What We Ate: Denver

Author’s note: Whenever I travel in the coming months, I plan on chronicling what I enjoy while on vacation here with y’all. As someone who loves to travel and someone who loves to eat whenever she travels, combining the two of these into a little mini-segment here at TSP seems like a good idea.

A few weeks ago, my mom, sister and I traveled across the country to the Mile High City. My little sister, Leigh, is going to be attending nursing school there this fall, and we wanted to check out the school, find her a place to live and to figure out what Denver was all about. We also had the opportunity to visit my cousin, Laura, and her husband.

We got in super late on a Tuesday evening, and we hit a terrifying and spectacular electrical/thunderstorm on our way into the city. Since it was raining cats and dogs, we opted to eat in the bar of the hotel. (Sadly, it wasn’t anything to write home about, and there is no photographic evidence of what we ate.)

Wednesday morning, we woke up early and moseyed down 16th Street to the nursing school for a meeting with an administrator, then we headed to lunch at the Rock Bottom Brewery after the grand tour.

What We Ate: Denver {Rock Bottom Brewery} // The Speckled PalateFrom left: White Ale, Homemade Root Beer and Strawberry Lemonade

We started our meal off with some drinks. And then we got some food because we were really hungry.

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    What We Ate: Denver {Rock Bottom Brewery} // The Speckled Palate

    From top, clockwise: The 2 a.m. Burger (complete with a hashbrown, cheddar cheese, bacon and a fried egg ON THE BURGER!), Classic Mac ‘n Cheese and the Patty Melt. All delicious.

    I basically devoured my burger within 10 minutes of receiving it. And let me tell you, the positive things you have heard about a fried egg on top of a burger is 100% accurate. This burger blew my mind. And my mom and sister also enjoyed their lunches, too!

    What We Ate: Denver {Oskar Blues Brewery} // The Speckled Palate

    We then headed back to the room for some downtime – studying for Leigh and shopping for my mom and me.

    We had plans to head out to Longmont that evening to spend time with my cousin and her husband, but due to a snafu with the rental car, we were resigned to take the bus (which we heard was lovely) to their town. However, when we were shopping, we received a surprise phone call from my cousin’s husband, Jonah. He was in the area and picked us up.

    After arriving in Longmont and coming to the decision that a beer would be fantastic before dinner, we sat back and relaxed at the Oskar Blues Brewery.

    My mom, sister and I all had the Mama’s Little Yella Pils because we’re wimps when it comes to dark beers, but Jonah had a really dark, chocolate-y tasting (and looking) beer.

    A good time was had by all, and we then headed back to Laur and Jonah’s cute little home to make some homemade pizza.

    Let me tell y’all, this pizza was good.

    First, Jonah made the dough and let it rise. (Us girls sat around and drooled at the thought of consuming this fantastic-looking pizza.)

    What We Ate: Denver {Pizza!} // The Speckled Palate

    Then we picked up Laura from work while the dough rose. Once we got back, we chopped up the toppings for the pizzas, rolled out the dough, dressed the dough and popped three pizza pies into the oven.

    What We Ate: Denver {Pizza!} // The Speckled Palate

    And then we baked the pizzas and let them cool. Impatiently.

    What We Ate: Denver {Pizza!} // The Speckled Palate

    Could we discuss how amazing that pepperoni pizza looks? Really? Because it tasted even better than it looked. And that’s saying something.

    After dinner, Laura, Leigh, my mom and I went on a short walk around the neighborhood to check out the prairie dog holes/homes that were relatively nearby. I took a lot of photos of clouds and a few failed images of trying to see the supposed prairie dogs.

    And we arrived back at the house to Homemade Bread Pudding (yes, this deserves a capital title and the italics) baking.

    What We Ate: Denver {Bread Pudding!} // The Speckled Palate

    That stuff is heaven in a bowl, my friends. And if you have not had the pleasure of trying bread pudding before, please let me know. I’d love to send you a recipe that will bring you joy. (No seriously. Everybody should try bread pudding once!)

