The Top Five Ways Olive Garden Needs to Get Its Act Together

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This has been a bad week for Olive Garden. First, its new "Never Ending Pasta Pass" promo has been poked at -- or outright kicked -- by almost everyone on earth (Jimmy Kimmel's poke was particularly hilarious) and then Olive Garden investor Starboard Value slaps the chain with a nearly 300-page book on how the company is fucking up everything they possibly could -- and at least some of the problems reported are legit.

Here's a list of the top five ways that Olive Garden needs to get its act together. Get your poop in a group, Olive Garden!

See also: Five things Olive Garden should dump...now

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Five Iconic Dishes From Denver Restaurants That Keep Customers Coming Back

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Danielle Lirette
The hazelnut-crusted prawns at Barolo Grill.
The hazelnut-crusted prawns deserve to be the signature dish at Barolo Grill. Instead, it's the braised duck, which has taken a few turns over the years -- a little balsamic here, some Kalamata olives there -- but remains a top seller. More than that, though, it's a dish that draws people through the doors. "Everything else can change but we keep that duck," says owner Blair Taylor.

Barolo, of course, isn't the only restaurant synonymous with a certain dish. Here are five of our favorites, and while the dishes themselves are obviously well-known -- that's what makes them iconic -- the stories behind them are not.

See also: Review: Barolo Grill Has the White (Tablecloth) Stuff

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The Ten Best Barbecue Joints in Denver

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Mark Antonation
Brooks Smokehouse's mobile trailer.
Denver doesn't have much of a reputation as a barbecue city -- which makes sense, since the distinct styles of American barbecue evolved in other states; any methods or meat cuts specific to Colorado (lamb or bison, for example) disappeared decades ago. Slow cooking over hardwood coals is a skill acquired over many years -- a skill that few have the patience to master unless they're in a family business or are just crazy-passionate about pork and beef and smoke. But this city's restaurant scene has been growing exponentially in recent years, and the number of barbecue joints has risen at a similar rate. Which means that while just three years ago we could only come up with five favorites, we're now confident that it will take two hands to tally the places we really, really like.

See also: Author and Barbecue Judge Adrian Miller Shares His Rib Tips

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Top Five Famous Moments in Cheetos History

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So your brother dumps a bag of Cheetos on your bed so what's your next move? Stab him in the neck with a hunting knife, obviously. A Glenwood Springs guy was arrested for this very act last week (he got caught orange-handed), which could lead to the 'ol "Cheetos made me do it!" defense, but this isn't the first time that America's favorite finger-staining snack chips have been in the news.

Here's a list of the top five famous moments in Cheetos history.

See also: Five reasons why banning Flamin' Hot Cheetos is flaming stupid


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Seven Great Dishes and Drinks on 17th Avenue

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Kevin Galaba
The BSide opened last Wednesday at 17th and Humboldt.
The BSide opened just last Wednesday at 17th and Humboldt, a corner that is quickly becoming a restaurant destination quarter. Justin Lloyd, the owner of Star Bar on Larimer Street, is also behind the debut. The new restaurant is serving craft beers and cocktails and food that ranges from down-home to downright unique. This little stretch of 17th Avenue is becoming quite the family of restaurants, with the recent births of The District (next door to BSide) and Humboldt, which isn't even a year old yet. And there's older company, too: Limon and P17. These restaurants together make up a walkable district with an eclectic palette of dining and drinking options.

See Also: Justin Lloyd Creates a Local Gathering Spot at Star Bar.

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The Top Five Reasons Why Ramen Noodles Are Tasty Little Death Traps

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Welcome to hell.
As if the news hasn't been depressing enough forever lately, now ramen noodles are back in it, getting a bad rap -- what could be worse than that? Apparently America's favorite college-diet staple is all set to fuck up stomachs, destroy lives and even shove some folks into their cold graves, all while looking just as innocent and delicious as they always do.

Here's a list of the top five reasons why ramen noodles are tasty little death traps. Apparently they will kill you good and dead, even the Oriental flavoring -- the best of the ramen powder packets.

See also: Pho and ramen: The differences will bowl you over

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Ten Best Tiny Restaurants in Denver

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Cafe critic Gretchen Kurtz has been extolling the virtues of small dining rooms in recent reviews, including this week's look at Bistro Barbes. In fact, she seems to be having a summer-long, cross-country love affair with tiny, independent restaurants, writing that "they tend to exude honesty, urgency and passion."

We agree -- and her passion for small but focused eateries inspired us to make a list of ten of the top tiny restaurants in Denver. Our criteria? Aside from great food, we kept the seating limit to no more than forty (including bars and counters, but not counting outdoor tables) and listed only full-service (not walk-up or fast-casual) restaurants. Here they are, counting down from largest to smallest.

See also: Review: To the Wind Bistro Is a Breath of Fresh Air on East Colfax

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Five Things McDonald's Does Right -- and a Bonus Free Breakfast for Kids Tomorrow

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There is plenty that McDonald's has done -- or not done that you can criticize, but every once in a while McDoo's does something right. And that includes offering free breakfast -- an Egg McMuffin or Egg White Delight McMuffin, apple slices and choice of milk or orange juice -- for kids from kindergarten through eighth grade on Wednesday, September 3, from 6 to 9 a.m. at all Colorado locations. (Children must be present, and those under fifteen must be accompanied.)

"Local McDonald's owner/operators like me -- many who send their kids to our neighborhood schools -- chose the options for our free breakfast...provide a wholesome, balanced, great start to the school day," says Mitchell Sandoval, a local owner/operator. "We're also really excited that the Western Dairy Association and Minute Maid are sponsors of our free breakfast. Studies have shown a good breakfast contributes to school success, and they wanted to be a part of that education to students as well."

We went back to school ourselves, and found five more things McDonald's did right....

See also: Protesters Picket Outside McDonald's on 16th Street Mall for Higher Wages, Unionization

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The Top Five New Taco Bell "Dollar Cravings" Menu Items

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Taco Bell has gone and done it again, and by "it" I mean given me another reason to fuck my common sense into the dirt and hit the drive-through, late at night, like the filthy pintos and cheese addict I am (but try not to be). Bell's new "Dollar Cravings" menu has eleven items on it, but only five of them are worth checking out and -- shocker -- the cheese roll-up isn't one of them.

Here's a list of the top five new Taco Bell dollar cravings menu items. Chipotle still has class, track lighting and fresh guac, but I'm afraid this round goes to Taco Bell.

See also: How low would Taco Bell's prices have to be for you to stop going to Chipotle?



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Five Disturbing New Pieces of Food Service Technology

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The machines are rising again, and the food service industry is making it happen. Technological advances aren't always a bad thing, and lately there have been some pretty effin' cool mechanical grub-stuffers out there, like the Burrito Box vending machine in West Hollywood (we need this badly!) and the Frobot in Washington D.C. that dispenses fresh frozen yogurt (we really need this!). But on the flip side, there are a few robotic monstrosities trolling around that should scare the dangles off of the human population.

Here's a list of five disturbing new pieces of food service technology. These new bots will probably scare the hell out of Baskin-Robbins employees, Pizza Hut, everyone with foodie friends on Facebook, and minimum wage workers.

See also: Red Robin's Burger Works: Rise of the machine


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