Five restaurant concepts I'd love to see in Denver

Categories: The List

nopalito gordita.jpg
Nopalito
I did some traveling this summer, and I used each trip as an opportunity to eat my way through a city. Frequently, I'd note, with smug superiority, that we do certain things just as well -- or better -- in Denver. But there were also moments when I was gullet-deep in some delicious morsel and I couldn't help but wonder, why, exactly, don't we have this in Denver?

I love what's going on right now in the Denver restaurant scene, and I'd never suggest that what it needs is to rip off New York's delis or pizza or San Franciso's sourdough. But if you're contemplating opening something up any time soon in the Mile High City, here are five concepts worth considering:

tea leaf salad.jpg
via travelingman-vikramsingh.blogspot.com
Burmese tea leaf salad.
5. A Burmese restaurant
It took me about three bites of tea leaf salad at San Francisco's Burma Superstar to fall in love with Burmese cuisine, which had previously been completely foreign to me. And after samusa soup, curry noodles and pumpkin pork stew, I was totally hooked. Hey, I'd even take a little Burmese influence on a menu at this point. (By the way, while we're at this, I've noted before that a spot serving Lao food would be rad, too.)

czech pilsner.jpg
via chibebrau.blogspot.com
4. A Czech restaurant and beer hall
It's a simple concept: Czech beer on draft and a menu to go with it, served at long tables in a casual atmosphere. Why? Because beer halls are fun, and schnitzels, dumplings and kolaches are delicious. I'd also take a Czech-like menu with local Czech-like beers, or a little more Central and Eastern European food in general in Denver. You know, to balance out the Western part of the continent, which is well represented.

nopalito gordita.jpg
Nopalito
A sexy, sexy gordita at Nopalito in San Francisco.
3. A place that serves a sexed-up gordita
I haven't had many dishes in my life that made me turn around and immediately initiate a second order, but I ate a gordita this summer that had me calling for my server before I'd even finished the last bite. It was no traditional gordita, either -- it was a sexed-up version, with two corn tortilla rounds sandwiching a peppery and voluptuous beef filling plus queso fresco, beans and a tuft of cabbage. It was one of the best things I've ever eaten in my life, but I couldn't help thinking that there's got to be a Denver chef who could do it even better.


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18 comments
Soft Chewable Kamagra
Soft Chewable Kamagra

"Apparently, I'd nest in my bed, with my hands splayed across my chest, ... "I love everything about restaurants," he says, "from the music and design to ...

Ekcclement
Ekcclement

Soba just doesn't care enough about their beer program to entice real beer lovers. Their emphasis remains on mass produced lagers, not exactly the stuff to draw me away from some of the local breweries despite my appreciation for their food 

dan5280
dan5280

I guess I need to try Sobo 151.  A couple other restaurants I've fell in love with over the years that I'd love to see in Denver:

Lotus of Siam in Vegas (no explanation needed)

Muqueca in Somerville, MA - a Brazilian stone bowl (molcajete) restaurant that specializes in seafood.  So good.

Anything Jeff Smedstad (Los Sombreros in Scottsdale, Elote Cafe in Sedona) can come up with.  His Lamb Adobo might be the best thing on earth.  Oh, and the smoked pork cheeks aren't too bad either.

Rachel Zurer
Rachel Zurer

Just moved from the Bay Area and would be SO happy if something like Burma Superstar opened here. Come on, investors, get on it!

Mantonat
Mantonat

Sexed up gorditas? I can think of half a dozen places that serve gorditas that are better than sex and dirt cheap too. I don't need to pay $18 for a celebrity chef version of kobe gorditas or something. Bring on the Burmese and the beer hall though!

Sbuckyl
Sbuckyl

Ha! I made my favorite dinner tonight, cold soba noodles with veggies and shrimp. I would definitely love a soba house.

Speaking of that,I do miss the duck soba at den deli.

Guesties
Guesties

You don't like Sobo 151 for czech?

Woody
Woody

not a soba "house" per se, but Domo does both hot and cold Sobab

Artmedi4
Artmedi4

heres some gorditas for you.

GFTW
GFTW

Cafe Prague in Morrison doesn't do it for 'ya?

Jason Greenie
Jason Greenie

Agreed! Sobo 151 is about as Czech-centric as could be imagined of a spot in Denver. Fantastic place to drink and/or eat.

Laura Shunk
Laura Shunk

Ehhhhhhhhh no. I'm talking beer hall.

Mantonat
Mantonat

You must not have much of an imagination. Maybe some pictures would help - Google "Czech beer hall" and maybe look at some of the menus while you are at it.

I agree with you that Sobo is a fine bar with some good czech food, but it's not even close to as Czech-centric as a place could be in Denver.

Mantonat
Mantonat

Go to Prague and when you get back you can tell us how much different the beer halls there are from Sobo. Sure it's a fine bar, but it's a sports bar that serves some czech food. Saying "just add some long tables" is a little like saying "just add some bleachers" to your back yard to make it into a sports stadium. Places like U Fleku in Prague are not just bars with long tables. Many beer halls feature their own beers and have a complete food program, not just bar food with a few ethnic specialties. You are only proving Laura's point (that Denver dining could use a few upgrades) by insisting that we have something here that we obviously don't.

Jon S
Jon S

Sobo 151 has the requisite Czech food, Czech beers you can't get anywhere else, and awesome ambiance. Not sure what adding some long tables would do to improve the beer hall status.

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