New PALEO Cafe Will Please the Whole Family

Its no surprise the Denver food scene is becoming more and more health conscious as we are such a fit, foodie, on-trend city. As Denver expands so too do the amazing variety of dining options and new to the scene is Just BE Kitchen in the Confluence Park/LoHi neighborhood. Just BE Kitchen is pretty unique however for a few reasons.

The main standout is that everything on the menu is PALEO, which means no gluten, grains of any kind, or refined sugars! They’ve also designed the place to inspire presence and mindful eating with calm colors and quotes hung on the walls. Everything on the menu is healthy and delicious, offering salads, burgers, hashes and sweet treats like cookies, muffins and “milk” shakes! The other main difference is their hours are 7am – 3pm daily and feels more like a café with their order-up counter, coffee offerings and cozy/cute interior.

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Given those hours the menu at Just Be is a bit breakfast-centric with many egg and (coconut milk) yogurt dishes, but also offers a few salads, a cheeseburger, green chili and a … Meatzza! The Meatzza is their paleo take on a pizza with a pasture-raised, grass-fed pork sausage patty taking the place of normal dough crust. A sugar-free, house-made tomato sauce and a bacon pineapple jam are spread on the base. To top, they fry fresh kale in tallow and sprinkle nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor. I hear it is every bit as indulgent as it sounds!

We went for breakfast and of course tried as much as we could. We started with the Chia coconut yogurt topped with a great grainless granola and berries that tasted light and creamy with the only sugar coming from the berries. Then we had a lovely seasonal salad called Enchanted with arugula, pickled onion, roasted beets, their granola and almond feta. This was really tasty with all the ingredients perfectly coated by the almond feta and vinaigrette.

For our main dishes we ordered their burrito and the seasonal veggie hash. Both were delightful and filling without leaving us weighed down or bloated. The burrito’s tortilla was very much like a regular flour tortilla, except better because it’s free of grains, refined sugars and dairy! It was soft and doughy but dense enough to keep the hearty fillings wrapped inside (even after a night in my fridge it stayed put together and as good as when it was served). The shredded sweet potatoes in both dishes were so flavorful and sweetened up the basic eggs in the burrito, along with the savory, juicy sausage inside. Add a side of their pork green chili and it was the tastiest healthy burrito I’ve eaten!  The veggie hash was beautiful, seemed much healthier, was full of flavorful and texture, making it an amazing meal for a vegetarian. We topped ours with a poached egg shown at top.

In addition to their menu being gluten-free, so many of their dishes are easily made vegetarian, making it a really wonderful place for friends or couples with different dietary needs to eat together. Their manager explains, “Our goal is to cater to many different food sensitivities with a very modular menu.” There’s even a yummy kids’ menu priced at only $6. For drinks you’ve got bullet coffees and lattes, espresso, fresh juice, Kombucha, and natural sodas. There’s even a “bone broth bar” with 48-hour broth that comes with a handful of toppings to choose from. This place is seriously a unique gem in the Denver dining scene and we hope you find the time to treat yourself to something satisfyingly delicious and nutritious!

Brider | Fine Food, Casual Setting

Executive Chef Steven Redzikowski is known for his restaurants OAK at Fourteenth and Acorn, which regularly appear on the list of best restaurants in Denver/CO. He now leads Brider, a casual rotisserie and seasonal market concept on Platte Street that doesn’t require reservations or a special occasion to fine dine. “Our new restaurant Brider is about delivering a more casual environment, but still delivering what our guests at Acorn and Oak expect from us,” says GM Jason Isch. Brider’s passionate team delivers a level of quality and craftsmanship that is unmatched in casual dining, promising only made-from-scratch, ingredient-driven offerings prepared with the utmost care and attention. “At Brider, we'll be sourcing the same great products but simplifying them, that also makes them easy to package for take-out, which has been popular here” explains Isch

Brider offers breakfast, lunch and dinner menus focusing on a selection of composed, rotisserie-centric dishes straight from Brider’s state-of-the-art Rotisol oven along with seasonal soups, salads, and sandwiches. We ordered the OAK meatball sandwich and the rotisserie porchetta dinner plate with a side of sweet potato tots. The OAK meatball was delicious and very hearty making it worth the $12. The meatballs were seasoned and juicy, surrounded by melted provolone, pesto and fresh marinara. Overall it was one of the best meatball sandwiches we’ve eaten.

