Tap & Burger: Top Rated Burgers & Veggie Friendly Favorites

Tap & Burger Belleview Station is not your typical sports and burger bar; turns out they are a foodie focused restaurant with a menu full of fresh plant-based dishes, local grass-fed beef and tasty sides and fries. This DTC location is their third, with the first being Highland Tap & Burger in LoHi that opened in 2010 and one in Sloan’s Lake. All the Tap & Burger locations focus on local ingredients, make everything in house, and boast a large variety of local brews on tap.

Tap Burger

Tap Burger

Beyond their great menu, which we will review for you next, they take the time to help the Colorado community. Their efforts include working with nonprofits (four at the moment), educating high school students on sustainable farming, and doing what they can to save the most energy and waste within their restaurants.

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The menu here has a whole section of “Plant Based” offerings that include salads, a red curry quinoa bowl, and the ImpossibleTM brand, which is a plant-based meat substitute that (as the name implies) tastes too good to be true. They serve both ImpossibleTMTacos and Burgers which were deemed fantastic by both the vegetarians and meat eaters in the room. A handful of restaurants carry the ImpossibleTM burger, but their tacos allow for a delightful combination of seasoned “meat” with guacamole and pico verde that worked wonderfully. We’d love to see these tacos at the next taco festival this summer!

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Also noteworthy are the starters such as the crispy chicken empanadas, smoked Tap wings, Asian Lettuce Wraps and grilled artichoke. And last but not least, the burgers we tried were juicy, flavorful and customizable. They feature four creations on their menu but also give diners the option to fully customize and substitute beef for veggie, lamb, turkey or the ImpossibleTM

One of their four features is the Tap Burger which was rated “Top 15 Burger” by Zagat and features root beer pulled pork, onion rings, American cheese, and aged white cheddar. The pulled pork was succulent and complemented the burger and fried onion really well, with an overall sweet BBQ flavor. Another favorite was the Shroom Luva’s, rated “Top 10 Burger in Denver” by Zagat,  with just the right amount of with sautéed mushrooms and mushroom aioli, along with a nice Swiss cheese (perfect for those who really l like mushrooms).

Words by Tiffany Candelaria Photos by Samantha Bliss
http://tapandburgerbelleview.com

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The Perfect Place for Vegetarians and Carnivores to Dine Together


Cordon Bleu Sandwich

Cordon Bleu Sandwich

The Pig & The Sprout restaurant in Denver’s Union Station neighborhood embodies the dual nature of its name - featuring hearty, meat-based items and lighter, veggie and based items. The physical layout of the menu is split down the middle with meat-based, heavier ingredient dishes listed under “The Pig” side and vegetarian, even some vegan, dishes listed under “The Sprout” side. This place is perfect for those couples who each have entirely different eating habits or large groups! The same goes for the cocktails; you’ll find bold, whiskey, bourbon and beer based drinks and then light, clear spirits with fresh citrus or herbal ingredients on the other side. We can’t recall any restaurant we’ve been to with such a contrasted, and clearly divided menu as this… and we think it’s wonderful.

When Andy Ganick opened his long dreamed of The Pig & The Sprout last summer, he called it his "dream restaurant that would satisfy all." Ganick is on site most nights, but is also the owner of Stapleton’s popular Berkshire Restaurant that’s been serving “Swine, Wine and a Good Time” since 2007.

Eggplant Bruschetta

Eggplant Bruschetta

We had a good time and a great feast at The Pig & The Sprout last week and want to share our thoughts with you. We started with the Eggplant Bruschetta ($8) that was a very tasty "Sprout" starter consisting of fried eggplant, Boursin (soft, herbed) cheese, smoked tomato jam, and arugula which we really enjoyed. For our “Sprout” entree we ordered the Gnocchi, ($18) which was a wonderful vegetarian dish, but don't order it because you think it'll be lighter than something on the "Pig" side of the menu. In addition to the potato pillows (aka gnocchi), there were golden raisins, sunflower seeds, candied walnuts, butternut squash, Boursin cheese and arugula, all drizzled with browned butter sauce. This dish was decadent, filling and full of flavors.

Next, the Cordon Bleu ($14) sandwich was spectacular and is one of their most popular entree items, we get why. Every component from the toasted and mayo/fondue-slathered bun to the fantastic fried chicken made this sandwich a hit. The fried chicken is actually breaded with garbanzo beans, which gave it a more savory, nutty taste opposed to just fried crunchiness, and also makes it gluten free! In fact, you can make the whole sandwich gluten free with their special buns if you prefer.  

The Brussels Sprouts & Hogger

The Brussels Sprouts & Hogger

The final dish was over the top and was a popular item we just had to try for ourselves (and to tell you about!) It was a towering assortment of pulled pork, bacon, a kurobuta pork patty from Berkshire Farms and topped with apple slaw, pig chips, and mayo. It is aptly named The Hogger ($17) and is served with fries, but we got their Brussels Sprouts ($8) instead because we were told how great they were. We were very pleased with that suggestion and got a heaping dish full of the glazed, Parmesan dusted sprouts. These however are not on the "Sprout" side of the menu because they are cooked and served with bacon. We could barely have more than a bite of this final dish after everything that came before, but I can tell you the leftovers were just as great the next day.

