Top Taco: A Culinary Extravaganza Like No Other

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Top Taco has quickly earned a spot as the "can't miss" tasting party of the summer. This culinary throwdown takes place on the evening of Thursday, June 27th, when more than 50 restaurants -- including Comida, Dos Santos, Margs, Los Chingones Tamayo, and Los Dos Potrillos -- compete head to head for the Top Taco title in the Creative Taco, Traditional, Vegetarian Taco and Signature Tequila Cocktail categories.

As a guest, you'll enjoy unlimited samples of all the tacos and margaritas, along with unique tequila samples, beer, wine and more. Be sure to dance away the evening to the live rhythm and beat of La Candela, Denver's hottest salsa band!


Ticket Types:

VIP: Early entry at 6pm plus a separate tasting area inside the festival with additional taco and tequila tastings, lounge and separate bathrooms.

First Taste: Early Entry at 6pm, plus tastings from our 50 restaurants

General Admission: 7pm entry and tastings from our 50 restaurants

SPECIAL DISCOUNT TICKETS

Restaurant list: Coming Soon

FAQ's:

• When: Thursday, June 27th • Entrance Times: 6:00pm VIP/First Taste, 7:00pm GA

• Where: Stanley Market Place Lawn

• Bring your ID. This event is 21+ only and you will not be able to enter without it.

• We highly suggest you take cab, Uber or Lyft. Paid parking info and directions at TopTacoDenver.com

• You will have an e-ticket furnished by EventBrite sent to your email. If you have multiple tickets, screenshot them and save them on your phone for faster entry. If you have purchased a Double Down ticket, you will receive your Chicken Fight ticket after separately.

• The festival is rain or shine. It is never a bad idea to bring a rain jacket or layers depending on the weather report. Colorado springs mean varied weather.

• We will have water stations in various locations, clearly marked, around the festival.

• No kids allowed. This is an over 21-year-old event. Please leave your children at home. We aren’t afraid they will drink, we just don’t want them in the vicinity of adults who are drinking.

• NO PETS! Pets are not permitted. Service and working animals are not considered pets and are exempt from this policy.

• No smoking. Smoking is not allowed.

DO NOT BRING:

• Weapons of any kind

• Illegal substances

• Squirt guns, misters, spray bottles, etc.

• Laser pens and similar focused-light devices

• Chairs

• Pets (service and working animals are not considered pets and are exempt from this policy)

• Bicycles, scooters, personal motorized vehicles need to be parked outside of festival grounds (bike parking will be available).

• Musical instruments

• Fake IDs (these will be confiscated and your wristband will be cut without refund)

• Outside food or drink

Discount Tickets Click Here

Zeal, "Food for Enthusiasts"

A healthy new Denver restaurant has been on our radar long before opening here. Zeal, Food for Enthusiasts, is a casual Boulder-based food and juice spot attracting health conscious foodies for the past five years. Due to its popularity, owners Wayde Jester and Chelsea Norton decided to try out the Denver market and opened in the Tech Center’s Landmark development last Fall.

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Zeal offers the best in flavor and quality thanks to their organic ingredients and superb chef. Zeal uses local and organic ingredients, much of which come from their small farm north of Boulder. Their Chef, aka Enthusiast de Cuisine, John Broening grew up in France, the Soviet Union and Portugal where his father was a foreign correspondent for the Associated Press. Broening has worked in several top restaurants in New York, San Francisco, Paris and Denver and has been a featured guest chef at the James Beard House several times.

During our dinner we enjoyed a range of veggie, fish, meat and vegan dishes as well as their cold-pressed juice and house made Kombucha. Their current juices were kale and ginger, beet juice, and carrot based and are available as a flight or stand alone. They also serve as flavor additions to their green tea-based Kombucha. These aren’t the only offerings on tap at the bar, Zeal DTC offers a selection of craft beer, wine and cocktails and offer happy hour 2:30-5:30pm daily.

Mussels with rosemary and white wine, pickled sweet peppers, anchovy, touch of butter

Mussels with rosemary and white wine, pickled sweet peppers, anchovy, touch of butter

We began with a bowl of marvelous mussels and their popular Conscious Kale Salad that’s been a staple since opening in Boulder. We saw, even before eating, how this salad has remained a staple for so long with its colorful array of superfoods portioned out artfully in the bowl. The salad is kale based and features bright pickled carrots, sweet golden beets, crunchy walnuts and sprouted lentils.

