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In NM for the first time...

Once you hit Santa Fe, if you are looking for a great breakfast I recommend Pasqual's Kitchen on Don Gaspar. It is extremely popular, so expect at least a short wait, but it is well worth it. They serve lunch and dinner also, but imho breakfast is what they do best. For something unique and authentic, try the huevos motulenos: a fantastic dish of fresh corn tortillas with eggs, black beans, plantains, queso fresco and green peas of all things. It sounds a bit strange, but the flavors come together beautifully on the plate. Their house-made chorizo and corn meal mush are also unbelievable. Enjoy your trip!

Feb 27, 2008
chicachef in Southwest

NEW Culiver's Butter Burger of Mesa

Wow, I had no idea they were in CO-- thanks for the heads up Robyn! I think there's a butterburger in Thorton with my name on it this weekend!

Feb 27, 2008
chicachef in Southwest

NEW Culiver's Butter Burger of Mesa

I'm familiar w/ Culver's back in MN. I have no idea how or why, but they have THE BEST rootbeer on the planet!!!! It is actually spicy (flavorful, not heat-spicy) and has a creamy mouthfeel. You have to try it! Great custard too. I wish they had Culver's here in CO... I would actually eat at this fast food chain.

Feb 25, 2008
chicachef in Southwest

Trompeau Bakery on Evans?

Has anyone been to Trompeau bakery on Evans (near DU)? Would you recommend it for breads? Also, does anyone know if they do breakfast or lunch service (sandwiches etc)?

Feb 22, 2008
chicachef in Southwest

Downtown Denver Resturaunts

DBT, what style of food are you looking for, anything in particular?

Feb 22, 2008
chicachef in Southwest

Dara/Minnesota Monthly

Thanks for the heads up DQ! I moved to CO from Mpls 12 years ago, but have always kept up w/ Dara's column through CP online. She is my hands-down, all-time favorite food writer, for her fresh, irreverent writing and undying love and support of local foodways and little mom-and-pop joints over the years. I was shocked but pleased to hear that her talent and accumulated accolades (JB awards etc) have brought her to bigger and better things. Have you checked out her stuff in Food & Wine? She strikes a much more sophisticated tone in FW, which I liked, but I will miss her wicked spot-on humor and gentle ribbing of Midwestern idiosyncracies. She is a true gem. If anyone is interested in checking out Dara's past columns, a complete catalog of her work at CP is available on her personal website at www.daraanastasia.com.

Feb 22, 2008
chicachef in Food Media & News

Denver Foodwriters: Who do you love?

When looking for solid info on restaurants, chefs, and food communities in D-town, whose opinion do you trust most, and why? Are there any writers out there who don't cut the mustard, so to speak? What do you think the foodwriting community in Colorado could or should bring to the table that it isn't currently doing?

Feb 20, 2008
chicachef in Food Media & News

Where to Dine in Denver (only 1 night)

Echoing others' replies, Elway's is top-notch for steaks and seafood. I've only been to their Cherry Creek location, but they recently opened a second restaurant in the new Ritz-Carlton Hotel downtown. If you are looking for clubs or entertainment following Denver, this location might be preferable to Cherry Creek, as there isn't as much to do in CC late night. Tyler Wiard, chef of Elway's, is a true star and his creativity will not disappoint.

Feb 18, 2008
chicachef in Southwest

need DENVER recs for Indian and breakfast places

I have to say, my absolute fave Indian is Masalaa. No frills, just fabulous food. Dhosas are top notch; we usually order a couple of combo plates listed in the back of the menu and share for maximum variety. Each combo is about $12-$14, comes with rice and about 8 different dishes and easily feeds 2. Leftovers double as the best breakfast-standing-in-jammies-right-out-of-styrofoam-clamshell you'll ever have!

Breakfast greazy spoons to recommend include Breakfast King on Mississippi & Santa Fe (archetypic diner--orange naugahyde booths and gum-snapping battle axe waitresses who call you "sweetie" included free w/ admission) and of course Denver institution Pete's Kitchen on Colfax, where the best seat in town is at the counter where you can watch the short-order team work their hypnotic magic over the flat tops. Both these places are open til at least 3 am and may actually be open 24 hours. Enjoy your trip!

