100 Favorite Dishes: Fried rice from Benihana
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 email@example.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.
But guess what? The food here is nothing to sneer at, and the fried rice -- allegedly a "top secret" recipe -- is a dish that deserves a command performance. It's a jumble (as best I can tell) of fried eggs, soy sauce, garlic butter, sesame seeds and vegetables, and it arrives at the table long before the ebullient chefs toss your beef, chicken or shrimp on the plate -- a ploy, I imagine, to ensure that you order another round. Most people do, including numerous chefs in this city, who have secretly admitted their own addiction to Benihana's bewitching starch.
Hungry for more? All the dishes in our 2013 countdown are linked below:
No. 100: Foie gras oysters from Sushi Sasa
No. 99: Porchetta from Parisi
No. 98: chocolate caramel sea salt tart from Spuntino
No. 97: Nachos from the Pioneer
No. 96: Fried pickles from TAG Burger Bar
No. 95: Breakfast burrito from Jalapeños Mexican restaurant
No. 94: Jajangmyeon from Yong Gung Dragon Palace Chinese Restaurant
No 93: French fries from Jonesy's EatBar