For our main we ordered the Lamb Burger and the Poke Bowl. The Lamb Burger comes topped with tzatziki and a tomato jam served with either greens or a side of scrumptious chimichurri smashed potatoes. The Poke Bowl was laid out like the salad with its colorful ingredients portioned out atop a bed of brown rice. The crisp cucumbers and drizzle of spicy aioli were a great flavor addition.

Lamb Burger (right) and the Poke Bowl (left)

Lamb Burger (right) and the Poke Bowl (left)

Our sweet ending was a not-so-sweet, but very much a treat, cashew-based cheesecake. This vegan dessert mimics the real thing in its creamy texture but with much less sugar and no dairy. With a walnut crust, fresh berries and agave drizzle, we loved every last bite of this delicious creamy treat.

Zeal’s casual farm to table restaurant will be opening a new Boulder location this summer and just launched weekend brunch in their DTC location. From 9:30am-2:30pm enjoy their popular Acai bowls and bullet coffee along with new items like Eggs Benedict, pancakes three ways, bacon fried rice, and $14 bottomless mimosas.

https://www.zealfood.com

Words by Tiffany Candelaria @TCdoesFnB Photos by Samantha Bliss @redcapturesherbliss

Juice flight and Conscious Kale Salad

Juice flight and Conscious Kale Salad

Broadway Market | Denver's Newest Food Hall

 
The Bar

The Bar

The Food Hall trend has steadily made its way across the country and has found a warm welcome from Denverites. From The Source’s opening in 2013 to the brand new Broadway Market opening today, there are now over a handful of deliciously cool food halls to spend your day or night.

Broadway Market was inspired by village food halls where people have been gathering to eat and mingle for centuries, but puts a Mile High spin on its global cuisine and communal setting. Broadway Market comes from developer Mark Shaker of Stanley Marketplace and Brad Arguello, co-founder of Avanti Food & Beverage, along with Snooze’s Adam Schlegel helping curate the concepts. “We opened Broadway Market as a food hall and community gathering place that’s also a celebration of Denver’s best chefs. They have worked in this type of concept before which means they can focus on the food and their customers,” says Mark Shaker. We noticed a few of the restaurants overlap from Stanley Marketplace such as Maria Empanada, Misaki Sushi, Mondo Mini (Market), and Miette Et Chocolat. In addition to their tasty food, there’s pizza and pasta, doner kebabs and falafel, burgers and tots, tikka masala and curry, and even a cold-pressed juicery! We tried it all and loved the variety and quality of food to choose from here.

The nine restaurants in Broadway Market

The nine restaurants in Broadway Market

In addition to their nine restaurants, there’s two locally owned boutiques and a full bar in the center of it all with craft cocktails, lots of wine and even a sake on the menu. Beer lovers have their own special spot, an entire “Bottoms Up” beer wall with a dozen Colorado beers and ciders on tap. The do-it-yourself beer wall lets you fill your glass with however much you want and is priced per ounce, so you can pick and choose! Making this extra fun is your glass fills from the bottom up by way of a magnetic stopper - I’m telling you this so you don’t end up with beer all over your table like we did after curiously/drunkenly poking the bottom of our glass.

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Broadway Market makes it easy for guests to purchase from multiple vendors with an optional fob card that can link to your credit card. This card allows you to swipe away with only one charge to your credit card and if you plan on using the beer wall, the card is necessary to activate it and will show you your running total with each pour, thankfully.

As Denver, and the world, expands so too does our interest in sustainability. Broadway Market aims to be as close to zero waste as possible with the help of their local compost partner Scraps. By using real dishes and utensils Broadway Market avoids all single-use plastics: no plastic straws, no plastic condiment packets, nothing that gets used just once and then thrown in the landfill. From sourcing to preparation to dining and plate-scraping, just about everything at Broadway Market that can be disposed of can be composted or recycled. They plan to examine their operations during the first three months for the best ways to live up to their zero waste goals.

Add this new food hall to your list of hangouts as it’s perfect for a causal breakfast with your laptop, lunch with a diverse group of eaters, or a fun dinner date or drink stop. Another reason to go, it’s easy to get to -with a central location on Broadway and 9th and a free parking lot, it’s definitely our new hang out spot!

Misaki Sushi

Misaki Sushi

www.broadwaymarketdenver.com

Review by Tiffany Candelaria @TCdoesFnB Photos by Samantha Bliss @RedCapturesHerBliss

Uchi Denver | Modern Japanese Cuisine

Japanese tradition and culinary innovation fuse at the award-winning Uchi restaurant in Denver’s RiNo neighborhood. Uchi Denver is the fourth Uchi concept from Austin-based restaurant group Hai Hospitality, and the first outside of Texas. From the spices and sauces used to enhance their nigiri, sashimi and makimono, to the flair they pair with their specialty dishes, Uchi’s menu is diverse and interesting. You won’t find the regular rolls you’re used to seeing here, only expertly crafted dishes with the finest ingredients from around the world.

