Sushi Bay 17 – Creating raving fans, one Denverite at a time.

Over the past few months, an overwhelmingly amount of Denver friends have asked, “Have you been to the new sushi place on 17th?” and “Hey, have you been to Sushi Bay 17?”.

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Five girls, one giant wheel of fortune, er sushi.  Thanks, Shawna, for letting me borrow this awesome picture! Credit: Shawna Jones, Dec 2013

All questions were accompanied by positive feedback, “Dude, you HAVE to go…” With this many people talking about it, in such a positive light, we had to go check it out! A band of 5 awesome women gathered at Sushi Bay 17 last Thursday for their group-formed, monthly Ladies Night to see what all the talk was about.

Sushi Bay 17 is located at 1728 E 17Ave
Denver, CO 80218 within the City Park neighborhood. They have a parking lot as well as plenty of on-street parking. Weather permitting, we always suggest riding a bike, especially through this great neighborhood.

Together, we ordered edamame for an appetizer, 9 sushi rolls, a few miso soups and one ginger salad. All of the food was very fresh, and beautifully presented. The ginger salad is a heaping portion, which was surprising at $3; even better, the ginger dressing is incredible! The amount of tangy and spice was just right, which has been hard to find in the past. The edamame were warm with the perfect amount of sea-salt – they also offer edamame with different seasonings on them, which we will have to check out next time! Take a look at the full menu from Sushi Bay 17.

Out of all of the rolls we ordered, house specials and old classics included, the Spiderman definitely received the most raving fans. Each roll was presented beautifully, with fresh ingredients that all worked well together; after this experience, I feel Sushi Bay 17 is one of those restaurants that you can close your eyes and choose sushi at random, never getting a bad roll.

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Sushi bar at Sushi Bay 17. Check out their Facebook (and LIKE ‘EM!) by clicking on the photo. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Dec 2013

Although Sushi Bay 17 is moderately priced, they run so many great specials! Daily Happy Hour specials on sushi, appetizers, and drinks occur from 3 – 6 pm, and AGAIN at 9pm – close. While we were visiting for Ladies Night dinner, the Broncos game was on, which meant $2 short, draft beers. On Sundays, order the all-you-can-eat sushi option for $27.95 per person. For our friend Annelise, this means unlimited Spiderman rolls on Sunday for about $30 bucks – how can you beat that?

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No sushi piece left behind- that’s our motto. Check out Sushi Bay 17’s website for more info. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Dec 2013

Our bill averaged $20 per person, plus tip, and we were all fat and happy. Not one piece was left behind. Sushi  Bay 17 also has a wide variety of amazing-sounding desserts, but unfortunately all of us were too full to try them. Desserts are definitely on the list for next time! The price is inexpensive comparing the value of service, atmosphere, and attention to detail with the products that Sushi Bay 17 provides. We can’t wait to bring more people there and create additional raving fans!

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Park & Co – A Fun “Some Place Else”

Situated uptown Denver on 17th, we stumbled upon (not the site- the physical activity) Park & Co when we were looking for a good place to have a light dinner. Of course, there are other fantastic restaurants in the same area, but we’d been to those – it was time to give some place else a chance.

It was love at first site – the patio Park & Co sports is more than legit – I would place this patio somewhere in the top 5 of awesome summer patios. There’s adequate seating and space so as not to feel cramped, and it’s a short walk right to the bar inside of the restaurant.

Although Park & Co is known for their award-winning burgers, I’m not much of a burger kind of gal. I know, not very patriotic of me, but I just like to try different dishes! And, that we did.

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Gorgonzola-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon, mmm mmmm good! Credit: Steve Mercer, SEPT 2013 Click on the picture to be re-directed to Park & Co’s food menu!

Our appetizer consisted of Gorgonzola-stuffed dates that were wrapped in juicy, delicious bacon; upon advising a friend where we were having dinner, he insisted we order these delicious treats. Thanks, Mitchell! We weren’t let down in the slightest. This appetizer is so rich and good – completely takes the edge off of starving individuals (like us).

Being a little over-zealous, we also decided to order the Moroccan Lamb Sliders with cucumber mint yogurt. The presentation was amazing, and the sliders were incredible! I’m a huge fan of anything remotely resembling greek cuisine, and had to try them out. Another amazing food journey, brought to us by Park & Co!

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Lamb Sliders from Park & Co. Credit: Steve Mercer, SEPT 2013. Click on the picture above to be taken to their Facebook page! Make sure you like ’em.

