Dishcrawl Denver: Cap Hill Edition

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Visiting Central Bistro in LoHi on our last Denver Dishcrawl. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

It’s time for another Dishcrawl, Denver style. This time around, we’ll be exploring  good eats in the Capital Hill area, starting off with City O’ City, a great eatery we’ve heard a TON of great things about, but haven’t been to yet. Starting at 7 pm, we’ll stroll around Cap Hill, lead by our fearless leader, Maggie, and hit a bunch of restaurants that are a MYSTERY until arriving at the meet up place.

Check out Dishcrawl Denver to sign up for the 30th event and others coming up. If you’re vegetarian, just make sure you let them know when you sign up! Spread the word – this is a great way to get to know different communities, small businesses, and new people around Denver.

Check out our other features on the last Dishcrawl and a taste of what it’s all about: Stop 1: LoHi Tavern and Stop 2:BambuCycles.

Hope to see you there, friends!

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Denver Dishcrawl Stop 1: LoHi Steak Bar, A Gathering Place

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Check out the gathering space provided in the private room of LoHi Steak Bar! Click on the pic to be re-directed to the LoHi Steak Bar’s website to check out their menu, specials, and events going on. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

 

A gathering place, LoHi Steak Bar is centrally located on 32nd Ave & Tejon St. – right in the middle of all the LoHi (Lower Highlands Denver, for you newbies) action.

With an easy locale, a welcoming atmosphere, and a killer restaurant and bar menu, it’s easy to see why LoHi Steak Bar is an easy choice in LoHi.

The first stop on our Denver Dishcrawl, LoHi Steak Bar, accommodated our vast group in a private dining area. With name tags on our shirts signaling vegetarian or otherwise, dishes composed of their specialties were placed before us.

On other organized  “crawls”, it’s not uncommon to receive a dish or two crammed onto one, crowded plate; it’s also not uncommon to receive a well-versed speech regarding said crowded dish from some trainee who barely knows the joint.

LoHi sent out their best dishes and friendly, intelligent staff to go over the SEVERAL dishes they created and disbursed. Details of local ingredients and other facts of each dish were provided in advance of each plate devouring.

 

Check out the deliciousness LoHi Steak Bar prepared for the Crawl: 

First, we were provided button mushrooms stuffed with Polidori Sausage (a local Colorado company!). Lemon was provided to be squeezed over the mushrooms, adding an incredibly tangy flavor to the hearty plate. Well done, LoHi… well done. Also pictured is a fantastic Moscow Mule in the proper, copper mug. Just a friendly, DenverSpeax reminder – if it doesn’t come in a copper mug, it’s not real. Write that down.

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We have a weakness for Moscow Mules – it’s true… And, stuffed mushrooms? Let’s just call this photo “Heaven”. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

 

Next, we’re presented with “not your average” Hummus PlateLoHi uses fresh ingredients to concoct a thick, creamy Hummus with olives and red pepper. DenverSpeax feels there’s a fine art in creating your own house Hummus, especially when it tastes as great as their’s (and when you’ve tried countless times at home, each ending in failure…)! Great starter for your table of friends.

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LoHi Steak Bar’s Homemade Hummus. Click on the photo to check out this, and other, menu items. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

Here we go – the pride and joy of Stop #1 at LoHi Steak Bar – the vegetarian Portobello Sandwich (made especially for the Dishcrawl) and the House Ground Chuck Hamburger. Both were exceptionally prepared: juicy, fully dressed, and flavorful. There wasn’t the slightest hint of stuffy or dull – just two classics that delivered nothing short of satisfaction. Oh! Their seasoned, crispy House Frites were fantastic as well, and served as a welcomed and complimenting, over-indulgent side.

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Mmmm…..portobello sandwich. How we love thee! Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

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For all of the carnivores out there, this one’s for you. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

As if all of this weren’t enough, LoHi went ahead and dished out creamy, delicious Cheesecake as well! Sorry, this went too fast for the camera to keep up – our sincere apologies.

Please keep in mind that this was only Stop #1 of 4 on the Denver Dishcrawl, folks. We understand that at this time you must REALLY be kicking yourself for not attending. We get it, and luckily there are more Dishcrawls coming up in Denver. Make sure you stop by the Dishcrawl site to check out the next events, and secure you & your friends’ spots. Even though we’re only one stop in to this magical, dish crawl blogging journey, I’m sure you’re understanding the great value and experience Dishcrawl.com is prepared to provide us all.

Not only does Dishcrawl bring us together within our beloved Denver community, it introduces us to great gathering spots, like LoHi Steak Bar. I think Maggie said it best when describing our first stop as a “non-stuffy” place; we agree that LoHi Steak Bar is perfect for relaxing and hanging out with those who mean the most. Check out their events, specials, and menus on their site. Also, make sure you invite us to your food fest – it hasn’t even been a week, but we’re ready for more mushrooms, burgers, and frites!

