100 Favorite Dishes: Charcuterie board from Black Pearl

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Lori Midson

Suffice it to say that I eat out more than the general population, unless, of course, the general population can catalogue more than 450 restaurant meals in a year -- which is about the number of breakfasts, lunches and dinners that I stomached over the past year. Pathetic, isn't it? But all those food dates are worth the gluttony, because it allows us to tell you where you should eat, a little favor that we started in late 2009, when we embarked on a culinary journey that took us through our favorite dishes in the Mile High City -- 100, to be exact. Now we're back with round three, counting down (in no particular order) 100 more of our favorite dishes in Denver (and Boulder). If there's something in particular that you think we need to try, reveal it in the comments section below, or shoot me an e-mail at lori.midson@westword.com.

No. 75: Charcuterie board from Black Pearl

Black Pearl's kitchen, now in the strikingly mature hands of accomplished chef Samir Mohammad, is better than ever, in part because of its ambitious in-house charcuterie program, which proselytizes every scrap, bit, piece and part of whatever beast Mohammad is butchering during his weekly animal breakdown sessions.

See also: Exclusive: Samir Mohammad named new executive chef of Black Pearl


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100 Favorite Dishes: masala dosa from Chai & Chai

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Lori Midson

Suffice it to say that I eat out more than the general population, unless, of course, the general population can catalogue more than 450 restaurant meals in a year -- which is about the number of breakfasts, lunches and dinners that I stomached over the past year. Pathetic, isn't it? But all those food dates are worth the gluttony, because it allows us to tell you where you should eat, a little favor that we started in late 2009, when we embarked on a culinary journey that took us through our favorite dishes in the Mile High City -- 100, to be exact. Now we're back with round three, counting down (in no particular order) 100 more of our favorite dishes in Denver (and Boulder). If there's something in particular that you think we need to try, reveal it in the comments section below, or shoot me an e-mail at lori.midson@westword.com.

No. 76: Masala dosa from Chai & Chai

A proper dosa, the wafer-thin, honey-hued, crisped, crackly crepe that's made from finely ground rice and black lentils and served as a staple in Southern India, overhangs the plate by several inches, or, in some cases, feet. A small table, one that seats two, for example, would never justify the enormity of a dosa -- at least not at Chai & Chai, an off-the-beaten-path sleeper in Aurora that's tucked away in a hidden row of restaurants on the Anschutz Medical Campus. Here, at this quirky cafe that doles out dual cuisines -- Indian and Arabic -- a dosa spans across the plate in feet, at least two, quite possibly three. That's not an exaggeration.

See also: Ten best Indian restaurants in Denver


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100 Favorite Dishes: Hot pot from China Jade

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Lori Midson

Suffice it to say that I eat out more than the general population, unless, of course, the general population can catalogue more than 450 restaurant meals in a year -- which is about the number of breakfasts, lunches and dinners that I stomached in 2012. Pathetic, isn't it? But all those food dates are worth the gluttony, because it allows us to tell you where you should eat, a little favor that we started in late 2009, when we embarked on a culinary journey that took us through our favorite dishes in the Mile High City -- 100, to be exact. Now we're back with round three, counting down (in no particular order) 100 more of our favorite dishes in Denver (and Boulder). If there's something in particular that you think we need to try, reveal it in the comments section below, or shoot me an e-mail at lori.midson@westword.com.

No. 77: Hot pot from China Jade

A thousand years ago -- maybe more -- in northwest China, a starving squadron of Chinese Muslims invented the Chinese hotpot (also called Chinese fondue) presumably on a very, very cold day in winter when the steaming broth, bubbling in an archaic pot on a mud stove, shielded them from the air's frigidity. The dish, which now has marked regional differences, is still popular throughout China, especially during the Chinese Spring Festival, also called Lunar New Year. And it's generated a following in the States, too, including Denver. In Japan, it's known as shabu shabu, and if you're in Malaysia, locals will refer to it as "steamboat." And if you're in Aurora, at China Jade, you'll have to ask your server for the "secret" hot pot menu, which I never knew existed until just a few weeks ago. And that hot pot menu might be the greatest culinary discovery I've made all year.

See also: China Jade reopens after a remodel and expansion

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100 Favorite Dishes: Dan dan noodles from Euclid Hall

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Lori Midson

Suffice it to say that I eat out more than the general population, unless, of course, the general population can catalogue more than 450 restaurant meals in a year -- which is about the number of breakfasts, lunches and dinners that I stomached in 2012. Pathetic, isn't it? But all those food dates are worth the gluttony, because it allows us to tell you where you should eat, a little favor that we started in late 2009, when we embarked on a culinary journey that took us through our favorite dishes in the Mile High City -- 100, to be exact. Now we're back with round three, counting down (in no particular order) 100 more of our favorite dishes in Denver (and Boulder). If there's something in particular that you think we need to try, reveal it in the comments section below, or shoot me an e-mail at lori.midson@westword.com.