Both appetizers we ordered actually complimented each other well. I loved the uniqueness of all of the appetizers listed on their menu, and look forward to trying more. I was also surprised that they didn’t cost an arm and a leg; what incredible small plates for the buck. When you glance at the menu as a whole, you’ll notice it not only screams courage and creativity, but is priced incredibly well so that patrons have the ability to try multiple dishes. Great job, Park & Co! We applaud you.

Additionally impressive is their drink menu. Just sayin’. Not only do they have plenty of great brewskis on tap, but their cocktail creations are fantastic; the mules are right on the money, and the jalapeño-infused vodka watermelon cocktail I ordered was exactly what I needed – refreshingly sweet & spicy. Of course, seasonality is going to play a part when ordering cocktails, so stop in and see what they’re mixing up! Happy Hour is from 2 – 6 pm Monday through Friday, and 11 pm until close each night, creating plenty of opportunity for you, friends, and co-workers.

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Jalapeño-Infused Vodka with any sort of sweet, refreshing juice is an awesome summer cocktail. Credit: Steve Mercer, SEPT 2013

I’m incredibly happy we found this place – it’s such a nice, chill atmosphere with friendly people – all enjoying and partaking in the same trendy, unique, and DELICIOUS dining experience. I suggest riding your bike, taking a cab, or walking if possible as parking can be limited on popular nights and weekends. There are plenty of spots to lock up your bicycle!

Stop in and check it out – play a little foosball while you’re at it. (Yes, they totally have a table!). Hope to see you there.

Steuben’s Food Service – A Classic Denver Eatery

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Outside signage on the side of the Steuben’s building – just added a touch of colors. Click on the picture to visit their Facebook page, and of course – like ’em! Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2013

A few weeks ago on a Saturday night, my friends and I were jonesin’ for a place with great food where we could sit, relax, eat dinner, and be merry. Up until this point, I’m not quite sure how many people had looked at me in horror, and with a high-pitched voice exclaimed, “WHAT? You haven’t been to Steuben’s???!!??” No more of that – I have visited and endured the famous, comfort-food eatery that is Steuben’s Food Service.

Steuben’s is situated at 523 E. 17th in Denver, on the corner of 17th and Pearl in an old auto-garage turned restaurant. The restaurant sports many areas to park (and lock up) both your bike and your car; however, with the popularity of this place I’d hands down suggest riding your bike. It can be tricky to find a spot to park on the weekend when everyone has the same idea as you to visit!

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Simple and beautiful table arrangements with a filling, great-tasting menu. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2013

What’s great about the Steuben’s experience is the fact that there’s something for everyone (kids included!). The menu is so diverse and does a great job of including new and old American comfort food favorites. Capturing regional influences, dishes are re-created from fan favorites all over the country, and provided for a moderate price here in Denver at Steuben’s. Favorites include shrimp and grits, mac n’ cheese, fried chicken, and (my extremely satisfying choice) a cayenne etouffee. For starters, we ordered up some steubie snacks – little fried pieces of meat topped with powdered sugar, paired with a delicious sauce that actually off-set the sweetness of the powdered sugar. Simply genius, fellas – simply. genius.

We sat inside, and unfortunately with the lighting, the pictures I took of our food were reluctant to provide real insight into Steuben’s awesome offerings; thus, I left them out. By the way, in addition to having indoor seating and bar seating, Steuben’s also provides a great patio, perfect for the weather we’ve been experiencing here in Denver. The ambience where we sat was nice, calming, home-like, and welcoming. I could definitely sit back, relax, and enjoy some great food – just what we were hoping for!

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Walking into Steuben’s to get some good eats! Click on the pic to visit Steuben’s Official Website Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2013

Don’t really have time to sit down and eat? No worries – they offer a take-out menu, food truck, and sell a Vesta cookbook! Not really hungry, but interested? Look up their episode on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives and see for yourself before you try it out.

Another awesome place to visit in Denver; go check it out this weekend when you have a hankering for something new. Quite sure you won’t be disappointed!

Ace Eat Serve- Asian Comfort Food & Ping Pong

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Ace Restaurant, situated at 501 E 17th Ave in Denver, CO. This shot doesn’t come close to doing the incredible porch justice, but you can make out the mist pretty well! Credit: Kirsten Ebey June 2013

You heard it right – Asian comfort food AND a dedicated Ping Pong (or Table Tennis) Hall reside at Ace Eat Serve Restaurant in Denver, CO. Add a bar and spacious outdoor patio with mist ducts along the rooftop edges, and you’ve got a feature-packed restaurant that’s perfect for numerous occasions such as hanging out, lunch with the family, or drinks after work.

