Penny Parker On The Town: Chef Gordon Ramsay is keeping it real in Denver

Gordon Ramsay, the chef who puts the terror into every restaurant owner, returns for a sixth season as he treks across the  country to help struggling restaurants keep their businesses above water (and in some cases cockroaches, rats, etc).

When all seems to be in desperate despair, the restaurant owners turn to Ramsay and his team for one last hope before having to shut their doors. Many of these restaurants are beyond repair, leaving Ramsay to  face a nearly impossible task. Some will close their doors, others will  get back on their feet, but all are calling on Chef Ramsay to wake them  up from their “Kitchen Nightmares,” airing at 7 p.m. Mondays on Fox-31.

You’ll have chances to view local operations when Ramsay’s “Kitchen Nightmares” makes two stops in the Denver metro area this month. The kitchen commander will visit Pantaleone’s on Friday, and Old Neighborhood in Arvada Saturday through Tuesday. Be afraid, be very afraid!

The Old Neighborhood has been an Arvada institution since 1980, serving a diverse menu of American, Mexican, Italian, French, Asian and even Cajun-inspired foods. Owners Alexa and Randy Kowalczyk are sure to be in for a test from Ramsay when it comes to Old Neighborhood’s gigantic menu.

Pantaleone’s is a pizza and pasta restaurant at 2120 South Holly in south Denver. Mr. On The Town and I visited Panteleone’s 10 years ago or so for a story he was writing on Denver’s best pizza and we left unimpressed. Still, many have raved about the pizza and pasta place owned by Pete and Paulette Fafalios.

Best of luck to both restaurants!

Owners of Arvada's the Old Neighborhood restaurant, Randy and Alexa Kowalczyk, will get a visit from chef Gordon Ramsay for his Fox network reality series, "Kitchen Nightmares." (Photo courtesy of oldneighborhoodrestaurant.net)

Owners of Arvada’s the Old Neighborhood restaurant, Randy and Alexa Kowalczyk, will get a visit from chef Gordon Ramsay for his Fox network reality series, “Kitchen Nightmares.” (Photo courtesy of oldneighborhoodrestaurant.net)

 

American Ninja

Am I the only weirdo who watched “American Ninja” on 9News on Monday? Why? Because they filmed the segment in Denver a few blocks from my condo, but I knew nothing about it.

The host is Matt Iseman, a Denver native. Iseman even talked about how happy he was to be back in his hometown during the show. The show is entertaining in the fact that it’s fiercely competitive while these folks compete in crazy stunts that defy all odds of gravity.

The show is continuing at 7 p.m. Mondays. Rich Grant, the spokesmodel for Visit Denver, told me that the crew filmed all through the night roughly five weeks ago.

The show was shot in Civic Center Park and really highlights downtown Denver in the dark.

One the tryout episodes for NBC's reality series, "American Ninjas," was shot in Denver's Civic Center Park. (Stevie Crecilius photo)

One the tryout episodes for NBC’s reality series, “American Ninjas,” was shot in Denver’s Civic Center Park. (Stevie Crecilius photo)

 

Wicket and stick It

Denver’s premier croquet tournament returns to Cherry Creek on Aug. 2 when 60 teams compete on the outdoor plaza behind Elway’s restaurant.

Up for grabs is the Wicket and Stick It silver cup or in the individual categories which include best dressed, best hat and best wicket shot.

Professional croquet master Ron Eccles and his team of croquet referees will be on hand to provide instruction and insider tips. Prized categories include top three teams, best dressed team, best dressed male and female, best hat male and female and best wicket shot.

Players and spectators receive drink and food tickets for a variety of beverages to enjoy as well as morsels from restaurants including Brio Tuscan Grille, Opus Restaurant & Aria Wine Bar, California Pizza Kitchen, Kona Grill, Patxi’s and a goody bag.

Tournament time is from 2 to 9 p.m. Aug. 2 at 2500 E. First Ave. General admission is $35 in advance or $40 at the door, which includes two drink tickets and a goody bag.

VIP spectator tickets are $60 in advance or $70 at the door. The ticket includes unlimited drinks, VIP check-in, exclusive seating, personal beverage service and a goody bag.

To reserve tickets, go to http://ezregister.com/events/7380/.

This just in from EaterDenver

TAG Burger Bar is in the planning stages of a second location in northwest Denver, bordering the Highland neighborhood. The casual burger joint led by chef Troy Guard now operates in Congress Park at 12th and Madison. A second location is planned in the former Subway Tavern & Pizzeria Longo’s space  at 38th and Lipan (3759 Lipan Street).

The Larimer Associates, which owns TAG Burger Bar, acquired the family-owned restaurant in September when Longo’s closed its doors after 52 years in business. A massive remodel is planned for the 3,000 square foot space starting early September. Considering the age of the restaurant and lack of upgrades in recent years, Larimer Associates decided to gut it and start over with a remodel project that will likely take six months.

Eavesdropping on a group riding in rush-hour traffic in south Denver: “That guy is driving awful fast. Wonder what’s his hurry?”

“He probably wants to get home in time to watch ‘Jeopardy.’ ”

Did you hear that I have a new column, “Mile High Life,” in Colorado Community Media’s 17 weekly newspapers circling Denver? Be sure to like my Facebook page! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I’m now the social-media liaison for the Mile High Chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association, so read my latest restaurant news there. My email: penny@blacktie-llc.com.

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