Hama Chili (top left), Suzuki Yaki (top right), Machi Cure (center)

Uchi Denver is the first to have a full bar and cocktail program, I guess they know Denverites like to drink, in addition to their comprehensive offering of sakes, beer, and wine. To our delight, they uphold the tradition of sake social with Happy Hour from 5-6:30pm nightly with $3 sake and Kirin beer, $7 wine, and a great selection of sushi and other tasty bites!

Uchi’s fabulous food and fish is due to their close relationships with local farmers and the Fukuoka and Tsukiji markets in Japan from which they fly in seafood every day. Combining seasonal ingredients with a spectrum of seafood from around the globe, Uchi invites diners to expand their expectations and boundaries. We were recommended to experience the Omakase – Chef’s Tasting of 10 courses – and we were surprised and delighted by the diverse dishes. Uchi also offers a smaller Signature Tasting (six courses) and a Vegetarian Tasting (six course) in addition to their full menu.

Kinoko Nabe - 5 types of mushroom, crunchy rice, mushroom tentsuyu (broth) and egg yolk that is mixed in at your table.

We started with a Social Hour roll and the Machi Cure (pictured below) composed of yucca chips, smoked yellowtail, pear and Marcona almonds. This dish looked like a contemporary art piece and was just as intriguing on the palate. Next was their house named Uchi Salad, beautiful local greens wrapped around jicama with a cashew pesto sauce. The greens in this salad are sourced directly from the restaurant’s rooftop greenhouse, a partnership with Altius Farms and the only Hai property to have such a feature!

Machi Cure

James Beard Award-winning Chef Tyson Cole leads the team in Denver with his signature non-traditional take on Japanese food. Having trained for more than 10 years in Tokyo, New York, and Austin under two different sushi masters, he continues his path of study and experimentation each day at the restaurants in the Hai Hospitality family. Employing classical cooking techniques with a Pacific Rim perspective, Cole marries global ingredients with traditional Japanese flavors, resulting in inspired combinations of flavor, texture, color, technique, and style.

Fried Milk

If someone in your group prefers a heartier alternative to sashimi and sushi, Uchi doesn’t disappoint there either. The menu features savory meat and vegetable dishes like their Wagyu beef taster, insanely good Brussels Sprouts, tempura veggies, chicken wings, and a 72-hour braised short rib sushi.

Everyone should save a little room for dessert as these sweet endings are just as inventive and flavor-dynamic as the rest of the menu. Options range from the decadent Fried Milk (pictured above), those golden balls are the fried milk cream, with chocolate ganache and vanilla custard. Or go light with a gluten free, dairy free dessert such as the coconut tapioca, or meet in the middle with their lovely jasmine cream (pictured below) with pineapple and a honey crumble base.

Uchi Denver has become one of Denver’s hottest restaurants, with eager eaters lining up at all hours of the night to get a taste. They do accept limited reservations, so we suggest you pick a date a couple weeks out and secure a spot!

Jasmine Cream

Words by Tiffany Candelaria @TCdoesFnB Photos by Samantha Bliss @RedCapturesherBliss

Grand Hyatt's Courier Restaurant Elevates Global Classics

Inspired by its historic location at the site of one of Denver’s first newspapers, Courier market | bar | kitchen provides patrons with classic dishes made modern in an updated setting that evokes the space’s past. Focused on local flavors and ingredients, the food is thoughtfully sourced and carefully served with the menu indicating whether a dish is gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian or vegan.

Head Chef David Lillich joined the Grand Hyatt Denver’s culinary team in 2013 assisting with the launch of its previous restaurant. He was quickly promoted to Junior Sous Chef, advancing to the position of Garde Manger of the 4-Diamond Grand Hyatt Denver. Chef Lillich describes Courier’s food, “Our selections are inspired by beloved classic dishes from cuisines from around the world. Our culinary team works at recreating these classics with a modern twist using the finest local ingredients and the best seasonal produce we can find.” We went in for dinner and were impressed by the many choices, the food’s rich flavors and the substantial portions.

