5280's Top of the Town 2011
The CityGrille Burger: As Good as it Gets:
COLORADO-STYLE GREEN CHILE
The papers, the Gabby Gourmet and just about everyone else has given CityGrille a nod for best power lunch, best burger, best green chili and best fill-in-the-blank for just about everything else the eatery serves. Open since 1998, CityGrille is a stone's throw from the capitol, making it convenient with a capital "C" -- no pun intended. The only mystery at the grill is why this place isn't jam-packed every night of the week. It's as if CityGrille is a secret that everyone knows about but is loath to give away. Besides the food and specials every night of the week, the bar is fun, too. TVs and a decent jukebox are all you need to accompany your fine food and drinks. In a neighborhood full of dance clubs, a nice quiet bar like this is a treasure. Try CityGrille on a Saturday night when the other local clubs are too loud and crowded -- the Grille is pleasantly subdued. Just get there early. This tends to be an early-evening place, not a late-night joint. -- Amy Lewis
you break it all down, a burger is pretty much a burger, right?
All burgers, for the most part, are made of the same stuff: A
ground beef patty and a bun.
is everything. That's what I hear. May is Hamburger Month, which just
happens to coincide with an outbreak of mad-cow disease in Canada.
and Import Pints, Fridays it's the Big City Burrito, Saturday it's prime
rib, and Sunday it's spaghetti night for only $5.95. The prices are
unbeatable. Plus, they offer two-for-one on the first drink for any
restaurant employee who frequents CityGrille after 5 p.m.
There's always a dinner special at CITYGRILLE, a convivial watering hole across from the capitol. True, the joint is best known for its burgers, but loyal lobbyists in the know go for the 12-ounce prime rib served every Saturday night. At the bargain price of $10.95, the huge slice of crimson beef is served with soup or salad, a baked potato, and mixed vegetables. Wash it down with a cold one, and worry about the economy tomorrow.
awarded CityGrille the honors of Best Hamburger and Best Fries in its
Best Of issue earlier this month. We knew it sooner.
restaurant is a neighborhood joint with citywide appeal. Take a seat
at the bar. Get conformable in a booth. Eavesdrop. Glimpse lobbyists
working their best interests. Chomp down on the best hamburger in Denver.
Order up a side of green chili. It's gotten rave reviews, too.
There's a To Go menu, 12 beers on tap including five micros, four imports and three domestics. A new Tequila List features 50 different tequilas to choose from. The place has been newly decorated. Five TVs in the bar feature music videos after 10:30pm. The kitchen stays open late from 11am to midnight Monday through Thursday and Sunday, and 11am to 1am Friday and Saturday. Plus, CityGrille offers an aggressive catering menu serving breakfast, lunch and dinner for groups of five to 350. There's free parking in the back of the restaurant after 3pm daily.
"We serve high quality food as evidenced by the reviews we get," Salturelli said. "We want to be known as the watering hole for Capitol Hill. What sets us apart is that our food and our prices are exceptional. We're building our business on our food reputation."
Critics reviews support Salturelli's claims. Recently, CityGrille captured best hamburger and best French Fries in Westword.
CityGrille is also on the web at www.citygrille.com.
For the best burger in town, none can compare to CityGrille. The perfect amount of grease, cheese and garnishes could only get better when served with a beer and a side of fries.
CityGrille, a newly remodeled Capitol Hill hot spot, just keeps getting hotter and its burger just keeps getting better. To make its take on the American classic, the kitchen grills up 80 percent lean ground sirloin, then slaps it on a yielding, juice-soaking Bluepoint Bakery bun. The burgers are fine plain, but they're also good gussied up; one particularly successful combo sports an inch-thick blanket of melted Swiss, crisp bacon and a great Caesar dressing. Although the bar's a great place for taking your time over a burger and a few beers, the people-watching is prime in the dining room.
Handy, isn't it, for a restaurant that makes the town's best burger to also make its best French fries? Ronald McDonald, eat your heart out: These strips are the real deal, skinny and salty, with flavor that comes from a quick dip in hot oil rather than a trip to a flavor factory. The fries are delivered to your table so hot that grabbing one (and you will) could singe your fingers, but these crispy critters hold up even after a cooling-off period. This spud's for you, babe.
We know we're not the first to give CityGrille this honor but hey, they deserve it. CityGrille has successfully locked up the award year after year because of its emphasis on top of the line buns and meats combined with a skillful grilling technique. CityGrille triangular-shaped Bluepoint Bakery crusty, chewy buns with ground 80/20 (80 percent meat, 20 percent fat) sirloin beef that is made to perfect by experienced chef David Minty.
It's noon. Do you know where your legislator is? Chances are she's wolfing down one of Denver's best burgers at CityGrille, the gathering place/watering hole for anyone who's anyone at the State CapitolŃnot to mention anyone who lobbies anyone there or across the street at city hall. But CityGrille isn't just for the power elite; if these walls could talk, they'd have the scoop on everyone from contributors and aides to secretaries and janitors, all of whom take advantage both of this casual, divey eatery's proximity to the Capitol and of its fabulous green chile. The three-martini lunch is alive and well here, as is strict, power-lunch protocol: If you're talking in low, hushed tones, everyone looks away. For a minute...anyway.
The burgersoh, those burgers! And, come Monday night, you can treat yourself to one of those righteous, plump and juicy, half-pound patties, a plate of fires, and a 12-ounce domestic draft for the bargain basement price of $6.95. But wait, there's more! Wednesday night brings the rib feast, where $6.95 gets you a half slab of baby back ribs, coleslaw and fries. Fridays are Mexican fiesta nights where any Mexican entree on the menu is a song at $6.95plus your first margarita is half-price.
