One for the good guys

It is said that if someone likes a thing they’ll tell one person and if they hate the thing they’ll tell a dozen. Well, having spent my life as a bartender and/or actor, I find this to be completely true. That’s why I’m taking the time to recognize a couple places that just do things the right way.

We had about 25 minutes to grab lunch between shows today and that leaves, hmmm…fast food. We passed a Chipotle and it sounded better than anything else that we could see and decided to give it a go. I get in the door and see that I’m going to be about 18th in line. Yikes. Didn’t really have time to try something else so I stay in line. Well, before I have time to decide if I want barbacoa or maybe some pork, I’m at the head of the line. Seriously, I went from 18th to 1st in less than 90 seconds. Unbelievable. The food portions and quality were good and the service was fantastic.

Nice going Chipotle on Havana in Aurora, CO.

Dinner this evening was also spectacular. We ate at Cool River Cafe in Denver. This is an upscale southwestern grill and steak house. The atmosphere was very nice, the amenities very nice as well: complimentary valet, complimentary coat-check, and live entertainment on some evenings.

Janell is a vegetarian and we somehow forgot to check the menu before being seated. Our waiter assured us the kitchen would prepare a vegetarian platter for her and it was excellent. I had the best caesar salad I’ve had in months. Most places just ladle on the dressing and don’t care that they’ve put 3 times too much on the romaine. I finished my salad and had the tiniest hint of dressing coating the bottom of the bowl–excellent. They also used a little tobasco in their dressing, an intersting and flavorful touch.

I wanted to try their seafood combo, served with a ginger-jalapeno butter. But I was also drinking a very nice pinot grigio they had by the glass and was concerned about the pepper over-powering the wine. No problem, the somelier on duty was happy to answer my concern. The sauce–fantastic, the wine pairing–pretty good (not ideal, but that really was more my fault than his).

Our waiter, Cooper, was a little new, I think. He wasn’t in the greatest weekend section and he was unfamiliar with a couple things on the menu. But he was extremely professional and willing to ask questions of other staff when he didn’t know a thing. He was quick, personable, and accomodating.

I only have 2 minor quibbles. Their bar does not make their own whipped cream; it comes out of a can. This is really not acceptable from a restaurant as nice as Cool River Cafe. It is not hard to make whip cream and it’s not very time consuming or expensive. The price point of drinks at these places more than covers the cost of fresh made whipped cream and the presentation and taste of the drinks is what fine diners expect.

The other problem was when I asked Cooper for change for a ten. I wanted to have a couple fives to tip the coat check and valets. He, of course, was right on it, but I hope he didn’t think I was going to tip him with change from a ten. We’re travelling the country in a car and can’t relly pack th extensive high-dollar wardrobe. So, we looked okay, but not super snazzy. We also are a younger-looking couple spending money in a restaurant populated by the well-to-do. I’m not sure what Cooper thought when I asked for change, but I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t hint at my intended use for the change. My bad.

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Filed under Denver, Dining, Food and Drink, Travel

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