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We started with GNOCCHI MAC & CHEESE (V) with basil and sundried tomato that was delicious yet decadent. The gnocchi were soft and infused with basil, the sundried tomatoes were moist, and the dish was not overly cheesy. They use a blend of parmesan, cheddar and mozzarella sourced from Haystack Mountain in Boulder and Marczyk in Denver and their pasta comes from local Denver shop Pappardelle’s Pasta.

Our other starter was the BUFFALO BRUSSELS (GF,V) drizzled with hot sauce butter and cashews served with a side of honey bleu cheese. This was also delicious, full of flavors, and nothing like the Brussels Sprouts we grew up eating. There are numerous other starters on the menu including a few different flatbreads, and their Social Hour menu features chicken wings, a charcuterie and cheese board, tempura cauliflower, and chili relleno fried raviolis all under $10.

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Social Hour at the bar runs from 3-6pm daily and includes inventive cocktails like the Prosecco based Tabloid and the bourbon-and-absinthe-infused Local Edition. Wine, Colorado beers and a handful of apps round out the Social Hour menu. Guests in the bar can watch the chefs craft their apps and flatbreads in an artisan stone oven.

For entrees, we selected the popular SHORT RIB STROGANOFF and the SMOKED DUCK A L’ORANGE (GF). The Stroganoff was indeed a modern twist on the dish; the presentation and ingredients were elevated, with mushroom raviolis as the pasta portion and a beautiful piece of tender short ribs with a milk stout cream sauce. The Smoked Duck was Asian forward in flavor and came accompanied with soft forbidden fried rice mixed with crunchy snap peas, bell peppers and carrots. Their global cuisine also features dishes such as Scallops and Risotto, Ancient Grain Paella, Chicken Tikka, Swordfish Etouffee and Wagyu Steak and Potatoes.

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Located within the financial district’s Grand Hyatt Hotel, Courier serves a variety of delectable food and a noteworthy dining experience during breakfast, lunch and dinner. We loved what we ate and plan on going back again with friends to try even more!

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https://courierrestaurant.com/

Words by Tiffany Candelaria Photos by Samantha Bliss

Employees pose in front of one of Denver’s first newspaper buildings at 1720 Welton Street between 1901 and 1910. Courtesy of History Colorado Center.

Employees pose in front of one of Denver’s first newspaper buildings at 1720 Welton Street between 1901 and 1910. Courtesy of History Colorado Center.

Redzikowski Brothers Battle on Food Network's "Beat Bobby Flay" January 17th


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Chef Steven Redzikowski of Boulder’s OAK at fourteenth and his brother Brian Redzikowski, Executive Chef of Kettner Exchange in San Diego are competing on the Food Network’s show Beat Bobby Flay Thursday, January 17. The two brothers will battle it out in the kitchen to determine who has the skills to compete against Chef Bobby Flay himself in this episode titled Oh Brother. The winner will be decided by Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy and Chopped's Alex Guarnaschelli and will air at 10pmEST/8pmMST Jan 17.

Steven Redzikowski’s (OAK) Thai Eggplant & Bok Choy & Chicharrones

Steven Redzikowski’s (OAK) Thai Eggplant & Bok Choy & Chicharrones

Before opening OAK with business partner Bryan Dayton, and then Acorn in Denver’s The Source, Chef Steven worked his way up in some very impressive restaurants around the US. For example, Le Cirque in New York, Little Nell in Aspen, and Boulder’s own Frasca Food and Wine. His appearance on the Food Network will add to his list of accolades, especially if he succeeds in Beating Bobby Flay!

To celebrate the brothers’ Food Network premier, OAK shut down dinner service to host a special Dim Sum party cooked by a number of accomplished local chefs from Denver and Boulder. OAK’s open kitchen allowed those who attended to smell, see, and hear the dishes being made well before the Dim Sum carts rolled up to their tables. Guests enjoyed a total of fifteen different dishes from the different chef’s along with wine, Japanese beer, sake, and the house cocktail OAK Tea Time. The food was delicious, adventurous and gave guests unique dishes they won’t find on the menu at any of the Colorado chefs’ restaurants. Below is the full menu, with those in bold being our favorites.