CityGrille...scrappy and in your face, "with food on all fours like a killer burger, roast chicken and solid tap beers....What we have here is a joint." What's best about the renowned hamburger: the triangular-shaped bun from Bluepoint Bakery ("crusty, chewy, real bread"); the half-pound of hand-formed ground sirloin; and the expert grilling ("a crust binds the outside and juicy pebbles of meat break from within"). "CityGrille keeps the kind of servers who learn your name after but the second visit and who speed your lunch like Mercury. They're as much part of the level of comfort here as the subdued lighting, old banquettes and hearty food." Lunch, $4.95-$10.95.
The green chili is the best in town; very hot, but full of flavor. It is a meal in itself or a perfect topping for the Mexican food.... enchiladas, rellenos, tamales, and burritos are all winners. The Caesar salad is terrific, as is the salmon salad. The ribs are covered with blueberry barbecue, the fresh salsa, and coleslaw sides are well worth trying. It's not Monday night football, but Monday night burgers that bring in the crowds to CityGrille...half-pound burgers with fries (that are even better than the burgers) and a 12 oz. domestic draft for $6.95. As for a side of blueberry barbecue sauce or green chili that is truly to-die-for, or from, if you don't like spice.
Denver is looking and feeling good. The city's culinary traditions are changing, catering to a variety of surprisingly complex tastes. From mammoth American steaks to sophisticated cafˇ bar menus and fine French cuisine, the rhythm of the restaurant scene teases, tempts and above all delivers fine food earning praise all around. Just as the Rocky Mountains dominate the views to the west, the following restaurants rise above the ordinary to provide a meal to remember.
Some nights are made for burgers, ribs or an unpretentious taste of the southwest. "Burger Madness" reigns on Monday nights. A handful of half-pound, freshly ground sirloin steak burger, labeled the best burger in Denver, comes with crispy fries and a 12-ounce domestic draft. On Wednesday nights, they roll out the ribs. A half slab of baby backs painted with blueberry habanero sauce or a half chicken is served with fries and coleslaw. At Friday night's "Mexican Fiesta," diners can choose from burritos, enchiladas, rellenos, or tamales and enjoy their first margarita for half price. The no-frills menu features hefty sandwiches and plates brimming with solid entrees like London Broil and Chicken Fried Steak coupled with generous portions of mashed potatoes, vegetables, and soup or a house salad. The Green Chili is sensational! Located across from the Capitol, legislators frequently gather here. It's politics as usual, but the great CityGrille food is anything but. ItÕs nothing short of outstanding at prices that canÕt be beat.
Recommended by Pat Read, executive director of the Colorado Association of Nonprofit Organizations. Anyone who's anyone in government eats lunch at the CityGrille during the legislative session, and Read is no exception. Because it's so close to the Capitol, "It's the place to network and connect with legislators, government officials and others," Read said. If she really wants a burger, the CityGrille is the place to go. But she also enjoys the Mexican specials and the Oriental salad with sliced mandarin oranges and almond slivers. Read complimented the restaurant's staff, which manages to work steadily through the hectic lunch rushes. Her advice is to get there early because it's sure to be crowded, and not just while the legislature is in session.
CityGrille...one of the town's best spots for deal-making and bread-breaking. CityGrille's location alone -- at 321 East Colfax Avenue, right across the street from the Capitol -- puts it in an almost unbeatable position for attracting the high and mighty. While lobbyists and legislators chew the fat, they can also down good Southwestern and Mexican fare. An order of three-cheese chile rellenos brings two big, fat chiles stuffed to overflowing with plain and pepper jack as well as cheddar; each bundle has been fried in a tasty batter, then smothered with CityGrille's great green chile (which earned Best Gringo Green award this year). Try gringo green on the hefty steak burrito, with its spicy marinated beef strips and tons of cheddar, or the Taos chicken, a tender bird breast blanketed in Swiss and sided by a tangy, hand-mashed guacamole.
If there's one thing that Colorado lobbyists, legislators and lawyers alike can agree on, it's the mean green at CityGrille. CityGrille grills up one of the town's best burgers...and combines jalapeños, tomatoes and pork in a way few Mexican places have been able to muster, let alone master. This glorious, gravy-like green chile has perfect smothering qualities. A firm but not overwhelming chile kick adds extra interest. Don't scrape the bottom of your empty plate too loudly; you'll want to hear the conversation of those around you.
Our top picks for great eats...hamburger is CityGrille. A choice half-pound beef patty on a premium Bluepoint Bakery bun with all the fixings makes for a great nosh. Monday Burger Madness includes a free beer!
What does it take to be named the best hamburger in town? Start with the bun. CityGrille uses the superb "rustic roll" by Bluepoint Bakery...a heartier, country-style roll instead of the far more common sesame bun. The half-pound of meat comes from the highly reputable Anderson Boneless Beef Co. and is seasoned with chef David Minty's "secret spice" recipe before being grilled on a flattop stove. The French fries could be the best in town. Monday nights feature "Burger Madness" at CityGrille...burger, fries and a beer for $6.95.
The CityGrille burger occupies a special place in our heart - and not just because of its fat count. A luscious beef patty of heroic proportion, it arrives cloaked in melted Swiss cheese, crisp bacon and - the coup de grace - a dollop of garlicky Caesar dressing. It's parenthesized by one of the finest rolls in burgerdom, straight from the oven of a French bakery and lightly toasted. Don't forget a spoonful of sweet pickle relish. And as long as you're challenging the actuarial tables, wave off the "mixed greens" in favor of a mountain of thin, crispy French fries...without the exertions of CityGrille's patrons, Colorado government might grind happily to a halt, but that's another story.