Amidst myriad recent restaurant closings, Steuben’s is doubling down. Since opening in 2006, the diner-esque Uptown restaurant (and its Arvada outpost) has remained loyal to its ’60s-era vibe and roster of American comfort-food classics. But recently, owner Josh Wolkon felt that it was time for a refresh, rolling out a slew of new dishes to attract even more types of eaters.
Longtime Steuben’s fans, fear not: The buttermilk-battered fried chicken and lobster roll haven’t gone anywhere. Instead, those favorites have spawned new iterations, including a Nashville-style hot chicken adorned with a spicy bacon-brown-sugar glaze and market-priced Maine- and Connecticut-style lobster rolls (dressed in mayo or melted butter, respectively).
Our advice? First acquaint yourself with some of the lighter offerings. The avocado goddess toast is a tasty take on the California-born trend, in which lightly toasted ciabatta is layered with a creamy-herby-tangy green goddess schmear and shaved pieces of avocado. The Cobb, Greek, and Caesar salads have all been upgraded, too, but our favorite new way to eat our veggies at Steuben’s is the hearty Mediterranean vegetable sandwich, a stack of tender grilled eggplant, zucchini, and red peppers dressed in salty tapenade and oozy melted Provolone cheese.
On the side of indulgence, Steuben’s bodega breakfast sandwich is killer with its thick-cut bacon and sizzling fried egg blanketed in melted American cheese on a brioche bun. There’s also a crispy-skinned brick chicken entreé, peel-and-eat shrimp, and a hot beef sandwich special every Wednesday.
But for us, the sleeper hit of the new menu is clear: the chicken-fried pickles. These sour dill pickle slices, coated in Steuben’s signature buttermilk batter and fried to golden perfection, are simply addictive.
As we watch Denver dining institutions close their doors, we applaud Wolkon for making changes to keep Steuben’s as relevant and craveable as it’s always been.
523 E. 17th Ave., 303-830-1001; 7355 Ralston Rd., Arvada, 303-830-0096