, we'll be staying at the HGI near the airport and traveling back and forth to the area around Aurora Community College and the AFB just 4 miles south of the HGI. I'm sorry for being so vague - my job requires my discretion and sometimes I don't realize I sound like a doof.
      I've done a little research as one of my friend/colleage requested that I find good Lebanese food nearby. Phoenician Kabob seems like it could fit the bill for that. Other places that seemed interesting are Elway's, South Philly Cheesesteak, Helga's, as did Casablanca if I could talk the boys into it. Although it seemed it might be a bit far.

      1. re: HalfBaked

        I know exactly the area you’re talking about. There is a Sub Stop on 6th Avenue at Sable between Centretech and 225 that has great sandwiches (50+) although it is insanely packed and they recommend you allow 20 minutes during lunch, which in my experience is accurate (or call ahead: 303-366-9130). If you drop in, you write your order on a piece of paper with your first name and put it on the counter, which helps with order accuracy. Bender’s Brats moved to a new location on Buckley near Alameda and it isn’t bad. I was not crazy about their warm potato salad (a little mucousy). There are many hole-in-the-wall Mexican places on Colfax like Tacos y Salsas and La Cueva. Twisters is a predominately NM-based place which has a drive-through at the Buckley and Mexico location and consistently good breakfast burritos. Helga’s moved to a larger location and many people seem to love it (their adjoining shop with pickles, treats, and deli meats/cheeses is groovy), but it’s a bit disappointing to me for German food, as is Café Berlin in Denver (especially if you’ve ever been to Fredericksburg, TX). Don’t expect to be able to get to downtown Denver and back at lunch unless you are prepared to spend 20-40 minutes each way commuting depending on traffic. Good ways to downtown eats are I-70 to Brighton Blvd exit or I-70 to the 25 exit but head towards Park which goes by Coors Field rather than jumping on 25. If you want food in the Cherry Creek area, jump on Alameda. Or take the ‘Fax all the way to downtown (sometimes can be faster than the highway).

        Many people in Aurora will rave about Mama Alvino’s (“Mama’s”). Do not fall for this. If they force you to go, order a calzone instead of the flavorless pasta. Avoid being suckered into the Alameda and 225 area unless you are desperate and in a hurry—lots of chains like Fatburger, Atlanta Bread Co, Baja Fresh, L&L Hawaiian BBQ, Panda Express.

        If you go to Elway’s, I recommend the one in Cherry Creek over the downtown location (different chefs—Tyler Wiard at CC is great). There are a ton of great places in Denver (lots of good recs on this board), so I would definitely suggest you convince your colleagues to branch out in the evening, as it is worth the drive.

        1. re: rlm

          Thank you rlm. This is precisely the type of info I was asking for. The 'best route' info is also phenomenally awesome. Yay! The twisters breakfast burritos are a must, as is the sub shop. (Wondering if I can find a menu somewhere..)

          also, bump..

          1. re: HalfBaked

            That immediate area is a tough one for chow-ish options. I would ordinarily not recommend sandwiches and brats to an out of state visitor, but they are good close-by options. If you have time to drive at lunch, there are more places off of Iliff and Parker and such further south and west. Even the better Mexican options on Colfax north of there are west of 225. I can think of a ton of places in Denver and Boulder to rec, but no place in Aurora really tugs at my heart strings in the same way. There is allegedly lots of great ethnic food in Aurora (check out the freebie paper Westword's online archives), but I've been happier with the offerings on Federal in Denver and elsewhere. There are a ton of places I haven't hit though.

            I have not seen Sub Stop's menu online, but you could swing by after work and pick up a take-out menu for later usage. Just a warning that even when they don't look that busy, many people from the base and surrounding companies call or fax in orders and you still may be waiting a while.

            1. re: rlm

              Like what places? What are their names?

          2. re: rlm

            mucousy warm potato salad. yummmmm.

      2. Aurora is a very large city by land area. Most of the established restaurants are on the west side. For mexican, La Cueva on Colfax is the local gold standard. Carnitas at Las Delicias on Kentucky Ave. in Glendale are good. Excellent Q and beer selections at Caldonia's on Parker Rd. near Iliff, and it has a big deck with a good view of the front range if the weather is mild. Their combo basket with ribs, chicken, and links is satisfying. For a good steak in a nice quiet atmosphere, The Summit Steakhouse on S. Havana is a good non-chain choice. Pricey, but you get what you pay for. Enjoy.