30! We made it! 30 days of photographs, which if you’d like a stroll down memory lane can be found here.
For my final day of photographing this sweet town, I’d like to celebrate Evergreen — my favorite spot to get away. It’s higher in elevation and reminds me a bit of a tiny Flagstaff.
There is a great coffee shop, a fantastic trail around a lake, and countless elk that wander the town. The last two trips to Evergreen I’ve seen herds. This weekend? Some 30 were wandering the road. I’m pretty sure they will always startle me and make Nelson go bananas.
Deers? Elks? Did someone say D’ELKS? DELICIOUS!
Also, there are a lot of famous folk from Evergreen. Even my buddy Willie Nelson apparently had a ranch here for a bit. We have good taste.
La Sandia is yet another Mexican restaurant to try. Julia and I recently grabbed lunch at the Highland’s Ranch spot.
Where: 8340 Northfield Boulevard, Unit 1690 Denver, CO 80238
What: A fancier take on Mexican food. The plates are colorful and fresh. The service couldn’t have been better. And the atmosphere, so I’m guessing, would be loud and crazy during the summer when their watermelon margaritas ripen.
Recommendation: The green chile burrito, corn soup and I’m guessing the tableside guacamole — which we didn’t have but I admired from afar — are darn good.
Apparently this is a Richard Sandoval restaurant, which as a newbie to Denver doesn’t mean a whole lot. I’m guess it is like a Sam Fox restaurant in Phoenix — LGO, Chelsea’s Kitchen, etc. Nice work, Mr. Sandoval.
Where: 17635 S Golden Rd Golden, CO 80401
What: A Mexican restaurant in a renovated Taco Bell. Not fancy, not pretentious — simply delicious Mexican food. The staff are such nice people and the food comes out on plates the size of Christmas cookie platters. And yet somehow disappears. The serve food with traditional salsa, chips and a bowl of pickled cabbage that sounds strange but actually adds a nice tang to the otherwise salty meal.
And yes, longtime readers and family — you’ll be surprised to hear the margaritas aren’t bad either. I may have introduced this restaurant to just about every visitor:
And celebrated #32 here earlier this year. I love me some Mexican food.
Recommendation: the carnita pork platter, house margarita and a hello to the manager Alejandro. He’s a sweetheart. (But be careful. He is far too generous with the tequila!)
Where: 1317 14th Street Denver, Colorado 80202
What: An old brick home off Larimer Square once upon a time built by a local doctor that has since been transformed over the years from a brothel to a speak-easy to a restaurant. Euclid Hall’s theme is school. Their happy hour is “study hour.” Their wine list is organized by math topics. A large chalkboard over the entryway greets guests with the day’s message. Come to find out, Euclid was a math dude.
It’s a noisy, raucous bar with huge televisions and a steady stream of Larimer Square tourists and locals. It’s a great happy hour spot in the center of the city to meet friends coming from all over the city. I think the best feature of this spot is the staff. Their wait staff are patient, friendly and kind.
Recommendations: The s’more dessert. And if you are into hand-crafted beers — they’ve got you covered.
Z Cuisine + Apres Cuisine
Where: 2239 W. 30th Avenue Denver, CO 80211
What: The best meal I’ve eaten in Denver. Before going on a recent date here, I whined to my friend BJ — “I don’t even like French food. Gah.” As is our routine, he called the next day to get all the date details — to which I happily said, “The food? Amazing. Best restaurant here.” My date ordered and started with some strange gourmand salad, that included a lot of adventurous cuts of meat. While not a fan of cow tongue, the salad was still some how good. It had slices of fruit and a lot of different types of salad that were crisp, fresh and simply good. As for my meal, I truly enjoyed the beef bourguignon. (As enjoyable to say as to eat, come to find out.)
Recommendation: Go early and have a drink at their bar next door, the Apres Cuisine. And expect to spend a couple hours enjoying one of the best meals of your life. It’s a fancy, once in a while, kinda place with a small handful of tables. The wait staff are knowledgeable and friendly. The food sounds super fancy but is made with simple, locally harvested ingredients. It is a romantic and bold dinner spot.
*Completely cheating with this photo. Who takes a camera on a first date? I’m camera crazy, but not that nuts. I don’t have photos of the meal. You’ll have to trust me. A+
The remainder of my Denver 30 photography project will feature a few of my favorite restaurants in the city. Today: Cuba Cuba.
Where: 1173 Delaware Street Denver, CO 80204
What: A great mix of Cuban and latin food, and a lively bar. They do not take reservations, so go early if you have a group. We waited 2-plus hours from walking in the door to being served because we had a large birthday party. That said, the food is fantastic and worth the wait, and the atmosphere was a breath of fresh, tropical air on an otherwise cold mountain night. The restaurant is in two small houses that have been joined together. It is a great, tiny spot and a wonderful find in Denver. This would be a greeat place for a date.
Recommendation: Sip a Cuba libre and enjoy the steak with chimuchuri sauce. Delicioso!
This Thanksgiving, I am especially grateful for:
- Living in the same city as Cody. I love being able to catch up with him over our occasional lunch.
- Being present to watch a dear friend’s greatest wish come true.
- Friends who have come to visit and have supported me unconditionally.
- My trusty sidekick, w. Nelson Mandela
- My sweet friend, BJ — who has made living in Denver simply so much fun
- My family, who I love without limit.
Wishing you the happiest of Thanksgivings. Thank you for reading, for your kindness and for your countless comments. Sending you much love blessings and peace this holiday!
I am a wanna-be cowgirl, minus the cows. Living on a ranch with the wide open space, a few small animals (namely of the fowl and canine variety) and vast horizons that would make Georgia O’keeffe whistle? Sign this reformed city girl up.
It isn’t like Phoenix is without the western influence — but I paid little attention. Like those metal kokopellis on houses of folk you know must be new to town, I never paid a lick of attention to the boot and Wrangler shops in Old Town.
Apparently it took a move to get my inner cowgirl to giddyup. And boy, does she love some boots. And chunky turquoise and silver jewelry. And the “western morality” any cowboy here will gladly share. I blame the wedding this summer in Wyoming for stoking my love of all things western. Stores like Cry Baby Ranch in Larimer Square simply fan the flames. This store is my heaven — a perfect mixture of cowgirl western and Mexican Frida influence.
This car is standing on its nose downtown. Come to find out, there is a story behind the scene.
Just another odd sight to be seen walking through this lovely city.
A continuation of my fascination with the many building murals in Denver:
Love how this store in the Highlands not only sells flowers, as the mural would suggest — but booze too.
He’s doing some heavy thinking about that little plant.
This mural on Colfax tells a non-profit’s story.
This architecture firm is housed in an old neighborhood market.
A handful of buildings like these near Coors Field that are being renovated from industrial sites to urban lofts. I love how the street signs are painted on the sides of the buildings.
(Many thanks to my trusty sidekick BJ, who patiently stopped the car a dozen times to let me photograph this weekend.)