No. 78: Dan dan noodles from Euclid Hall

The first time I had dan dan noodles, or dan dan mian, was decades ago in San Francisco at a sticky Chinese noodle joint, the name of which I can't remember. But I can certainly recollect the vinegary, Sichuan pepper-laced broth in which the slippery noodles glistened, the strands stained scarlet from the sludge of the numbing chiles. The dan dan noodles at Euclid Hall are quite different from my first experience, but given that chef Jorel Pierce is the kind of guy who thinks -- and cooks -- outside the culinary monarchy, that doesn't surprise me. Nor was I surprised by how much I loved his take on what's typically a dish that doesn't dole out the unexpected.

See also: Euclid Hall's Jorel Pierce on the egg man, life without salt and f*cking up the art of cuisine

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100 Favorite Dishes: Pozole from La California Panaderia

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Lori Midson

Suffice it to say that I eat out more than the general population, unless, of course, the general population can catalogue more than 450 restaurant meals in a year -- which is about the number of breakfasts, lunches and dinners that I stomached in 2012. Pathetic, isn't it? But all those food dates are worth the gluttony, because it allows us to tell you where you should eat, a little favor that we started in late 2009, when we embarked on a culinary journey that took us through our favorite dishes in the Mile High City -- 100, to be exact. Now we're back with round three, counting down (in no particular order) 100 more of our favorite dishes in Denver (and Boulder). If there's something in particular that you think we need to try, reveal it in the comments section below, or shoot me an e-mail at lori.midson@westword.com.

No. 79: Pozole from La California Panaderia

In Mexico, pozole is a celebratory dish served on Christmas Eve and on birthdays, at weddings and during festivals, on Mexican Independence Day and Day of the Dead. Huge vats of the slow-cooked soup gurgle on the stove, the evocative steam from brassy spices and chiles perspiring the air. The hearty soup has become so popular throughout Mexico that many restaurants devote a certain day of the week solely to pozole, turning the time-honored tradition into an all-day affair.

See also: Best Posole - 2010: Tarasco's New Latin Cuisine

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100 Favorite Dishes: Migas tacos from Moontower Tacos

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Lori Midson

Suffice it to say that I eat out more than the general population, unless, of course, the general population can catalogue more than 450 restaurant meals in a year -- which is about the number of breakfasts, lunches and dinners that I stomached in 2012. Pathetic, isn't it? But all those food dates are worth the gluttony, because it allows us to tell you where you should eat, a little favor that we started in late 2009, when we embarked on a culinary journey that took us through our favorite dishes in the Mile High City -- 100, to be exact. Now we're back with round three, counting down (in no particular order) 100 more of our favorite dishes in Denver (and Boulder). If there's something in particular that you think we need to try, reveal it in the comments section below, or shoot me an e-mail at lori.midson@westword.com.

No. 80: Migas tacos from Moontower Tacos

If you've ever been to South Texas, then you understand the general public's unwavering fidelity to breakfast tacos. You may as well just deem them "God" and call it a day. And here's where I agree with the Texans: Breakfast tacos are one of the greatest foods around -- and much better, in my not so humble opinion, than breakfast burritos.

See also: Exclusive first look: Moontower Tacos opens in Capitol Hill


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100 Favorite Dishes: Philly Phanatic from Large Marge's

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Lori Midson

Suffice it to say that I eat out more than the general population, unless, of course, the general population can catalogue more than 450 restaurant meals in a year -- which is about the number of breakfasts, lunches and dinners that I stomached in 2012. Pathetic, isn't it? But all those food dates are worth the gluttony, because it allows us to tell you where you should eat, a little favor that we started in late 2009, when we embarked on a culinary journey that took us through our favorite dishes in the Mile High City -- 100, to be exact. Now we're back with round three, counting down (in no particular order) 100 more of our favorite dishes in Denver (and Boulder). If there's something in particular that you think we need to try, reveal it in the comments section below, or shoot me an e-mail at lori.midson@westword.com.

No. 81: Philly Phanatic from Large Marge's Philly Cheesesteaks

I went to junior high school -- or, as it's called now, middle school -- at Everitt, smack-dab in the middle of Wheat Ridge, which meant I was born and raised in the culinary sticks. Back then, there sure as hell wasn't anywhere in close proximity for students to eat, save for the school cafeteria, but since my lunch was always the plot of my mother, I have no idea what the school cafeteria served. But knowing what I do about school cafeteria slop, I'm betting that those awkward middle schoolers happily forgo the mysteries on their plate to make a beeline for Large Marge's, a Philly cheesesteak joint that lurks just beyond the school gate.

