Wednesday, August 17, 2005

summer tour 2005:second communique:denver, colorado

we're currently in denver, staying in a hotel that we'd never in a million years be able to afford if not for a minnesota rent rebate and the recent sale of a very troubled automobile. we took the free 16th street mall hybrid bus to the capitol, and from there it was only a short walk (on a cold summer night) to watercourse foods.

first of all, if it's all the same with you, i'd like to bust out of any sort of chronology here and say...holy shit, there are certain people whom i would kill if it meant i ended up with the recipe for watercourse's banana cheesecake, which, surprise, is vegan. now, i should let you know, i have had varied experiences with the amorphous delicacy known as vegan cheesecake. worst case scenario: sour tofu taste throughout. best case: watercourse's banana goodness, complete with carmelized pecans. quite possibly the best vegan dessert i've ever eaten, hands down. also, since we're throwing chronology to the wind here, let me add to this post weeks later that we also tried the boston cream pie and the strawberry shortcake cheesecake. all of watercourse's desserts are vegan, and, near as i can tell, they're all the best vegan desserts anyone has ever eaten. no shit.

but that's not what we had first. i ordered the jerk spiced tofu, and while i've never had authentic jamaican jerk spiced chicken, i have to say that the jerk spiced tempeh that i've made at home (recipe forthcoming - let me get home and figure out which cookbook it's in) was more exciting. i think that watercourse's version lacked complexity. it was too sweet, which wasn't helped by the addition of raisins atop the deep fried brick of tofu (which, i have to say, was fried to perfection). maybe there wasn't enough of an onion presence, i don't know. whenever i make it i'm in tears because of the onions in the food processor, but i'm kind of a sissy-ass motherfucker, so you be the judge. don't get me wrong, it was good, just not as exciting as i'd hoped. the charbroiled sweet potato was a pretty great addition, though.

my wife ordered the seitan fajitas, one of my favorite dishes at evanston, illinois' blind faith cafe. unfortunately, the refried beans were a bit bland, and there was the mysterious omission of hongos (mushrooms), but the seitan was out of this world, so i guess that makes it okay. one thing, though...what's up with healthy-type places serving brown rice with fajitas? that's not what brown rice is for, dudes.

i guess before i discuss our return breakfast trip, i'd like to speculate that maybe the higher altitude messes with one's constitution...i drank one beer, twelve measly ounces, before heading out to watercourse, and felt silly just from that. when i drank the st. brigid's porter and part of my wife's awful raspberry beer (both from great divide), i felt extra silly. messed up, even, if only a little. it's gotta be the altitude, right?

so yes, we returned for breakfast, mostly because of that amazing cheesecake (which we ordered more of to go the next morning), but also because we liked watercourse. the atmosphere was comfy and spacious, with no awkward or annoying hippy vibe about the place. we even liked the art, and usually restaurants, especially the vegan friendly variety, have horrible artwork hanging on the walls.

we both ordered mimosas because we're on vacation, and i ordered the amsterdam hash, which was a combination of turmeric-intensive tofu, really good gravy, and a whole mess of vegetables (potatoes being the most prevalent). my wife ordered a similar dish, the biscuits and gravy, which came arrived with a pile of the yellow tofu (if you've ever had a tofu scramble you know what i'm talking about) on the side.

watercourse turns out some wonderful breakfast food, which is why, i suppose, they were packed. i think there was something like a thirty minute wait for a table. here's the thing, though. we were very hungry, and thus prone to crankiness and insecurity, and then to be surrounded by hipsters waiting, like us, for a table, should have been intimidating or off-putting or something, but it wasn't. everyone seemed very down-to-earth, a quality that denver seemed to have in spades. we walked around the neighborhood, stopped in a jewelry shop next door, and i scanned the bike racks for a circle a i had seen the night before (no luck).

in the end, i have to say, denver is a pretty friendly town, watercourse foods is a municipal treasure, and if we'd known that a landslide in idaho springs was going to trap us right outside of denver on the freeway for six hours, maybe we would have spent another day in the mile high city.

2 Comments:

Blogger mmmeat said...

"We both ordered mimosas because...[insert totally unnecessary excuse here]."

Melissa's depression cake, or rather Depression Era cake, sorry, is surely the best vegan anything I've ever had. Did the bananacheesewondercake beat that? Are you sure you want to say that in front of your wife?

Juliana and plants still live.

Smooch from back home,

Steph

3:36 PM  
Blogger the surly vegan said...

look, i like cake, especially the kind that doesn't take very long to make (war cake, recipe forthcoming), but melissa was with me, and i'm certain she would agree that the bananacheesewondercake surpasses anything either of us have ever made (remember, steph, i'm in charge of the frosting) or eaten.

thanks for watching feline and fauna.

-the s to the v

8:54 PM  

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