We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: LoDo’s restaurant scene is bustling. But even having our office located smack-dab in the middle of the dining epicenter doesn’t stave off lunchtime boredom. Many of the brand-new restaurants had become lunch staples—and I needed a change. So, I headed to Zydeco’s, a Cajun restaurant that quietly opened last October.

At Zydeco’s, chef Michael Melton (formerly of Bistro One and Linger) explores New Orleans fare with traditional eats such as gumbo, fried green tomatoes, crawfish, alligator sausage, and an assortment of po’ boys. But the standout sandwich is one you might not expect: the Cajun Reuben. Melton smokes the corned beef overnight then tops it with Swiss, sauerkraut, and a lightly spicy rémoulade. The cayenne in the French sauce is subtle but the heat builds as you eat, giving the traditional New York deli sandwich a Southern zing. It’s all tucked into a soft French roll from Denver’s BluePoint Bakery. (Tip: I ordered mine without the cheese and, unlike most sandwiches, I didn’t even miss it.)

Though you have a choice of sides—Zapp’s Potato Chips, pickled slaw, or a daily special—the apple cider vinegar-based coleslaw is the best foil for the Reuben’s spice.

Trivia: Melton’s ambitious menu is churned out of a kitchen fit with just four burners.

1730 Wynkoop St., 303-293-2887

Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer is an award-winning writer and editor based in Denver. You can find more of her work at daliahsinger.com.