Food Review: Ten culturally unique and delicious Colorado eateries
The Post Brewing Company– Multiple Locations
Good fried chicken is a hard to satisfy craving for many. The Post Brewery, where their motto is Hot Chicken Loves Cold Beer, solves that dilemma. For Coloradans at least..
A delightful patio lunch, accompanied by perfect weather, at their Boulder location was the perfect introduction to perfect fried chicken. Paired with one of their microbrewery Town IPA’s, I sunk my teeth past perfectly seasoned crunchy skin into moist tender meat.
The search for the perfect Fried Chicken recipe
Chef and partner Brett Smith traveled the country taste testing fried chicken and experimented with fifty variations before finding the perfect recipe. Using a secret seasoning blend combined with brining and gluten-free breading, his birds are crispy on the outside and moist and juicy on the inside.
The most popular items on the menu include Chicken and Waffles, House Chicken Sandwich, and the Chicken BLT. If you have any room left–and even if you don’t—you must try their humungous chocolate whoopie pie with sweet mascarpone filling—“awesome!” as my grandson would say.
Their other locations include Denver, Longmont, and Lafayette
Ramen Star– Denver
When it comes to finding good ramen, it is a bit like the story of Goldilocks. But in this case, it is too salty, too spicy, or too bland. Then there is just right. Just right is what you will find at Ramen Star tucked into the Sunnyside neighborhood of Denver.
Owner Takashi Tamai traveled to Tokyo to study how to make perfect authentic Japanese ramen. He learned his craft at the popular Menya Itto restaurant featured in the movie “Ramen Heads.”
Takashi opened Ramen Star in 2019, already earning the 2020 “Best Ramen to Go” from Westword Magazine. What’s his secret?
First, he makes everything from scratch. That includes his Tokyo-style soup from tonkotsu gyokai broth, prepared with organic ingredients and no MSG. Concerned with authenticity, Tamai ordered a noodle machine from Japan so he could prepare his own, a painstaking process. The result is a flavor-intensive experience combining the best ingredients for a memorable meal.
His signature bowl is Umami Tonkotsu Broth with house-made noodles topped with chashu (braised pork belly), green onion, beansprouts, and pickled ginger. This one would make Goldilocks, and the bears, proud.
Sometimes we are in the mood for ethnic and cultural food. Fortunately, they are found at Roots. Expanding on a successful career with her 5-star rated Gourmet Kitchen Catering company, Chef-owner Madhoo Seth now offers her world cuisine at Roots located on the grounds of the Broomfield Copper Leaf Event Center.
Believing that food is a way to connect people to one’s culture (hence the name Roots), Madhoo an immigrant from Delhi, India, creates multi-cultural cuisine with flavors inspired by her worldwide travels.
Great food and community are found here among her various dishes while dining on the lawn at the Copper Leaf Event Center.
The leisurely meal begins with gourmet cheese and charcuterie board, beautifully displayed and laden with imported and domestic cheeses with dates, jams, berries, and nuts. For a little taste of India, the vegetarian paneer parmesan fettuccine with house-made marinara, paneer, and grilled vegetables with herbed oil is just what I was looking. The dish offers perfectly blended flavors and the right amount of spice.
So make haste and you will find, as I did, meals that are “delicious, eclectic, and fresh.”
Rheinlander Bakery– Arvada
One of the reasons to love Germany is their confections. The first thing I usually do after checking into my hotel is to make a beeline straight for the nearest cake shop (konditorei). Fortunately, to satisfy your sweet tooth, you can save yourself the airfare and just head over to downtown Arvada and the Rheinlander Bakery.
This multi-generational German bakery was established in 1963 and is still in the original building with wooden floors, fixtures, and large well-lit display cases packed with goodies.
Their large selection includes pastries, tortes, cakes, cookies, cupcakes, strudels, many of which are vegan, as well as sugar and dairy-free items.
My favorite, for which I would almost crawl over sharp chocolate chips, is Black Forest Cake. Made from scratch, theirs is made with sour cherries, French buttercream frosting, and big chocolate swirls. They don’t actually use kirschwasser syrup, a brandy cognac, in their recipe, which is a personal preference.
Others such as the Princess Cake and German Chocolate are the most popular and probably why they are currently #1 on Yelp. With more than 20 varieties of cake, memories flooded back of all my trips to Germany with pretty much one thing on my mind.
Lola Coastal Mexican– Denver
A staple in Denver, Lola offers their own inspired version of coastal Mexican cuisine with dine-in and take out options. The covered patio is the perfect overlook for people watching in this hip and trendy Highland’s neighborhood. Joggers, scooters, cyclists, dog walkers, and families strolling around the sidewalks are all part of the activity here and add to the ambiance.
The food is “seafood forward” with Asian influences and is a spin on traditional Mexican fare. The plates are meant to be shared. We started with one of their signature Mexican Old Fashioned cocktails with rye, Averna, and orange bitters, with their own custom ice cube, of course. Then we sampled their crispy cauliflower with cauliflower puree, xnipec sauce, za’tar spices, and pickled Fresno peppers.
Sounds like a strange combination but the sweet and spices flavors worked really well creating instant fans.
Their taco board is a local favorite and comes with fresh tortillas, chicken, green rice, Mexican street corn and three types of dipping sauces. I would recommend ordering more street corn as it is quite delicious in its own right and coated with chipotle aioli, Cotija, chives, chili powder, and lime.
If you still have room for dessert, you can choose from churros, flourless chocolate cake, or goats’ milk tres leches.
Restaurants during COVID
While opening and maintaining a restaurant post-COVID can be quite a difficult endeavor. The owners of these eateries have done so in an extraordinary fashion. Each has a dedication to culinary excellence, great service, and attention to detail. In today’s economy, customers want to make sure they receive not only tasty food but value for their money.
All of these restaurateurs work hard to make sure your experience is consistently wonderful every time.
FTC Disclosure: This was a sponsored visit; however, all opinions herein are the authors.