Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hungry in Denver

I'm baaaaaaack!  For those who were not following my 4-Square tweets, I was in Denver, Colorado visiting one of my bestest friends.  Now I am back in CLE and excited to share some of my food finds from the Mile High City.

Day 1:  Our day begins with breakfast at Curious Coffee, a small coffee shop on the way from my friend's apartment to the Colorado State Capitol.  After enjoying a "Breggo" and raspberry caramel mocha, we were fueled for the adventures awaiting us.  While in the Capitol and enjoying the view from the dome, we met a very helpful tour guide (wearing a cowboy hat and other Western attire) who lead us to our lunch stop, Pints Pub, a British brewpub in Downtown Denver.  After deciding on sharing an entree we debated between fish and chips or a sandwich.  The Pub Club ended up winning and complimented our beer choices, the Bitchcraft Blone Ale and the Idleweiss Unfiltered Wheat.  One thing about Colorado is the abundance of microbrews.  I felt the need to sample one from each brewpub we stopped at.  Another thing to note about Pints would be the over 250 varieties of scotch.  Now off to explore Downtown Denver.  We also ended up touring the Coors Brewery in the nearby town of Golden.  For dinner, we decided to do happy hour at Dazzle and enjoy great food/drink specials, live jazz, and great artwork.  Also, you can play board games at your table while enjoying delicious food and great martinis (I recommend the Jello martini)  We ended up ordering a plethora of appetizers, two which I must note are the mac and cheese and the pizza with pesto and water chestnuts.  The reason for eating a smaller dinner was our trip to d bar desserts.  I am also slightly embarrassed to admit, I did NOT know this was Keegan Gerhard's restaurant.  I was surprised and star struck to see him behind the bar prepping fabulous desserts.  After much contemplation and discussion, I decided on the bel canto mocha, which was a chocolate coffee tart garnished with espresso brittle, and affogato served with iced Kenyan coffee.    We ended up sitting at the bar and chatting with Keegan leading to getting his autograph and a quick pic.

Pub Club and Bitchcraft Blond
Breggo: scrambled eggs, cheddar, potatoes, baked into a light crust.
Think breakfast calzone
bel canto mocha at d bar
Day 2: After touring Coors Field (I love baseball almost as much as I love food), we headed across Blake Street to The Breckenridge Brewery for lunch and more great craft beer.  We started with a sampler to get a little taste of everything.  Since some of their brews are available in Cleveland, I wanted something that was special to Denver.  To compliment my turkey chipotle club and sweet potato fries, I went with their seasonal brew, Pandora's Bock.  Overall, great food and great beer enjoyed with two of my favorite people after an amazing Coors Field experience.  Afterwards, we loaded up the SUV and headed three hours northwest, through the Rocky Mountains to Steamboat Springs.  Along the way, we picked up a take-and-bake pizza from
Papa Murphy's.
Beer Sampler.  My top three: Pandora's Bock, Thunder Stout, Agave Wheat

Day 3: After snowboarding all day in the Rockies, we all teamed up for a culinary adventure for dinner.  We made fajitas complete with homemade tortillas (thanks to my best friend's service in the Peace Corps down in Paraguay) and homemade guacamole.  For dessert, we enjoyed what I am going to refer to as Paraguayan Carrot Cake simply because the recipe also came from Paraguay.  I did bring this recipe back to Cleveland too. 

BeauJo's pizza and Tommy Knocker Maple Nut Brown Ale 
Day 4: Spent mostly on the road back to Denver after enjoying our leftovers in a Mexican scramble for breakfast.  On our way back to Denver, we stopped in the small town of Idaho Springs for BeauJo pizza and Tommy Knocker beer.  The crust on the pizza was really crispy and thick, enjoyed with honey.  Talk about an entree and dessert rolled into one.  After finally making it back to Denver, we later enjoyed dinner at Vesta Dipping Grill.  I love the concept of Vesta.  You order your entree (great selection of various cuts of steak, poultry, and seafood) and pick three dipping sauces from a selection of over thirty varieties ranging from traditional, to Asian inspires, to Southwestern.  I went with the grilled duck served on truffle farro and maple brussels sprouts.  For my sauces I went with sweet ginger, peanut sauce, and tamarid chipotle.  What I liked about Vesta is the variety of flavor options in their sauces.  I am one who loves and appreciates many styles of food.  Anywhere I can enjoy both Southwestern and Asian influences fares well with me.  
Sweet ginger, Thai peanut, tamarid chipotle
Day 5: Our final day in Colorado was spent in the town of Boulder to tour the Celestial Seasonings Tea factory.  After purchasing way too much tea to bring back to Cleveland, we headed to Pearl Street for lunch.  I must note, if you are ever in Boulder and do not know where to eat, head to Pearl Street.  We ended up at BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse for Chicago-style deep dish and more craft beer.  I shared the Southwestern specialty pizza which was topped with blackened chicken, cheddar, cilantro, and corn (which I added on) while enjoying a Nutty Brewnette to drink.  We then headed back to Denver to visit the aquarium, pack up, and headed to an Irish Pub called the Irish Snug for bingo.  There, I shared the quesedillas and Guiness ice cream, along with another Tommy Knocker's brew, Naked Tinker Ale (which the boyfriend won during bingo).
Southwestern deep dish and Nutty Brewnette
And now I am back in Cleveland planning my next trip to Denver.  I am left with many great memories and pictures.  For more pictures, check out the Hungry in Denver album on Facebook.  And if you haven't done so, "like" me!

Until next time...follow your heart, fulfill your hunger!
or as Keegan would say "Make it Delicious!"


  1. Love it! Sounds like you had a blast! Vesta is marvelous, I love Breckenridge Brewery, and I've been to Idaho Springs, but not BeauJo's. You hit some mile high (haha) points!

  2. What a trip! And that pizza looks to.die.for. I may have to plan a trip for that pizza alone. :)