 

DenverSpeax First Dishcrawl: Denver

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Annelise, our newest writer for DenverSpeax standing next to some impressive, and exclusive, bamboo bikes at our second stop on the Dishcrawl. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

Last Wednesday, Annelise and I (Kirsten) went on a foodie adventure via Dishcrawl Denver. We visited four, happening spots that each displayed the true meaning of communal and friendly gathering, while also providing a flexible and fun environment to try their specialty dishes. Let’s be honest – it was a foodie’s paradise.

From portobello sandwiches to salted, oreo ice cream – we indulged in much of what LoHi has to offer in the arena of “good eats”… in only a few hours’ time. We also got to meet a ton of new friends from various industries, all calling themselves “foodies” as well! Food + New Friends = Can’t Go Wrong.

Maggie, our Dishcrawl ambassador, did a fantastic job of highlighting not only the specialties, but also the contributions to the community of each stop. We mowwed down on meat and vegetarian dishes alike, and are proud to bring you the low down on all that is good in LoHi in these next few features.

Stay tuned for our upcoming, exclusive features on each stop of the Denver Dishcrawl in LoHi. Not only did we find new mouth-watering eats, but also small businesses that are strengthening our Denver community in very unique way.

Make sure you check out Dishcrawl and pencil in the Denver dates on your calendar. With the combination of great food, fun, and new friends, it’s just silly not to be there.

Quick Colfax Pub Crawl: Three Lions, Sancho’s Broken Arrow, and Cheeky Monk

With the nice weather coming, we feel it’s important to create fun and safe Bicycle Pub Crawls. Yesterday, Jeff and I (Kirsten) set out to visit a few pubs on Colfax, and ended up riding 7 miles round trip while visiting. Check out the highlights of our three stops!

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Jeff representing Detroit underneath the Detroit street sign; first stop was Three Lions on Colfax. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

Stop #1: The Three Lions: A World Football Pub

We’ve been hooked on this Football (or, soccer) pub since last summer when we experienced a bus trip from the place to see The Colorado Rapids.

Three Lions is all things Football, have a variety of great beers, and some killer appetizers. Bonus, their patio out front sports a few fantastic picnic tables so you can enjoy the sun and your brew simultaneously!

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Stop #2: Sancho’s Broken Arrow on Colfax. Pictured: Jeff & Kirsten (above). Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

Stop #2: Sancho’s Broken Arrow – A Thinking Place

Sancho’s is another place we really enjoy – who can’t with all of the Grateful Dead parafanalia, pool tables, and ridiculous specials. 2 for $3 Coors Light drafts yesterday? Don’t mind if we do! We also made a friend from Wisconsin who had stopped in before going to finish up some errands. There are always friendly people at Sancho’s with interesting stories to tell. Stop in and say hi.

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Jeff introduced me to Kwak at The Cheeky Monk! Pictured: Jeff, Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

Stop #3: The Cheeky Monk Belgian Beer Cafe

Yesterday was my first time at the Cheeky Monk. Jeff introduced me to a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, Pauwel Kwak. A heavily fruity beer, there was a brief banana after-taste – something new! Try it out – it gets great ratings, and is served all fancy-like. In addition to the Kwak, we also had some tasty frites (fries) served with a garlic aioli as well as delicious pretzel bites served with a spicy mustard. Specific appetizers were half off while we visited – check out the Cheeky Monk online to see when they host happy hour and other specials.

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Delicious garlic frites with a garlic aioli on the side. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

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Pretzel bites – delicious! Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

There you have it – a mini pub crawl on Colfax Ave with 3 great locations. We look forward to planning more of these epic excursions to explore more brews and good eats around the city.

Where should we go next? Let us know in the comments below, or on our Facebook page!

Exploring the Highlands – Seafood Landing

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Seafood Landing has a great selection of seafood, and is located right in the heart of the Highlands on 32nd Ave. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Feb 2014

Remember a few months back when we explored The Highlands and visited places like Vert Beauty & The Matador? We also visited this fantastic seafood shop located at 3457 W. 32nd Ave called Seafood Landing. Open since 1974, the staff over at Seafood Landing really know their stuff, and carry an incredible selection. With the help of Seafood Landing, we can now make a May 2014 Crawfish Boil actually happen right here in DENVER!

When speaking with the staff, we learned that the original owners of Seafood Landing actually brought seafood to Colorado about 25 years ago – we’d say that’s quite the incredible feat, and deserves to be recognized.

Seafood Landing not only sells a great variety, they also have spices, cookbooks, and other novelties to help you do it right – this is definitely a plus! Not sure what spice or recipe to follow for your purchase? Ask them! They’re happy to help make your experience enjoyable in any way possible.

