Spring
Hello Spring! I am so happy to see you. Let’s get down to business and share the goods on where we can find the best handmade, handcrafted, artisan goods and products of the season here in Denver.

Special bonus! I can almost guarantee you’ll find The Real Dill and their amazing pickles and bloody mary mix at every one of these events. How lucky are we?

If I’ve missed any of your favorites, please do let me know and I’ll add them.

Sugar Plum Bazaar
April 26 and 27th
10 am – 5 pm
Parkside Mansion at 1859 York Street, Denver

Horseshoe Market
May 10th
9 am – 4 pm
46th & Tennyson

Colorado Makers Spring Market- hosted by The Source
May 3rd
11 am – 7 pm
The Source, 3350 Brighton Blvd.

Valverde Bazaar Pop-Up Outdoor Market
I might be the most excited about this one. I didn’t know the incredible place on earth that is Eron Johnson Antiques existed until early this year. Recently voted Best New Flea Market in Denver by Westword, this market’s vendor list is overflowing with all things handmade flavored and delicious. I’ll see you there.

Saturday, May 17th
9 am – 4 pm
389 South Lipan Street

The Denver Fleabrought to you by the always fun crew at Imbibe Denver. 
Saturday, May 24th
2 pm
City Park- more details to be announced May 1st

Cherry Creek Fresh Market
Saturdays, May 3 – October 25th
8 am – 1 pm
1st Avenue & University Blvd.

City Park Esplanade Fresh Market 
Sundays, June 1 – October 26th
9 am – 1 pm
Sullivan Fountain, East Colfax & Columbine Street

Stapleton Fresh Market 
Sundays, June 15 – October 12th
8:30 am – 12:30 pm
Stapleton Founder’s Green, East 29th Avenue & Roslyn Street

Belmar Fresh Market 
Saturdays, June 7 – September 27th, 10 am – 2 pm
Belmar Entry Sign, Wadsworth & Alameda

South Pearl Street Market 
Sundays, May 11th – November 2nd
9 am – 1 pm
1500 block of Old S. Pearl between Florida & Iowa Street

Highlands Farmers Market 
Saturdays, May 31st – October 11th
9 am – 1 pm
1500 Block of Boulder Street

Wheat Ridge Farmers Market 
Thursdays, June 12th – October 30th
10 am – 2 pm
4252 Wadsworth Blvd.

 

 

 

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Ibrahim Dahleh

If you’ve been around here for any length of time, chances are good that you know of my deep love for hummus. It’s my favorite food, and one that I can say with all honesty I could eat every day for the rest of my life. Yes. Deep love.

Good friends bring good people together, and those good people enjoy good food. At least in the circles I run in, I’ve always been fortunate to find the people that taste the flavors, know their value and love sharing it. Imagine how thrilled I was when I crossed paths with Ibrahim Dahleh, chef and owner of Phoenician Kabob over the holidays.

This man knows hummus. And its flavors. And loves sharing it.

Ibrahim learned how to cook out of necessity. While living in India as a teen, the spicy foods of the region just didn’t jive with his palate. Born and raised in Palestine, Ibrahim’s tastebuds were more accustomed to the flavors of his mother’s cooking; packed with flavors of spice, but not of heat. Ibrahim promptly called on his mother to send him her favorite recipes. This was the beginning of the culinary adventures that would lead him to the States, to Denver and to building what Denver Westword named the Best Middle Eastern Restaurant in 2010 and 2013.

After chatting the many varieties, flavors and texture of hummus over a few cocktails that night, Ibrahim graciously invited Lauren and I into his kitchen to explore the flavors and be privy to his hummus magic. What a treat.

We arrived late in the afternoon to the restaurant filled with a glowing sunshine, perfectly complementing the colors of the walls that are all thoughtfully painted in the colors of the signature spices used in many of their dishes:  sumac, cumin, cardamom and nutmeg. Ibrahim led us to the kitchen where he performed his hummus magic, followed by the star of the kitchen, the pita oven imported from Lebanon that bakes pita bread in less than 30 seconds.

Simple is best when it comes to making hummus, according to Ibrahim. And I agree. There’s no need for the fancy oils or flavorings. All you need is chickpeas, salt, tahini, a bit of garlic and the key ingredient that I never knew before – ice. Adding a few ice cubes, or ice water to the processor keeps the hummus cold and gives it an unbelievably light and fluffy texture. Simply delicious! Lauren captured Ibrahim in action here behind the scenes:

Behind the scenes at Phoenician Kabob and secrets to the best hummus in Denver! from Lauren DeBell on Vimeo.

