Friday, December 28, 2012

Amerigo Delicatus

Just a quick note to say we stopped into Amerigo Delicatus one Saturday evening, and mmmm, it was good.

Don't get distracted by the bright neon sign for Billy's Gourmet Hot Dogs as you head toward 24th and Larimer _ Amerigo Delicatus is right next door.

The cozy husband-and-wife-run restaurant has small wood tables and larger hightops for bigger parties, and large painted canvases adorn the walls. Customers can sit at a table for a meal or buy readymade food from the counter.

The menu changes, so we couldn't order the pumpkin bruschetta when we visited, but we started off with a bruschetta with beef shoulder. It was OK, if a little difficult to gnaw off a bite. We also got mussels, which were well-seasoned and suitably plump. The gnocchi was satisfying and comforting on a chilly evening. Worth a repeat visit to order it again! We finished with that old Italian standby, tiramisu. Of course, all this  probably means nothing now because the menu has changed yet again, offering yet another reason for us to go back to try more dishes.

Servers were friendly and attentive.

The already reasonable prices (every entree under $20, dessert for $5 or less!) were made even more palatable with a 50 percent off deal from Scoutmob ($10 max dinner discount).

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Kirkland Museum

We took another roll through the Kirkland Museum the other night, and since the museum lets you take photos without a flash, we thought we'd share a bit of the experience with you.

Vance Kirkland was born in Ohio in 1904, studied at the Cleveland Institute of Art, and, if his self-portrait is to be believed, grew up to look something like this:

Vance Kirkland, self-portrait, 1946 (Kirkland Museum)

The Denver Art Museum has some of his pieces, including early watercolors and later oil paintings featuring his signature abstract designs with dots. But the Kirkland Museum down the street at 13th and Pearl has more selections.

It also has furniture and other collected objects from his era (like these chairs! The one on the left is made of cardboard)

The building holds his former studio, which you can still see today, complete with the straps that would hold him above his large canvases so he could paint them. He would use a small dowel to produce the dots.

Kirkland studio, Kirkland Museum

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tom's Urban 24

Smashburger founder Tom Ryan's new 24-hour diner in Larimer Square is open! 

It's at 15th and Larimer in the spot once occupied by Samba Room. The space has been redesigned, with the staircase to the second floor moved from the door to the back wall behind the U-shaped bar and with windows stretching from the top of the second floor to the ground. There's an aqua and orange color scheme going on to reinforce the diner feel.

The prices are slightly pricier than your dive diner but far lower than other dining options in Larimer Square. The diner serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and it's late-night menu has breakfast/lunch/dinner type options. As Ryan describes it, the menu has nouns that may sound familiar, but the adjectives are different. He also describes it as modern comfort food with an urban edge. So there's pho on the menu, but it's not at all Asian pho. In fact, it makes use of the same meats that go into the tacos.

Our table tried the trio of snack tacos (top); fig jam and grilled cheese with sweet potato waffle fries (perfectly cooked, crispy to bite into but soft inside) and nice mix of sweet and salt (bottom left) and the pizza with hoisin duck (bottom right).

The drink menu is creative, with fun cocktail names like 50 Shades of Grey Goose. I tried a Utah mule (non alcoholic moscow mule).

We also tried a bit of the large shrimp salad and Colorado Hot Brown, which could be good for the drunkards (warm pot of house-roasted turkey, smoked ham, sourdough, bacon, cheese, cilantro, roasted tomato and a kick from green chile) except it might only be on the dinner menu not late night....

This place also makes its own pop tarts in the morning and donuts. Go to the side door if you just want takeout.

Another dining option for people who get out of work after 10 p.m. or 2 a.m. and want something hot to eat

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Raveonettes

Can't condone the actions in this video, but the music in The Raveonettes' "Curse the Night" is pretty fantastic. I didn't pay attention to the lyrics either, so I have no idea if it's wildly offensive. But here's the video:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Wallflowers ... w/Jakob&Rami playing free at anti-fracking rally today

The Wallflowers play in Denver tomorrow night (10/24), but Jakob Dylan and Rami Jaffee are playing one day early, TODAY, at the Frack Free Colorado Rally at Civic Center Park. The rally is 3 p.m. - 7 p.m., and Daryl Hannah is supposed to be there too. eTown and others are among the supporters/organizers.

