Archive for January, 2010

Mega-Opening for the Museum of Contemporary Art

Museum Director Adam Lerner presides tonight over an opening of 6 solo exhibitions under the title of “Looking for the Face I Had Before the World Was Made”. This is a full gallery opening featuring works by Samuel Beckett, Michael Borremans, Eric & Heather ChanSchatz, Lorraine O’Grady, A.G. Rizzoli and William Stockman.

The Museum of Contemporary Art is located at 15th Street and Delgany, in LoDo. Information and memberships available at http://www.mcadenver.org/.

This is a Good Sign!

A caption high up in the Wikipedia entry for “Civilization” says simply, “Cities characterize human civilization.” I would take that just a bit further and say, “Cities that offer a decent selection of places to have a good breakfast at 1:30 or 2:00 on a weekend afternoon characterize human civilization.”

Downtown Denver offers some choices, and in quite a tasty variety. Some very good. Some almost as good. And, then, some others.

Larimer Square has a few choices. The Market, Mark Greenburg’s 27-year old icon, is truly it’s own community. Lots of regulars and a private micro-climate on the sidewalk keep it humming, along with the music, along with the burritos. Mark is used to handling phone-in orders for 50 at a time. Just give him 20 minutes or so. And, the sauce and coffee are always hot. And, if you must, Free Wi-Fi.

The pair of fine atmospheric restaurants, Rioja and Bistro Vendome, both serve a great menu, at least until 2:00 each of those days. Let’s hope when they open their third spot, Euclid Hall, this summer, that they serve breakfast a little later into the day. And, a good use of what most of us remember as Soapy Smith’s.

Nearby, at Writer Square, and the site of the sign above, is Crepes ‘n Crepes. And, the secret here is that you can really get breakfast-like crepes at any time. Perfect! And, perfectly French!

Here is one you may not have thought about. D’Corazon on Blake near 16th. The advantage of going to a Mexican restaurant for breakfast is that they bring you chips and salsa as soon as you sit down. This is good to cure that later-in-the-day hunger you may have awakened with. D’Corazon has three egg dishes on its menu…all the time. Just don’t show up in July or December when they take their bi-annual 2-week vacation. We should all do as well!

By the civilized time of 2:00 on a Saturday afternoon, many sporting events have begun. Go to Dixon’s, sit near the bar, and they will put the TV to whatever you want. This is a real neighborhood place which gets overrun by “tourists” on nice days in the summer. Breakfast ‘til 3 on weekends. Same at Racine’s at 6th and Sherman, but without the dogs tied to the patio fence.

And, for fresh tasting, figure out your own combination eggs scramble, Organixx on Blake, near 15th, serves breakfast all day on Saturday and Sunday. This is good and good value and good for you.

Some other places come to mind. The above are favorites and convenient to the downtown resident. Snooze at 23rd and Larimer is extremely popular and has a good eclectic menu. But, it is very crowded and expect a wait. Solve that by showing up close to 1:30 and it will work for you.

The Rialto Café in the Marriott Residence Hotel on the Mall at Curtis serves a weekend brunch menu. (The French have never found a good translation for the word “brunch”, so it probably is best just left out of our conversation.)

And, speaking of French, Le Central goes 10-2 on weekends with a French take on the meal, doused in Champagne to ease into the rest of the day.

Mona’s is actually good. But, I worry that most people there (causing long waits on weekends) really don’t want to go “all the way” into downtown. Besides, they probably have to pick something up at REI. 15th and Platte.

Then there are some Highlands spots. Colt & Gray, Lola’s, Lo-Hi Steak Bar, the Squeaky Bean. Let’s save those for another time. Besides, we’re talkin’ Downtown Denver! Be sure to eat at the right time!

Look for these Denver by the Slice Exclusives coming very soon!

Two informative opinion articles are in the works and will be on the Blog soon. We’ll give advice on where to have breakfast downtown at a civilized weekend hour like 2:00 p.m.

And, some topical advice on “How to Cross a Street.”

See you on the other side!

"FREE" Lunch Next Tuesday for Five Lucky Slice Readers!

