Could there be a more inviting name for a sausage spot than Bike Jim’s Gourmet Dogs? You’d be hard-pressed to find one, but that only partly explains the rise of this brick and mortar that began as a simple (and yet gourmet) hot dog cart. I went to the location in downtown Denver and struggled to find the right sausage for me.
While in Denver, I found myself at a trendy spot downtown called Hearth and Dram. It’s unquestionably the kind of name that was pulled out of the random trendy restaurant name handbook, but that didn’t change the fact that the menu looked like an unvegan dream. Sure, there were vegetables, but I liked to think they were an afterthought compared to the real food.
What do you do when combine Chipotle and Brazilian food in the city of Denver? Apparently a spot called Five on Black. It has the element of walking down the line to make an order, puts it all in a bowl instead of tortillas. Seeing as I and the world seem pretty bored of Chipotle these days, this seemed like a nice change of pace.
Brio may be a chain, but it’s the kind of chain I can get behind. After all, steaks are a central component of the menu at the place. Of course, with an Tuscan theme it’s possible to get some light pasta or something else crazy, but I am a man who doesn’t generally turn down the opportunity for a steak.
Highlands Ranch is a crazy distant suburb of Denver, which typically means chain restaurants galore. And that’s pretty much what I found, but I also found a place called Crave Burger that was anything but “chainy.” It felt like the kind of burger place I would open if I were ballsy enough to open a restaurant. The menu was loaded with all sorts of crazy and inventive burgers including toppings like peanut butter, jalapeno poppers and fried white cheddar and eventually I found mine.
Somewhere along the way, someone figured out that sex sells. I don’t know when this time came, but I’m pretty sure everyone in the room looked at each other and nodded in agreement without a word. In the ’80s, Hooters took that genius concept to the restaurant industry and became a household name. And while Hooters is still going strong, the look has become a bit dated. Enter Tilted Kilt, which has taken the Hooters concept, splashed it with Scotch and trimmed the uniforms significantly so that even flat girls have cleavage and they all show some midriff. In other words, the girls at Hooters almost look like nuns in comparison. Yet, while Hooters is gimmicky, they still have pretty tasty wings. Would Tilted Kilt have good fare to offer with their good looks?
Colorado is definitely a beer state, and not just because Coors comes from the Rocky Mountain State. No, it is also home to New Belgium (of Fat Tire fame) and seemingly countless other micro and craft breweries. While in Breckenridge for a ski weekend, I decided I had to at least try one of these, and because it turned out to be the only one available at dinner, my choice happened to come from the creatively named Breckenridge Brewery. The brewery, by the way, is actually no longer in Breckenridge, having expanded and moved to Denver in 1992.