Stealth Sopapillas at Casa Bonita: A Second Helping of Cafe Society, November 17-21

Categories: Second Helpings

Danielle Lirette
Chef-owner Clint Wangsnes in the dining room at Chop Shop.
This week in Cafe Society, Gretchen Kurtz declared Chop Shop a "quick hit," but suggested that the crowd-averse hit this popular new fast-casual eatery later in the day. Mark Antonation met with the four owners of Bonfire Burritos, who bought the tiny Mexican food trailer in Golden after years of being its best customers. And writer Bree Davies went undercover to Casa Bonita to give us a peek into the baffling theme restaurant and its bizarre charms.

See also: A Prison Guard's Take on Solitary Confinement and Who Belongs There

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House For All Sinners and Saints Makes Working on Thanksgiving Suck Less

House For All
House For All will distribute about 1,000 bagged lunches to people working on Thanksgiving.
If you're looking for an interesting volunteer opportunity this Thanksgiving, give House For All Sinners and Saints a call. In an effort called Operation: Turkey Sandwich, the ministry, which became an official congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America this year, is making more than 1,000 bagged Thanksgiving-themed lunches for people who are stuck working this holiday.

See also: Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber: "Jesus-y while being socially progressive"

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Humble Pie Signs Lease for New Location on Colfax

Humble Pie
When Humble Pie closed its shop in the Baker neighborhood this fall, the owners said they hoped to re-open in a bigger space and expand the concept with a full bar and larger menu. Now co-owner Jessica Dolgan says the deal is done: Humble Pie will reopen next year in a new spot on East Colfax Avenue. "It's nice to get this place under lease," says Dolgan who opened the original pie shop with partner Tamara Brink in 2012.

See also: Cerebral Brewing Will Go Back to the Lab When it Opens Next Year on Colfax

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Should We Care if America Thinks Colorado Has the Munchies?

Cory Lamz
This is what the rest of the country thinks Denver looks like all the time.
On Wednesday the New York Times online Cooking blog featured Thanksgiving recipes from across the nation, with the stated goal to "evoke each of the 50 states." While some of the recipes seemed either invented on the spot or dug up from a dusty Ladies Auxiliary cookbook, regional ingredients and cultural traditions at least threaded their way through as themes. There was a Carribean-influenced mojo turkey from Florida, a salmon pie from Alaska and sourdough stuffing from California. Potatoes, of course, represented Idaho and lobster mac and cheese was Maine's contribution. Even ingredients with little recognition outside the region (did you know that persimmons grow wild in Indiana?) and family recipes based on local pastimes (one family in Kentucky created hand-sized dressing buns that hunters can slip into their pockets) made the list.

So what was Colorado's contribution to the national holiday board: something with peaches, elk, lamb, green chile or even a beer-based soup or sauce? Nope. It's stoner food, in the savory-sweet form of pecan pie bites meant to be dunked in leftover turkey gravy, a recipe from Alexander Figura of Lower48 Kitchen.

See also: The Twelve Best Stoner Spots to Cure the Munchies in Denver on 4/20

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Oskar Blues CHUBurger Served 50,000 Burgers at Coors Field in 2014, Will Return Next Season

Categories: Beer Man

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CHUburger at Coors Field served nearly 50,000 burgers in 2014.
The 2014 baseball season didn't work out so well for the Colorado Rockies, but it was a grand slam for Oskar Blues, which sold nearly 50,000 burgers at the CHUburger restaurant on the new rooftop deck at Coors Field. The location also poured 43,000 beers, although that total was split between two Oskar Blues offerings, Dale's Pale Ale and Mama's Little Yella Pils, and Coors and Coors Light, which flow like water at that stadium.

"It had a great feel and we had a great time up there," says Oskar Blues spokesman Chad Melis, adding that the company may try to expand its menu slightly for the 2015 season with a chicken sandwich. "I think we got past the learning curve."

See also: Oskar Blues is opening a CHUBurger at Coors Field, but will it serve its own beer?

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Reader: Not All Kids Suck at Restaurants!

Mark Manger
Sassafras is a good choice for both kids and adults.
Gretchen Kurtz just reviewed Chop Shop Casual Urban Eatery, a new spot on East Colfax Avenue that's a great place to grab a fast, grown-up meal -- but also a good spot to take the kids. And while pizza and burger joints are often the go-to choices for family meals, Chop Shop isn't the only spot in town where both adults and children can enjoy a meal; Kurtz suggested four more family-friendly restaurants here. For some readers, that list became a guide of what to ignore.
See also: Five Restaurants That Are Good for Kids -- the the Grownups Who Love Them

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From Stache to Champagne, the Eight Tastiest Events on the Culinary Calendar

Categories: Culinary Events

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This weekend could be a hair-raising experience, with Movember moustache parties, Beaujolais and Burgundy festivals, and a celebration of craft-beer all in the can. Keep reading for a taste of what's on the culinary calendar...

See also: Celebrate Rioja's Tenth Anniversary With These Ten Memorable Moments

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What the Cluck? White Fence Farm Sells to New Owners

Categories: Word of Mouth

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In July 1973, Charlie Wilson, a graduate of the University of Denver's Hotel and Restaurant Management School, opened White Fence Farm on his parents' property on what was then rural land in Lakewood. It took a year to convert the working hay and cattle farm into a dining hall and tourist attraction with a gift shop, petting farm, duck pond and entertainment stage. Now, more than forty years and five million chicken dinners later, Wilson has sold the farm. But he says new owners Tom Piercy and Craig Caldwell "aren't going to change a thing, except for a few family photos on the wall."

See also: White Fence Farm Wins Top Family-Friendly Restaurant Award

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Big Hoss Bar-B-Q on Tennyson Sells to New Owners, Will Become Tennyson Street Barbecue

Tennyson Street is sizzling with new restaurant activity, with several new eateries scheduled to open in the Berkeley neighborhood in the coming months. Changes for existing places are afoot, too: Big Hoss Bar-B-Q has been sold to new owners, who will debut a new name -- Tennyson Street Barbecue -- and menu the first week of December.

See also: Jelly Owner Will Open the Royal, a Burger Bar, on Rapidly Changing Tennyson Street

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Celebrate Rioja's Tenth Anniversary With These Ten Memorable Moments

Jen Jasinski and Beth Gruitch at Rioja.
On November 22, 2004, when Jennifer Jasinski and Beth Gruitch opened Rioja in Larimer Square, that block wasn't the dining destination that it is today -- and chef Jen was far from a household name. Fast forward ten years, and Larimer Square is an eating Eden, with Gruitch and Jasinski adding to the options with Bistro Vendome and Euclid Hall. And Jasinski has not only become a familiar face in her own kitchens and at fundraising events around town, she's also become a celeb chef featured on TV series and in national magazines -- most recently supplying a recipe for December Food & Wine.

In honor of Rioja's delicious decade of service, we asked the crew there to dish up ten of the restaurant's most memorable moments.

See also: Jen Jasinski's James Beard Award Felt Like a Lifetime Achievement -- But Her Career Is Still Cooking

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