Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Go West!

This past holiday weekend found me on a plane to Denver. My very dear friend Mikey lives there and since it's been over a year since we last saw each other, we were long overdue for a visit. I arrived in the early evening. Mikey and I stopped off at Jet, this tiny boutique hotel in the downtown area of Denver to pick up his partner Fisher. Fisher manages the hotel, all 18 rooms ;) It's really cool and if you ever find yourself needing a swanky place to stay while visiting Denver, definitely look up Jet.

Mikey and Fisher had decided to take me for Mexican that evening. Fine by me! Being from Boston means that there is hardly any decent Mexican food. We lack that and Korean food, but that's a discussion for another day. Quickly, we arrived because it was just a short walk from Mikey and Fisher's house (a converted church btw). I wish I had remembered the name of the place but it was super cute and there was a mariachi band too!

I don't really feel very bad for not remembering the name of the place, because in Denver, there is a ton of fantastic Mexican cuisine. I had the standard fish taco, but it can with a sauce bottle filled with a slightly sweet sauce I wasn't accustomed to. I was expecting the usual crema but nope. The sauce was good with the fish at first but after a few bites, I found it too sweet for my taste. It was like a poppy seed dressing flavor but without the poppy seeds. However the fish was very fresh and the taco portion was super generous....five tacos on my plate and I couldn't finish the last one.

Walking back home, we passed by the local "ice cream" truck. A guy pushing a cart, with Spanish words on the sides, down the sidewalk with little Christmas bells strung on the handle. He was selling frozen fruit pops and other cool delights. It was a charming sight and so much more environmentally aware than an ice cream truck. Over the course of the weekend, I'd come to see those little sidewalk carts quite a bit. Sadly, everytime I'd spot one, I was already full from the meal I'd just consumed. Alas, next time!

The next day, we went to Winter Park and just had a quick breakfast of yogurt and coffee before we hopped on the 8am train. A day of sun, mountains and hiking meant we came home and crashed on the couch with take out pizza and movies.

Sunday, Mikey and Fisher suggested we go to Dozens and I was quick to agree. I was pretty sure it was the same breakfast place I had been to years ago with them as well. I remember having a really good breakfast there, something involving biscuits and gravy. Indeed, it was the very place I remembered.

The dish I ordered was called "how the west was won". It consisted of two homemade biscuits, white gravy, sausage and a side of hashbrowned homefries. I remember it being quite good and since I'm a sucker for anything covered in white or red eyed gravy, I ordered it again.

The picture doesn't look like it was very appetizing, but let me reassure you it was very good. The biscuits are actually fairly light and even smothered in gravy and sausage, I could taste the butter and still see the flakiness of the biscuit. It was quite soul satisfying. Especially to be eating outside on the restaurant porch and be able to see the rocky mountains in the background.

My last morning in Denver, we went to this hip spot called Snooze.

It was done in a retro modern style so it looked part dinner and part new school. Anyway, once we sat down in our booth, I noticed the card display at the end of the table. It was all about the choice of coffee that the owner had made for the restaurant. Infact, it was a good 4 page dissertation on his trip to Costa Rica or someplace and how he chose the coffee. Um, yeah. My eyes glazed over after reading the first two paragraphs. But as Mikey put it, the coffee was very good.

Mikey, after seeing me all but moan from my breakfast at Dozens, order Snooze's version of biscuits and sausage gravy (which I think he very much enjoyed). I was still on a South West kick and ordered the Huevos Rancheros. I also got the extra meat (chorizo) and extra vegg added on. What came was quite delicious but part of me had to wonder how much the additional chorizo made it super tasty? I mean, chorizo is sorta like the bacon of the West. And we all know bacon makes everything better!

Overall, it was a very enjoyable visit to one of my favorite cities. Next time I gotta remember to try a frozen treat from the sidewalk cart guy and find a place to feed my chicken fried steak craving. I look forward to my next visit out to Denver. Thanks for hosting me, Mikey and Fisher. Look, even their pups are wondering when I'll come back! Never fear, I'm sure I'll be back to visit soon.

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