1. Take Two
By Carol W. Maybach
Chama Cocina Mexicana y Tequileria
(Out of 4 Stars)
425 S. Teller St., Lakewood
Mexican fare from one of Denver’s finest young chefs; more than 240 tequilas.
Certain dishes call out for more picante.
Ceviche de mariscos, tortilla soup, mole rojo, guacamole, griddled pancakes with piloncillo syrup, tamales con puerco, chuletas de puerco.
Calabacitas (squash) tacos, guacamole en molcajete, quesadilla de rajas, chile relleno.
2. Back for more...at Bang!
By Kazia Jankowski
(revised from 7 on a scale of 1 to 10)
3472 W. 32nd Ave.
Must-Try New Dishes
Meatloaf and mashed potatoes, roasted chicken with new potatoes, gingerbread
In 1996, when downtowners wanted an old-fashioned lunch, they headed over to Bang! in Highland for meatloaf and horseradish mashed potatoes. They ordered at the counter, seated themselves, and raved about the filling food—right along with 5280 food critic Thom Wise. So pleased was Wise with not only the meatloaf but also the burger, the Bang! ketchup, and the hard-boiled-egg-flecked salad that he awarded the restaurant a solid seven on a scale of one to 10 (a previous rating system). But the restaurant’s counter service, lack of a liquor license, and the then-shabby neighborhood kept Bang! small and informal. Then wine shops, boutiques, and bars began to spring up, attracting hip couples longing for urban living. In 2000, Bang! moved one block east, and now, as the restaurant celebrates a decade in business, we take another critical look to see if Bang! has grown up along with its neighborhood.
“And that’s why I chose a woman more intelligent than me,” concludes Dan, throwing his head back and laughing. He reaches for his girlfriend Hannah’s half-full glass of wine. “Can I have this?” We’d finished the bottle of dry Argentinean Malbec ($22), and Dan was down to the dregs—half-finished glasses of other people’s wine. “No,” laughs Hannah as Dan launches into another story. So carefree are our interactions, it is as if we’re sitting at home around the dining room table, high off the good food and company of a successful dinner party. But we aren’t. We are even better off. We are at Bang! late on an unhurried, uncrowded Thursday night, enjoying the homemade touches of a dinner party, but free of any trying-to-boil-pasta-and-simultaneously-frost-the-cake stresses.