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.

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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.