Round two with Brandon Foster, exec chef of Vesta Dipping Grill: The cheeseburger Big Bite from 7-Eleven rules
This is part two of my interview with Brandon Foster, executive chef of Vesta Dipping Grill. Read part one of my Brandon Foster interview.
Favorite restaurant in America: Chez Panisse. I've been there twice, once for lunch and once for dinner. The dinner was -- and still is -- the best dining experience I've ever had. I remember everything that I ate, and as I talk about it now, I can still taste it. The service, the setting and the food were off the charts. I can only think of a handful of meals that I've had over the years that managed to showcase all three of those things, and that dinner is at the top of the list.
Last restaurant you visited: Lola. Jamey, Duane and Drew are doing some really awesome things over there, and the food is always good. They have the best happy hour in town -- except for Steuben's, of course.
What you'd like to see more of in Denver/Boulder from a culinary standpoint: Better late-night food. Euclid Hall is crushing it with the late-night crowd, but it would be sweet to see more of the food trucks out and about late at night, too. We occasionally see a few downtown, but not frequently enough. There used to be a few good street vendors out and about, but they've really declined in number.
What you'd like to see less of in Denver/Boulder from a culinary standpoint: Steakhouses. There are way too many in this town, and only a few really live up to the hype.
Favorite Denver/Boulder restaurant(s) other than your own: El Noa Noa, El Taco de México and Jose's in Littleton. El Noa Noa is an outstanding sit-down spot to take the family; get the combination grande plate. El Taco de México is, well, El Taco de México. And Jose's is a restaurant on Main Street in Littleton that's been there for more than thirty years. When I was younger, my father worked at the Town Hall Arts Center, just a few doors down, and he befriended the owners, Joe and Phyllis Trujillo, right away. They're still the owners, and their children help them run the place. When we moved away from Denver when I was young, we'd come back during the summers to visit family, and we'd always go to Jose's, and he'd pack up burritos and chile for us for our drive back to Pennsylvania. They're wonderful people, and if you've never been, you owe it to yourself to go.
Favorite food from your childhood: Here's the truth: I didn't like much of anything as a child. I know we all say that, but anyone who knew me as a kid knows that I was one of the pickiest eaters on the planet. But if I had to pick, I guess it would be cereal, cinnamon toast and eggs. Despite all of my weird dislikes, breakfast was the one meal that I loved no matter what.