The rotisserie porchetta dinner was wonderful as well, very succulent with an herb-laden, crunchy crust. The dinner plates offer a selection of “styles” for your dish, which gives the diner different flavors and sides to choose from. We chose the lemon and chili wilted kale “style” which was a delicious accompaniment of greens with zest. Speaking of zest, Brider even makes their own dips and hot sauces which we tried a few of. There was a cilantro jalapeno aioli that came with our order of tots that was an elevated alternative to the normal ketchup or ranch dressing and an amazing hot sauce they compare to Chalula, but is much better. It has really prominent smoked/roasted chili flavors, a mild to moderate amount of heat and the right amount of thickness so it wasn’t as runny or vinegar laden as some popular hot sauces. We loved it and apparently so do many other patrons as Brider has decided to bottle and sell it!

The drink menu, led by Beverage Director Bryan Dayton is just as impressive, with as much attention to ingredients and craftsmanship going into their lineup of beer, cocktails, coffee and wine on tap. “It’s Brian’s thing, being a former ‘Bartender of the Year’, to come up with a selection of craft cocktails and homemade drinks, which then led to doing everything in house, from sodas to coffee syrups,” explained GM Jason Isch. “He’s also gotten the staff involved in the fun by teaching them all how to make homemade Kombucha and letting them get creative with flavors that change regularly.” The taps also change, with 6 for beer and 4 for wine, and the other 8 are cocktails, Boxcar Roasters nitro-tap coffee, and house made ginger beer and root beer. We ordered the root beer and it tasted like the old-fashioned, less-sugary version of todays typical can and their Chai Latte, which we were surprised to learn (we hadn’t caught on yet apparently), they also make themselves! The Chai was robust but the right blend of sweet and spicy, and would be a great complement to one of their homemade pastries.

We were told their Fritter was actually an award winner and a must try. We of course did try and fell in love with the flaky, sugar coated, treat that was somewhat reminiscent of a funnel cake but with more flavor.  Their lemon meringue cake and coconut cream pie was also featured that day and they were too delicious not to finish. As you walk into Brider you are presented with their beautiful array of desserts and specials for the day. It makes it really hard to pass up on the desserts and we recommend you take one to go.

Our dining experience was just how GM Isch described it: laid back, top-quality, delicious and easy. We were very impressed with all of the flavors, homemade drinks and desserts, attention to detail, diverse menu options, and price point. They even have free parking and fun music! We will be back~

Open daily 8:00am - 9:00pm - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Carryout.Happy hour specials 3-6 p.m. featuring $3.50 beers, $1 off all drinks, and $2 pizza slices.  http://www.denverbrider.com/

Lifestyle | You've Gotta Be Fika'n Kidding Me!

 FIKA

Our favorite neighborhood lush is at it again! From the boozers who brought us the Summer Passport and Winter Warmer comes, Fika, your guide to Denver's booming coffee scene. While we await the *much* anticipated 2016 Summer Passport, we're excited to get buzzed on another one of Denver's vices.

 The term "Fika" originates from Sweden and is a cultural custom to remind one another that even though you're busy, there's always time to gather with friends and enjoy a cup of coffee. 

Two Part's Fika program is your road map to Denver's coziest, hippest and tastiest coffee roasters. Fika boasts 24 different coffee venues from hometown favorites like Amethyst, Huckleberry Roasters, Crema and Black Eye to venues like Bellweather and Lula Rose General Store that we cannot wait to explore. The beautiful thing is that you can enjoy 2 for 1 drinks at each venue which includes a special beverage that was concocted specifically for the Fika. It's really the perfect opportunity to get out of your coffee rut, explore some new neighborhoods and gather with fellow coffee enthusiasts. 

The cost: $20

Dates: April, 1st - October, 1st

We like our passports like we like our coffee - bold, adventurous and always up for a good deal. 

Get yours today!