Gettin’ down when you’re high: Eating Denver

15 Jun

A friend recently took a trip to Denver and it reminded me of my business trip to the Mile High City late last year.  For four days, I was trapped in a hotel attending seminars and presentations with only a distant view of the snow-capped Rockies on the horizon.  Anyone who’s traveled for business is undoubtedly familiar with the sub-par hotel food and drive-thru meals that make up the bulk of the trip; it is the lucky few who can take a business trip and enhance their experience by finding good, local eats. This post, my friends, is for the latter group.

If you ever end up in Denver, whether for business or pleasure, immediately book reservations at the Root Down.  I was fortunate on this trip to be traveling with a co-worker – we’ll call her R — who I consider a friend in food. It also helps immensely that I enjoy her company, too; even the best trip can be ruined by a crazy traveling companion. Now, to be honest, I only have a vague recollection of what we ate that evening, and I neglected to take photos (stupid work trip making me forget my camera)… all I have to offer are a few simple words to describe what was probably one of the best meals I’ve ever had.  Seriously.

This isn't what I ate, but doesn't it look fab? Photo courtesy of

They offer options for all types of dietary needs and keep their food as organic and local as they can, which in turn keeps their menu evolving with the seasons.  One great thing about this place is that you can order a regular-sized portion of an entree or a scaled down version, perfect for those watching their portion sizes.  We decided to order the smaller versions of several entrees and create an impromptu tapas night, strategically ordering around five dishes to share. We enjoyed some of the same dishes and disagreed on others, but my most vivid memory of the meal was over a single dish. I was leisurely (and quietly) slurping the remnants of a steamed mussels dish. The shellfish had come in a delicious Thai curry broth, which I would normally soak up with bread. In this instance, though, I needed a direct line to that broth! As I sipped, I spotted a server eyeing my near empty bowl with a look that told me he was ready to clear our table and go about his business. Rather than relent,  I met his gaze, picked up my spoon and tightened my grip on the bowl. Each deliberate sip I took sent a clear signal that I wasn’t giving up without a fight.   He nodded, smiled and backed away, acknowledging defeat.

I don’t always fight servers over the last bits on a plate (or drops in a bowl), but when I do, you have to believe it’s worth it.

– A


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