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Salad Wars: Cava Greens versus EYT
While Mad Greens and Green Fine Salad Co. appear to have cornered the local salad market, there are two other spots that have captured our attention: Cava Greens and EYT. Of the four, Cava Greens (downtown and Congress Park) brings us back with interesting toss ins such as quinoa, roasted corn, and Gruyere cheese. The ingredient list may be a tad smaller than its competitors but everythinglettuce, beets, avocado, just-grilled rosemary chickentastes fresher. We also like that chef-owner Patrick Fox only serves locally made sugar-free sparkling fruit drinks, ginseng tea, water, local beers and winesand that Cava charges by weight, which means your salad probably costs less. Bonus: Bring in your own takeout container and receive .50$1 off.
Across town, the months-old EYT (which stands for Enjoy Yourself Today) in Riverfront focuses on free-range meats, transfat-free oils, and hormone-free dairy products, but the ingredients don’t taste quite as fresh. Signature salads include the somewhat gloppy Garbage (bacon, corn, avocado, pine nuts, mushrooms, goat cheese, and red wine vinaigrette) and the sweet Garden of EYT’en (sliced apples, celery, grapes, mixed leaf, Gorgonzola cheese, maple pecans, and balsamic vinaigrette). While the salads didn’t impress us, owner Mimi Yang‘s housemade gelato (flavors rotate) did. But perhaps most interesting of all is EYT’s frozen yogurt, which is reportedly the same recipe as the wildly popular Pinkberry’s. In L.A. and New York, customers line up around the block for the tart, low-cal treat (www.pinkberry.com even has a “groupie” button). Get your spoons ready. Cava Greens: Food Court at Republic Plaza, 303 16th St., 720-274-0434; 827 Colorado Blvd., 303-928-8044, www.cavagreens.com; EYT: 1590 Little Raven St., 303-825-1500, www.eytsalad.comAmanda M. Faison
New Discovery: Fuel Cafe
Finding the three-month-old Fuel Cafe requires a bit of a trek to Denver’s River North neighborhood, but once you finally settle into this lively spot (in the mixed-use TAXI development), you’ll be glad for the effort. The menu is small but decisive with an inventive mix of salads, hot and cold sandwiches (our fave is the Italian-style Grinder), and rustic soups. Owner-cook Bob Blair (formerly of Parisi) offers a daily entrée special and if you’re lucky it’ll be the mussels with string fries and lemon gastrique. Don’t miss Blair’s homemade moon pies or the addictive chocolate-chip-pecan cookies. 3455 Ringsby Court #105, 303-296-4642AMF
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Rumor Mill: Cricket Conundrum
There’s some scuttlebutt going around that the Cherry Cricket, the longtime Cherry Creek burger institution, is closing. Not so, says GM Kathy Huddlestonto which we all sighed with relief. The confusion stems from the recent closing of the Cricket on the Hill, a bar on 13th Avenue and Downing Street.AMF
News: Local Culinary Tourism Finally Takes Root
Early last year Gourmet magazine and the International Culinary Tourism Association (ICTA) published a lengthy report stating that travelers wanted more food and winerelated travel (think: vineyard tours and weeklong eating forays in Italy). But in October, when we stopped by the Colorado Governor’s tourism conference, we disappointingly found that few local companies had embraced Gourmet and ICTA’s advice. Luckily, winter gave time to brainstorm, and spring starts with a gourmet retreat we wouldn’t want to missBoulder Biking & BBQ by the St Julien Hotel & Spa. Join St. Julian executive chef Jason Rogers for a day of biking followed by a customized gourmet dinner at St. Julian, personally prepared by Rogers. Call and book the biking package for two to six guests ($250 per person). 900 Walnut St., Boulder, 720-406-9696, www.stjulien.comKazia Jankowski
Event: Wednesday’s at Firenze a Tavola
Previously only open Thursday through Saturday nights, Firenze a Tavola, Parisi’s answer to more formal dining, has set up a community table (for you and 27 neighbors) on Wednesday evenings. This week’s four-course, family-style menu ($30) includes stuffed zucchini, Florentine flat breads, mushroom risotto, and white chocolate raspberry bread pudding. 4401 Tennyson St., 303-561-0234, www.parisidenver.comKJ