Denver’s a somewhat popular tourist town, but it doesn’t really have any major attractions or reasons to visit. I have taken it on as my personal duty to inform the public about my favorite restaurants, after having lived here for a few years. On the plus side, my wife is a food critic, so you wont have to worry about an uninformed opinion.
My all-time favorite restaurant in Denver is the Brutal Poodle. Best chicken and waffles I have ever eaten in my life. This place is in the Highland neighborhood of Denver, CO. They have a lot of other food on the menu, however, ranging from “Surf N’ Turf” chili rellenos (another personal favorite of mine) to more obscure dishes such as bone marrow soup. Not as bad as it sounds, in fact. The friendly and helpful waiters always make it a pleasure to be inside of, and the desserts are to die for.
Another aspect they really get right that a lot of other restaurants struggle with is ambience and aesthetic. I’ve been in far too many restaurants where they’re blasting radio music over an intercom while you’re just trying to converse with your friends or family. Since my wife is a food critic, she always tells me that there are three most important aspects of a managing a restaurant. First of all, the food.
I already stated previously that the food is amazing. You can taste how fresh the ingredients are, and I’m dying to go back behind the kitchen and watch them work their magic. The owner, now a friend of mine after dining on multiple occasions, said that he’ll let me take a peek next time we visit. I’m going to see if I can trip him up by spotting something dirty in his kitchen. Most people don’t know about exhaust hoods in kitchens, but they could be the most important aspect of maintaining safety in a kitchen.
I know what a dirty one looks like, and if theirs is dirty, I’ll have to slip the owner the number of a great Denver hood cleaning business that I know about. My wife and I have both left positive online reviews, and we encourage you to do so as well if you enjoy your meal. It really helps a business garner a better reputation, which is important in such a competitive industry.
Next up is a vegan restaurant, which have been cropping up more and more all over town in the recent years. Root Down is likely the best vegan restaurant I’ve visited in Denver. It’s not a theme that a lot of people think about, because it’s more of a dietary restriction/lifestyle than a choice of food. This restaurant is also located in Highland in Denver. You know Root Down has the freshest ingredients, because that’s the only type of food that they’ll serve.
Again, the three aspects. First up is the food. I absolutely love Root Down’s falafel. The first time we at this restaurant, we ordered parsnip soup to start with. I didn’t want to eat too much so I could save room for my other food, which turned out to be a real struggle. My wife had to pry my hands off the spoon! She ordered the “Devil on Horseback”, and I had the sweet potato falafel. The food was absolutely amazing.
I’m a huge barbecue guy, so I was a little apprehensive at first. Now I know that you don’t have to put meat in something to make it taste good. The second aspect is service. Root Down’s waiters were very friendly and accommodating, which can make or break a place. Having waiters who don’t want customers there will only turn customers away and prevent the restaurant from making any revenue. In a city as popular as Denver, you know the property’s rent has to be insane.
The owner himself has even come out on a few occasions to make sure that everyone was enjoying their meal. Always a pleasure to meet the people running a restaurant, so it feels more down to earth an personal. Nothing’s worse than feeling like you mean nothing to a restaurant, and you’re only an expendable source of income. The final aspect is aesthetic. If a place is too dark, too loud, or has really ugly paintings hung all over that distract you, then you’re not going to want to stay inside.
Root Down is very open and attractive on the inside, and the volume is kept to a tolerable level so that you’re not disturbed while you chow down on your tasty falafel. They could have used more artwork around the inside, but that’s not to everyone’s tase. It is incredibly hard to accommodate every single person who enters your restaurant. I gave this place 5 stars out of 5 in Yelp, which I will defend to this day if anybody sees it as hyperbolic. The overall experience is just enjoyable, even before you get your food. Check out some of the other great online reviews if you don’t believe me.
Finally, there’s Work & Class. This restaurant is for anyone who wants to get the feel of a high-caliber cocktail bar without wasting all their money on drinks before they can order food. This time around, you’ll find your place near Five Points in Denver. Work & Class serves you great food, and has this general feeling of cleanliness and wealth inside.
The waiters act very professional, even when the old man behind me was becoming cranky because his poor communication skills conflicted with the waitress’s inability to hear his quiet voice. If I had to pick a favorite dish, it would be anything that contained their brisket. Oh, and their pudding was amazing.
Butterscotch can taste really rich at times, but this one had a balanced flavor that still managed to taste amazing without making me sick to my stomach. I read a lot of reviews for this restaurant, so I was eager to visit them for the very first time. I’m glad to say that I wasn’t disappointed, and clearly none of the other positive reviews on google were either.