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Since it opened in 2015, LoHi’s Avanti Food & Beverage has been home to a great variety of food concepts, everything from Mediterranean tapas to sushi to tortas to wood-fired pizza. One item that’s been missing? Burgers. That was until this week, when American Grind opened in the former MiJo space on the ground floor.
A project from the team behind the Way Back, co-owners Kade Gianinetti and Jared Schwartz initially started American Grind in the summer of 2014 as a food truck selling burgers made with locally sourced, grass-fed beef, hand-cut fries, and from-scratch ice cream. The truck itself was eventually converted into the kitchen space for the Way Back, and American Grind was put on hiatus until finding its new shipping container home inside Avanti.
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As with most Avanti spots, American Grind’s affordably priced menu is concise: hamburger; cheeseburger; veggie burger; an Iowa-style fried pork sandwich (made with collar rather than the typical tenderloin); chili; fries; a salad; and three choices of house-made ice cream. That’s it. According to Gianinetti, the menu (and concept as a whole) is built around the idea of supporting a local—or at the very least, regional—food system. That means sourcing grass-fed and -finished beef trimmings from Western Daughters Butcher Shoppe for the burgers; squishy, sesame seed-topped buns from the Rolling Pin Bake Shop; crisp lettuce and (when available) ripe tomatoes from Infinite Harvest and other regional farms; and in-house mayo, mustard, ketchup, and pickles. It’s that sort of mindfulness that makes such simple fare (all of which is under $10) so satisfying.
Whatever you do, don’t leave without a scoop of the coffee ice cream. It’s made with a decadent cream cheese base and infused with beans from Method Coffee Roasters (another project of Gianinetti’s).
3200 N. Pecos St., 720-269-4778
—Photo by Rachel Adams