Reader: Pork belly is a hipster trend that's already obsolete

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We're counting down our 100 Favorite Dishes as we head towards our next Best of Denver, and last week landed at Solera, where Goose Sorensen's pork-belly confit is a marvel, a preparation that involves curing, pressing and slow cooking in duck fat, which Sorensen explains melts the layers of pork fat into the meat while breaking down the connective tissue. A quick sear crisps the exterior for an added dose of char and a hint of sweetness. It's hog heaven....unless you think pork belly is so over.

See also: 100 Favorite dishes -- pork belly confit from Solera

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Reader: Who comes to Colorado and decides their brewery tour of choice is Coors?

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Friends on their way from New York to Grand Lake stopped in Denver last week, and we sent them on our recommended 2014 tourism circuit Thursday morning: what we call the Tumbleweed tour, a quick hit in the 1600 block of Wazee Street where you can see the old West at Rockmount Ranch Wear and the new West of recreational marijuana across the street at LoDo Wellness, then on to Red Rocks for a short hike. From there, they decided to stop at the Coors Brewery -- one of the top ten tourist traps in Denver, according to Yahoo -- where the line for the tour was two hours long. They decided not to wait: a good decision, according to a few readers.

See also:
The ten worst Denver tourist traps, according to Yahoo -- and why they're (mostly) wrong

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Reader: I love Casa Bonita -- always have, always will

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Kate Levy
Casa Bonita is Denver's top tourist trap, according to Yahoo: "If you're looking for a popular place to eat, you may get recommendations to visit Casa Bonita. The restaurant boasts cliff divers, escaping gorillas and an amusement arcade. Beware the bland Mexican food though because it isn't authentic."

True, the food would have to improve considerably in order to qualify as mediocre. But no one is going to Casa Bonita for authentic Mexican food. They're going for the gloriously cheesy spectacle. This is far from Denver's biggest tourist trap -- but it's definitely Denver's most talked-about restaurant. If you consider Casa Bonita a restaurant...

See also: Ten worst Denver tourist traps according to Yahoo -- and why they're (mostly) wrong

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Reader: How many times have we seen Denver chef/restaurateurs spread themselves thin?

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Danielle Lirette
Chef Troy Guard is a very busy man. Today he'll open Bubu, a new concept in the former TAG|Raw Bar space in Larimer Square; he's planning to put another spot in Lowry. Before that, he'll pour his expertise from TAG Burger Bar into Acme Burgers & Brats, opening next week in Union Station. Then there's his flagship, TAG, as well as Sugarmill and Los Chingones, which both opened at the end of last year; he's active at all of them. And in March, he opened Guard and Grace, a modern steakhouse that's his biggest restaurant yet. Even with everything else on his plate, we saw Guard there earlier this week, working with the staff, making sure everything lived up to its name. His name.

See also: Our review of Guard and Grace, which looks lovely but faces some hard realities

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Reader: All this bashing of parents and kids and "hipsters" is depressing and stupid

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After we published our list of ten great patios where you can enjoy all-American craft beer this summer, Station 26 became ground zero for a discussion of just where, exactly, it's appropriate for parents to take their kids -- and how both parents and kids should act once they're there. But the talk soon spilled out of Stapleton and into other parts of town, inspiring our upcoming list of best places for parents to take their kids and enjoy an evening out -- and not ruin the evenings of other customers.

See also: Stapletonians have nearly ruined Station 26

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Reader: If it doesn't smell like puke and piss, it ain't a dive bar

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Thunderbird Lounge: Gone, but not forgotten.

Is the dive bar an endangered species in Denver? The closure of the Thunderbird Lounge, a classic dive in east Denver, inspired us to raise a glass to ten of the dive bars still pouring in town -- and still qualifying as dives. While many of our favorite saloons (Bamboo Hut, Skyline) are gone for good, others (Don's, the Squire) have been renovated to the point that they no longer can really be described as dives.

And what qualifies as a dive? It's definitely not a place where you would not want to take a kid, to echo a hot topic from last week.

See also: The ten best dive bars in Denver -- summer 2014 edition


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Reader: Give Stapleton parents a break and understand they need a beer

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Station 26 is in the heart of family-friendly Stapleton.
There are some standard hot topics in the restaurant industry: What constitutes good service, what's a fair tip -- and when and where are kids welcome? Last week -- just in time for the holidays -- we posted a list of ten great craft-beer patios to try this summer, and the mention of one particular spot, Station 26, spilled over into a sticky discussion this week. Station 26 is smack-dab in the middle of the Stapleton neighborhood, and so attracts many families. But this is not the only area where parents are hungry for a spot they can go with their kids....and still sample an adult beverage.

See also: Reader says Stapletonians have nearly ruined Station 26

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Reader: Make a decision and get out of the way so I can get my ice cream

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Cafe critic Gretchen Kurtz stopped by Nuggs Ice Cream with her family one recent Friday night for a cool treat, and what she found there has led to a hot discussion on Cafe Society. Unlike other ice cream spots she's frequented around town that happily hand out samples, the Nuggs employee stopped at two -- despite the fact that the place was otherwise empty and the crew wasn't holding up the line. "What are you trying to do, fill up on tastes so you don't have to buy a cone?" he barked. The family left with $20 worth of ice cream and a bad taste -- although an assistant manager later told Kurtz that the employee was not following store policy.

You scream, I scream, plenty of people are screaming over this story...

See also: What's the scoop on the skimpy sampling at Nuggs?


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Reader: If you're not ready to raise money privately, you're not ready to open a restaurant

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If an Ohio man can raise $44,000 through Kickstarter to make potato salad, is it unreasonable for the owners of Latke Love to think they can resurrect the eatery through crowdfunding? After closing their Park Hill spot in May, Steve and Tina Shander and Steve's sister, Dana, just launched an Indiegogo campaign titled "Latke Love Needs Your Help To Find A New Home." Their goal is to raise $100,000 within forty days.

See also: Latke Love needs some Denver love to find new location

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Reader: Stapletonians have nearly ruined Station 26

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Station 26 is at home in Stapleton.
There's no better way to enjoy a beautiful Colorado day than sitting outside in the sunshine, enjoying one of Colorado's liquid assets: craft beer. Fortunately, there are dozens of great brewery patios along the Front Range. Some are intimate backyard spaces, others are expansive parks. And some, like Station 26, could double as a daycare center, according to one reader.

See also:
Celebrate American craft beer on one of these ten great patios

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