Pork Belly Bao Bun

Pork Belly Bao Bun

Steven Redzikowski (OAK) - Thai Eggplant & Bok Choy

Steven Redzikowski (OAK) - Crispy Wontons with pork and shrimp

Boneless Chicken Wings with bang bang sauce

Boneless Chicken Wings with bang bang sauce

Steven Redzikowski (OAK) - Crispy Chicharrones with Thai spice and trinity aioli

Brian Redzikowski (Kettner Exchange - San Diego, CA) - Pork Belly Bao Bun

Kyle Mendenhall (Arcana) - Sesame Bun

Adam Dulye (Brewer's Association) - Brisket Spring Rolls

Sarah Beckwith (OAK) - Shrimp Toast

Sarah Beckwith (OAK) - Seaweed & Cucumber Salad with sesame

Chase Devitt (BriDer) - Pork Sui Mai

Chase Devitt (BriDer) - Kung Pow Brussels Sprouts

William Cusack (OAK) - Penang Curry Sweet Potato

Paul Jaramillo (Acorn) - Boneless Chicken Wings with bang bang sauce

William Espercuieta (SMOK) - Hoisin-Glazed Pork Ribs

Kate Horton (OAK) - Coconut Sticky Rice & Mango

OAK Dining Room

OAK Dining Room

Words & Photos by Tiffany Candelaria @TCdoesFnB

Hoisin-Glazed Pork Ribs

Hoisin-Glazed Pork Ribs

It's The Most Wonderful Time For A Beer....Denver Beer Festivals Is Upon Us

Denver Beer Festivus Has Arrived.

It’s that time of the year once again. Time to don that ugly holiday sweater and head out to Denver Beer Festivus. Always in our top five events we cover every year. The Denver Festival is a celebration of all things….beer. With over 70 breweries set to take over the Sports Castle this year, add to that fun activities such as silent disco, lucha libra wrestlers, food trucks, and a pop-up coffee shop from Method Roasters paying homage to a Seinfeld cafe it’s sure to be an amazing time.

The event takes place this Saturday, December 15th at the Sports Castle located at 1000 Broadway from 3PM to 6PM. Special VIP packages include perks such as early entrance and an awesome Festivus Koozie. More ticket information can be found here.

Festivus With the Best of Us!


DC Pie Co Opens on East Colfax

There’s a cool new restaurant on Colfax that pairs pizzas and meatballs with craft cocktails and draft beer. The cozy DC Pie Co. features an 80-person dining room and center bar, with a traditional brick oven in the back imported from Italy. Brooklyn based entrepreneur Dominic Cavagnuolo (DC) and Mary Zayaruzny teamed up to deliver Brooklyn-style brick-oven pizza featuring a mean marinara sauce that’s been passed down from DC’s two Italian grandmothers.

All-beef meatballs served with homemade spiced ricotta and house marinara

“Here at DC PIE CO., it all starts with the ingredients,” said DC. “Our sauce is made from scratch every single day with ingredients sourced from local producers. We’re bringing simple recipes and fresh ingredients to Denver, just as I was able to experience as a kid growing up in Brooklyn, NY.” In fact, 99% of DC PIE CO.’s ingredients are made in house, from the cheese, to the dough, to their must-try meatballs, served with their marinara sauce of course!

The Italian brick oven & pizza making area

Keeping things fresh and simple isn’t too difficult with a small menu like theirs. The menu is simple, yet high tech. There are six categories, Pie, Extras, Salads, Sides, Baked & Dessert, and the menu itself is on a “Pop Up and Pay”™ tablet-like menu that allows guests to expedite their ordering and payment process. The Pizza comes plain or vegan and you select toppings like their spicy slices of pepperoni (which you can also order solo because they’re delicious) to imported Italian artichoke hearts, red peppers and portabella mushrooms, all delivered fresh daily! There are seven salads on the menu ranging from familiars like kale Caesar and Caprese to more creative combinations like celery root + fennel or the watercress + pear salad.

Pepperoni “chips” and craft cocktails

We salivated over all their Baked items: the crispy pepperoni “chips”, the juicy, all-beef meatballs served with homemade spiced ricotta and marinara, and the brick-oven baked wings drizzled in their sweet hot sauce. To top it off, all three of their Baked items are on their Happy Hour menu, which is Saturday and Sunday from 3-6pm. Monday through Wednesday’s they have a Brooklyn pie and bottle of wine special for Colfax neighbors for $24! And percentage of all profits from this are donated to the Pediatric Mental Health Institute at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Happy Hour also has $2 off all drafts and specialty cocktails. They have seven Colorado draft beers and one Pennsylvania Trippel. There’re eight specialty cocktails that all feature different spirits and all-natural, house made ingredients that were impeccable. If you prefer to pair your pizza with a fine wine, DCP has you covered there too with a handful of reds, roses and white wines. For the kids, DC has six juices, soda, lemonade, or let them try a classic from DC’s childhood, a Brooklyn egg cream soda.

