If ever there was a niche restaurant idea, it’s got to be Post Oak Hall, Ellen Daehnick’s Houston-style po’ boy shop in Wheat Ridge. When Daehnick, who is best known as the Helliemae’s caramel queen, opens the doors Saturday, November 19, the one-day-a-week take-away eatery will tap her Texas roots and childhood memories. The Houston po’ boy—thick hoagie sandwiches stuffed with deli meats, southern chow-chow, cheese, and pickles—is a favorite foodstuff of the sprawling city.

For her po’ boys, Daehnick sources bread from Vinh Xoung Bakery on Alameda. She likes that the banh mi-style bread has less crust and chew than more traditional french rolls, and that it pays homage to Houston’s diverse Vietnamese population. The grab-and-go sandwiches will be available in Post Oak Hall’s fridge, alongside Helliemae’s legendary banana pudding and other icebox desserts like the trashy lemon pie with Saltine crust, plus Topo Chico mineral waters and Mexican Cokes.

The counter will be stocked with Daehnick’s Hill Country coffeecake, a less sweet take on the bakery stalwart, as well as peach kolaches and three kinds of Texas (aka big) cookies: Rocky Road (“Texans love Rocky Road ice cream because it reminds them of Colorado,” Daehnick says), Vaquero (Daehnick’s version of a cowboy cookie with cayenne, cinnamon, chocolate, and coffee), and Whiskey Brown Butter. The space will also serve as Helliemae’s defacto retail shop with shelves displaying the many caramels and confections.

Post Oak Hall—the food and the space—is an homage to the comforting, familiar, well-loved aspects of Texas living. And given the eatery’s proximity to I-70, Daehnick says, “My dream is that all the Texans who come here to ski will come to pick up our food on their way to the mountains.”

For now, the eatery will be open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays.

6195 W. 44th Ave., Wheat Ridge, 303-834-7048

Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.