Thursday, August 26, 2010

Emilio’s Super-Chef

Another restaurant and another website gone awry, Maybe one day they will reclaim their URL, but until then enjoy the perpetually young college girl who is symbolic of cyber-squatting.
Emilio’s is several years old and a restaurant I frequently pass on my walk to work. Located at the corner of Colfax and Logan, they heavily advertise cheap margaritas and good breakfast burritos, fortunately at different times of the day.

Aaron001I love breakfast burritos. It is the perfect mix of savory, heat, serving size and value to start the day. Unfortunately, Emilio’s opens at 8 AM, at which point I have been at my desk for the better part of an hour, so Emilio’s has always been the shuttered place that evidently serves breakfast burritos. When Aaron and I went I was pleasantly surprised to learn they serve breakfast all day, and even happier when Aaron said he was in the mood for one. In an effort to taste as much food as possible, he and I have taking to sharing our orders. We look like a long-married couple, picking at one another’s plates, but convention be damned as there is a lot of food to be eaten along Colfax!
The "Emilio's Breakfast Burrito" was huge, featuring several eggs, a few strips of bacon, potatoes, cheese and slabs of chorizo sausage. Aaron opted for smothered, which had the burrito swimming in green chile. While costing more than the $2 burrito I am used to from the street vendors downtown, this was cheaper when viewed by the pound, and there are also smaller breakfast burritos on the menu.

When the recipe calls for combing savory breakfast meats with eggs, cheese and green chile, it is hard to go wrong, and this item did not. I would argue that it is oversized for breakfast, as it is likely to leave you comatose for an hour or two. But if you find yourself in the need of a meal that will power you through your day, assuming you are not sitting behind a desk, then tuck into this.
I opted for soft tacos, one pork and one carne asada (beef) wrapped in two corn tortillas, served with salsa verde on the side. While they did not outdo some of Denver’s better tacos, Tacos y Salsas, Tacos Pinche, or Tacos de Mexico, for $2.50 each they were worth the money, generously filled with meat and topped with diced tomato. The only obvious oversight was a lime wedge.  

As for the guacamole tostada, it was what one would expect, a tortilla with guacamole and iceberg lettuce. If you want to judge the restaurant, this is not the item to order as they seem to be the same place to place.
Sitting on the patio we were only asked for money only once by a passerby, which we politely declined. The gentleman next to us noted that the money surely would have gone to buy crack. I am not sure where such insight came from, but possibly the 32oz soda and sopapillas he was enjoying.
We did not try their $1.75 margaritas, which seems to be quite the selling point, but did take advantage of $2 happy hour beers. All in all, we put down two tacos, a huge breakfast burrito, a tostada and a 3 beers for ~$22. There is better Mexican food to be had in Denver, but given the value and the service we received, Emilio’s is a restaurant I would visit again, if they only opened earlier...
ADDENDUM: Stopped by the next day and ordered nachos and the now $3.75 margarita. Neither are worth recommending. The margarita was heavy on the mix, so quite sour. The nachos we covered in the classic “nacho cheese”. You could go to 7-11 and double up on an order of their nachos, have chili included and get an equivalent, if not better, product. Other reviews had mentioned the hit or miss nature of the food and service, and I am afraid this was encountered with only two visits.So do go, and if you have a good experience don’t go back,

Emilio's Super Chef on Urbanspoon

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Shish Kabob Grill

Located at the corner of Colfax and Grant, this intersection is home to used books, rent assisted living for the elderly, the coldest beer on the Hill and arguably some of the best middle eastern food in central Denver. The Shish Kabob Grill, whose food is thankfully better than their web design, features your typical menu of hummus, falafel, gyros and shawarma. While the menu hold no surprises, during our visits there, admittedly a statistically insignificant two, no item has disappointed.

The gyro, which is large enough for two, is ensconced in a warm pita smeared with a yogurt sauce, layered with lettuce and spiked with tomato. It is a mix of beef and lamb and carved off the spinning tube of chopped and formed meat that is the hallmark of the gyro.

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The hummus had come highly recommended and did not disappoint. A very creamy texture with a hint of tahini, it is sold in to go containers and I left with 32 oz. The parsley though, while a nice garnish, does not really match the flavor. And since there is nothing offensive about a mixture of chick peas, garlic and tahini, the post meal breath freshener is completely unnecessary.
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The last item we sampled was the fava beans. Not the boldest choice on the menu, I cannot not recommend it, as it was tasty, but it lacked the depth of flavor of their other dishes. I would urge going for something with more spice, more complexity, something simply imbued with more "middle eastern" than this particular dish.

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If you are to believe Yelp, this place serves great food, but treats their employees horribly. As a nation I do not believe we are known for conscientious consumption, which applies to food as well, so go try it out.

Shish Kabob Grill on Urbanspoon

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Uptown Brewing Company

We stopped by here and had a beer, but they don't yet have their brewing license, so it doesn't feel fair to try them until they're all the way up and running.  Even then, the place felt more like a bar than a restaurant, so I may skip it.


Well, one restaurant in and I've already messed up the plan.  We walked right by Shish Kabob Grill and didn't notice it until after dinner.  So I'll have to come back for that next time. 

What we did try was City Grille, located between Grant and Logan on east Colfax, right near the Capitol Building.  They have a small patio overlooking a parking lot in back, but it was full, so we sat inside.  Their sign on the building and menu claim the best burger in Denver, as well as "best in Denver" green chili.  I'm a big green chili fan, but it was just too hot to eat something so soup-like.  It was pretty much burgers all around, though Ted had an Elk burger, which he said was pretty good.  The burgers were greasy and delicious, but probably not the best in town.  Coming up soon, we have the previously mentioned Shish Kabob Grill, Joey's New York Pizza, and Wolfe's Barbeque, as well as a look to the west.

Citygrille on Urbanspoon