Nothing evokes the American summer more than good old burgers and dogs, nearly synonymous with fireworks, pool parties and those oh-so-painful sunburns. In celebration of nearing summer, here are a few of the lesser-known Denver eateries devoted to these summertime staples.
But be warned, they certainly aren’t your grandmother’s typical Fourth of July barbecue fare, as they are composed with bizarre toppings, unique buns and exotic meats.
Location: 2730 Colfax Ave.
Gotta Try: Hand-dipped Chorizo Corn Dog
Started by three Boston College grads with some cash and a good Swiss sausage recipe, the CBber Sausage is definitely worth a trip down Colfax.
Everything on the menu hosts a unique batch of flavors that mix inexplicably well together (like berry chipotle sauce and queso fresco on the same dog). You really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, though they certainly dare you to try. If you can eat everything on CBber Stand’s menu in one sitting, you win a $100 gift card, and, of course, enough sausage in one sitting to leave the gift card in your closet for months.
Location: 2148 Larimer St.
Gotta Try: Rattle Snake-Pheasant Sausage and the Deep Fried Mac and Cheese
Not a comfortable place for the picky eater, Biker Jim’s slings up exotic sausages ranging from wild boar to Alaskan Reindeer. A great joint to grab a dog and some suds before a Rockies game, the place oozes with greasy, meaty goodness. With the option to dress your treats with toppings liked grilled cactus or cream cheese, Biker Jim’s is a whole different animal.
Location: 101 Broadway Ave.
Gotta Try: Perrito Caliente
El Diablo is an authentic Mexican cocina and tequileria, but what lands it on this list is a late-night menu item that adds a whole new meaning to the word sinful. Served only after 11 p.m. (probably because it’s cholesterol levels are frowned upon in daylight), El Perrito Caliente (hot dog) is a Mexican-style cheese-filled dog heaped with pinto beans, sour cream and pickled jalapeCB1os – and of course wrapped in bacon for caloric solidarity.
This Mexico-meets-the-US sensation is certainly worth a late-night trek down Broadway. And, at only $4 bucks a pop, these weenies are a college budget’s best friend.
Location: 1890 Pearl St.
Gotta Try: Ahi Tuna Burger & Parmesan Truffle Fries
While Park Burger may not necessarily be a secret to many Pioneers, those who haven’t yet visited or heard about this classic burger joint should learn soon.
Nestled cozily in a neighborhood that would put Ozzie and Harriet to shame, the atmosphere of the restaurant, mixed with its decadent shakes, fries and topped off with all-organic burgers, is a true hit.
Every burger seems to be just the right size and char, slapped between two toasted potato buns and piled with fresh vegetables. Coupled with Park Burger’s solid beer selection, how could you possibly go wrong?
Location: 3982 Limelight Ave., Castle Rock,
Gotta Try: The Luther – just to say you did
More of a chef’s evil burger laboratory than a restaurant, Crave offers more insane burger concoctions than anywhere on the Front Range.
You need a mouth bigger than most small buckets to cram these creations down your gullet, but if you can manage that, or succumb to a fork and knife, prepare for beefy nirvana.
Crave’s website is certifiable food porn, and any place that serves a burger, bacon and fried egg slapped between two honey-glazed doughnuts is definitely worth a 25-minute drive.