At Mataam Fez, meals are about more than the food. The restaurant exudes both the warm hospitality and the festive traditions of Morocco, creating a vibrant dining experience that brings a small piece of northern Africa to Denver.
Every meal is a five-course feast that begins with an opportunity for guests to wash their hands using lightly scented lemon water. After selecting an entree from the menu—which includes dishes such as honey-glazed cornish game hen with apricots and roasted almonds as well as vegetarian couscous with seasonal vegetables—tables receive orders of savory harira soup, assorted Moroccan salads, and a b’stella pastry appetizer before the main courses arrive. The palate-cleansing course of fresh fruit and mint tea then herald the end of the meal.
The spirit of Morocco isn’t constrained to the menu, however. It also heavily influences the restaurant’s decor and ambiance. Colorful cushions surround the low teak-inlaid tables, which allows diners to enjoy their meal in traditional Moroccan fashion: seated on the floor and eating with their hands instead of silverware or telekinetic powers. Although brightly colored tapestries and shining brassware adorn the walls, most eyes are drawn to the professional belly dancers who occasionally weave between the tables.
Sri Lankan culture incorporates distinctive southern Asian roots along with influences from the various European nations that have ruled it. As a result, the cuisine typically features a m?lange of Indian, Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese, and Malaysian flavors. At Sri Lanka Curry Leaf Restaurant, Lana Hillstrom remains true to the flavors of her native Sri Lanka, filling the menu with her country's eclectic cuisine. Pork and sliced mango simmer in aromatic curry, distinguished from familiar Thai or Indian versions by a signature powder that uses 21 fragrant ingredients, according to the Colorado Springs Independent. The rest of the menu includes Sri Lankan interpretations of Asian standards such as chicken tikka, fried rice, and mulligatawny soup.
Channeling the same vivaciousness as the menu, the dining room bursts with color from its sunshine-yellow walls, draped with leafy foliage and imported Sri Lankan rainbows. Framed pictures and woodwork also adorn the walls and add to the room's homey ambiance.
The Salad Bowl understands that a person cannot wallpaper his or her stomach lining with artsy leaf rubbings without handy access to a multitude of media. Get creative as you customize a salad by selecting greens and toppings from The Salad Bowl's extensive list of more than 50 ingredients ($7–$9). After choosing a mix of lettuce, veggies, and protein, garnish the greens with an assortment of nuts, croutons, and dressing.
At Señor Camaron, chefs season fresh fish fillets and tender steaks with poblano peppers, tamarind, and cilantro. The menu's Mexican seafood tastes mirror the eatery's beachy decor—patrons sit in palm and leather seats under wall-mounted sharks, colorful flags, and lifeguards who enthusiastically blow their whistle every time someone cleans their plate.
On average, it takes one year to invent a sandwich that meets the standards of Jason's Deli—countless combinations of breads and filling won't ever leave the test kitchen. Those that do follow a strict set of rules: no artificial trans fat, no high-fructose corn syrup, and flavors that come from freshness rather than additives. The results can be bitten into at hundreds of locations across America. At each, difficult choices abound between reubens and spicy-ranchero chicken wraps, or between a turkey club and a New Orleans-inspired muffaletta, spread with a family-recipe olive mix. Even those who don't want a sandwich still have to make tough decisions when they approach the salad bar brimming with organic fixings.
Despite the difficulties of selection, Jason's Deli prioritizes convenience. Its stores have organized a list of gluten-sensitive selections as well as healthy kids' meals, which come with sides of organic carrots or apples as opposed to other restaurants' deep-fried lard balls. The company also advocates for emotional health as fervently as it does nutrition—its Leadership Institute hosts workshops for employees on topics ranging from conflict resolution to finances to ethics.
John Pinelli had lived across the country, but he always returned to one place: Philadelphia. Each year, no matter where he was, he would come back to that city like a boomerang. A very hungry boomerang. During his visits, he devoured cheese steaks, Italian hoagies, water ice, and Tastykakes snack pies. He just wished he could bring one of those restaurants back to his home in Denver. Instead, he opened South Philly Cheese Steaks in 2004.
Pinelli's decision to leave his corporate job perplexed his family, but he knew he was on to something. After all, he knew how to make italian hoagies and hot roast beef. He knew how to bake Philly-style pizza, and of course, he knew how to assemble an authentic Philadelphia cheese steak. It all proved successful, and South Philly Cheese Steaks now has several locations across Denver and its surrounding areas?with more likely to come.
At each restaurant, a simple dining room greets patrons with casual tables and a custom mural of Philadelphia's skyline. In the kitchen, cooks work with many ingredients sourced right from Philly. In addition to the classic cheese steak, they assemble special varieties, such as a pizza cheese steak with provolone and marinara.