Friday, November 19, 2010

Late Night Dinner in Denver

Dev and I arrived in Denver about 8:30. We checked into our hotel (the Hyatt Regency on 15th Street near the mall) and asked at the front desk if there was decent sushi within walking distance of the hotel. The concierge on duty happily pulled out a map of the area and marked 2 sushi places on the map, recommending one over the other.

So we set off walking, map in hand, eagerly anticipating our late night sushi feast.

Unfortunately, we went to the spot marked on the map, but could not find a sushi place anywhere. We knocked around, trying to "use the force" and ferret out the elusive sushi place. No luck. I was rapidly losing patience and becoming grumpy (due to my grumbly tummy) and decided we'd go to the seafood/steak house we had passed when we turned off the main street.

It looked fancy enough. Willie G.'s Seafood and Steaks was the name proudly emblazoned on the sign out front. Swanky lighting and fancy tablecloths promised a gourmet birthday meal. When am I gonna learn that beauty on the outside doesn't mean beauty on the inside.

We really should have left after we had to wait forever for the waitperson to take our dinner orders after bringing us water. Apparently because we didn't order drinks, she figured we weren't worth her time. But I was starving, and didn't want to go anywhere else.

Warm bread and butter arrived, which we devoured like it was our last meal. I ordered a house chopped salad, which was good, but had some unidentifiable spicy ingredient that would pop up every once in a while to make life interesting.

I don't remember what Dev ordered for dinner, but I ordered a sampler appetizer platter as my meal. The crab cakes were ok, but certainly not better than what I can make at home. The calamari was obviously prebreaded (I hate that. Calamari is so wonderful when it's lightly hand breaded and fried- why would you buy the prefabbed stuff?). There was one more thing, but considering I can't remember what it was, it wasn't all that.

We decided to have a piece of bourbon pecan pie for dessert. I thought the filling was way too strong, but the crust was heavenly. The pie crust was the best thing about the whole meal.

We were entertained by some very drunk, very loud guests sitting at a table near us. They lived in some little mountain town, and had come to Denver for the weekend (much like we had). They were in party mode. By the time they left, they had convinced the people at the table next to them to go bar hopping with them.

After paying for our less than satisfying meal, we headed out to walk back to the hotel. I still haven't figured out how to find the hidden gems that I know must exist in Denver. I've got to get in the know. It kills me to go to such a big city and have such a disappointing dining experience.

If anyone has any ideas for good places to eat, PLEASE leave a comment!

1 comment:

Carrie said...

Oh what a bummer to not fully get to enjoy a meal in the big city :( Here are some new places to try. A bunch of them are ethnic foods which you generally can ONLY find in big cities. I know you like Nepalese/Indian so I figure you're adventuresome to enjoy these too!

A tasty non-ethnic option in Littleton is the Cafe Terra Cotta. They have some creative and tasty options at all meal times and the ambiance is wonderful. http://www.cafeterracottalittleton.com/

Have you tried Vesta Dipping Grill in Denver? It's a little pricey but it's fun and interesting. http://www.vestagrill.com/

There is tasty Vietnamese food on Federal in the back right corner of the Far East shopping Center (SW corner of Federal and Alameda) It has changed hands but it still good. I don't know what it's called now. If you can, get the combination seasoned pork and egg roll noodle bowl. YUM!! There is also a tasty Vietnamese place in Littleton (crappy ambiance but tasty food) at http://www.thaihiep.com/ I also get the combo pork/egg roll noodle bowl there.

For Indian I like Little India which is on the edge of downtown. http://www.littleindiadenver.com/ It may not be quite as good as Narayans in Glenwood but still very tasty.

For pizza I loved Buenos Aires Pizzaria which is down-town. It has a funky atmosphere and super tasty pizza. http://www.bapizza.com/

It's also worth hitting up the Colorado tradition of Beau Jo's in Idaho Springs. They have other locations now but the ambiance isn't as good. The pizza is good but not to die for, I just mention it because it's a Colorado Classic. http://www.beaujos.com/

If you're into Middle Eastern another Denver classic is Jerusalem's on Evans close to the University of Denver campus. It fast, cheap, and open SUPER late. I don't think it's anything super super special for middle-eastern food but the falafel and gyros are both good and the people are nice. http://www.jerusalemrestaurant.com/

There used to be an Ethopian restaurant just east of there but it closed a few years back. :(

One other option that would be fun to check out and is in a great neighborhood is Sabor Latino. They serve a variety of South American traditional dishes (NOT Mexican food!!). http://www.menusfirst.com/denver/saborlatino.htm

I honestly just wouldn't spend too much time looking for good seafood/shellfish in Denver. There are places that do it fine but it's probably not worth the money.

Good luck! Let me know if any of these work out for you!

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