ToscaTosca on Trip Advisor
10 years ago
10/31/2011, 06:36 AM
A unprententious place with absolutely delicious food at rock bottom prices.
Spices is the kind of little place that natives discover and treasure, but tourists rarely find out about. Spices deserves better. Chef Michael Watren manages to turn out an amazing array of high quality, delicious breakfasts, lunches, and dinners in his small restaurant, tucked into a narrow triangle behind The Streets of London English pub and a liquor store. Don't be put off by the somewhat-seedy nature of the other two businesses: Spices is a class act.
The secret is that Watren is a real chef, who also runs Toque Blanche, his catering business, out of his little deli-style restaurant. The cafe menu offers plenty of choices already, but his daily breakfast and lunch specials take advantage of whatever he has been cooking for the latest wedding reception or corporate function. If you're lucky, you will hit bacon-lettuce-tomato-avocado and salmon sandwich day. Absolutely delicious, with well-prepared fresh salmon topping a fabulous sandwich on good whole wheat bread. . I've enjoyed lamb chops, turkey and dressing, beef stroganoff, and the best cream soups in town. (Watren makes them all in house).
The regular menu offers a nice choice of cafe food, but everything is better than usual. Patrons rave about the grilled turkey and avocado melt ($6.50) , the country fried steak and eggs ($8.50), and the Spices Breakfast burrito with eggs, potatoes, pico, lettuce, and bacon, sausage or ham "smothered" with cheese and chile verde sauce ($7.50). I think Spices offers the best vinegar-based cole slaw and the best egg salad that I have ever eaten--anywhere! The salads--Garden, Farmer's, Chicken Caeser ($2.75-$7.95)-- are huge, fresh, and tasty.The burgers, including a black-bean veggie burger ($4.95,) are char-grilled, weigh 1/2 pound and can be enhanced with bacon, onions, mushrooms, blue cheese, jalapenos and more,
There is also a selection of English dishes, since the kitchen also serves the pub: curries, Sheperd's Pie, fish and chips.
I like the little things about the place. Although the space is tiny, there is an array of sunny windows facing onto a leafy vista outside. There is a great selection of condiments and sodas (Coke and Pepsi products both! Bliss! My coke-drinking boyfriend and I, a Pepsi fan, are in heaven). And best of all: The local classical music station is playing.
The locals have discovered Spices for sure; lunchtime will bring a patient line of mental health therapists from the agency across the street, businessmen types from the nearby downtown, retirees from the senior facility nearby, tatooed and pierced kids from the Colfax hip scene, and an occasional lady who lunches, enjoying the good salads. I like to go there mid-morning, catch the lunch special at its freshest and sip my latte in peace, and listen to the classical music. Take the trouble to find Spices and you will be rewarded with an authentic Denver experience and some great food.
including English specialties from the pub at the front of the complexthat he ALSO cooksIt is the back half of a comple