The Wallflowers' entire new album "Glad All Over" is available for free streaming at their website. Watch the lyrics for each song scroll by.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

"Becoming Van Gogh"

We got to see "Becoming Van Gogh" at the Denver Art Museum the other day...You must buy reserved tickets for a specific date and time. The best times to go right now will probably be afternoons because school groups have taken up lots of  morning times during the week. The museum has been quiet on recent Sunday mornings too. The first 2 weeks are expected to be busy (the exhibit opens Sunday and runs for about 12 weeks)

There are audio guides available for a nominal fee (free for members). If you choose to use it and listen to all the audio, give yourself about 90 minutes to 2 hours to get through the exhibit and look at all the pieces.

Scroll down for our previous post on the exhibit. And here's more on the exhibit

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Mr. T went to see Matisyahu at the Boulder Theater last night. He says Matisyahu cut his hair and beard and now looks like Jimmy Fallon. Here's a cellphone pic, but looks like we'll have to take his word for it.

For the encore, the bouncers gathered a bunch of people in the first few rows, and they all got to dance on stage.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

"Becoming Van Gogh" ... becomes an exhibit

Timothy Standring, Denver Art Museum

The Denver Art Museum is getting ready for the opening of "Becoming Van Gogh," a one-of-a kind exhibit exploring how the self-taught artist developed his signature style.

We stopped in last week as one painting from a private collection was unpacked from its box ...

... inspected ...

and hung on the wall.

At that point, several paintings had yet to arrive. Brown paper the same size as the frame of each piece was placed on the wall as placeholders for each piece that hadn't arrived yet. A color snapshot of each painting was taped below that brown paper as a reference.

The 12-week exhibit, which opens Oct. 21 for the general public, was curated by Timothy Standring. He has spent about seven years working on the exhibit, which means a lot of traveling for him to secure each piece for the show. (The Denver Art Museum doesn't own any Van Goghs.)

Sunday, September 30, 2012


Ah, Oktoberfest. It took over a couple blocks of Larimer Street in downtown Denver these past 2 weekends, as people drank and ate and ate and drank as much as they could under sunny skies.

Of course we had to check out the stein hoisting competition, where contestants hold out 2 full steins of beer straight out in front of them for as long as they can. You can't spill any beer, lean back or bend your elbows or you'll be out.Winners of the qualifying heats throughout the day got to compete in the final, where the winner won a trip to Oktoberfest in Boston (I think that was the prize. I may have been tipsy when they explained the contest.) In the qualifying heat we saw, the guy in the middle with the black shirt was entertaining, speaking to the crowd and whatnot as he held his steins aloft for 10 straight minutes! Impressive.

Also this past Saturday, some friends entered the bratwurst eating contest, where they had 8 minutes to stuff as many brats as they could into their faces and swallow. The top 3 amateurs won money they could donate to a charity of their choice. A pro eater ("Big Sexy") also competed, but just to entertain the crowd. He ate 23 brats in 8 minutes, and oh my goodness, it was disgusting! His technique involved drinking and stuffing food in his mouth alternately. It all happened so fast that there were bits of brats flying from his mouth, down onto his shirt, along with liquid. Joe (light blue shirt, second from left) took off his glasses to eat. Peter (ponytail, far right) looked like he was in pain the whole time, but ...

Peter somehow managed to eat 18 brats in 8 minutes and get in the money! He won $500 for Aurora Rise, then got to sit back in the VIP tent and get drunk and eat even more weiners for the rest of the afternoon. The top amateur won $1, 000 that he donated to Denver Rescue Mission.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Music from that 3rd Rock From the Sun guy

SO, hitRECord, the collective production company of actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, has released Move On the Sun, with songs from various artists. hitRECord points out the title track "Move on the Sun" and "Electric Loss." We recommend both.
>>>Electric Loss
>>>Move on the Sun

Friday, September 14, 2012

Weekend music list

Here's what's been getting our attention this Friday. Happy weekend everyone!