We only ordered one cocktail and choose the Wild Boar, consisting of El Dorado 12 yr. rum, honey, black walnut bitters and served with a spear of Luxardo cherry and prosciutto. It was like a sweet Manhattan and tasted more like bourbon than typical rum, apparently 12 years of aging will do that. Some of the other cool cocktails are their four different Mules, a Chocolate Mint Porter, and an Apple Pie Martini and Mimosa. During Happy Hour (3-6pm & 11pm-2am), ALL drinks are 25% off!

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The space lends itself to a variety of personalities as well; climbing vines by the bar, antique books, garage door walls that open up to two outdoor patios, and sleek couches for lounging and community tables for making new friends. We thoroughly enjoyed this restaurant because it provides thoughtful, creative seasonal fare for vegans, vegetarians, gluten-free, and carnivors alike. Even the large drink menu nods to their split personality with clever, one of a kind cocktails paired to both palates.          https://www.pigandsprout.com

Words by Tiffany Candelaria        Photos by Samantha Bliss

Denver Deluxe Music Festival | Combining Burgers, Beer and Community

Denver’s music and event scene continues to expand and this weekend there’s a new (mini) music festival happening in RiNo. The Denver Deluxe Music Festival is a block party presented by Park Burger featuring 10 Barrel Brewing Co. who is building their first Colorado location across the street! They'll have two stages of live music playing all day, as well as a few burger and brew stations throughout. All ticket proceeds benefit Denver Urban Gardens, which means you can feel good about partying!

We spoke with Tobias Krause of Two Parts, a local company specializing in food and booze events in the Mile High City. From curating The Westword Music Showcase to the Breck Brew Hootenanny Krause has earned his stripes as a Denver socialite and event guru. Krause said it was Park Burger’s idea back in December to celebrate the summer and their new locations opening around Colorado this year. We can totally relate with dreaming about and planning summer events in the middle of winter! Music, the community, local beer, along with great burgers of course, is what the Park Burger culture is all about. They really wanted to merge all of these things and have a music festival type party because, “food and music naturally go together, they’re comforting, and create a good time,” says Krause. They also wanted to focus on making it an affordable festival option in the heart of the city, while still being able to give proceeds to a local charity at the end of the day.

Coordinating a festival comes with its own set of "to-dos" but for many, Krause included, the most exciting aspect is always booking the talent. When it came time for Two Parts to coordinate with Park Burger in creating the musical lineup they decided to take a different route. “We put a bunch of names out there and went after the bands we’d selected to see who was available. We wanted a lineup that would be approachable and enjoyable for most listeners.” It was also important to them to differentiate their lineup from the other music festivals happening around Denver to make their party different and unique. That ended up becoming a lineup of Reggae, Jam bands, and some Blues and Rock & Roll, which we feel fits just right with a summer block party. After the headlining band The Original Wailers, a late night set starting at 8pm will feature Rob Drabkin, followed by Technicolor Tone Factory on the Park Burger patio! So grab a burger, a beer, and sway the day away.

Music Line-up:

The Original Wailers

The Hip Abduction

Rob Drabkin

Musketeer Gripweed

Jonathon Boogie Long

Technicolor Tone Factory

ATOMGA

Park Burger RiNo – 2615 Walnut St

$20 Festival Pass — entry, access to all live music, 1 beer token

$30 Deluxe Festival Pass — entry, access to all live music, Deluxe Burger by Park Burger (beef / veggie options), 2 beer tokens

http://denverdeluxe.com

We also had a chance to chat with ATOMGA, the Park Burger house band for the day. They are playing half hour sets in between the main stage sets, “It’s going to be a really unique and also challenging set up to arrange our show in this (incremental) way. We’ve never done anything like this and our songs are all really long, so we’ve been figuring out the set list.”

ATOMGA started back in 2011 with a whopping twelve members, down to just ten these days, and aim to be purveyors of afrobeat to the masses. “Our musical backbone is clearly influenced by Fela Kuti, Orlando Julius, and other afrobeat forefathers, but we can't help but naturally infuse styles that we grew up,” they explain. You'll hear the likes of blues, funk, and progressive rock laced throughout their music. “When you see people from all walks of life getting down to our performances coupled with compliments from Femi Kuti's [Fela Kuti's eldest son] band saying 'Those white people play some great lines!,' then we feel like we're achieving exactly what we set out to do!” At their ongoing show Saturday you’ll see great horn arrangements, guitars, piano, and jazzy bits with lots of good rhythm. ATOMGA is “one good ol’ happy family of musicians”.

They’re very excited to play Park Burger’s first music festival and were specifically asked if they would be the official house band of the show, having worked with event company Two Parts before. They’ve also started to become a regular in the Colorado music scene playing the Crestone, CO Music Festival, Taste of Fort Collins, Tour de Fat in Fort Collins, Durango’s Oktoberfest, and Arise Music Festival in Loveland.  They will be embarking on their first Midwest Tour next month! Between their love for parties, burgers and a chance to share a bill with The Original Wailers, ATOMGA is stoked to be a part of the first annual Denver Deluxe Music Festival and plans on dancing the day away with you all!