Your Local Watering Hole – The Elm

Walking into The Elm on Colfax brought me back a few months – back to a time when I frequented my local watering hole in Grand Rapids, Michigan: The Playstation Pub. Visiting always guaranteed good company, cheap drinks, and a ridiculously good time. Nicely enough, I felt this same genuine and welcoming vibe from The Elm the first time myself and 3 girlfriends had dinner and drinks there.

This homey, casual bar is comfortably situated at 5001 E. Colfax, on the corner of Colfax and Elm, in the Park Hill neighborhood.

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On the corner of Elm & Colfax – check out the Elm’s awesome porch! Click on the picture to check out the Elm’s website, where this fabulous picture actually came from. Thanks, Elm! Credit: The Elm Official Website, Aug 2013

Not only does the Elm have a bad ass patio, but the inside bar is also perfect to watch the game, enjoy happy hour after work with friends, or get together for lunch or dinner (like the ladies and I did).

The Elm provides a plethora of creative burgers and sandwiches, making each meal memorable. Also, everything is so moderately priced that you don’t have to save your pennies in order to visit frequently. Check out the epic meals the ladies and I devoured (with a couple of brews, of course!):

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The Elm’s Pulled Pork sandwich; delicious with coleslaw on top! Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2013.

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Amazing Reuben sandwich! Obviously, the Elm doesn’t skimp on the meat and other ingredients. Credit: Ashley Rentz, July 2013

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Quite sure you’ll leave The Elm full. If not, there’s something wrong with you, or you’re a competitive eater. Click on this pic to be brought to The Elm’s killer specials page. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2013

There’s room in the back, or on the street, for parking, but we always like to encourage bike riding. There are plenty of spots available to lock up your bike, so why not ride it?

Stop in at The Elm – grab a delicious burger, and slam a brew with some friends. Football season is almost underway, and I can guarantee the DenverSpeax crew will be in attendance at The Elm rallying for our fave teams across the US. Hope to see you there.

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.