Westword Feast Hit the Spot

Last Sunday, September 30, Westword Magazine's annual foodie "Feast" event returned to downtown Denver’s McNichols Building for a few hours of food and booze-infused fun! Over 45 of Westword’s food writers and readers favorite restaurants were there sampling from their menu alongside local and national booze brands.

A VIP ticket offered perks such as early entrance, two private lounge areas (one indoors one outdoors) with an open bar, restrooms, goodie bags, and special food tasting from the Cherry Creek sushi spot Matsuhisa. All the perks were great, but for all those in GA things weren't bad at all! The lines stayed moderate all day, if one table had a long line, you could try back in 30 minutes and it'd be gone. People seemed to congregate together creating hype, and amazingly (as we see this happen all the time at foodie events) none of the restaurants ran out of food until the end! So VIP or not, everyone got the unlimited food and booze samples they were promised, even food samples to go from RxBar, Duke's Smoked Meats & Naked. Another plus, there were plenty of tables, water stations and restrooms for all.

Our favorite bites included the following: Roaming Buffalo BBQ had these (pictured above) tasty tamales with BBQ beef and pork inside. Sugar Fire Smoke House had not only pork belly, but also the most succulent béarnaise beef. Gypsy Q served their Brisket Banh Mi Sandwich and Kimchi Mac & Cheese. Frijoles Colorado served their Cuban Lechon Moro y Maduros (roasted pork with black beans, rice & sweet plantain). Jackdaw, an Irish restaurant we've never heard of showcased superb Corned Beef on homemade sweet soda bread. Milk & Cake and Little Man Ice Cream treated us to scrumptious cupcakes and ice cream.

Photos by Robert Castro Words by Tiffany Candelaria

OmFest Colorado Review

OmFest Colorado returned for its fifth year last Saturday to Founders Green bringing Denver a day full of free yoga, barre, meditation and mindfulness.

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This year's OmFest featured the local yoga and fitness community, musicians, food trucks, artisans, local breweries and wineries! Again they incorporated fun for the whole family with yoga for all ages and free kids activities. Every hour from 9am to 6:30pm there was a yoga or fitness class, with the day culminating in a live band taking participants and the local community into the lovely summer evening. 

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The day was sunny and warm, and many people filtered in and out of the festival thought the day. The final yoga flow took place as the sun set and a cool breeze cooled everyone off. What a wonderful day of practice and community in the grassy courtyard.

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Photos by Samantha Bliss

OmFest Colorado Returns to Denver Sept 15

OmFest Colorado returns to Denver for it's fifth year on Saturday, September 15th for a full day of outdoor yoga, fitness, music, and local vendors at Founder's Green.

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OmFest began when Jeannene Orofino moved to Denver from New York (where she worked as a yoga teacher) and wondered why Denver didn't have a local yoga festival. Together with two local yoga instructors, the three woman created a family-friendly yoga festival for the Denver community. “Our goal was to make a local festival that was affordable, because a lot of people can’t afford the other festivals with big-name teachers that they fly in,” Orofino remembers.

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This year's OmFest features local talent within the yoga and fitness community, musicians, food trucks, seven local artisans, local breweries and wineries! They've also incorporated fun for the whole family with yoga for all ages, kids activities and free admission for those 12 and under. Every hour from 9am to 6:30pm there will be a yoga or fitness class (or both) with the day culminating in a live DJ and drummer teaming up to take us into the evening. 

Tickets can be purchased online for $49 at http://omfestcolorado.com/

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Korean BarbieQ Pop Up Experience

Last weekend, the vacant restaurant space beneath Larimer Square transformed into a special pop-up experience themed around Korean BarbieQ. Odd concept, but cool creation that blended Barbie-themed decor and drinks with Korean barbecue. The pop up experience returns again this Thursday through Saturday August 25th, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. at 1414 Larimer, Denver. Tickets include dinner and drinks - get tickets here:  https://www.thricepopup.com/#tickets

After this weekend, the BarbieQ will then be deconstructed to make way for another pop-up concept by OZ Architecture Associate Principal and Director of Brand Experience Design Abigale Plonkey. “I’ve always wanted to create a pop-up event, and I’ve seen them successful in New York and LA and thought this was an opportunity to bring it to Denver,” Plonkey said. "So we came up with the concept of Thrice — food, drink, design. It always has to have those three elements to make it unique. It can’t just drink, it can’t just be food and it can’t just be about design.” Chef Bill Espiricueta of Smok is preparing the food for this pop-up, and Shawn Campbell, lead bartender at El Five, curated the cocktails.