See also:
- Pride of Philly hits the streets of Denver with authentic cheesesteaks
- The Sandwich Solution
- Reader: If you see "Philly cheesesteak," what you're ordering is not authentic


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100 Favorite Dishes: Sopressata pizza from Kaos

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Lori Midson

Suffice it to say that I eat out more than the general population, unless, of course, the general population can catalogue more than 450 restaurant meals in a year -- which is about the number of breakfasts, lunches and dinners that I stomached in 2012. Pathetic, isn't it? But all those food dates are worth the gluttony, because it allows us to tell you where you should eat, a little favor that we started in late 2009, when we embarked on a culinary journey that took us through our favorite dishes in the Mile High City -- 100, to be exact. Now we're back with round three, counting down (in no particular order) 100 more of our favorite dishes in Denver (and Boulder). If there's something in particular that you think we need to try, reveal it in the comments section below, or shoot me an e-mail at lori.midson@westword.com.

No. 82: Sopressata pizza from Kaos

Kaos Pizzeria had been expanding -- and evolving -- so rapidly that every time I swing through the gate into the pastoral courtyard strewn with wrought-iron tables, there's something new that catches my eye: swaying sunflowers; another patio, now with communal picnic tables, that stretches to the back alley; a lush garden flush with fragrant fresh herbs; and a sign in the front window that seeks approval for a cabaret license to complement the murmurs and hums of diners with live music. But through all the metamorphosis, Kaos has remained steadfast to pumping out spectacular wood-fired pizzas that zigzag from a simple four-cheese to a vegetarian pizza crowned with ingredients from the garden -- and the pizzeria's own farm -- to the Smokestack, a pizza slicked with San Marzano tomatoes and topped with mozzarella, provolone, bacon, roasted poblano chiles and dots of goat cheese.

See also:
- Kaos Pizzeria excels in the Neapolitan style
- Gaia Bistro on South Pearl is a true gathering place
- Denver's five best patios to celebrate the arrival of spring


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100 Favorite Dishes: Sushi - any sushi - from Land of Sushi

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Lori Midson

Suffice it to say that I eat out more than the general population, unless, of course, the general population can catalogue more than 450 restaurant meals in a year -- which is about the number of breakfasts, lunches and dinners that I stomached in 2012. Pathetic, isn't it? But all those food dates are worth the gluttony, because it allows us to tell you where you should eat, a little favor that we started in late 2009, when we embarked on a culinary journey that took us through our favorite dishes in the Mile High City -- 100, to be exact. Now we're back with round three, counting down (in no particular order) 100 more of our favorite dishes in Denver (and Boulder). If there's something in particular that you think we need to try, reveal it in the comments section below, or shoot me an e-mail at lori.midson@westword.com.

No. 83: Sushi -- any sushi -- from Land of Sushi

Despite the fact that we've torpedoed Land of Sushi with lavish love, it still may be the most undiscovered and underrated sushi bar in Denver, but that's certainly not the fault of chef Ben Liu, whose exquisite fish outperforms the sharks that sell their sushi and sashimi for double -- even triple -- the price. I've eaten here multiple times -- perhaps more than any other Denver restaurant -- turning both my teenager and my dad (a meat-and-potatoes man through and through) into reluctant addicts of mackerel and monkfish liver, salmon collar and uni.

See also:
- Get hooked on the fresh fish at Land of Sushi
- Best Japanese Restaurant - 2013: Land of Sushi
- Best Sushi Restaurant - 2012: Land of Sushi


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100 Favorite Dishes: English pea agnolotti from Harman's Eat & Drink

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Lori Midson

Suffice it to say that I eat out more than the general population, unless, of course, the general population can catalogue more than 450 restaurant meals in a year -- which is about the number of breakfasts, lunches and dinners that I stomached in 2012. Pathetic, isn't it? But all those food dates are worth the gluttony, because it allows us to tell you where you should eat, a little favor that we started in late 2009, when we embarked on a culinary journey that took us through our favorite dishes in the Mile High City -- 100, to be exact. Now we're back with round three, counting down (in no particular order) 100 more of our favorite dishes in Denver (and Boulder). If there's something in particular that you think we need to try, reveal it in the comments section below, or shoot me an e-mail at lori.midson@westword.com.

No. 84: English pea agnolotti from Harman's Eat & Drink

Years ago, while living in Chicago, I was a militant vegetarian, which, in retrospect, was a really stupid decision considering the city in which I lived. I subsisted mostly on plants in one of the most progressive food cities in America, a decision that was reversed the moment I found out I was pregnant. At that point, I was back in Denver and my body craved meat, any meat. Hell, I even made a run for bologna in the supermarket at one point -- another really stupid decision. But while I love the pig, the lamb, the cow, the occasional chicken and seafood and fish, there's still a part of me that's bewitched by vegetables, and when I find a dish that has the ability to transform vegetables into sheer magic -- the English pea agnolotti pooled in a sauce of pureed carrots, for example, from Harman's Eat & Drink -- I want to kiss the cook that made it.

See also:
- Mark Fischer opening Harman's Eat and Drink in Cherry Creek at the end of June
- Get your pig fix at Harman's Eat & Drink, now open in Cherry Creek
- Chef Mark Fischer on treating knives badly, pussies and unicorns


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