JAMES IHA, "Speed of Love" :: Listen here (scroll down, it's song 4)

VACATIONER, "Good as New (Shotgun Wedding Remix)" :: Find a preview or download here

CHAIRLIFT, "I Belong in Your Arms" (we're going back to the original!) :: YouTube it

Also today is your last day to enter Reyka Vodka's contest for a trip to Iceland!

Obama in CO

President Obama was in Colorado YET AGAIN, visiting Golden this time. We were in the middle of the crowd but still managed to get this wee photo with a phone:

and this one of Romney supporters:

and this one of a sign in town:

The speech was essentially the same as ones Obama has given in Colorado before and at the DNC, but it did include a somber moment in the beginning touching on what happened in Libya.

Thousands of people with free tickets stood in a line that went down the street by Lions Park, around the corner, down a couple blocks and around another corner to get in. At one point, a police officer was asking the guy behind us to make room for a car to get through when the guy said, "Hey, you gave me a ticket the other day!" Haha.

Smashburger beer pairings

Getting a bite at Smashburger

Smashburger has always had beer on its menu, but now it's making it even more obvious by rolling out beer pairings on its menus. Colorado is first up, with Denver-based Smashburger and Fort Collins-based New Belgium Brewing teaming to come up with pairings.

Smashburger founder Tom Ryan says the chain hopes to get its name out there, emphasize that it has beer available, and emphasize the concept of "the beer and burger." His idea is to sway people choosing from all the chains that position themselves as "Better Burger" outfits by using beer.

Ryan envisions spreading the idea around the country, with locally based beer companies teaming with restaurants in various cities to work on pairings for localized menus. (He already plans to work with Goose Island on pairings in Chicago)

Here's a look at some of the pairings on the menu at the 16th St mall location in Denver (just a block from Ryan's new venture, Tom's Urban 24, a 24-hour diner that will open this fall in the old Samba Room at 15th and Larimer), with comments from New Belgium sensory specialist Lauren Salazar.

The hops in Fat Tire is understated, so the beer brings out the secondary and tertiary flavors of the burger, Salazar says. Anything with shrooms she generally likes to pair with Fat Tire.

1554 is actually a black lager, so it's smoky but light-bodied, allowing it to balance rather than outshine or get outshadowed by the burger. "The worst thing you can do in a beer pairing is for one to win and one to lose," Salazar says.

The hoppiness of Ranger enhances heat, like the chiles in this burger, Salazar says. 

In this case, the refreshing taste of Sunshine Wheat lends a "helping" hand to the beer. If you're deciding whether to take another bite of spiciness, this beer can help you with that, Salazar says. Pairing this burger with Ranger would've been .... interesting, she says.

Terrific pairing, in our opinion, that makes both the beer and sandwich taste better. Goes so well with the goat cheese and Mediterranean flavors.

 Salazar likes pairing Ranger with bleu cheese, especially the stinky ones.

(This actually isn't our first choice for getting burgers. Cherry Cricket, City Grille and Yard House all have options that we like plenty. But if you're interested, the burgers here start as meatballs that get liberally seasoned with salt, garlic and pepper and smashed to get a sear on the bottom that Ryan says seals in flavor. Buns are buttery and toasted. Really, that's enough ingredients for us at that point, maybe throw in some mushrooms, avocado, cheese or sweet onions every now and then. But there are plenty of Smashburger fans who like the burger offerings here, just proving that taste is personal.)

Monday, September 03, 2012

Mumford & Sons

Kandy and Erin managed to get 6 of us tickets to see Mumford & Sons on Aug. 29. The Tuesday night show sold out so fast, but it's almost better that we got to go the following night because the fantastic Nathaniel Rateliff and his band were opening.


