DENVER, Aug. 22, 2016 – Using peak of the season ingredients, Chef Chris MacGillvray creates seasonal dishes the old-fashioned way – sourcing from the restaurant’s own farm. Known as Squeaky Bean Acres, its fresh seasonal harvest might include heirloom tomatoes, southern okra, sweet root vegetables and Colorado summer squash.
What originally started as raised growing beds near the restaurant has grown into two 6,000-square foot greenhouses and a mega-garden at Warren Tech High School in Lakewood. Using state-of-the-art agriculture methods, the mini-farm produces top of the line organic produce for the restaurant kitchen.
As MacGillivray puts it, “We call it transFARMative cuisine: big authentic flavors from organic, non-GMO plants grown right here in our backyard.”
Students, future farmers and aspiring chefs also participate in farm operations in order to gain valuable educational experience.
The Squeaky Bean Farm + Table is centrally located on the corner of 15th and Wynkoop streets near the restored Union Station. Not surprisingly, the menu at the Squeaky Bean Farm +Table changes frequently, depending upon what is available both from their farm and from other local purveyors for various protein ingredients.
Start with a cocktail such as their Farrah Fawcett Squeaky Spritz ($10) with Aperol, Prosecco and house bubbled seltzer. They also have one in honor of Muhammad Ali called Rhum-Ble in the Jungle ($10).
Next, try one of their salads, perhaps their most popular: quinoa made with yams, avocado, feta, shaved fennel and yogurt ($12). Unlike the grainy taste you might get with most quinoa dishes, this one is creamy, with the grain creating more of a background taste to the delicious feta cheese.
For your entrée, choose from several sandwiches or seasonal items, again depending upon the time of year. The lamb shoulder lettuce wrap with kimchi, bean sprouts and herbs ($14) is light, tasty and satisfying.
Popular sandwich offerings usually include their LoDo combo burger ($15) or their fried chicken BLT ($12), stacked high with a generous and perfectly seasoned fried chicken breast topped with bacon, onions, special sauce and pickle.
Dessert might be a chocolate almond cake with mint ice cream.. This ice cream really has an intense mint flavor, obviously made with fresh mint from the farm.
The Squeaky Bean Farm + Table also offer winemaker dinners featuring award-winning wines ($75 plus tax and gratuity) and farm dinners ($70) every couple of months. The farm dinners are held at Warren Tech High School (the site for Squeaky Bean Acres) and include four courses and paired mocktails, alcohol-free versions of cocktails. Integrating the school’s mission to “marry industry and education,” students help prepare the meal.
The restaurant owners also believe in giving back to the community. In 2015 they fed 5,000 people on Thanksgiving and hope to increase that number to 6,000 for 2016.
The Squeaky Bean Farm + Table is located at 1500 Wynkoop, #101 in LoDo Denver. Lunch Tuesday through Friday is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner Tuesday through Thursday is from 5 to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m. Cocktail hour is daily from 4 to 6 p.m. Brunch Saturday and Sunday is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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