For more information, visit http://dcpieco.com/

Words by Tiffany Candelaria @TCdoesFnB Photos by Josh Stephens @freezerfilmfoto

Brooklyn egg cream soda and Nutella pizza

Bar Helix | Easy on the Eyes & the Tongue

Bar helix, located in the RiNo District, recently launched a special, supplementary menu of twelve creative versions of the classic Negroni cocktail, becoming Denver’s only Negroni bar. Bar helix is a modern, sexy bar + lounge concept created by Advanced Sommelier Kendra Anderson (aka @SwirlGirlDenver) that showcases 16 sexy, innovative cocktails, alongside an extensive wine list and decadent small plates. Grape based spirits served up sexy is the underlying theme there.

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The Negroni was always Owner Kendra’s cocktail of choice, but it wasn’t always available at bars or the bartender wouldn’t know how to make it. In case you don’t know either, a Negroni is a classic Italian cocktail, made of one part gin, one part vermouth rosso, and one part Campari, garnished with orange peel. Bar helix’s signature Negroni features a Vermont gin that’s barrel aged and infused with honey, and a lesser known Campari - this drink glides down your mouth.

Kendra wanted to share her love of the Negroni with Denver through introducing and “educating” her guests to this classic cocktail, along with a variety of classic Negroni spin-offs, so everyone can find a version they love. She relishes in the opportunity the bar provides her to chat and interact with others about her extensive knowledge on spirits and wine - her and Bar Manager Victoria really know their stuff!

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On their new Negroni menu, guests will find a variety of versions from the familiar (Campari, Death’s Door gin, Dolin sweet vermouth) to the esoteric (Cappelletti aperitivo, Casa de Valor cava brut, and Casa Mariol vermut). From December 1 through 31, guests who drink any twelve full-sized negroni cocktails will win a holiday-themed negroni gift package, a $25 gift card to bar helix, and get entered in a drawing for a chance to win a $200 gift card to the Denver Center for the Performing Arts! They’ve coined it “The Twelve Negronis of Christmas”. Or, guests who sample twelve baby Negroni cocktails during the month of December will also win a special Negroni themed gift.

The luscious bites are also not to be missed. Kendra (who was once a chef) developed a “sexed-up bar food” menu along with Chef Sam who runs the kitchen. Bar helix makes 85% of the menu items in house, from deviled eggs and shrimp cocktail to the garnishes in you cocktail.

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Kendra’s vision to make great things accessible, like fine wine, champagne, caviar, and Negroni is absolutely apparent in bar helix and the aesthetics provide a sexy, yet sophisticated environment to take your mind off the mundane. We recommend you stop by for “Woman Crush Wednesdays”, a date night, or for an “Afternoon Delight” aka happy hour 4-7pm Wednesday-Sunday.

Visit barhelixdenver.com & follow @barhelixdenver on Facebook and Instagram

Words by Tiffany Candelaria @TCdoesFnB & Samantha Bliss @redcapturesherbliss

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Cheesman Bark's Charlie Brown Holiday Portraits

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Good grief! The holidays are upon us and it’s only appropriate that we celebrate with portraits of our pups. Thursday December 6th, CheesmanBark will be photographing pups in honor of the beloved Charlie Brown character, Snoopy.

We will be creating a custom photo set that will include this iconic scene from Charlie Brown! A sad Christmas tree and a reproduction of Snoopy’s doghouse will bring the set, and your pups pic, to life!

As if you needed another reason to attend, 10% of all of the portrait sales will go to the MaxFund Animal Adoption Center! A wonderful organization who we are proud to align with once again.

CheesmanBark’s Charlie Brown Holiday Portraits:

Thursday Dec 6th 6-8pm @ Skylight

There will be 100 portrait spots for this event and it’s sure to sell out! As of right now, we will only be accepting online reservations.

Each portrait spot is $40 and will include just a few minutes in front of the lens. The purchase of $40 include one printable digital image. Additional images are $25

We’ve done over 40 of these events and typically photograph between 7 and 9 dogs every ten minutes! 1-3 minutes is enough for you to have 3-5 GREAT images to choose from.

IMPORTANT: We will only be photographing one dog per portrait spot, so if you have multiple dogs you must purchase multiple spots! No exceptions!

Things you can do to make sure your dog is a perfect poser:

Exercise them before they come

Arrive early 15-20 minutes early to let them sniff the area and get comfortable

Practice sit and stay in an environment of high stimulation

If your pet has reactivity concerns, let us know! We will gladly make accommodations to ensure your pet’s portrait experience is a successful one!