After the Korean BarbieQ wraps up this weekend, be on the lookout for the next concept — Cosmotropical, a David Bowie-inspired event where outer space meets tiki bar. The decor will focus on astronomy and have lots of neon. The third event will be Chroma, during which the room will change colors as different courses are served!

Photos by Josh Stephens

The Big Eat 2018 Delivers Just That

The Big Eat is Denver's signature food-and-drink showcase that brings together more than 60 of Denver chefs/restaurants to show off their best bites. Unlike many of Denver’s other food and booze events, the Big Eat is one of our favorites because it brings the restaurant scene together in camaraderie rather than competition and provides a comprehensive scope of eats and drinks in a fun, laid-back environment.

This year’s Big Eat was last Thursday and kicked off Denver’s second year hosting Slow Food Nations festival. Click here to read our coverage of that festival. For the past eight years, Eat Denver, a non-profit network of independent restaurants, has organized this event to highlight the hard work and delicious dishes of our local eateries. The event provides Denver diners the opportunity to sample small plates from the big names such as Root Down, Vesta, Jax Fish House, Snooze and Racines, while introducing them to the lesser known gems.

As always, this year’s event was full of fabulous food, craft cocktails and beer, and short lines! Take a look at our photo gallery below for the full picture and let us tell you what our favorite eats were this year, in no particular order. The “Batman & Ruben” from Vine Street Tavern was a scrumptious smoked beef pastrami brisket with Brussel sprout kraut, mustard and Russian aioli. Fish & Beer was serving two types of oysters (garlic or spicy) fresh off the grill which were wonderful. The best sweet and savory combo was found at Cap City Tavern in their Pork Belly Donut Hole with bacon fat caramel!

There were a few fantastic tacos at the Big Eat and our favorites were the Smoked Salmon Tostada (above) with jalapeno goat cheese from blueAgave and the Carne Asada tacos with fresh guacamole from Borracho Taco.

Aside from all the heavy, protein laden dishes, this year the event aimed for one-third of the dishes to be meat-free. So we saw pastas, salads, a soup and a couple vegetarian dishes along with a few desserts such as cupcakes, cookies, ice cream and fancy pancakes!

The water stations and of course cocktail kept us going, with neighborhood-themed spirits from Colorado distilleries such as the Family Jones Spirit House and Woody Creek Distillers and beers from The Post, Ratio, Vine Street, LowDown and Prost Breweries. The Big Eat lives up to its name and is a foodie fest not to be missed!

http://eatdenver.com/the-big-eat/

Words by Tiffany Candelaria     Photos by Samantha Bliss

Denver Comic Con Returned To The Mile High City For Another Amazing Weekend

Denver Comic Con arrived back in Denver with a slew of characters. (Photo: Jason Pendleton)

The comic con scene is alive and well in Denver nowadays. Denver Comic Con continues to grow exponentially year after year with bigger crowds and more importantly bigger guest celebrities. This year was no exception.

This year boasted the likes of childhood heroes of mine such as Molly Ringwald and Andrew McCarthy of Sixteen Candles fame. Val Kilmer was in attendance, Mr. Iceman himself. A who's who of current television stars such as Jason Momoa (Justice League and Game of Thrones), David Harbour of recent Stranger Things fame and Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy). The list goes on and on.

This year's crowds seemed on par with last years  in terms of numbers. Vendors still maintained their strong threshold with a vast opportunity to get your collectables. With 3 Main Events stages, 25 session rooms, and almost 750 hours of celebrity Q&As, panels, workshops and demos there wasn't a dull moment at this years con. There was something to keep you busy all three days.

