100 Favorite Dishes: Chicken-fried eggs and smoked buffalo hash from Sassafras

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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. 85: Chicken-fried eggs and smoked buffalo hash from Sassafras American Eatery

The last time I made a pilgrimage to Sassafras, we were quoted an hour wait. My son, who hadn't had breakfast -- and was starving -- groaned. An hour wait for the bottomless pit that's a teenager is more than an eternity, but at Sassafras, the staff knows how to appease just about everyone, including the kid with a rumbling gut, who snacked on a strawberry-and-banana smoothie, along with a slice of terrific banana bread, while we passed the time parked on a bench watching, with envy, the plates that paraded past us. Turns out the wait was less than thirty minutes, but I would have waited longer -- much longer -- for the joint's chicken-fried eggs and smoked buffalo hash.

See also:
- Southern breakfasts take center stage at Sassafras American Eatery
- Best Milkshake - 2013: Sassafras American Eatery
- Colin Mallet brings Southern cooking to northwest Denver


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100 Favorite Dishes: Watermelon and frisee salad from EDGE

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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. 86: Watermelon and frisée salad from EDGE

Watermelon salads are here, there and everywhere, the proliferation of which is enough to make us yawn with apathy. But, like most things, not all watermelon salads are created equal, and at EDGE, the restaurant inside the ritzy Four Seasons, chef Simon Purvis proves that he has a knack for elevating the crimson flesh to cult status.

See also:
- Simon Purvis, exec chef of EDGE, on the customer he thought he murdered
- Round two with Simon Purvis, exec chef of EDGE at the Four Seasons
- Feast with the 1-percenters at Edge in the Four Seasons


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100 Favorite Dishes: wood-fired chicken from Pizzeria Basta

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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. 87: Wood-fired chicken from Pizzeria Basta

"Basta" translates to "enough" in Italian, and true to its name, the food at Pizzeria Basta, the Boulder restaurant that Kelly Whitaker opened in 2010, is never enough. It doesn't matter if it's his wood-fired pizzas, roasted vegetables, his lasagna or the wood-roasted chicken, this is the kind of food -- rustic, harmonious, beautifully seasoned -- that's wholly emblematic of pure passion, heart and soul.

See also:
- Kelly Whitaker, exec chef of Pizzeria Basta, on faith and his new restaurant
- Round two with Pizzeria Basta's Kelly Whitaker: "When did we stop being the cook?"
- Round three with Kelly Whitaker: "Hospitality is about serving people -- not yourself"


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100 Favorite Dishes: Reuben from the Bagel Deli

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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. 88: Reuben from the Bagel Deli

Legend has it that in 1914, an actress waltzed into a New York restaurant and asked an employee, whose name happened to be "Reuben," to make her a sandwich -- a skyscraping sandwich that combined different ingredients. The result, rye bread heaped with roasted turkey, ham, Swiss cheese, coleslaw and Russian dressing, was proclaimed "Reuben's Special," despite the fact that the actress, Annette Seelos, allegedly insisted that he name it after her. Like the cheeseburger, there are numerous declarations of ownership of the Reuben, New York's prized gut bomb, and over the years, the sandwich, which is now traditionally stacked with corned beef, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut, has continued to rise in popularity -- and in Denver, no one does a better Reuben than the Bagel Deli.

See also:
- Fat, full and happy: Westword's 100 favorite dishes in Denver
- Our 100 Favorite Dishes of 2012
- Our 100 Favorite Dishes of 2013 so far


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100 Favorite Dishes: lamb tartare from Epernay

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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. 89: lamb tartare from Epernay

Chef Duy Pham, who made a name for himself as the executive chef of the long-gone Tante Louise, has always plated painterly food that equates to culinary objects of worship, and at Epernay, those technique-oriented compositions -- everything from his sushi to his miso-glazed Chilean sea bass -- personify elegance and beauty.