Denver Holiday Markets

Denver Christkindl Market | Nov. 16 - Dec. 23 

This annual event brings authentic German and European holiday traditions to Denver’s downtown (1515 Arapahoe St.)! Guests can find delicious cuisine, festive German drinks, handmade jewelry, toys, clothing, gifts and much more. Live entertainment is featured inside the festival tent every evening, and dancing is encouraged! This market is planned and executed by the German American Chamber of Commerce – Colorado Chapter (GACC-CO).

Denver Christkindl Market

Denver Christkindl Market

Union Station Holiday Market by Denver Flea | Friday's-Sunday's Nov. 23-25, 30-Dec. 2, Dec. 7-9 & Dec. 14-16th, 2018

The Union Station Holiday Market by Denver Flea will include four weekends of shopping, festivities and winter fun - kicking off on Black Friday, Nov. 23 at the historic Denver Union Station! 100s of Colorado’s best makers and artisan brands will pack the Plaza of Union Station each weekend throughout the season along with music, eats, drinks, activities and more. We’ll be there opening day (Friday 23rd) so check our Instagram @ultra5280 to see this year’s market in action! Tickets are $5.

Denver Flea

Denver Flea

Stapleton Holiday BAZAAR | November 29, 2018

Shop, Sip, and Mingle with Colorado’s finest craft, fashion, and art makers for one night only at Stapleton Holiday BAZAAR inside The Shops at Northfield. This BAZAAR will feature over 40 craft vendors including Beer, Cider, Wine & Spirit tastings throughout the evening, along with festive music and more! 4-10 PM, GA Admission is free.

RiNo Holiday BAZAAR

RiNo Holiday BAZAAR

RiNo Holiday BAZAAR | December 7-9, 2018

Taking over Walnut Street at 28th St. from December 7 – December 9, the RiNo Holiday BAZAAR hosts over 100 hand-picked local craft, fashion, and food vendors, with local breweries, cideries and mead booths onsite pouring holiday-themed drinks and participating in the BAAZAR’s Shop & Sip program.

A combination of outdoor pop-up shops sprinkled with fashion trucks and cozy, heated tents, the RiNo Holiday BAZAAR will spark the festive spirit for all with warm drinks and fire pits, funky music, and a selection of Denver Metro’s best food trucks on hand and a full bar! RiNo BOOZ hall, located in the heart of the BAZAAR, will be open all weekend long serving an array of Colorado crafted spirits and has bottles available to purchase.

Admission to RiNo Holiday BAZAAR is free until 7 PM on Friday, and before 12 PM on Saturday and Sunday, with GA tickets available for $5 at the door. Or RSVP at denverbazaar.com for free admission all weekend! Drink sampling packages are also available, with a range of options to fit your Shop & Sip experience. Please click here for details and more information on all Shop & Sip packages.

Yes Please Makers Market | December 8 & 9, 2018
Keeping it real this holiday season with a free, maker-hosted, vendor-friendly market starring 100(ish) of our favorite makers. After being part of the local Denver market circuit, Yes Please founders Kiwi Schloffel (of Craft Boner) and Taylor Barkin (of Moore Collection) wanted to create something with the vendor experience in mind: accessible, affordable booth pricing, attention to locals-only goods, and a friendly, supportive community. Tickets are free, but an RSVP is required. The first 50 people to show up each day get awesome totes from Craft Boner. 

Yes Please Makers Market

Yes Please Makers Market

By Tiffany Candelaria

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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5 Neighborhoods, 5 Restaurants in Denver

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Here are some restaurants to check out in five Denver neighborhoods. This is a great list to refer to the next time you're looking for a new dining destination or happen to be in one of the areas enjoying some night life. Plan on checking them out with a group? A Denver Charter Bus Service is the perfect way to make sure you're having the most convenient and safe transportation, and it's a lot easier than ordering multiple Uber rides!

LoDo

Rioja

1431 Larimer Street

Rioja is a Spanish and Mediterranean fusion style restaurant with some seriously impressive dishes throughout their menu. Their happy hour changes each month, inspired by a different country each time. Don't miss out on their weekend brunch menu, either! It features items like donuts with lemon marscapone and blueberry compote, sweet potato hash, and the rioja benedict.

Highland

Puerto Rico 5280 Cuisine

3109 Federal Blvd

This new Puerto Rican restaurant offers a comfortable atmosphere to dine and drink when you're in the neighborhood. How can you go wrong with comfort food options like the light, flaky authentic pastries named Pastelillos? The mofongo is another amazing dish to consider ordering when you're here. It's all super fresh!