Lot's of time and dedication went into this years cosplays. (Photo: Jason Pendleton)

The amount of hours people put into their cosplays this year did not go unnoticed, vast amounts of different array of costumes adorned the convention hall, from your usual Star Wars and Dr. Who to more intricate costumes from the world of anime and comic books.

Photo Gallery: Jason Pendleton

This years attractions such as Opening Night, Celebrity Summit, Artist Valley and Booktopia provided guest unique and one of a kind experiences. It is these experiences that people love to come to and participate in.

The Riverdale panel with KJ Apa, Skeet Ulrich and Molly Ringwald. (Photo: Austin Voldseth)

This years panels were a big hit. (Photo: Austin Voldseth)

Photo Gallery: Austin Voldseth

Top Taco | Showcase of the Best Tacos in Denver

Once a year when summer finally starts, Top Taco takes Denver as the largest taco and tequila festival. In its fifth year, over 60 local restaurants participate in serving up hundreds of their top tacos and cocktails to hungry Denverites. The event has grown into a large-scale taco and tequila extravaganza with two live music stages, lucha libre wresting, lounge areas, lots of giveaways from the booths and vendors, and some of the best chefs and mixologists in Denver. Be sure to scroll the gallery below.

A ticket provides guests unlimited tacos and drink samples, and there are over 50 brands of tequila and other spirits served straight and/or in cocktail form to get you every penny’s worth of your ticket price. There’s also plenty of water and other non-boozy beverages available to keep you in check, in fact, this festival wins for best water stations and tasting trays of any foodie festival I’ve been to. There were large coolers set up around the grounds full of ice and water bottles, and I never saw them run low. Everyone receives a tray upon entry, and they were properly sized, made of sturdy plastic, and had a great built in cup holder. These trays let you fit a few tacos, a cocktail, and a shot on your tray before retreating to eat.

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While we’ll get to the judge’s choice and people’s choice winners, we want to tell you which tacos and cocktails we thought were standouts! If you’re game for rabbit, you’ve got to try the rabbit taco with crunchy potato from Lola Coastal Mexican. I actually went back for another later in the night and one of their bright hibiscus margaritas. The Edge Steakhouse served a high-end steak taco with bacon that was so flavorful and juicy. Their thyme infused margarita was also one of our favorites because it had a nice balance of flavors and wasn’t overly sweet like many of the other drinks we tried. For Most Creative, Range served a Mediterranean style taco on a pita with taziki and radish. For the Traditional taco category our favorites were Adelitas Cocina, Comida, Que Bueno Suerte and Uno Mas Taqueria.

Now for the Judges and People’s Choice winners, and these may have been the best, but apparently we didn’t make it to the winning taco tables – there was just so much to do, and drink, and eat!! For Traditional Taco Los Dos Potrillos Mexican Restaurant took first place from the judges, but Adobo Food Truck won People’s Choice. Necio Latin Eatery won Judge’s Best Creative Taco and Dos Santos won their Best Vegetarian vote. The Top Cocktail winner was from Former Saint (inside Hyatt Regency), Los Chingones took second, and in third place was Los Dos Potrillos Mexican Restaurant (they also won best traditional taco).

Just like Top Taco festival, Denver has a ton of taco restaurants that deserve a visit. Tacos are cheap (usually), so go out and eat and find your favorites. Top Taco 2018 supported Denver Urban Scholars, a non-profit service organization, that partners with high poverty, high performing schools to unlock the potential of students facing added challenges by creating individual pathways to career and college.

Written by Tiffany Candelaria     Photos by Bridget Burnett

New this June at Denver's Longest-Running Block Party | People's Fair

People’s Fair Art & Music Festival is Denver’s largest and longest-running block party, which celebrates its 47th year at Civic Center Park, June 1-3, 2018. People’s Fair celebrates the best of the Mile High City, including music; culture; fitness; food and beverage; fine art; and a makers’ marketplace produced in partnership with Denver Flea.

