The nine best places for Texans to eat in Denver
Texans love Colorado; they come by the wagonload to ski, hike, mountain bike and otherwise spend tourist dollars in Denver and nearby mountain towns. Colorado may not love Texans, but we're more than happy to take their money -- so why not show our guests from the Lone Star State a little hospitality by giving them a taste of home when they're away from home? Texans are proud of their traditions, especially when it comes to food, and they may be just a little confused by our versions of Mexican food, our hodge-podge barbecue joints that owe as much to St. Louis, Memphis and North Carolina as to Texas, and our new-fangled ice cream shops that might feature garam masala before pecan praline. All that drawling and touring works up a Paul Bunyan-sized appetite, so here are a few Front Range favorites to help dispel any lonesome, homesick blues.
The little trailer attached to the big red pick-up may not be run by Texans, but it's serving up a pretty decent version of the stuffed pastries of central European origin that Denver has been missing since the Kolache Factory closed. Don't expect tender fruit-filled buns, though. Dense and hearty is the style here, with breakfast versions that include egg, cheese and jalapeño and lunch varations filled with bacon, macaroni and cheese or barbecued pulled pork. Get there early, though -- the Cabin starts start slinging at 6 a.m. -- because breakfast items often sell out before 8 a.m. and other options might be gone by noon.
2. Breakfast Tacos
Austin natives will flock to Moontower like moths to a flame based on the name alone, which refers to the historic light towers that watch over the Texas state capitol. And once in the door, they'll love Austin transplant Brent Thrash's renditions of migas tacos stuffed with scrambled eggs, avocado, strips of fried tortilla and three-cheese queso. More adventurous Texans can say howdy to the Doggfather: chicken and waffles wrapped in a tortilla and served with syrup, candied jalapeño and apple butter.
3. Barbecued Brisket
Wayne's Smoke Shack
Wayne's Smoke Shack in Superior began as a dream of re-creating owner Wayne Shelnutt's childhood memories of central Texas barbecue and culminated as a meat-market style pit barbecue specializing in meat by the pound, including a juicy, dry-rubbed brisket that needs no sauce (although Wayne's offers a variety of housemade sauces). There is no substitute for Texas brisket, with its coffee-hued bark, pink smoke line and enticing aroma of post oak and hickory -- authentic woods that Wayne's proudly uses -- that'll draw you right out of your Luccheses to the front of the line.
4. Bluebell Ice Cream
Despite the multitude of ice cream brands available at grocery stores and the growing number of Denver homegrown favorites like Little Man and Sweet Action, Texans still yearn for scoops of Bluebell Ice Cream, made in Brenham, Texas, since 1907. Since Bluebell opened a distribution center in Denver in 2011, tubs of the sweet stuff can be found at many area grocery stores. But rather than spending precious vacation time in the freezer aisle, take your favorite cowboy to Griff's Hamburgers, a South Broadway stalwart, for a classic old-school burger and a milkshake spun with creamy Lone-Star goodness from Bluebell.
Keep reading for more places to send Texans...
West Alameda and Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO
609 Grant St., Denver, CO
406 Center Drive, Superior, CO
742 S. Broadway, Denver, CO
1525 Blake St., Denver, CO
2500 E. 1st Ave., Denver, CO
3525 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO
1575 Boulder St., Denver, CO
1630 63rd St., Boulder, CO