Thursday, May 22, 2008

City Grille

City Grille, Denver
Burgers and beer in the shadow of Denver's Capitol building

"Best Burgers in Denver," shouts the sign out front in big, bold letters. That's what our friends had used to entice us to City Grille, a small burger joint on Colfax Ave. and Grant, just northeast of the Capitol building. Upon entering, we saw that City Grille also has the best green chili in Denver and the best fries in Denver. Some say they have the best burgers anywhere!

It's a true "bar and grill." All of the testimonials decorate the bar area, where you wait for a host to take you back into the restaurant section. Somewhat more brightly lit, but with the same cozy old-wood feel, the restaurant offers booths and tables, and four TVs for sports fans who don't want to sit at the bar.

The menu's pretty basic. There are pastas and salads, but why would you look at any area but the burgers? You can get some specialty burgers, like the elk burger, which comes with its own trimmings, but most of the burgers are just basic patties: you choose the cheese. For a dollar, you can add bacon or mushrooms; for a buck and a quarter, you can add guacamole. Mark and I split the turkey burger, a double-decker that comes with a yogurt-dill topping, and a buffalo burger, to which we added mushrooms. We also got a couple salads and a cup of the famous green chili, a dish which is surprisingly rare in California.

We had fun chatting with the server, who was casual and friendly and didn't hesitate to recommend the turkey burger over the elk burger. He was knowledgeable and patient with us, and kept an eye on our drinks as they dwindled.

The green chili came first. Not having sampled the rest of Denver's green chili offerings, we can't attest to the "best of Denver" label, but it was pretty darn good chili. The pork was nice and tender, and the spices lingered without being too hot for me. It was the consistency of a stew, creamy and thick enough to eat with a fork. We spooned some of it onto the provided tortilla (warm and soft, a tasty flour tortilla) and saved some to put on the buffalo burger. We vowed to track down the recipe so we could bring it back home.

The burgers arrived in plastic baskets with fries, except for my buffalo burger, which arrived with mixed greens on a plate. They were cooked as we'd ordered them, the meat fresh and the buns soft with a light egg glaze on them. The green chili went very well on the buffalo with the mushrooms, but then, so did ketchup and mustard (my favorite burger topping). We have a great experience of turkey burgers, and these were among the better ones we've had. Both of the thin patties had a good grilled flavor, with the yogurt-dill complementing them well. The fries, too, were delicious: thin and crispy and hot. Mark ate about half of his before even thinking to pick up his burger.

We'll have to eat many more meals in Denver to confirm the "best of" labels, but we feel comfortable calling them the "best so far." And we're in Denver so infrequently that it'll be hard not to just keep going back to City Grille.


Kroh said...

it really is the best "denver-style" green chili you can find...glad to hear you liked it. now, did you happen to get the recipe???

Anonymous said...

I've been trying to get this recipe for years. So, did you get the recipe?