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They are kicking things off Friday, June 1. with a featured concert from MAX, who's current hit, “Lights Down Low,” ft. gnash, hit number one on Billboard’s Emerging Artists and Adult Pop Songs charts earlier this year. A variety of free concerts will follow MAX’s performance throughout the weekend: a full day of bluegrass performances on the festival’s main stage on Saturday, June 2, featuring Matt Rouch & The Noise Upstairs, Turkeyfoot, Lonesome Days, Kitchen Dwellers, and Trout Steak Revival. Sunday, June 3, Moon Taxi will make their only Colorado appearance this summer at 4:30 pm, with The Other Black  opening for them at 3 pm. Additional live entertainment will showcase an eclectic range of Denver talent, including performances from Dazzling Divas Drag Show, Colorado Mestizo Dancers, and dance groups performing everything from ballet to belly dancing!

The Mural Project is back this year, a live art competition in which teams of young, local artists paint murals onsite during the festival. Many teams return to the Mural Project year after year, allowing attendees to witness transformations in the up-and-coming artists, who develop positive self-expression, time management, critical thinking and more through participating in the project. There is also a fine art show featuring more than 100 artists, beer & wine garden, a variety of fitness vendors, fitness-oriented events, such as free community yoga classes courtesy of CorePower Yoga, hosted at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday on the main stage. New this year, the “Outdoor Adventure Fest” will invite attendees to experience the Colorado outdoors in the heart of the city, with a climbing wall, a kayak pool, goat yoga and more.

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In addition to highlighting the unique communities found in every corner of Denver, People’s Fair raises funds for nonprofit organizations. The event primarily benefits Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods, although all of the beverage booths at the festival are staffed by volunteers from various nonprofit organizations, who raise funds via tips received at their bars. 2018 community partners include Project Angel Heart and Colorado Gay Rodeo Association.


Reserve VIP tickets, your free yoga ticket, or $5 general admission ticket to MAX at  https://peoplesfair.com/tickets/

Photos by Ryan Cox

BRECKENRIDGE BREWERY RELEASES THE 2018 OFFICIAL COMIC CON BEER “RAZZNAROK”

Launch Party to Take Place Thursday, May 17th at Stoney's Bar and Grill

WHO:  Breckenridge Brewery and Denver Comic Con (DCC) will officially launch the 2018 Comic Con Beer, RAZZNAROK, on May 17th at Stoney's Bar and Grill with live music, games, cosplay, and the first of many collectible pint glass giveaways. The beer’s name was the winner of the annual “Name the Denver Comic Con Beer” contest which beat out more than 800 submissions during the online contest. RAZZNAROK was inspired by the widely popular 2017 Marvel Comic book film: Thor: Ragnarok.

The 2018 DCC beer is a Belgian style witbier brewed with fresh raspberry puree. For the seventh straight year, Breck will be releasing the beer along with limited edition DCC beer pint glasses. This year’s Razznarok glass features artwork by local comic artist Morgan Beem.

After the launch party, RAZZNAROK will stay on tap at Stoney's through Denver Comic Con. Other pubs within walking distance to the Colorado Convention Center will serve the beer leading up to and during the event. Follow Breckenridge Brewery on Facebook and Twitter for information on other pint glass giveaway events during Denver Comic Con. This information will also be posted on breckbrew.com in the weeks prior to the DCC.

WHAT: For seven years Breckenridge Brewery has brewed a special beer exclusively for Denver Comic Con (DCC). The first 200 people to this FREE event will receive a limited collector’s series “Razznarok” pint glass featuring custom design by artist Morgan Beem. Colorado's premiere party band, 6 Million Dollar Band will be bringin' the 80s energy to keep the dance floor movin' all night!

WHERE: Stoney's Bar & Grill 1111 Lincoln St. Denver, CO

When:Thursday, May 17th

- Doors 7pm

- Live music by 6 Million Dollar Band 8pm

- DJ 10pm

About “Razznarok!”

