Root Down, Denver – Summer Food Drive 2012

We had planned a trip to Pinche Tacos (apologies if you are a Spanish speaker. It’s their name) in Denver with our colleagues and friends Chad and Danielle but Chad had already been to Pinche Tacos. Since they are Denver locals and since I had not eaten since Winslow, Az 30 something hours ago, I was persuaded to change the venue. I did insist that Chad pick someplace noteworthy and off-beat. He did not disappoint with Root Down. As he discussed it, early on a Sunday morning, Danielle opened her eyes and exclaimed “I’m up!, I’m up.” She wanted in too.

Even the name is off-beat. With a name like “Root Down” I imagined some kind of eclectic, skater-face-feed where the dudes munch down or root down on great food. It wasn’t that at all. In fact, it was kind of “Duh.”

With an Image the Meaning of Root Down is Obvious

Apparently Root Down is the kind of place where local ingredients like Radishes from the Pecos Street Community Garden are put to good, creative use.

Root Down Aims to Connect the Neighborhood to the Dining Experience

Even the architecture of the building screams creativity.

Comfy & Quirky; and Perfect in Denver

We had a 40 minute wait but were not disappointed with our meals. After a bit of the bottom-less Blood Orange Mimosas (virgin for me), we decided to use a modified Chinese – Family Style dining system and all have a bit of everything.

 

The Darker Virgin Blood Orange Juice and the Bottomless Blood Orange Mimosa Catch the Sunlight and Shout "Drink Me!"

The first dish out was a unique take on Egg’s Benedict: A Hollandaise & Balsamic Drizzle over Smoked Duck and Caramelized Onion all resting on a cherry waffle.

Smoked Duck Benedict with a Balsamic Hollandaise

It was delicious and a good conversation piece. The next item was another riff on the Eggs Benedict theme: The Root Down. I had never seen a Quinoa English Muffin, and with Mrs. P Chef and Little P Chef being Gluten-Free, I was in on that one dimension alone; but then there was also Iberico Cheese and a Sun-Dried Tomato Hollandaise Sauce. Taking a Mother Sauce to the next level is almost always an interesting idea.

Quinoa English Muffins in The Root Down

Next up was Chad’s Choice: a Pulled Pork Omelette with Smoke Mozzarella, Charred Scallion Sauce, Lime Crème Fraîche and pickled Habaneros. I was very glad we were sharing.

The Pulled Pork Omelette with Greens and Some Savory Potatoes

On the fork, the dish that played well in the mind, suffered slightly. For me, the pulled pork was a bit too sweet and sharp to perfectly compliment the eggs. It was as though it was trying a little too hard to be different and not trying hard enough to be fabulous. Finally, came Danielle’s favorite: The Veggie Burger Sliders.

The Veggie Sliders Did Not Perform as Danielle Remembered Them

At the first bite, Danielle’s look of anticipation turned to disappointment. They had CHANGED the slider of her dreams. And she wasn’t wrong. Apparently, the topping was switched out from a Tomato Jam on her last visit to a jalapeno spread this time. She was very unhappy about it. As for us, the veggie slider was just run-of-the-mill, not day-wrecking. Vegetarian Slider aside, the experience was a good one, as much for the vibe and hip crowd, as for the distinctive food. Thanks Chad and Danielle for the suggestion, the friendship, the visit and the business.

P Chef

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