Smokin Joes BBQ heaps plates of beef brisket, St. Louis-style ribs, pulled pork and other menu items slathered in sauce that’s at once sweet, tangy, tart, and spicy. Other sauces include the spicy barbecue, sweet and tangy mustard sauce, and the Carolina sauce, which blends vinegar, brown sugar, and a hint of cayenne pepper ideal for whole-hog cooking. Signature milkshakes cool off the tongue with inventively sweet flavors, such as the birthday cake shake with Funfetti cake mix, milk, and vanilla ice cream. Smokin Joes can also cater for events such as company picnics, class reunions, and weddings, especially weddings where they toast with barbecue sauce instead of champagne.
Chefs at Barroco Grill craft Colombian street fare from scratch, nabbing glowing reviews from Cleveland Scene and a nod from _Cleveland Magazine_’s Best of 2011 list. The signature arepas—which Cleveland Scene lauds as “hot, corny, and crisp”—hug melted mozzarella and succulent meats inside a pocket of all-white corn batter. Chefs also drizzle plates with creative flourishes such as wasabi coleslaw and peanut cream sauce. Beneath the dining room’s exposed wooden beams, snippets of brick walls peek out from behind artwork by local artists and high-functioning house pets.
Of all the sauces at Kickin Wings, the restaurant’s spicier concoctions seem to attract the bravado of both regulars and newcomers. Sauces with names such as Hot, Xhot, and XXhot delightfully scorch tongues devouring cooked-to-order batches of boneless and bone-in wings. Not all of the sauces pack a wallop, though; wings also shimmer with tongue-soothing carolina barbecue, peanut butter, or thai basil sauces. Complementing matters are side orders of jalapeño corn nuggets and mini corn dogs.
Two brothers named Storm and Jeff built The Pour House Pub as an homage to their favorite Boston bar—but their tribute to Beantown didn't stop there. Each day, their chefs top pizzas with creamy New England clam chowder. Both Boston and Colorado sports memorabilia provide a backdrop for the culinary action—inside you'll find a framed Bruins jersey and a framed Rockies equipment manager polo on the red brick walls. That is, when you're not dining on the umbrella-equipped outdoor patio.
In addition to blending Denver and Boston sports fixtures, the staff prepares wings slathered in 12 different sauces, from buffalo and barbecue to Thai curry and mango habanero. While bartenders dole out suds from 17 taps, televisions display the athletic prowess of teams such as the Red Sox and the Denver Nuggets.
Swathed in light-blue hues and lit with a three-story skylight, Jimmy's Urban Bar and Grill makes an impression on guests before they even sit down at one of the wood booths. With red brick underfoot, visitors can't help but notice as the aromas of house-smoked meats waft past paintings by local artists. Whether settled in the dining room or outside on the patio, diners plunge utensils into inventive dishes such as herbed bison ravioli, african chicken, and pork belly stuffed waffle with a Crown Royal maple gravy–served with creamed spinach. Meanwhile, behind the bar's corrugated steel façade and invisible force field, draft handles bow to dispense pints of craft beers.
Tucked amidst an historic block of downtown Denver is the family-owned Market at Larimer Square. This former grocery store has been replaced with a gem of an espresso shop, complete with deli and bakery touches. The European-style market starts with the enticing smell of brewed coffee at the entrance, and customers can continue up the stairs to an open square space topped with plenty of casual seating. The deli and bakery offers more tempting scents, and customers tend to fall for the hot French dip, a staked Cuban sandwich or the New Orealns-leaning Muffuletta. Of course, the perfect finisher is the Market’s signature dessert: the Spring Fling, a delightfully layered concoction of zucchini bread, cream cheese and fresh fruit.