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With so many faves, it’s so hard to choose just one! Or, two… or five. Click on the pic for Ace’s menu! Shawna Jones, pictured. Credit: Kirsten Ebey June 2013

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Pictured is the drink Ms. Shawna Jones ordered: Ace’s blackcherry soda and vodka. Credit: Kirsten Ebey June 2013

My friend, Shawna Jones, and I biked the 5 miles (roundtrip) to Ace on one of the hottest days we’ve had this summer, and sat out on the patio for lunch. First thing on our mind: cooling off. The falling mist was glorious, and checked that issue right off our list. Second thing on our mind: cocktails – that bike ride in the heat kind of wore us out, so in addition to water, we thought it best to order a tasty adult beverage.

While Shawna ordered a Vodka and ACE Blackcherry Soda (delicious, by the way- pictured right), I grabbed a Shiner Ruby, my favorite summer seasonal brewski that mixes grapefruit with ginger; also, what a great beer pairing for our upcoming feast.

The menu features a ton of Asian-style food favorites – dumplings, pork ramen, bibimbap, you name it. There are so many favorites listed that both Shawna and I ordered a total of five items to share – it’s THAT HARD TO CHOOSE. I had been to Ace one time previously and had an idea from that experience of what I just had to order: steamed vegetables (only $3 bucks for a heaping plateful of garlic- and ginger-infused, steamed veggies – that’s a steal!) and a Pork Bao Bun. Shawna ordered the Kalbi (Korean BBQ short beef ribs) and chicken dumplings. We both decided that since we were there, we really needed to just go for it, and ordered the vegetable potstickers as well – it was necessary. So, as mentioned earlier, a feast was had.

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Table sauces pictured: Black Bean Sauce (left) and Crisp Chili Oil (right). Click on the picture for a link to Ace’s Menu! Credit: Kirsten Ebey June 2013

We waited probably about 20 minutes, which is such great timing. Although Ace‘s dishes appear to be so simple, each dish has crazy, complex flavor. Paired with their two signature table sauces, you can’t go wrong: the Crisp Chili Oil sauce (my favorite – I dump it on everything) consists of dried red chilies, sesame oil, and textured vegetable Protein while the Black Bean Sauce consists fermented soy beans, chilies, dark soy, and garlic (info gathered from Ace’s Official Website).

Pictured top, and clockwise: Veggie potstickers, steamed veggies, and Pork Bao Bun. Credit: Kirsten Ebey June 2013

Of everything we ordered, I honestly can’t pick a favorite – everything was amazing, and adding the Crisp Chili Oil sauce adds a whole new twist, bringing out flavors of the dish you would not otherwise notice as well as serving as a great enhancement for very lightly marinated, steamed veggies. If I had to guess though, I would think that the short ribs have found an irreplaceable spot in Shawna’s heart. In addition to the amazing food, the ambience is so incredible – there’s a very large hall within the restaurant dedicated for Ping Pong enthusiasts everywhere. On their website, you can view the rules of the game, as well as spot openings for when you and your friend can grab a table. The outside patio is perfect for these summer months, with the cool mist making it incredibly refreshing and comfortable to sit in the partial sun. The menu is built for all ages – kids menu, drink menu with happy hour specials, dessert menu, and juice bar in addition to the lunch and dinner menus, of course. There’s no way to peg what type of person to bring, and for what type of occasion – Ace Restaurant is so versatile yet welcoming that it’s the perfect location for business lunches as well as a stop during your night on the town.

Pictured above: Korean Short Ribs (left) and Chicken Dumplings (right). Credit: Kirsten Ebey June 2013

There are plenty of places to park on the street, as well as bike racks available (remember your Ulock!). An extra bonus is being able to see your bike from the patio!

I hope you have the opportunity to stop and check out this great place; Ace Eat Serve is such a cool place to eat and hang out, and I can’t wait to go for my third time! There are so many places to eat in Denver, but sometimes you just find places that really resonate with you – Ace is definitely one of them. Go check them out! NOW.

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The amazing menu of Ace Restaurant. Credit: Kirsten Ebey June 2013 Click the picture to be taken to Ace’s menu!

 

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Watercourse Foods – Making Bellies Smile

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Watercourse Foods Menu (click picture for link) Credit: Kirsten Ebey May 2013

Let’s get something straight right off the bat: I am not a Vegetarian, but a self-proclaimed foodie. I love meat, and all the benefits / consequences it has to offer. I just don’t see myself crossing over to the Vegetarian world any time soon.

