food of the streets.

EDIT: check out this wonderful reel of pictures from westword about the justice league of street food event in june!

saying i’ve become obsessed with street food is an understatement. and while my love for street food stems back to my first scoop of queso ice cream from the rolling ice cream carts in manila, this obsession has recently blossomed.

although i highly recommend taking a local along if you decide to conquer the street food of south east asia, the street food scene here in denver is one i give you full permission to explore solo. a good place to start? civic center eats. every tuesday from 11-2 in civic center parks, more than two dozen food trucks line up to cater lunch for the downtown crowd. all of those trucks in once place is a great way to get to know the trucks.. have an appetizer from one truck, an entree from another, dessert from another, a drink from another, and then go back for seconds from another if you’d like. and then go back on thursday. repeat. you’ll have half the trucks covered. easily.

while civic center eats is far from intimidating, i found something that is not for the faint of heart. well at least that is what the name suggests. but it should be awesome! it’s called the justice league of street food. a group of food trucks that is ‘saving denver one mobile meal at a time’. the next bash is taking place next saturday, august 4th at sustainability park (another AWESOME gem denver has to offer) from 5-10pm. gina from the denver cupcake truck (a quick shoutout to their red velvet and surprisingly delicious maple bacon cupcakes) told me about this fantastic event which brings together the great street food community of denver; both trucks making the food and people willing to simply eat. pack your tennis shoes and bring your game face because this month’s theme relates to one of our favorite events happening right now, the summer games. even if you don’t plan on eating, i’m sure this event will be one you don’t want to miss.

another quick tidbit i can’t sign off without sharing…an excellent resource for us street foodies. romainghunger.com is my least intimidating suggestion when it comes to conquering street food. essentially a twitter feed just for food trucks, this website shows the latest updates from local trucks. headed downtown and craving a mobile meal? checkit out. want to know what and where your favorite truck is serving tonight? check it out. and denver is not the only city on the menu. so why not plan your next road trip around street food? i’m planning on it.

a mocha at the laughing latte.

this afternoon, i was sitting at my newest exploration: the laughing latte. here are my thoughts. from journal to blog.. please excuse the tense changes.

i haven’t even had a sip of the iced mocha i just ordered and i already love this place. located in my new favorite neighborhood, the highlands, this quaint coffee shop is the perfect hideaway. excellent service, to boot – the barista just brought my drink right to my table. we’re not at starbucks anymore, folks. windows looking out onto the intersections of 32nd and Tejon, i have a great view of the neighborhood outside. although the afternoon clouds have rolled in, the buildings around me are gorgeous and i can’t even begin to imagine the stories they could tell. to top off this exploration, the mocha is great! there is a large aroma and taste wheel on the wall; explaining to coffee connoisseurs the flavors behind their drink. aside from the color wheel, which takes me back to ms. olive’s elementary school art class, the walls are bare – a wonderful terracotta coat of paint brightens the atmosphere. only bummer about this place? the internet access sucks (that’s why i’m not actually posting this until now). maybe it’s just my computer, but i couldn’t seem to connect. good thing i don’t mind writing in my journal here the old fashioned way. there is something relaxing, something fascinating about writing down thoughts on paper. something i rarely do anymore thanks to our tech-savvy world. its quiet here this saturday afternoon – just me and the barista. about a half a dozen people have been in and out since i arrived. i peg this to be more a morning/weekday café. i’ll have to come back again. next door are boutiques and fun shops.. this was the perfect place for me to spend this rainy afternoon. and i’m looking forward to more adventures just like it.

craving adventure…suggestions?

i’m looking for a couple good places to go adventuring. i’ve heard colfax has some great restaurants, cafés and bars that are worth checking out.