Razznarok is a time-honored, Belgian-style ale with a tart pink twist. Brewed with unmalted wheat, orange zest, coriander and fresh raspberry puree, this unfiltered, light-bodied beer has fruity notes of raspberry & citrus, a touch of spice, and a pink blush of color. Refreshing. Surprising. Sprightly. Whimsical.

Past winners of the "Name the Comic Con Beer" contest are The Fantastic Pour, The Caped Brewsader, Brews Wayne, Hulk's Mash, Snape-ricot, and I Am Brewt.

 

5 Upcoming Events In Denver

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5 Upcoming Events in Denver

Denver hosts a plethora of unique events throughout the year. Regardless of the activities you enjoy or the scene you prefer, it's safe to say that you'll be able to find something that fits your interests. Here are some of the top upcoming events in the Denver area spanning from fashion, food, to music! If you're looking for a way to get around without shuffling ride share services or dealing with traffic, be sure to check out this Boulder Party Bus Service.

 

Denver Beer and Music Festival

May 19 at the Vinyl Events Center

This craft beer and music festival is headlined by the rock band Shwayze, but there will also be other live bands and DJ's at the event. There will be local food vendors at the Tasting Village of Food as well as unlimited samples of 50 different varieties of spirits, wine, and beer. Tickets range from $35 to $50 for VIP admission, and it will be worth every penny.

 

ThriftCon

May 20 at INDUSTRY RiNo Station

For those who enjoy a good bargain or rare vintage find, you're not going to want to miss out on ThriftCon. There will be vintage collectibles, clothing, and home goods to consider buying here. With over 40 vendors, the selection is sure to be solid. You won't leave here without a new piece, guaranteed.

 

Trash Fashion Show

June 9 at EXDO

This evening of innovative fashion features clothes made from reclaimed material by local designers. There will be different categories that the designers will compete in such as "Little Black Dress" and "White Trash". General admission will run you $25, while the $150 VIP ticket includes valet parking, a pre show cocktail reception, gift bag, front row seating, and admission to the Tracks nightclub for the after party.

 

Denver Summer Brew Fest

July 27 & 28 at Mile High Station

The Denver Summer Brew Fest boasts over 100 brews and ciders to choose from 40 different breweries. The brew fest benefits the Swallow Hill Music Association, so it's a great event to support. Tickets range from $35 to $60 for their package deal. General admission runs from 7-10 PM, but VIP holders can show up an hour early to enjoy a special beer and cheese sampling.

 

Reggae on the Grass

July 29 @ Levitt Pavilion

This is a free concert series that's open for all ages. Feel good reggae will be playing on multiple stages with bands like Nase Face, Emcee Rasta Stevie, Colorado Binghistra, Ras Marcus Benjamin, and the Denver Vintage Reggae Society. This is the first annual event, and it's sure to be super entertaining.

Moscow Mules+Mini Golf = The Mule Majors

Spend an afternoon putting your way through the Broadway Sports Castle as it's transformed into an indoor put put course, complete with a unique boozy mule and a tasty bite at every hole! Saturday, April 7th play the Font 9 Holes from 1-4pm or the Back 9 from 6-9pm. Throughout the day, some of the best food trucks around town will be providing the bites: Adobo Food Truck, Banomanom, Funnels, Ohana Grille, Passport Food Truck, Roll It Up Sushi, Sokare, and Wheels on Fire. Need an added pick me up? Try the Hydrate IV Bar!

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Guests are encouraged to dress the part, meaning high fashion golf attire, vibrant Polo's, visors, slacks, and fancy hats! A prize will be awarded to the best dressed for each session. The event will bring the rest of the Major's vibes with great music, fantastic decor, extra activities, and live screenings of the Masters and Happy Gilmore!

A portion of the ticket sales will go towards helping Sports Buddies. Sports Buddies is one of four core youth mentoring programs offered by Big Brothers Big Sisters. Their activities are designed to deepen mentoring relationships while supporting self-confidence, goal setting, collaboration, skill development, and healthy lifestyles. For more information and to purchase tickets for Saturday April 7th, visit https://www.themulemajors.com/

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