Dawes played in between, but after Rateliff was through, Dawes sounded kind of ho-hum.

Then Mumford & Sons took over. Beautiful lights were set up on stage, and there were tons of cameras recording the concert for a DVD. The crowd danced along. Confetti guns went off over the crowd at the end. All 3 bands were on stage for the final encore, a cover of "With a Little Help from My Friends." An iPhone video with a snippet:

And here's another video from another concertgoer

USA Pro Challenge

This year's USA Pro Cycling Challenge featured a time trial through downtown Denver as its last stage. We got close enough to get a glimpse after the race of Tyler Farrar, Taylor Phinney and overall winner Christian Vande Velde.

Christian Vande Velde
Taylor Phinney
Tyler Farrar

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mushroom Hunting

We checked out the Four Seasons Resort Vail's mushroom hunting expedition. For $200 a person, they drive you and your fellow mushroom hunters up to the mountains in Mercedes SUVs with a basket of all the gear and snacks you need, plus a guide to point out what's poisonous and what's OK to taste. The day starts with fine pastries, is broken up by a snack with fancy cheese, meats and crackers, and ends with a 3-course mushroom-based meal. From the mid-day snack on, there's just about as much wine as you want. And you get to go back in the Four Seasons kitchen to watch them cook and mingle with the staff.

In the Four Seasons kitchen with the foragers' finds

This year's mushroom guide, Larry Evans, was a hoot. Chef Harrison's staff prepared a lovely meal, and the Four Seasons staff was extremely attentive without being obtrusive. When a wine glass was empty, they made sure to fill it. They set up camp chairs for people to sit in without being asked. You can read more about it here

And here's some tips on what to expect if you decide to try it yourself:

WHERE TO PARK _ There's free parking in Vail during the summer at various garages, but you can valet park. The hotel validated our valet tickets because we were on the mushroom trip. (heh, trip)

GET THERE EARLY _ The hotel said to meet at 10 a.m., but it was worth getting there early to enjoy the complimentary coffee and pastries, plus check out Larry Evans' table of mushrooms that he had picked a day earlier to give us an idea of what we could find.

WEAR LONG PANTS _ During our trip, we had a pleasant, short hike off the trail at Shrine Pass to look for mushrooms in a shady pine forest. The high was forecast to be in the 80s in Vail that day, but at about 11 a.m. at Shrine Pass, it was 58 degrees. The hike wasn't strenuous _ we had an hour to look for mushrooms at our own pace, and the area where we were wasn't steep. But later in the day, we went hunting in an aspen grove with thick, thorny vegetation that will scratch up your legs. Long pants will prevent that. It's worth noting guide Larry Evans was wearing long pants.

WEAR LAYERS _ It was 58 degrees when we first set out. Later in the day, it was warm enough to just wear a short-sleeve shirt with our long pants. Bring sunglasses.

Mushroom guide Larry Evans, right. Everything you need to know about him is at

THEY'VE GOT YOUR BACK _ The Four Seasons staff thinks of just about everything. They had water for each mushroom hunter, and they brought sunscreen. They also had an energy bar and apple for each person. While the hotel serves you a 3-course "dinner" to end the day, it's in a back room around 4 p.m., so you don't need to dress up at all for the meal.

TIPPING _ We have no idea what's a good tip, but we're pretty sure Evans wasn't expecting any tip at all. You will, however, see a spot left blank for you to add a tip onto what you pay Four Seasons.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Well, well. Not only is Milo Greene coming back to Denver on Aug. 10 for a show at the Hi-Dive. They've also got a show scheduled Nov. 9 at the much bigger Bluebird. How about that.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Seen at i4c

Some of the fashions we saw at i4c, an event where Front Range startups pitched their ideas for a chance to get $50,000 to grow.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Sunday, July 01, 2012

James Iha

New music from James Iha, (formerly of Smashing Pumpkins)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Behind the big wheel

Summer is the time for road trips. We asked two guys who drive big rigs for a living what their pet peeves are with "amateur" drivers. They said by far, it's people who aren't paying attention to the road, as in they're talking on their phones or even texting while driving.

