2036 S. Academy Blvd., 591-8585
Start with the kimchi pancake ($4.99), a thin, bright-orange, plate-sized, fried-flour-batter-disc stuffed with tangy kimchi slivers. Your super-friendly server will unload it from her dim sum cart and cut it into pizza-slice-like eighths tableside. Then move to the bulgogi and sweet potato noodles ($7.99) from the lunch specials menu. Served steaming on cast iron, the starch component is a tangle of sesame-flecked, clear-but-yellowed strands that bear a cartilaginous texture similar to kelp noodles. The tenderized meat mound delivers typical semi-sweetness with a soy-sesame oil edge and soft white onions.
Mix the two to great result between bites of the complimentary banchan, such as two kimchi varieties and a scallion potato cake. Ginger emboldens white rice, and a hot root tea (whose name doesn't translate from Korean, they say, $1) makes a great sipper before sweet cinnamon water dropped free with the bill. — Matthew Schniper
EvilTwin Brewing and Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Crooked Stave, who is soon to open a brewery at Denver's much-hyped new collaboration, The Source, also runs a small, artisan distribution line. This is the company responsible for making possible the recent EvilTwin and Stillwater tap takeover at Brewer's Republic, and for bringing those East Coast breweries to liquor store shelves along the Front Range (four-packs/around $10).
Both are "gypsy brewing" outfits, meaning they brew on others' equipment, explains Crooked Stave's Kyle Krebsbach. And both make fantastic beers, based on my mix-'n-match sampling of all eight high-ABV labels currently here. The Stillwaters are lovely rustic farmhouse concoctions (try Existent first), and the EvilTwins are equally elegantly crafted. Mix the Yin imperial stout with the Yang imperial IPA, as directed on the bottle, for an incredible, roasty black-and-tan. — Matthew Schniper
7376 McLaughlin Road, Falcon, 495-8707, frankiestoo.com
Frankie's Also, as I hilariously call it only to myself, is the easterly offspring of the progenating North Powers Boulevard classic. Its location in a Falcon shopping center disguises what turns out to be a fairly distinctive, cavernous space full of flags, sports banners and pictures on the wood-paneled walls.
It looks like a great place to drink, and turns out to be a pretty great place to eat, too. The Frankie's Philly ($8.99) features long, moist shreds of pot-roast-y steak — seemingly fried for a second, like carnitas — in a soft, white bun that did little to keep the grilled onions and peppers in place. Deliciously salty, white goo described as "a mild Swiss" was so powerfully funky that I thought it was sharp cheddar. Keeping with beef, a half-pound burger ($7.99, plus 75 cents for cheddar) cut away to reveal a juicy pink-red center, as requested (and dreamed of). — Bryce Crawford