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We are big fans of the spices on display in this fisheye pic! Check out their marinades and spices to keep your seafood delicious and exciting. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Feb 2014

The Omega-3 found in fish oil is fantastic for your health! Looking to lower blood pressure and help out your heart? Fish! Trying to figure out a way to burn fat faster? Pick a day or two of the week and eat fish instead of red meat as your protein. The benefits are plenty – good thing we have Seafood Landing to help us out! Stop in and say hi – check them out and support local business that supports your health.

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Colfax Ave’s Goosetown Tavern

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Watching the game at Goosetown Tavern. Click on the picture to visit their Facebook page! Make sure you like ’em! Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Jan 2014

Last Friday, we stopped into Goosetown Tavern, located in our neighborhood on Colfax. A few of the Denverspeax crew directed us here because of the relaxed atmosphere, great staff, and delicious food. We sat at the bar, watched the New Orleans Saints pound the Philadelphia Eagles, and devoured the most delicious nachos in the universe. Oh, you think I’m joking?

Seriously.

Best. Damn. Nachos. Ever.

But we’ll get to that- let’s talk about the place for a second. Like I mentioned, it’s located on Colfax, between York and Colorado Blvd. Finding parking can be like a scavenger hunt, but because the Cleaners / Laundromat located next door was closed, we decided we more than likely wouldn’t be towed if we parked in their parking lot. Across the street from Goosetown Tavern on Colfax, there’s metered parking, and better luck down the side-streets as well. This will definitely be a location we ride our bikes to once the snow clears up! Goosetown is open 7 days per week, 11 am – 2 am for your visiting pleasure.

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Nice view from in front of the bar. Click on the picture above to be redirected to their website! Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Jan 2014

In addition to a creative, daily Happy Hour, each day having a naming convention inclusive of some fantastic punk band, Goosetown also provides an eclectic menu, trivia night, and random events / parties. Sitting right across the street from the Bluebird Theater, Goosetown is a perfect place to catch a drink and meet up with friends before and after the show. Another plus: pool tables!

Everyone we came into contact with at Goosetown was friendly; it was super easy to hold a conversation with the guys and gals that worked there. We all chatted about football, traveling, music… Not for a second did anyone put off that “I’m cooler than you” vibe. You know the one I’m talking about, right? Everyone’s felt it before. Nope – not at this place!

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Try out the Southern Pork Nachos at Goosetown – click on the picture to see the menu. Credit: Steve Mercer, Jan 2014

Now, let’s get to the food. If you haven’t checked out Goosetown’s menu, please do – there are so many interesting dishes; some of which utilizing home-made sausage! From Potato Cheese Pierogis to Southern Pork Nachos, there are so many good choices that it makes it difficult to order just one thing. We opted for the Southern Pork Nachos, consisting of shredded, barbeque pork atop tri-colored tortilla chips. Add shredded, cheddarjack cheese, fresh jalapeños, and ‘slaw and you’ve got yourself mouth-watering, deliciously-crafted Southern Pork Nachos. Two of us wiped out an order in under 10 minutes, and needed another.

Make sure you visit Goosetown Tavern, a local establishment providing much love to the city of Denver. Great for watching a football game, meeting before/after a show at the Bluebird, or to relax and shoot some pool. Hope to see you there, Denver!

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Exploring the Highlands – The Matador

The Highlands of Denver is a place we haven’t ventured to very much as of yet; but last Friday, we changed that! Denverspeax decided it was time to go on our first, dedicated Highlands adventure. This is where we found a quaint, down-to-Earth part of town chocked full of thriving, small businesses. Our first stop was for lunch at The Matador, located at 32nd Ave in the Highlands.

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Warm and Inviting, the Matador in the Highlands. Fisheye lens. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Dec 2013

The Matador was one of the places we visited, and, boy, we’re glad we did! Like we were regulars, the bartender greeted us immediately as we walked in. Sitting at the bar, he helped us with drinks, suggested chips and salsa for a starter, and grabbed menus for us to peruse as soon as we sat down.

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Homemade chips and salsa at Matador. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Dec 2013

In addition to the appetizer, Steven and I purchased a Carnitas Taco Plate to split; the meal included two tacos on flour tortillas with shredded pork, shredded romaine, garlic sour cream, and Guajillo chili sauce along with large portions of black beans, rice, and spicy pico de gallo for added spice and flavor. We were told that their tortillas are one of the only products that are not made in house, from scratch.

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Carnitas taco plate from the Matador – check out other mouth-watering, Tex-Mex cuisine by clicking on the picture above to be taken to their menu! Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Dec 2013.