"In my opinion, texting should be considered DUI," said professional truck driver Dave Howe.

We caught up with him and a couple of other drivers a day before the 2012 Colorado Truck Driving Championships earlier this month. The event challenges some of the state's safest drivers to a series of skills tests. Thanks to the Colorado Motor Carriers Association, we tried some of the tests ourselves.

The first of the three tests they set up for us involved backing up a tractor-trailer as close as possible to a white line but without crossing over the line. This test was supposed to simulate backing up a truck to a loading dock. The highest possible score on this test was 50 points, but crossing over the line would mean no points at all. Team Delicatessen just missed. Whoops! 0 points.

(Trick: Freight driver David Boyer, who has driven more than 2 million miles without an accident, sat next to each of us as we tested our skills. He gave us a hint that we could line up the shadow of the truck with the white line so we would know when to stop. Of course, this trick wouldn't work on a cloudy day, or if it wasn't noon, since the shadow might be too long.)

The second test involved splitting the back set of wheels on another white line to simulate lining up a truck in order to get weighed. This was tough. Boyer said one trick for this test is to turn the steering wheel slightly to the left, the better to see the side of the truck.

The third test asked us to pull forward to get the front of the truck as close to a white line as possible. Getting the nose of the truck within 18 inches was considered good enough, but you can score more points the closer you get to the line. 

(Trick: This test was harder than it sounds. Boyer told us that as soon as we saw the white line on the ground disappear beyond the nose of the truck, we should count six Mississippis, and that would be the perfect time to press the brakes. We got nervous and hit the brakes early. Of course, every truck is different though, and in competition, all the contestants drive the same rig, not their own.)

Friday, June 08, 2012


Team Delicatessen checked out Aoba which recently opened on Blake Street between 15th and 16th downtown in the former Organixx spot. We both tried the lunch special (2 rolls for $9 or 3 for $12, includes choice of miso soup or salad.) Reviewer #1 thought a couple of items tasted fishy. Reviewer #2 thought the rolls tasted like the average roll at average, more affordable sushi joints around town. Basically, if you want better fish, there are better-tasting places that are more worth your money, and if you want to spend less, there are places that taste roughly the same for less.

Service is attentive, the room is lovely, the lunch price is reasonable. Just not a whole lot stood out for us to be dying to go back right away.

The Aoba space is revised from Organixx, with dark wood floors and a mix of tall-backed upholstered booths and four-top tables. There's a sushi bar in back leading to the kitchen, and flat-screen TVs have been installed so you can keep an eye on the game.

Here's our thoughts on what we had:

_ Miso soup: Yummy, with Japanese mushroom
_ Salad: Reviewer #1 finished the whole thing, but when R#1 was done eating, there was a soup of dressing at the bottom of the bowl. Too much dressing.
_ Reviewer#2 didn't get too crazy: tuna+avocado roll, salmon+avocado roll, eel+avocado. The eel was the favorite. The tuna was fine, and the salmon didn't have much taste whatsoever, kind of tasted like water
_ Reviewer#1 had spicy tuna and jalapeno+yellowtail. Both were quite mild, even the jalapeno roll, with the tiniest bit of bite. Other choices for the lunch option included mango+salmon! We should've tried it

Have you tried Aoba yet? What do you think?

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Counting Crows in ... Sylvania??

Whoa, Counting Crows is playing a show this summer at Red Rocks, but they're also playing this month in ..... Sylvania, at Centennial Terrace

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tiny photos (and videos) of big bands!

Blind Pilot!

The Head and the Heart! 