See also:
- Chef Duy Pham returns to open Epernay, a sous-vide restaurant and raw bar
- Duy Pham, along with Michael Degenhart, are behind the line at Epernay
- Duy Pham has a new restaurant -- in Pueblo, of all places

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100 Favorite Dishes: Schezuan beef in numbing chile oil from Chef Liu's Authentic Chinese Cuisine

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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. 90: Schezuan beef in numbing chile oil from Chef Liu's

Chinese menus are notoriously overwhelming, what with page after page after page of dishes, descriptions and glamorized photos depicting what your dish will allegedly look like once it arrives at your table. More often that not, the snap on the menu bears little resemblance to what actually appears on your plate, and the superlatives -- yummy! delicious! exotic! spicy! -- that menu writers toss in as descriptors are notoriously off-base, too. Unless, that is, you're eating at Chef Liu's Authentic Chinese Cuisine, in which case, pay attention, because the Schezuan cuisine that emerges from this kitchen doesn't need adjectives, photos or superfluous staff praise to ballyhoo its attributes: The food proves its virtuosity all by itself.

See also:
- The 100 Favorite Dishes of 2013 archive
- Denver's ten best Chinese restaurants
- Super Star Asian's Dean Huang on the city's best Chinese restaurant

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100 Favorite Dishes: Lobster macaroni and cheese from Mizuna

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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. 91: Lobster macaroni and cheese from Mizuna

Macaroni and cheese, once a comfort-food staple of every Sunday supper (not to mention the elementary school cafeteria), isn't what it used to be. And thanks to chef Frank Bonanno, who makes no apologies for food steeped in indulgence, the slightly chewy, sauce-soaked elbow macaroni and cheese at Mizuna is definitely not your grandmother's version -- unless, that is, your nana favors poached sweet lobster meat in place of Oscar Meyer ham and silky mascarpone over Velveeta.

See also:
- The 100 Favorite Dishes of 2013 archive
- Chef and Tell with Frank Bonanno of Luca, Mizuna, Osteria Marco and Bones
- Part two: Chef and Tell with Frank Bonanno


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100 Favorite Dishes: Fried rice from Benihana

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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. 92: Fried rice from Benihana

Benihana is arguably the Barnum & Bailey Circus of Japanese food, an unabashedly corny and often embarrassing centerfold of eye-rolling wisecracks, theatrics and occasional mishaps from the knife-wielding teppenyaki chefs who elevate (some would say disintegrate) food into an entertainment form.

See also:
- The 100 Favorite Dishes of 2013 archive
- Denver's five best Japanese restaurants
- Best Japanese Restaurant - 2013 Land of Sushi


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100 Favorite Dishes: French fries from Jonesy's EatBar

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Jonesy's EatBar

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. 93: French fries from Jonesy's EatBar

French-fry fans are unwavering in their preferences: Some like them matchstick-skinny, others covet the pencil-thin version, while still others prefer pudgy. And then there's the issue of whether the french fry is intended to stand on its own, licked with nothing more than salt, or dipped in duck fat and blanketed with everything but the kitchen sink.

See also:
- The 100 Favorite Dishes of 2013 archive
- Jonesy's EatBar -- a new look for the new year
- Trends without end, round six: liquid assets, flesh and fine-dining elitism


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100 Favorite Dishes: Jajangmyeon from Yong Gung Dragon Palace Chinese Restaurant

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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. 94: Jajangmyeon from Dragon Palace Chinese Restaurant

Denver has an orgy of Chinese restaurants and a healthy binge of Korean restaurants, too, but for a swell of both cuisines, you'll need to go to Yong Gung Dragon Palace Chinese Restaurant, a noodle-embracing, elegant dining room that, despite its name, pays tribute to the best of both worlds.

See also:
- Our 100 Favorite Dishes of 2013 archive
- Denver's Best Chinese Restaurant 2013: East Asia Garden
- Denver's ten best Chinese restaurants


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