True to the Tex-Mex style of cuisine, both American and Mexican influence is present within their Carnitas. The burst of garlic in the sour cream compliments the sweet and tangy shredded pork; the chili sauce grouped with the pico adds that Mexican kick, welcoming a cold, limed and salted Pacifico on draft. Steve and I split the above plate, and were completely stuffed. We cleared the entire thing, and honestly, could have stopped there…but we found ceviche listed in the appetizers section of the menu. Please note, if ceviche is on the menu, we will order it. We gravitate to ceviche, and have to try any and everyone’s!

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Delicious ceviche by Matador. Click on the picture to be brought to their menu! Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Dec 2013

The ingredients are so incredibly fresh, and grouped with the saltiness of the homemade chips makes for a fantastic pairing. We finished every tart, chunky bite while draining another bowl of chips.

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Check out the tequila bar – there are so many different premium bottles! Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Dec 2013.

Aside from great food, Matador offers a large variety of tequilas. Many of which are on display behind the bar, reflecting light from the sunshine outside. Sounds like a place for tequila connoisseurs, carrying over 120 superior tequilas.

Be sure to stop by and check the Matador. Whether you’re looking for a snack, a full meal, a tequila sampler, or just grabbing a beer in the neighborhood, The Matador will satisfy your craving. Check them out on Facebook to learn more.

Smokin Yard’s BBQ – High Fives All Around

Our friend Thomas started talking about Smokin Yard’s at approximately 7 am Saturday morning, and didn’t stop until we visited the place on the way home from Keystone. He continuously described what sounded like the best BBQ in Colorado, not leaving out a single, juicy detail. Because of my family ties and our time spent in the South, he needed to know what we (Steven and I) thought about it.

After a fun day skiboarding (some of us ski and some of us board – “skiboard”, pronounced “skuh-board”, originated in the Michigander from some silly friends, and just stuck), we drove through Idaho Springs to find Smokin Yard’s BBQ.

[Thomas]: Yeah, yeah… just keep driving through town until you feel like you’ve gone too far… Then, when you feel like you must’ve missed it, it’ll be on the left hand side of the street.

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Steve (left) and Thomas (right) showing the Smokin Yard’s pig some lovin’. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Dec 2013

He was right – there it was!

Located at 2736 Colorado Blvd, Idaho Springs, Colorado 80452, Smokin Yard’s is right off of i70 – perfectly situated on the way home from a day out on the mountain. As soon as you walk in, you notice the friendly environment and the low-key, easy-going staff. The inside wasn’t crowded, but you could immediately tell that they have their base of loyal, repeat customers. The menu is posted on the wall right when you enter, consisting of faves like different cuts of brisket, styles of pulled pork, and other smoked meats.

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Catfish Po’ Boy at Smokin Yard’s in Idaho Springs – click on the link to check out the full menu! Credit: Steve Mercer, Dec 2013

Right away, Steven noticed they had a Catfish Po Boy, and had to try it out. Thomas ordered up the pulled chicken on bun while I opted for pulled pork without a bun (in order to have enough room for the important part!).

Also featured on the Smokin Yard’s menu is a list of comfort sides, like french fries, cole slaw, baked beans, and mashed potatoes with gravy. We each picked a different side to go along with our respective meals, and a beer to wash it all down.

Our friend definitely wasn’t lying; the smell of the food made my mouth water, and the taste brought back memories of my home down south. There was nothing fancy about any of the meals served- just genuine, authentic Southern BBQ, cooked with the customer’s happiness in mind. When our server (and other staff) came by and asked how it was, we provided a round of high-fives to show our appreciation and admiration for the incredible job well done. We may or may not have gotten a little creepy with our gushing compliments.

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Pulled pork, mashed potatoes, and Smokin Yard’s three original sauces. Check out their menu by clicking on the picture. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Dec 2013

Three sauces are placed on each table: a sweet, a bold, and a spicy, all of which created by the geniuses at Smokin Yard’s. I doused all of my tender, pulled pork I had ordered in the bold sauce and enjoyed every minute of it. I would have totally licked the paper tray it came in, but wanted to keep some sort of composure in the restaurant.

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Pulled chicken and fries, pre-doused in sauce. Click on the picture to check out Smokin Yard’s website. Credit: Steve Mercer, Dec 2013

To be honest, we had a brief conversation regarding not posting about Smokin Yard’s strictly because it is so awesome. Of course, the conversation, like I said, was brief; the whole point of DenverSpeax is to get the word out about these fantastic places and celebrate the great job they do.

Smokin Yard’s is a place we will drive for. Check out the reviews on their website as well as their Facebook page if you don’t believe us – not only do they understand how to do BBQ right, they understand how to treat their customers by showing they truly care. Stop in next time you’re on the way home from shredding the mountain, or hop in the car and take a quick road trip to Idaho Springs. You won’t be sorry!

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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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