Comfort Food

There are times when we look for more than just nourishment from our meals—we seek a spoonful of relief, a bowl of love, a slice of solace. Be it Denver's most decadent mashed potatoes, pancakes doused in syrup, or smothered fries, this is where we go to find a little culinary consolation.

October 2007

Diet Be Damned

There are times when an inspiring menu gets the best of you, and during those moments we say go big or go home.

Don't bother looking at North Star Restaurant & Brewery Tavern's menu; just ask for a pint of Pic's Pale Ale and an order of sliders (with cheese) and tater tots with ranch. The mini burgers arrive in minutes, sandwiched between buttered buns, dripping with American cheese, and dotted with pickle rings. Add mustard and ketchup at your leisure. The crispy tater tots will take you straight back to childhood—and they're the perfect foil for North Star's homemade ranch dressing. 3200 Tejon St., 303-945-7605, www.thenorthstarbrewery.com

Big Hoss BBQ Steakhouse's Memphis Belle is best eaten at dinner— unless you can assure yourself a nap after lunch. We favor the brisket, but you can order this hearty sand-wich with pork or chicken. Either way, the soft white bun comes toasted and buttered, stacked with tender meat, and topped with tangy coleslaw, all waiting to be washed down with a cold PBR. Order a side of homemade steak fries and dunk them in Big Hoss' spicy sauce. 3961 Tennyson St., 720-866-3061

Just what makes Mezcal's quesadilla traditional so irresistible? For starters, there's no tortilla. Instead the kitchen stuffs masa with a blend of queso fresco, poblano chiles, and spices before frying it up right. The result? Hot and crispy empanada-like appetizers that simply beg you to dig in. Bonus: Douse each bite with Mezcal's tangy tomatillo salsa. 3230 E. Colfax Ave., 303-322-5219

Virgilio's Pizzeria Napoletana's pizza is indulgent on its own, but even more so when you add the homemade mozzarella. By homemade we mean made to order. When the order comes in, the kitchen sets to work stirring together cow's milk curds, boiling water, and salt until the fresh-as-can-be cheese lands on your plate drizzled with olive oil, sea salt, and basil. 7986-B W. Alameda Ave., Lakewood, 303-985-2777, www.virgiliospizzeria.com