Monday, March 26, 2007

You like steak?

Well, what about the latest review, where I gave Saltgrass steak a totally average rating?
Am I way off base? Give other readers the real scoop by commenting below.

Where is the best taqueria?

Readers, help! I need to find the best taqueria (not Mexican restaurant, but taqueria.) Give me your suggestions.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Real Japanese worth the drive

I've been working on a review of a new Japanese restaurant on Academy, Tomo Sushi. It will come out in a week or two, but it made me want to talk about a fantastic place in Denver called Domo.
Let's be honest. Most Colorado sushi restaurants are pretty much the same. The quality of fish and the presentation and the goofy names they give to the big, Americanized rolls changes, but other than that, you get what you get. There are some notable exceptions, Nabu in Aspen (never been there) and maybe Tora in Boulder (fabulous!) but the one I really love is Domo in Denver. It looks like a warehouse. It shares a building with an Akido gym, and it serves impressive "country style" sushi and other dishes.

From Domo's Website:

One of the secrets of Domo’s distinctive taste is the generous use of shiitake mushrooms. Kombu, hijiki and funori seaweeds and other sea vegetables are also used in plenty. Domo uses over 120 varieties of fresh sea foods, meats and vegetables daily as well as many unique ingredients imported directly from the country side of Northern Japan by Domo owner and head chef Gaku Homma

This isn't just schtick. This is amazing food, and not significantly more than a night out at Jun.

Check it out:

Monday, March 12, 2007

Western Omelette raises the ordinary

There are fancier breakfasts in town, to be sure.

But my family had a breakfast on Saturday at Western Omelette at
16 S Walnut St. that was pretty close to the best breakfast I've ever had.

Part of it is I love the meetin'
town atmosphere. You got your bikers and college profs sitting
side-by-side. Walls littered with tomahawks, dream catchers, bike
posters andthe requisite jackolope.

The food is simple. But perfect. Eggs -- exactly as ordered. Bacon -- thick, smoky, on the border of crispy and chewy.
Hash browns -- crunchy on the outside, buttery smooth on the inside and
a pleasant mix of outside on the inside and inside on the outside.

had chicken fried steak with my eggs. It was my dream of chicken fried
steak, a tasty treat that you savor, even as you feel it clogging your

Antonio's disappoints

I hadn't been to Antonio's for years, and was never much of a fan. But I heard that the owners who took over a couple of years ago made some outstanding changes.

So, I dropped by Sunday night. It was slow, and there was no music, live or otherwise.

I sampled the dipping menu ... you get a bunch of shrimp, steak, chicken (or, all three, as I did) and you dip them into a spicy mango sauce or a jerk sauce, etc.

It was OK, but ultimately more gimmicky than satisfying.

But what really turned me off to Antonio's was the marinara, the backbone of any decent Italian joint. It had absolutely no personality. I've had better from a jar.

To me, no matter what else you do, if you can't get that right, the exercise is pointless.

Please send me your experiences, at Antonio's or elsewhere.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Review the critic

So, what do you think of Nathaniel so far?

It was his decision to review Marigold, a local treasure, as his first review. I think it was a good one. He wants to make it clear that we're not just going to look at the new places, but mix in plenty of old favorites.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A note from a reader

I would like to suggest that your new dining critic should have breakfast at RUDY'S LITTLE HIDEAWAY on South Nevada Avenue in Colorado Springs! Their Huevos Rancheros and Full House Breakfasts along with their Pancakes, are the very best and satisfying around. I believe their breakfasts are "the best kept secret" of S. Nevada Avenue. My son took me there for Mother's Day Breakfast several years ago and now it's a regular outing. Thank you!

Rudy's Little Hideaway Rstrnt
719-632-9527 • 1721 S Nevada Ave, Colorado Springs,CO

Has anyone checked this place out? What do you think?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

What the stars mean...

After not having stars (or forks, or martini glasses, or any other symbol to sum up our take on a restaurant) the Gazette is bringing back the old restaurant rating system. Sort of. We'll have 1 to 5 stars. I'm borrowing from the New York Times, but sliding the scale down a little. The Times scale doesn't give a star unless a restaurant is good. In Colorado Springs, few places would earn even one or two stars. So, here is how we will break it down:


* Bad -- Don't go back.

** Good -- Something is redeeming, probably the food, but the menu is inconsistent and the service needs work.

*** Very good -- A considerable achievement. The menu may have a few kinks but the food is consistently thoughtful and good. The restaurant is comfortable and the service is consistent.

**** Excellent -- The food is a step above most things in town. The restaurant sits at the top of it's class. The service, value and ambiance are all exquisite. Very few restaurants manage to achieve this level.

***** Extraordinary -- The menu is luminary. The service is flawless. The whole experience is better than a diner could expect. The few fives star establishments must be inspirations to the local dining scene.