Experiencing The Best Denver Eateries Part 5

After experiencing one of my favorite menu items the day before (Lamb, it’s hard to get better than that), I was given the opportunity to try another meat of rarity, Elk. I’m a fan of wild game, especially venison. Fortunately for me I have an uncle who is an avid hunter and my dad keeps me stocked with deer meat each year. If it wasn’t for Uncle Smitty, I wouldn’t have the fortune of knowing the taste and flavor of venison. It’s that knowledge that led me to select the Elk burger at the Paramount Cafe Friday afternoon as I rejoined my good friends Jud and Shannon once again.

Won Ton Juans at the Paramount Cafe in Denver

We had met at the 16th Street Mall, my new favorite hangout, with no idea amongst us for what we actually wanted to eat. So we started walking and checking menus posted for what sounded great. I admit it wasn’t the Elk on the menu that made me want to check this place out, but rather this unusual sounding appetizer (ha, a pun!) called Won Ton Juans, a blend of melted cheese and jalapenos stuffed in a won ton shell. So we went in and sat outside. The other cool thing about the Paramount Cafe was the cool use of drum shells and heads for decoration and setup. The base that made the cashier’s counter was formed out of stacked tom drum shells. On the wall was a series of drum heads from various rock bands that were autographed. That was cool. We ordered the Won Ton Juans and man we they something. I’ve got to get my superstar chef wife to try to make this stuff.

BBQ Elk Burger
Although my aforementioned favorite menu item (Lamb, and imagine a choir of angels sings it everytime you see it mentioned hear because that’s what I imagine) was on the menu in burger form, I had to venture out and try elk. Elk are really unique animals. They look like a moose with a deer head, which unless you look closely, is kind of funny. Deer have smaller heads than moose, since their body’s are smaller. So in a way they look like deer on steroids (just do a google search for images of Barry Bonds in a Pirates uniform vs his time with the Giants and you’ll understand). The waitress said the Elk was leaner with a gamey flavor. Sure enough, it was just like that. And really flavorful. Added to the Elk meat was a few strips of bacon, BBQ sauce, lettuce and tomato. I give it two thumbs up!

Spending more time with Jud and Shannon was a lot of fun. We walked down to this great little book store that was an experience all it’s own. Tattered Cover reminded me of the book stores or libraries showcased in movies. It was like a two story Half-Priced book store with wood carved category signs, special shelves and a uniqueness that felt like I was in an old man’s private library. There were even notes hand written beneath the titles of local authors or recommendations, which was a great added thing. I picked up one title and wished I could have stayed there for hours.

With a series of receptions and little knick knacks served in the evenings, I didn’t have a dining experience Friday night. But the conclusion of my Denver dining was fantastic, and will come in just a little bit. As we say in the radio world, stay tuned!

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Host of the syndicated radio program The Appetizer heard on public radio across Texas and online from our Listen Now link; enjoys conversations, music, food, art, storytelling, and people. Connect with me. Would love to hear from you.

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