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Westword and food blogger Midson part ways

June 27, 2014

Lori Midson, a five-year foodie fixture at Westword has been let go from her job as the newspaper’s food blogger and Cafe Society editor.

Midson, a Colorado native, posted her split from Westword on her Facebook page Tuesday. Here’s what she said:

“As of today, I’m no longer with Westword. It’s been an absolutely amazing five years, and I can’t say enough about Westword editor Patty Calhoun, who gave me the opportunity of a lifetime when ‘The Rocky Mountain News’ closed. So many people have offered their love, support and encouragement – and I’m incredibly grateful for that. I’m immensely proud of what I’ve accomplished at Westword, and I encourage you all to continue to read – and support – the Cafe Society blog, the content of which is unparalleled. Thank you all – friends, chefs, restaurateurs, fellow writers, bartenders, colleagues, public relations professionals and everyone else -for making this journey such a pleasure. I live and breathe the restaurant life, and I have every intention of continuing to do just that.”

In addition to her Westword gig, Midson is an accomplished freelance writer for local and national magazines. She declined to elaborate further on the split.

Calhoun, Westword editor and founder said, “Lori is an asset to the scene and we wish her the best; we’re just going in a different direction with Cafe Society.”

On Midson’s Facebook page, competitors in Denver’s food-writing community, fans and chefs expressed their appreciation for Midson’s part in promoting Colorado’s restaurant community and encouragement for her future. Personally, Midson is a friend, and I wish her success in her future food endeavors.

Lori Midson, left, with On The Town columnist Penny Parker. (Facebook photo)

Lori Midson, left, with On The Town columnist Penny Parker. (Facebook photo)

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Taco tug-of-war on ‘best’ lists

May 7, 2014

It’s taco time on new “best” lists picked by www.Zagat.com, Westword (www.westword.com) and Food Network Magazine (www.foodnetworkmag.com).

According to Claire Martin’s Culinary Colorado blog, “Zagat.com’s latest best-of list is The Best Tacos in 15 U.S. Cities, of which Denver is one. Surprisingly Pinche Taqueria wasn’t it. Then again, (Zagat’s) winner was also Westword‘s 2013 honoree for Denver’s best tacos…

“Here’s what Zagat.com posted:

“Denver: Cochinita Pibil at La Calle Taqueria y Carnitas (1565 W. Alameda Ave).

“Why We Love It: Housed in a comfy little two-room cottage along the Valverde stretch of Alameda, this absolute gem gives new meaning to the word ‘sumptuous.’ We wholeheartedly recommend every taco on the menu, but since you’ve got to start somewhere, try the cochinita pibil – pork slow-roasted in citrus-achiote marinade…With one bite, the depth of its rich and tangy flavor seems almost boundless; slivers of pickled onion add sharp contrast should you want it, but the stew-thick mixture is perfect as is…

“Insider Tip: While the wall-mounted menus are entirely in Spanish, a printed menu at the order counter offers moderately helpful English translations.”

Here’s the link to the post: www.culinary-colorado.com/2014/05/01/denvers-top-tacos-at-la-calle/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+culinary-colorado+%28CulinaryColorado%29.

And for another opinion, Food Network Magazine’s May issue picks the best 50 tacos in 50 states. where Pinche Taqueria (1514 York St. and 3300 W. 32nd Ave.) and its pork belly taco is vindicated.

Food Network Magazine said, “Visitors drive from several towns away to dig into this pork belly taco: a thick slice braised in orange juice and vinegar, served with candied garlic and a side of dipping jus.”

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Five Star Burgers in Denver ceases to sizzle

May 5, 2014

The Five Star Burgers spot on 555 Broadway has bitten the bun.

The affable burger joint (great service, yummy food) suddenly shuttered last week, which Westword promptly reported.

Here’s the blog item: “The Five Star Burgers … had a lot going for it, even on the restaurant-heavy corner of Sixth and Broadway. The green chile on that big, fat cheeseburger featured real Hatch chiles. If that and the hand-cut fries didn’t fill you up, you could order deep-fried banana bread for dessert. There were even plans to book bands for live music on the patio. But the lights at Five Star Burgers have gone out.

“Five Star Burgers is owned by the Taos Restaurant Group, which also owns Old Blinking Light in Highlands Ranch and Taos, and has other Five Star locations scattered between New Mexico, Missouri … and metro Denver, where the spot at 2330 E. Arapahoe Road in Centennial is still open.

More at: http://blogs.westword.com/cafesociety/2014/05/five_star_burgers.php.

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There’s beer here in Denver, too, this weekend

April 18, 2014

All the talk may be about the 4/20 marijuana events this weekend, but there’s plenty of stuff to do for beer lovers, too.

Thanks to Westword for the head’s-up to beer-drinking events around the Denver area, including:

Friday, April 18: At Novo Coffee on Glenarm Street from 5 to 10 p.m. get the first taste of Kurt’s Mile High Malt, a German-style lager from the Wynkoop Brewing Company that was made with Ethiopian Anyetsu coffee from Novo. The beer is based on a family recipe late author Kurt Vonnegut gave to Wynkoop co-founder John Hickenlooper in the 1990s.

Saturday, April 19: John Turk‘s Colorado Craft Beer Show, broadcasting on AM 760, will celebrate its third anniversary today with a special show from noon to 2 p.m. at Lone Tree Brewing. … Trinity Brewing in Colorado Springs will host its annual Saison Farmhouse Rendezvous t noon. Tickets are $45 … BeerAdvocate’s Todd and Candice Alstrom will host their monthly get-together today at Avery Brewing in Boulder from 1 to 5 p.m. … The first BrüFrou beer and food pairing event will take place 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum in Lowry.