    The evening was a fantastic one, and it was hard to say goodbye when Jonah and Laura dropped us off at our hotel. We don’t get to see them nearly as much as we should, living halfway across the country, but I hope that when Leigh is in school in Denver, we have an opportunity to hang out more because hanging out with family members is pretty awesome. Along the same lines, eating and cooking with family members is also awesome.

    We woke up early on Thursday because Leigh had to go to the nursing school. So when my mom and I dropped her off at the school, we headed off to breakfast at The Delectable Egg, a place that I had scoped out before we flew out to Denver because, well, I’m a big breakfast fan.

    My mom ended up getting a egg combo plate – one of my favorite breakfast choices – but I opted for something a little different: the Fresh Fruit and Granola Crepes.

    What We Ate: Denver {The Delectable Egg} // The Speckled Palate

    They were worth a shot, and they were delectable. I was worried about a heavy breakfast, and this fruit and granola crepe combo was just perfect for keeping it light but still flavor-packed.

    After breakfast, we made our way throughout the downtown area, looking at condos and apartments for Leigh. (Sidenote: If you ever need someone to go house shopping for you, please choose me! I’m a big fan of looking at places to live!)

    By the time we met up with Leigh again, it was lunchtime, and since it was about to rain on us, we chose to eat at the downtown Cheesecake Factory.

    Unfortunately, this is the part of the story where I have to tell y’all that I have no more photos for you… and this would be OK, except our dinner on Thursday evening was probably the best Italian food I have ever eaten in the U.S. And that’s saying something since I am a big Italian food fan.

    Per the concierge at our hotel, we called in reservations for Venice Ristorante, and it did not disappoint. We drank wine – red for my mom and sister and white for me – and enjoyed freshly baked Italian bread. My mom had the insalate cesare as an appetizer, and Leigh and I both had a nibble of the salad. And our entree dishes were nothing short of outstanding. Leigh savored the filet mignon with a side of creamed spinach. My mom had the cappellacci di zucca (butternut squash ravioli with a marinara sauce topping), and I loved the pollo margherita with a side of fettuccine alfredo. And we polished our meal off with some delicious panna cotta with fresh raspberry sauce.

    … Y’all have no idea how sad I was that I did not bring my camera along for this meal.

    We chose to walk back from the restaurant to the hotel, and we had a fabulous time discussing our trip, Leigh’s future in the city and the food we had consumed during those two short days.

    And that was what we ate in Denver.

    Have y’all been to Denver? Have you eaten at some of the same places? Different ones?

    And do you have any suggestions for the next time that I make my way out to Colorado?

    Other things and places where we ate and drank: What We Ate: State Fair of Texas (2014)What We Ate: Cape Cod {May 2014}What We Ate: State Fair of Texas (2013)What We Ate: Sylvain (New Orleans, La.) / What We Ate: New Orleans (May 2013)What We Ate: Los Angeles, Venice Beach, Culver City and everywhere in betweenWhat We Ate: Joe T. Garcia’s (Fort Worth)What We Ate: Bartley’s B.B.Q. (Grapevine)What We Ate: Snooze A.M. Eatery (Denver)What We Ate: State Fair of TexasWhat We Ate: New Orleans / What We Ate: Crawfish Season

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    About the Author:

    Erin Parker is a Southern gal living in Texas with her husband and two daughters. She started The Speckled Palate to share what she was cooking as a newlywed… and over the years, it’s evolved to capture her love for hosting. Specifically, the EASIEST, lowest key entertaining because everyone deserves to see their people and connect over good food. Learn more about her

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    1. What an awesome trip! Love the mix of breweries, restaurants and homemade food. My brother-in-law lives in Denver but I’ve never been. I really have to plan that trip!

    2. AH delicious! I love food round-ups like this and need to post mine from San Diego (if I remembered to take enough photos, ha). Also, LONGMONT! That’s close to Boulder, where I’ll be next week before seeing you in Chicago 🙂

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