Sunday, April 13, 2008

Denver food disappoints; Burger King has its number

Boo for cancerous burgers.

Cornbread isn't good unless it's in the South.

I must not have been ordering the right thing while I was in Denver. I had just one good restaurant meal in the mile-high city. And it was a wrap.

On Friday, copy editors from Florida assembled for lunch at Rialto Cafe on the 16th Street Mall. Because it's a local place, Rialto had an advantage over the U.S. chain Rock Bottom Brewery, where I had the cheese-shy mac 'n' chicken. But the food was even less impressive.

I didn't see any Rocky Mountain oysters (bull testicles) on the Rialto menu, but I still wanted beef for my lunch. It would have been a shame to leave Denver without having beef. So I went with the "Rialto Burger." Nothing special. Just a hamburger with cheese, onion and lettuce.

But Rialto made it especially bad. I asked for medium. They cooked it extremely well. Actually, it was burned. I've had juicier Whoppers after they've been warmed five times in a microwave. I spent $10.28 just to get closer to death because of the cancerous charring I consumed.

The cornbread served before the main course also was poor. It was dark and properly cooked in an iron skillet, according to my Southern co-worker, but it didn't taste corny at all.

I thought I ordered the chicken, not the salmon. Just by looking at the piece of chicken, the meat seems pink. The color was even more apparent after a few bites.

We didn't have a choice of dessert, but it was good nonetheless. You can't go wrong with strawberries and frosting. Sadly, it was the best food I ate Friday.

Meal No. 2 on Friday was served at the Marriott, the American Copy Editors Society's gracious host. The price of the meal was included in our conference fee. And just as meal No. 1 was overcooked, meal No. 2 was undercooked.

Attendees at Friday night's banquet were given a choice of chicken, salmon or some vegan or vegetarian substitute. Skeptical that Colorado would have good Rocky Mountain salmon, I went with the chicken. Big mistake.

The breast came smothered in cheese and mushrooms. It rested on a bed of rice with carrots and asparagus.

At first bite, I thought, "how delightfully moist and tasty." As I worked my way toward the bone, however, the taste became rawer and moister. A bit too moist. I looked more closely at the color of the meat, and it was a sure deep shade of pink. Too bad my burger wasn't like that.

I told everyone at my table about my likely discovery of salmonella. We were done; unfortunately, the chicken wasn't.

Smokin' ACES home

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