The Shins! @ Red Rocks!
They had to start over on their very first song. Have a look:

James Mercer has shuffled the lineup of The Shins over the years, so much so that they look and sound like a different band from the one from the days of "Chutes Too Narrow" and "Oh, Inverted World." That made it more fun to listen to Blind Pilot and The Head and the Heart than The Shins last night. Still, "New Slang" sounded fantastic, with the audience cooing along on the chorus between the monoliths of Red Rocks creating a warm cocoon of sound. They mixed old and new. They played a cover of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon," and former members Neal Langford and Marty Crandall came on stage to play during one encore. It was a beautiful spring night.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

j. viewz

Have you all seen this stop-action j. viewz video yet?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Milo Greene at the Larimer Lounge

photos by Thomas Peipert

A night before opening for Civil Wars, Milo Greene visited the Larimer Lounge on Tuesday to play their first-ever show in Denver.

The band's album won't be available til July, but they brought along 2-song EPs, posters and T-shirts to sell. The beauty of Milo Greene is in the (mostly) acoustic instruments, banjo picking, and tight harmonies.


The small room was a great place to see these multi-instrumentalists up close and hear everything with clarity.

In a rare appearance, Sweet Tooth Meat Tooth (with Hayley from Snake Rattle Rattle Snake and others) was the moody mellow opener. (We hear they're playing again July 8 at the Museum of Contemporary Art)

Sweet Tooth Meat Tooth, photo by Thomas Peipert

Then Milo Greene came on, with these wacky vertical plastic light sticks with little bulbs strung through them positioned around the stage like trees. It was a full room back by the stage, and the crowd sang along to songs like "1957" and "Don't You Give Up on Me." The quintet lent their four-part harmonies to a cover of Sufjan Stevens' "Chicago." They've performed the Sufjan cover live before, but the Denver version featured Robbie with the most death-metal shaking of jingle bells on a Sufjan song ever. Here's video of "Silent Way."

They also did a Wilco cover ("A Shot in the Arm") with Marlana on lead vocals. At the end, the band's merch guy emerged from the back room where he'd been accidentally locked for the whole show. Good times! The band members stuck around to talk with fans, drink with fans, sign stuff for fans and generally be interesting people.


And Milo Greene will be back in Denver Aug. 10 to play at the Hi-Dive! For cheaps! $10/$12

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Leftover Salmon

photos by Thomas Peipert

Leftover Salmon's first recorded studio album in 8 years comes out Tuesday. Last weekend the band had a block party on Santa Fe between 7th and 8th in Denver to celebrate.

People filled the streets for beers, snacks from food trucks and 3++ hours of Leftover Salmon playing live music, and amazingly, the rain held off. Scramble Campbell painted a canvas live on stage in the tradition of Denny Dent (we miss Denny Dent!)

photo by C

Afterward, the band signed autographs and mingled with fans at Space Gallery to help raise money for Conscious Alliance, with Gipsy Moon providing live entertainment (Vince Herman's son plays mandolin in Gipsy Moon).

photo by C

Some comments from Vince Herman here
And more photos from Thomas here

Saturday, April 28, 2012


The Butterfly Pavilion not only lets you walk among lots of colorful butterflies, but it also has a little area where you can watch butterflies emerging from cocoons (if you have good timing and are patient). There are also cases of dead butterflies, which might sound morbid, but look how beautiful they are.

 (photo by Thomas Peipert)

Thomas had a question, and Mary Ann at the Butterfly Pavilion promptly responded. Learn along with us:

Hi, I received a post card from you with the question:

Q: Are the pinned butterflies treated with a preservative or lacquer?

A: No the butterflies and other invertebrates that we display here at the Butterfly Pavilion are not treated with anything on their bodies to keep them preserved. Butterflies and other insects have an exoskeleton that is made of chitin, a hard and sturdy material. When an insect dies it will maintain its shape for a long time and if pinned and spread in a display like you see at the Butterfly Pavilion, the insects can stay, for the most part, intact for 100’s of years. Over time colors will fade but the exoskeleton can keep its rigidity. In order to maintain these types of displays with pinned insects in them we do need to treat the containers with pest deterrents that feed on the dead insects on display. Dermestid beetles are a big pest to these types of displays so museums can use moth balls, fumigant boxes with paradicholorobenzene and/or dicholorvos tape. All of these pesticides repel these beetles and keep the insects intact.