HELP, anyone? i’m craving adventure. and maybe some good comida mexicana. 

i’m going with or without you this weekend. so speak now or forever hold your peace.

hace un año.

one year ago today, i left for argentina. i left to begin what turned out to be the best six months of my life. i can’t believe it’s been a whole year since i arrived in buenos aires: a city full of life, energy and a whole lot  of spanish speaking people. i didn’t know what to expect. during my six months in argentina, my expectations were exceeded, my life was changed.

i was scared, excited, and anxious to explore. i am a different person today (although it may seem cheesy) because of the time that i spent in argentina. my spirit is much more adventurous, my mind is more open. i have a passion for spanish and a strong desire to return to south america. i have a new set of friends, a new family, and a new love for latin culture.

life came full circle this weekend, as it always seems to do. i met manuel – a colorado farmer at the cherry creek farmers market. he explained perfectly to me the truest value of the latin culture, one that i saw clearly during my time in argentina. the value of friends and family. manuel never attended school past the second grade, never understood the value of education and started working at a very young age. he got into selling drugs and for twenty years he made money. and lots of it. but yesterday, manuel said something that really stuck. something to the essence of: ‘i’ve been here for a while now. i’m a farmer. i don’t make a lot of money. but i have peaches galore, a happy heart, and a wonderful family. and that is all that matters.’ so so so true. and i thank argentina for teaching me that.

i will be back in argentina. i don’t exactly know when, but it will be soon. and i can’t wait for the day that i can explore again the country that will forever be mi querida país.

buenos aires pizzeria.

i’ll never forget when susy (my aregntine host mom) asked me if we ate pizza in the united states. why yes, of course we eat pizza. are you kidding me? she had no idea. argentina, with its large number of italian immigrants does do pizza pretty well (but better than anyone else, i’m not sure about that). argentine pizza is no papa johns, no dominos, and no pizza hut. its not made in bulk, rubbery, fatty but flavorless pizza. its handmade, unique, made to order pizza. my dad sent me this USA today article this week profiling an argentine restaurant, buenos aires pizzeria, here in denver.

the restaurant is located in lodo, only a couple blocks away from the home of the rockies – coors field. the storefront is a little deciving. at first we walked into the side of the restaurant that hold their gelato case. a little confused we walked out and tried the next door. and in love i fell. pictures of one of the most fascinating cities in the world – buenos aires – cluttered the walls. i could tell from the start the place was unique. this picture, one of my favorites from la boca was the first image to catch my eye, transporting me right back to the time i spent exploring buenos aires sola  during my last few days in the country. opening the menu, i was again transported back to buenos aires. to el cuartito, the famous pizza place that both welcomed me to and bid me farewell from argentina.

and per the articles suggestion and the confirmation of the argentine waiter, i had a beef picante (spicy beef) empanada and a friend of mine has a caprese empanada. these two empanadas bring back memories as if they happened yesterday. and then we split a pizza – mine was  la porteña – arugula, prosciutto and parmesean. nichole went with the fugazetta – cheese, more cheese and sauteed onions. again – the flavors take me right back to buenos aires – my hysterical experience alone in that popular pizza place in buenos aires. to finish off the meal we had panqueques con dulce de leche and mango sorbet. holy yum. i could taste the countless spoonfulls of dulce de leche i consumed at 3am during my 5 months in argentina. i could taste susy’s kitchen.

that’s a really cool feeling. being transported back to the best months of my life. thanks to the waiter who made me feel like i was truly back in buenos aires. his porteño accent, his use of the ‘vos’ and the slight ‘sh’ in his ‘ll’ made it all too real. it took all i had in me not to drop a few tear and impulsively book a flight and go back to argentina just to be a part of that wonderful culture that i miss so much.

anyways, check it out! located in lodo – on 22nd between larimer and market – this place, although somewhat quiet for the early dinner hour (can’t say i’m surprised) will not dissapoint.

LINGER – food worth waiting for.

late night (south american late) meals are WONDERFUL, i’ve decided. yes, i’m ravenous by the time the food hits the table. BUT, somehow i’ve come to appreciate a meal’s tardiness every once in a while. so why a late night meal this past week? no, i wasn’t busy all day. no, i didn’t have to watch my asado slow roast for four hours. no, i wasn’t waiting for guests to arrive. so what was it, then? a chalk-full reservation list. LINGER was booked straight through until 10pm. but believe me – it was worth the wait. here are a few reasons why.

ONE: a good friend on mine – one of the sweest and most passionate people i’ve ever met, who has a love for jesus, life, and the people in it stronger than i’ve seen in a long time – was in town visiting. i got to enjoy dinner in her fabulous presence. she just got  new job, by the way and i can’t wait to see where she will go from here. (love you, em!)

