My friend Sam posted an article on Facebook about someone’s Top Ten dishes in Denver this year which got me thinking about the best things I have had to eat this year. As I made my decisions, I realized that they all had one thing in common: cheese. I have been in a lifelong love affair with cheese and I have never met a cheese I didn’t like. Honestly, I bet 90% of my favorite things feature cheese. I just can’t help but love the melty, salty, gooey lumps of heaven. I’m not in the least bit surprised that the best things I ate this year featured cheese. So, without further ado, my top five dishes of 2011, or as I have dubbed it, An Ode To Cheese….
1) Modus Hoperandi Mac ‘N Cheese from Highland Tap and Burger
Don’t get me wrong, everything I ate there was good. They make a lovely in house veggie patty, the beer list is amazing, Jordan said his burger was yummy, blah blah. But all I really care about is the mac and cheese. It includes a lovely mix of cheeses and it is baked in the oven just the way I like. Also, do yourself a favor and add the bacon. The crispy saltiness in the bacon really kicks it up a notch, not that it needs it.
2) Chorizo and Cheese, Spinach and Cheese, and Margarita Empanadas (to name a few) from Buenos Aires Pizzeria
Okay, so I didn’t technically try these for the first time this year, but I can’t write an ode to cheese and leave off these babies. They are only $2.50 each and they are so fresh and delightful. I usually make a meal of just empanadas because they are so tasty and filling. (and cheap!) Their pizza is good as well, but the empanadas and canastitas are the true stars and you can pick them up to go in the gelato shop.
3) Bacon Mac and Cheese Fries from Jonesys Eat Bar
Jordan and I went here after much urging from our friends Hap and Sam, and I hate to say that overall I wasn’t overwhelmed. BUT the bacon mac and cheese friends make up for my less than enthusiastic view of the rest because these. are. not. your. average. fries. Seriously, go directly to Jonesys, sit at the bar, order one of their many wonderful beer choices, and get down on some of these fries. You can live without trying everything else, because these alone will make you fall in love.
4) “Grown Up” Grilled Cheese from Mead St. Station
Pear, Brie, Havarti, and Black Forest Ham. Do I even need to say anymore? A.MAZ.ING. Make sure to get sweet potato fries and chipotle mayo as your side, because those are pretty amazing too. I can’t lie to you, everything here is good, but I don’t get a chance to order anything else very often because this grilled cheese sandwich has captured my heart.
5) Buffalo Chicken Pizza from Basic Kneads Pizza
I had this on my birthday while relaxing on the patio at Great Divide and I can honestly say it is the best pizza I’ve ever had. And I’m around pizza everyday. The Pesto Chicken Portabella is pretty bomb as well. Besides the pizza being amazing, I love the idea of basic kneads- a food truck that carries an entire wood fired pizza oven. It is exciting and delicious! Check them out at Great Divide every Wednesday and Friday night.
WHAT WERE THE BEST DISHES YOU ATE THIS YEAR? (WITH OR WITHOUT CHEESE)