Read more at www.blogs.westword.com/cafesociety/2014/04/new_beers_from_wynkoop_station_26_and_copper_kettle.php.


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Bloody good bloody Mary at Punch Social

April 9, 2014

Punch Bowl Social gets bragging rights as this year’s winner of Westword, Editor’s Choice “Best Bloody Mary Bar.”

Punch Social lays out a spread that includes cured meats (bacon makes everything better!), pickled veggies, cheeses and all the sauces you could dream of all to load into a glass with their house-made bloody Mary mix.

You can give this meal-in-a-glass a try every Sunday for their DJ Brunch & Bloody Bar.  Brunch begins at 8 a.m. DJ starts spinnin’ at 11 a.m.

Punch Bowl Social is located at 65 Broadway.

pbs bloody bar

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Westword’s ‘Best of’ always a worthy read

March 28, 2014

Westword’s Best of Denver 2014 is out and, as always, it’s a fun read.

A few highlights … Best Dive Bar is Lakeview Lounge; Best Contemporary-Cocktail Bar is Williams & Graham; Best Late-Afternoon Happy Hour is Old Major; Best French Fries at Jonesy’s EatBar.

Sure to create controversy is Westword’s choice for Best Hamburger with the winner being new to the restaurant scene Humboldt Farm Fish Wine, located at the former site of Strings Restaurant.  Readers choice is Cherry Cricket.  As it should be.

Another hotly contested category is always Best Steakhouse.  And the winner is Elway’s Cherry Creek and Elway’s Downtown.  Reader’s choice: Capital Grille.

As usual, Westword has “unique” categories.  Best Mind-Altering Edibles That Don’t Contain THC: The Chocolate Therapist. Best Place to Contemplate Death With  Others: Denver Death Cafe.

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Colorado Restaurant Association’s annual awards recognizes dedicated restaurateurs

March 3, 2014

Nobody knows how to throw a party better than the Colorado Restaurant Association. So the annual Industry Spotlight Awards starting at 6 p.m. on April 21 at The Ritz-Carlton Denver promises to be a tasty time.

The evening, which includes fine food, will award deserving restaurant folks in various categories. They are:

Colorado Foodservice Hall of Fame: Spero Armatas – Sam’s No. 3, Denver; Blair Taylor (a personal favorite) – Barolo Grill, Denver; Dick Carleton – Mi Casa Mexican & Cantina and Hearthstone Restaurant, Breckenridge.

The Noel & Tammy Cunningham Humanitarian Award goes to Frank Day – Rock Bottom founder and principal of CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, Inc., U.S.

The Outstanding Professional Signature Dish Award goes to Patricia Calhoun (yes, one of my besties) – chief newshound and founder of “Westword”, Denver

Regional Outstanding Professional Signature Dish Award: Paul Ferzacca – La Tour Restaurant, Vail.

Exceptional Newcomer Signature Dish Award: Paul and Aileen Reilly – Beast + Bottle, Denver.

Philanthropist Signature Dish Award: Jensen Cummings – Heroes Like Us, Denver.

Reaching for the Stars “Knoebel” Award: Bob Sabina, Chili’s, Colorado.

Pinnacol Assurance Safety Award: Karen Kristopeit-Parker - The Fresh Fish Company, Denver.

Tickets? There’s an early-bird discount good through March 31. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to www.coloradorestaurant.com/cde.cfm?event=421690.

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Annual Western Stock Show tour takes a turn without its leader

January 17, 2014

On Wednesday, a dozen faithful folks gathered in the Cowboy Bar at the National Western Stock Show to toast the late Lew Cady, our former fearless leader who led us on our annual trek through the uniquely Western venue.

This was the first year that the group was “Lew-less” since he died last year.

“Unlike when Cady was there to ride herd, there was no attempt to drink 108 beers: A few could still remember the time he’d urged the group to drink 100 beers (collectively) when the Stock Show turned 100,” said Westword founder and editor Patricia Calhoun.

“Otherwise, many traditions continued: The ceremonial smuggling in of cheese as a snack item to augment the peanuts in the bar; the official walking around (first clockwise, then counterclockwise) to look at all the booths with items being sold in the Coliseum. Some new (we think) items: waffle on a stick and bamboo pillows.

“Some of us stayed around to watch mutton bustin’, when 40 little kids were put on the backs of sheep, then sent out into the arena. This is a ‘sport’ that got its start at the National Western Stock Show three decades ago, is now part of rodeos and state fairs around the country – and just might be the most sadistic export ever to come out of Colorado,” Calhoun said. “We estimate the number of kids who left the arena crying at 37 percent.”

To check out the rodeo schedule, go to www.nationalwestern.com.

Lew Cady, who died last August, missed his first  Nnational western Stock Show opening party last week.

Lew Cady, who died last August, missed his first National Western Stock Show opening party last week. And those attended missed Lew.


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Fashionistas will flock to Westword’s Whiteout Fashion Show

January 13, 2014

Westword‘s second annual Whiteout Fashion Show celebrates the season’s hottest fashions and Denver’s coolest designers from 7 to 10 p.m. Jan. 30 at the McNichols Civic Center Building, 144 W. Colfax Ave.

This signature Westword event mixes live music, fashion-forward vendors, signature cocktails and light bites in an evening that concludes with a curated runway show.

Tickets are $45 general admission; $75 for VIP exclusive runway seating. Tickets at http://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/412693?utm_medium=email&utm_source=WW&wrKey=EEBC903591FDE6E4AA4C5234D54842E3.


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