Feb 18, 2008
chicachef in Southwest

Cheap Eats in Cherry Creek (Denver)

I've always been a fan of Chez Jose's, just off of the intersection of 2nd Ave. and Milwaukee in Cherry Creek. They are locally owned, fast casual (like a home grown, authentic Chipotle) place serving fresh-mex burritos, tacos and quesadillas and their dining room features a home-made salsa bar and fun salsa music on the hi-fi. They serve mexican & domestic beer, margaritas and wine also. A small patio is outdoors to enjoy on nice days. My favorite thing to order is the giant grilled steak quesadilla-- I pile it high with jalapeno onion relish and salsa verde from the salsa bar--- drip-down-your-arm delicious!

Feb 18, 2008
chicachef in Southwest

Authentic Dim Sum in Denver?

Superstar and King's Land share a large parking lot....they are a stone's throw from eachother. In the same strip mall as Superstar are 2 Asian grocery stores; both are worth a look inside. The smaller of the groceries is Pacific Ocean, which I go to on a semi-regular basis, mainly for the produce. Last year this time they had the most incredible green garlic I've ever laid my hands on, even better than during my years in prof. kitchens. They also carry the requisite selection of choys, bitter melon, exotic roots (taro etc.), but I go there for the fresh turmeric root (no comparison to the ubiquitous yellow powder, so much more complex!), fresh rice noodles, cherimoyas, exotic mushrooms, thai eggplant and fresh herbs, which are dirt cheap.

I've been to Superstar once, maybe 2 months ago, and it was awesome. Service was great and very attentive, though the language barrier was a bit of an obstacle, particularly because my husband is allergic to shrimp-- we had trouble finding out which dishes had shrimp in them (we finally resorted to me picking them apart and tasting them first for signs of crustacean). Some standout dishes: Chinese broccoli, BBQ pork bao, crispy chicken feet, pork congee, any of the dumplings, and a chilled custard made with black sticky rice...delicious!

Jan 30, 2007
chicachef in Southwest

Sebo Sushi: opinions? [San Francisco]

Thank you very much to all for your responses, especially shortexact for the detailed comparison provided. I think it's between the omakase at Sebo or Kiss...both sound intriguing and worth a visit. Tough choice! Also, I'm looking for a good dim sum, if anyone has a favorite to suggest, as well as opinions on Samovar. Thanks everyone!

Jan 30, 2007
chicachef in San Francisco Bay Area

Sebo Sushi: opinions? [San Francisco]

Am headed to SF for a long weekend on Thurs. to celebrate 5th anniversary... we're looking for a stellar sushi experience and need some local opinions on what is the best. We've heard from a few boards and acquaintances that the following are excellent:

Sebo
Marusaki
Kiss

At home in Denver we frequent Sushi Den, which gets their daily fish shipped directly from the owner's brother in Japan, who hand-selects the fish from the Tokyo fish market. So absolutely fresh fish is paramount. Also, my husband is allergic to shellfish and frequently orders a lot of all-vegetable sushi...so interesting vegetarian choices would be a plus. We are prepared to spend around $100 per person, so price isn't too much of a concern, within reason. Can anyone comment on the above 3, or is there another sushi temple out there that we absolutely must try?

Jan 29, 2007
chicachef in San Francisco Bay Area

Soon to be Denver area resident looking for recommendations for ethnic grocery stores

Savory Spice Shop is way better than Penzey's...it is an adorable little shop (original location downtown) locally owned by a husband and wife team... and their spices are freshfreshfresh. Tons of innovative custom blends also....many more choices than mainstream Penzey's, esp. when it comes to more exotic and esoteric spices. Grains of Paradise, anyone? House made za' tar, ras el hanout, you name it, they've got it or can get it for you. Check out their website at www.savoryspiceshop.com. BTW, the mexican grocery chain mentioned above is called Avanza.

Jan 28, 2007
chicachef in Southwest