With that said, let me introduce you to one of my favorite restaurants in Denver: Watercourse Foods, a 100% Vegetarian Restaurant situated at 837 E. 17th Ave. Over the past decade, Watercourse Foods has grown from a breakfast and lunch only operation to a full blown restaurant (including breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and bakery, open 7 days per week. With a beer and wine license, Watercourse has the ability to run wicked drink specials you can pair with your meal, anytime – my favorite being their signature mimosa. Delicious!

Watercourse Foods includes indoor and outdoor seating, and provides plenty of opportunity to lock up your bike. Street parking is also available surrounding the restaurant, and usually isn’t too difficult to locate.

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Watercourse Food’s Portobello Po Boy with lemon caper aioli, french fries, and quinoa salad. Credit: Kirsten Ebey May 2013

My ultimate dish at Watercourse is the Portobello Po Boy. A native of Louisiana, I know my Po Boys, and let me tell you: this Vegetarian style Po Boy is the whip. Topped with cole-slaw and lemon or chipotle caper aioli on a kaiser roll, how can you go wrong? If that’s not enough, no worries – two sides of your choice complete the meal. To be honest, I clap every time it’s presented to me. it’s like Christmas.

Another favorite of mine is their Ho Ho Cupcake. I apologize for not having a picture to include because it’s the most glorious cupcake I’ve seen in a while. Chocolate genoche atop  a chocolate cupcake filled with cream. So simple, yet so much flavor. It took 3 of us and 5 minutes to tackle this monster.

Portioning of all plates, regardless of appetizer or meal, are fit for sharing. So, share the love of your delicious menu choices with your friends or family you bring to the restaurant, as everything is amazing. There is definitely no skimping on portions at Watercourse Foods!

Although it has been busy each time I’ve visited (late afternoon lunch, every time) and the restaurant is packed, I’ve never had to wait. I’m unsure of the wait times in the evening and morning, but would assume it would be quick due their vast seating arrangements (numerous table tops, outside seating, and the bar), their swift, attentive wait staff, and the magical way your food disappears from your plate minutes after receiving.

The ambience is cool and welcoming, which the wait staff compliments very well. The appearance of the food is amazing – I often find myself looking around at everyone’s plates, and wondering what they ordered so I can get it next time! For the time and energy Watercourse Foods puts into every dish, including utilizing fresh ingredients, I can’t believe that it is still affordable – everything is priced very well, which is great for such a unique, creative establishment.

Is your mouth watering yet? Need a late afternoon snack? Head on down. 🙂 Support local restaurants, and make your belly smile.

Tacos, Tequila, and Whiskey – Yes, please!

Honestly, I ask you – what else do you need from a modern, Mexican eatery? Not only is the food outrageously good, the wait staff is incredible within this dim, but welcoming, restaurant.

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Lengua (left) and Pollo (right) street tacos served at the restaurant. Credit: Kirsten Ebey June 2013

Inspired by “comida de la calle” or, Mexican Street Food, Pinche Tacos brings the street taco to a whole new level, serving up perfectly portioned favorites like pollo (chicken), carne (beef), carnita (pork), and new faves, like lengua (beef tongue). Served on two small tortillas, the tacos are ordered from what looks like a tapas-inspred menu, complete with appetizers like the mouth-watering queso fundido con tequila (see picture below).

Personally, working in the Food & Beverage industry, I have my eyes peeled for a few things: righteously-flavored food with a presentation, a waitstaff that could either be my new best friend or I barely notice (depends on the scale of restaurant being visited), and a cool ambience. Pinche’s Tacos (yes, for all of my Spanish-speaking friends, that’s the real name) delivers all three, and makes it look effortless.

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Queso Dip at Pinche Tacos – credit: Kirsten Ebey June 2013

Because of this (and building / seating constraints), wait times can, and most likely will, exceed 45 minutes during peak times (weekends, dinner); this should NOT stop you from visiting either the Highlands location, or the Capital Hill location on York. Grab a drink at the bar! There is an indoor dining area complete with bar in addition to outdoor patio seating featured at the York location (closest to where I live – have not checked out Highlands yet). Also, for all of our bike lovers here in Denver, there are ample, secure places to lock up your bike (again, I speak for York). Don’t feel like stopping by and sitting down? No worries – they have their own food truck! Hunt them down.

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Pinche Limeade credit: Kirsten Ebey – May 2013

If you’re concerned about who to bring – don’t be. Pinche Tacos is appropriate for all ages. The 21+ crowd will definitely enjoy the Happy Hour menu. I strongly recommend the Pinche Limeade, and look forward to trying their other signature drinks. Shouldn’t be too difficult as members of the DenverSpeax crew roll into Pinche’s every week.

Hope to see you there! Cheers and Happy Eats.

 

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