Rino

Rino Beer Garden

3800 Walnut Street

Beer lovers consider Rino to be a haven for nightlife, and they aren't wrong! With their selection of beer and enhanced bar food, this will easily become of your regular stops if it isn't already. There are large outdoor patio with fire pits and easy to share dishes, so this is always a fitting spot to gather with your friends in Denver.

SoBro

Colore Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria

2700 S Broadway

It can be hard to find good Italian food, but Colore definitely knows what they're doing. We recommend making reservations if you plan on coming here for a holiday such as Mother's Day or Valentine's Day. Some of the highlights on this menu include the roasted jalapeno artichoke dip, chicken marsala and linguine pescatore.

Cherry Creek

True Food Kitchen

2800 E 2nd Avenue

Are you looking for a healthy option? True Food Kitchen is the place to be for flavorful vegan and vegetarian eats. Try their edamame dumplings, spaghetti squash casserole, or the inside out quinoa burger if you want to stick to the tried and true favorites. We highly recommend taking a look at their dessert menu while you're here, too.

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

FNG Launches Lunch, Eventually Brunch

Troy Guard’s rock n’ roll restaurant FNG is now opening at 11:30am Tuesday through Saturday to serve up your favorites during lunch hours. A great midday escape from your corporate job! The space is hip, edgy and full of music memorabilia and vinyl. According to their team, “FNG is the reminder of all that is genuine, pure and just f’n good. Our food is Rock n’ Roll and our drinks are Punk Rock. The staff is an over-educated, tattooed, eclectic band of experience-creating, hospitality rock stars.” 

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We sampled a few lunch favorites selected by the staff as well as a few of their cool cocktails. To start we had the Tater Tots & Salmon Salad which is just what it sounds like atop arugula with green and white aioli. This salad is apparently a guest favorite, which surprised both the staff and us, but we do give it points for originality.

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Another guest favorite is their Bologna Slider with Swiss, 1000 Island dressing, and potato chips on a King’s Hawaiian Roll (one of the only items not made in house because sometimes you can't beat a classic). A traditional burger, Mediterranean lamb, fried and rotisserie chicken sliders are also popular lunch options. We had the full size version of their buttermilk brined chicken slider which won this summer's Chicken Fight event! Each day there will be an added sandwich feature during lunch to test out chefs’ favorites and the FNG team will mold their lunch menu based on diners' favorites.  

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FNG's all-day menu features ten craft cocktails that drift from the mainstream in their unique ingredients and booze-y bite. We loved the Almost Famous that pairs ruby red flavored vodka with coconut milk and the smoky mezcal meets blackberry cocktail Bramble On. Also tasty is the "secret" dessert menu with nostalgic favorites like Banana Cream Pie and the Dirt Cup as known from childhood. 

FNG served Happy Hour weekdays 3-6pm and if you order from their special Live Nation section of the menu you'll be entered to win tickets to an upcoming Live Nation concert! And winners also receive a $50 FNG dining credit so you can come party/eat before the show!

3940 West 32nd Avenue in the Highlands. https://www.fngrestaurant.com/

Written by Tiffany Candelaria @TCDoesFnB     Photos by Samantha Bliss @RedCapturesHerBliss

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

Our Journey To A Place Called Tacolandia

Tacos and lowriders. (Photo Credit: Samantha Bliss)

Tacos and lowriders. (Photo Credit: Samantha Bliss)

As we have mentioned on many occasions we are pretty big fans of tacos here at Ultra5280. From al pastor to carnitas any edible morsel of goodness that can be filled in a warm tortilla we are big fans of. This year we were fortunate enough to cover another edition of Tacolandia presented by our good friends at Westword.

We had pretty large helpings of the vast selection of some of the cities best taco establishments. It is hard to pick a favorite amongst the wide selection so we will just say we enjoyed them all. What is becoming a taco lovers destination event was once again filled with food, music, a car show and an outrageous lucha libre ring.

Mariachi America (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

Music from Mariachi America had everybody dancing to the rhythms of salsa and cumbias, while fellow Denver spanish rock bands such as iZCALLi and Los Mocochetes brought the local flavor. Members of the Saints and Sinner Car Club had their finest whips (it's what the cool kids say instead of cars) on display. With candy coated paint jobs to dizzying chrome wheels. The event is always a favorite of ours and if you have never been we suggest you mark it in your calendar asap for next year.

All the tacos. (Photo Credit: Samantha Bliss)

The proud traditions of the latino culture were on display. (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

Photo Gallery 1: Samantha Bliss (Staff Photographer)

Photo Gallery 2: Robert Castro (Editor in Chief)