TWO: the food was AMAZING. my mouth is watering as i sit here writing this. emily had always sworn by the place. but i don’t think i really understood its brilliance until i tasted the first bit of coconut buttered popcorn they slipped onto one table as we sat down. and it was only uphill from there. mouth-watering deliciousness in every bite. so what exactly was all of this deliciousness? small plates, perfect to share and be able to enjoy a few different things from the expansive menu. to start: that coconut buttered popcorn that i mentioned – perfectly moist with a sweet butter with the right amount of crunch and the perfect not-too-heavy pre-meal munch. then: crispy-lentil apple salad, oh yum. fried lentils. goat cheese. apples. crispy lettuce. pistachio puree. then: we almost ordered the sesame BBQ tacos. and then the waiter asked if we had heard about the special: goat tacos, chimichurri sauce, pickled onions and feta cheese. and yes, of course we tried it. i was hesitant, but they were DELICIOUS. the corn tortillas with perfectly braised goat, feta cheese and a little kick. i would definitely order those again. and lastly: wagyu burger sliders. the most tender, perfectly cook burgers with a curried sour cream sauce, peppered bacon, and cheddar and delicious waffle cut sweet potato friend served with chipotle ketchup.

THREE: everything at linger is done with purpose. each ingredient, spice, and flavor adds something to the meal. i would highly recommend making a special trip to the highlands just to visit linger – the outrageously delicious mortuary (water served in formaldehyde-esque  bottles being the only remnants of the previous inhabitants) turned eatery.

FOUR: and this place has more than just great food to offer. their service is fabulous. 75% of the restaurant was built and finished with reclaimed, reused, and recycled materials. local, organic, and sustainable products are used except in cases what that is just not possible. and they compost everything they can.

and of course, after dinner we had to make a pit stop below linger at little man ice cream. what did i try this time? honey banana and peach. SO DELICIOUS. my mouth hasn’t been that happy in a long time.

thanks emily for showing my one of your favorite places. the next time any of YOU – friends or family – are in town, you know where i am gong to take you. and if you’re not okay with a south american style cena – let me know when you book your flight and i’ll make us a reservation.

argentina in america.

add this to my bucket list. my obsession and love for argentina doesn’t ever stop. and its finds like this that make me crazy. estoy siempre con más ganas para regresar.

route 40 food truck, started by a porteño – a native of buenos aires who now lives here in the united states is a popular denver food truck making a scene on the streets!

their menu? to DIE for. chorpian. milanesa. chimichurri french fries. and best of all, ALFAJORES. so argentina.

quien viene conmigo? they make appearances at the pearl street farmers market and are at civic center eats every tuesday and thursday.

weirdly wonderful.

summer seems to bring out the crazy of this wonderful city. this article highlights some of the most outrageous, cooky, off the wall happenings the mile high city has to offer!

one thing i’m most looking forward to being a part of? one of the weekly denver cruiser rides! these crazy, costumed rides around downtown denver are apparently a HUGE hit and have been since they started in denver a number of years ago. after having stopped at a few key locations around the city, the ride ends with a circle of death – a small but intense round about of crazy bikers. rumor has it the craziest of bikers even dare to circle against the normal flow of traffic.. i think i’ll have to see the madness to believe it myself.

how about a trip to the county fair? who doesn’t love pie eating competitions, robot wars, paper airplane competitions, skits from casa bonita, speed texting competitions, food trucks and oh i cannot even imagine how much more! sunday of the fair is titled ‘viva denver’ and it’s ‘celebrando la diversidad de denver’, HOW AWESOME! some events on sunday include: dora the explorer, a sopapillas toss, a quinceañera pagent, pin the tail on the burro, and a sugar skull making workshop. the entire lineup for this event (taking place august 10-12) is not for the faint of heart. so put on your overalls, prepare your best chicken dance and get ready for some good, old fashioned fun. i’m going, hope to see you there!

and don’t forget, the cherry creek arts festival is taking place this weekend – be there or be square!

have a great weekend, denver!