In July when Jesse Morreale and Sean Yontz closed Sketch,
a Cherry Creek North bistro that never quite caught on, they were already gearing up for their next
venture. Three weeks later the duo reopened the space as Tambien, a casual Mexican
cantina. The menu is a healthy mix of Mezcal and Chama, two of
Morreale and Yontz’s successful ventures. “Call it the best of both worlds,” says Morreale.
“Primarily what we wanted to do was make sure the selection and pricing was there—so in
addition to all the Mexican favorites from Mezcal (including dollar tacos), there are things like
more salads, and breakfast all day.” The chips and salsa offers a trio of salsas—one from
Mezcal, one from Chama, and a new one for Tambien. And, as you might expect, the margs are off the
hook—especially the smooth, agave nectar-laced Especial. As for the menu, don’t miss the
grilled talapia fish tacos with red onion escabeche or the green-chile smothered Mexican
hamburger. 250 Steele St., 303-333-1763.

SmashBurger, a ketchup-red and mustard-yellow hamburger joint on Colorado
Boulevard, is all about choices. The certified Black Angus steak patties come in one-third or
one-half pound patties (or you can go with chicken), bun offerings include multigrain, egg, or
spicy chipotle, and toppings range from the usual (ketchup) to the odd (fried egg). Then there
are the sides: individual onion blossoms, fries, veggie frites, or a salad. For those shunning
the bun, the restaurant offers chopped salads: you pick the greens, meat (yes a burger!),
cheese, dressing, and toppings. We’re of the mind that there’s no such thing as too many
ways to doctor up a burger, and SmashBurger gets it right—every time.
1120 S. Colorado Blvd., 303-757-4301,

Steuben’s, a retro-cool American spot along 17th Avenue, is joining the
ranks of The Kitchen, Sazza, and Panzano in
environmental consciousness. The Uptown restaurant does a huge take-out business, and
to combat excessive waste, owner Josh Wolkon recently turned to Boulder-based
Eco-Products (
to help green up the place. Now Steuben’s sends customers away with food packed in containers
made from renewable sugarcane and cold beverage cups from renewable corn (both are designed to
completely biodegrade in 45 to 60 days). The restaurant also switched to toilet paper and paper
towel that’s dye free and made from 100 percent recycled content. Bonus: Since most of the new
products are more cost-effective than traditional products, there’s no price hike to pass along
to the customer. So that Cubano sandwich is still only gonna run you $9. 523 17th St.,

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