First the facts. Denver by the Slice dropped a business card in the bowl at Crepes ‘n Crepes in Writer Square a couple of weeks ago. Well, we won! So, the first five Slice readers who tell me they want to go can have a Crepes lunch (drink and food to $15 per person!) It’s at 12:30, Tuesday, January 26 and probably will actually be fun.

The catch. Sure. But a simple one. Peter Brown from Waddell & Reed is buying. But, he is only going to be there for the first five minutes to talk a little finance, then leave. Really. Then we have the lunch, which will, by then, actually be FREE. (Diane won one of these a couple of years ago and it went as promised and a bunch of people had a great time at lunch!) So contact me if you want to do this at DavidHuntress@gmail.com. I’ll need to know by Monday. Pretty painless and good food of your choice.

The back story. Before I wrote this, I Googled “free lunch”. And, sure, many of the results purport that it does not exist. WikiPedia covers several iterations of the term, and, of course, the history. We all know that “Free Lunch” dates from the late 19th Century practice of providing and promoting a “free lunch” to bar patrons who purchased a drink. Rudyard Kipling even wrote that if a traveler were hungry in San Francisco, it was good to know the practice was widespread there.

But, then, there was no “free lunch”. A term emerged in the 1930’s that “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” The acronym TANSTAAFL became popularized in a Robert Heinlein novel in 1966, and as an economics term to explain cost structures for goods.

But, there is also the Free Lunch Paradox, which, we recall, is an Ontological Paradox to help explain events in time travel. But, we’re not going there. We are going to Crepes ‘n Crepes for our own Free lunch. Next Tuesday!

Help the Orchestra Help Haiti this Sunday at the Wynkoop!

This Sunday, January 24, join us at the Wynkoop Brewery for a very special monthly concert with the Denver Mandolin Orchestra. This month’s program features the Hoagies, the orchestra’s popular ensemble group specializing in sweet sounds from the greats of  the mid-20th century. Boy, that sounds like a long time ago!

The concert, at 7:00 p.m., is FREE, of course. But, this month the group is asking for your help and your generosity in raising funds for relief work in Haiti. Donations will be sent to Doctors Without Borders, extremely busy there now. Good cause, good food, good beer and great music from the Hoagies! 

"Trains, Brains and Meat on a Stick"

You’ll get that and more at the Annual Meeting of the Lower Downtown Neighborhood Association, Wednesday, February 3 at Fogo de Chao, 15th and Wynkoop. The schedule calls for a drink, or Social Hour, 5:15 to 6:00 followed by a very short, fast paced business meeting and an informative presentation.

This meeting will provide an update on the redevelopment of Union Station. Councilwoman Judy Montero will be joined by representatives of the project owner, the Union Station Neighborhood Company and the Mayor’s Office.

And, the “Meat on a Stick”? Nelson, the manager of our neighborhood Brazilian Steakhouse, promises generous appetizers as only Fogo can do!

Admission is just $10 for LoDoNA members, $15 for non-members, payable at the door. And, that includes a free drink ticket and those Fogo treats!

Be there. The annual meeting is always informative and fun, a great way to see your friends and neighbors. And, if you don’t know the neighborhood association, you should. Check out everything LoDoNA is up to at http://www.lodona.org/.

Tags be Gone!

Kudos to the group restoring and converting the former Colorado Saddlery building at 15th and Wynkoop in LoDo. Not only are they working meticulously on the exterior, but they are keeping the exterior free of grafitti. They recently knocked out the large brick panels at street level that used to be windows. Presumably to become windows again for planned retail spaces. Once knocked out, they covered the openings with plywood, very neatly, which soon became a tagger’s target. With four of the six 15th Street panels tagged, the construction people came out and painted it all away. Thank you!

Bob Fanch is the driving force behind this restoration and conversion of the former saddlery. It is reportedly being turned into offices, street level retail and a group of penthouse residences on top. Approved in 2006, it is good to see this moving along now. The restored exterior walls on the Wynkoop and Alley sides are beautiful. The 15th Street side restoration is anxiously awaited. Denver by the Slice has a lot of confidence in this project. Fanch has also put together his beautiful Devil’s Thumb Ranch Cross Country Ski Resort near Winter Park. Outstanding!