Hummus and pita are not the only things on the menu, of course. In fact the menu is quite extensive and offers you a full flavor spectrum. My go-to dish is the Sultan Sampler, a mighty plate to be shared that’s filled with hummus, baba ghanouj, gyro, chicken, falafel, grape leaves and tabbouleh. Outstanding.

Thank you, Ibrahim!


Tip:
When’s the best time to go to Phoenician Kabob? Anytime. Lunch, dinner, takeout are all amazing, affordable and delicious. Be sure to plan for the baklava before you get too full. It’s worth leaving room for.

5709 E Colfax Ave, (303) 355-7213

[Photo: Lauren DeBell]

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Work & Class

There’s a tasty new gem in RiNo, and its name is Work & Class. We arrived promptly at 4:30 on that first visit to get a taste of what many Denverites have been calling the best happy hour in town. From that first visit early on, to the many subsequent visits, I’m happy to say it just keeps getting better.

And that I love everything about it. 

Simple.
Delicious.
Approachable.
Fun.
Affordable.
Spicy.
Local.
Friendly.
Warm.

Warm might be the most surprising of all for me. Having walked by the building composed of shipping containers numerous times during construction, I was expecting a very industrial feel. Loud, metal, hollow and cold. What I was met with instead was a wonderfully inviting space, warm, cozy but not stuffy and filled with a golden afternoon sunshine only Colorado can deliver.

We decided to sit at the chef’s counter, my favorite spot in nearly every establishment. Immediately we were greeted by Chef and co-owner Dana Rodriguez and her team. Smiling, focused, warm, happy and ready to cook. Co-owner Tony Maciag came by next to say hello. Warm, smiling, focused, happy and ready to serve. On a more recent visit I was greeted by the lovely Delores Tronco, co-owner alongside Tony and Dana. Smiling, warm, focused and happy.

The menu is smart and simple in both design and its offerings. Sides, proteins, salads and desserts are all available in different portion sizes, perfectly accommodating a solo diner, a large group or an intimate dinner for two. We started with the happy hour, and worked our way through dinner. My favorites by far are the peppers five ways, the chickpea croquettes, and the Buffalo roasted chicken. Finish it up with the butterscotch pudding in a Ball jar and off you go. Bliss.

Chef Dana Rodriguez and her team at Work & Class.

Chef Dana Rodriguez and her team at Work & Class.


Tip: Happy Hour is fantastic, but get there early as the small space fills up quickly and they don’t accept reservations.

2500 Larimer Street, (303) 292-0700 

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Make: Cinetrackr

I’m feeling fortunate. Life is rolling along at a fantastic pace, there’s beauty everywhere, and I’m surrounded by wonderfully creative friends that are constantly drumming up new ideas and launching them into the world. Today is no exception, as my morning was made a bit brighter with an invitation to Cinetrackr. Built by the dynamic […]

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Taste: Aloha Trader Joe’s

It’s here. After what seemed like an eternity’s worth of waiting, Trader Joe’s has launched in Colorado, with three locations open yesterday, two in Denver and one in Boulder. The lines formed early (6 am!) and were long, but that didn’t stop me from making a trek with my sweetie to the Colorado Blvd. location […]

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Muse: Champion of Thanks

“I have a thank you problem” – Patio  If you know anything about my husband, Patio, you know he’s one of the most sincerely thankful and appreciative fellows around. And I’m not just saying that because he’s my husband, or because it’s Valentine’s Day. I am saying that because it’s the truth. What does it […]

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Muse: Props to 2013

Now that 2014 is rolling strong, let us not forget what made 2013 a better year. Here’s some top picks from me and Ryan at Denver Business Podcast that we felt were worthy of a share. Random tastes, tech, sights, sounds, spaces that made last year more vibrant and delightful.  Most of them simple, local and easily […]

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Taste: Quiche

I am a big believer in the ‘once a week dish that uses up everything in your fridge’. Growing up I remember my dad throwing just about anything into the sauce pot once a week on spaghetti night. It’s a challenge of sorts to use up all the remaining produce and random bits from the […]

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Muse: Remembering Her

I remember rummaging through the nightstand in search of one of those tiny little pills my friend had given me. I remember looking down at my tan feet, thinking how impossible it was that just hours ago they were dancing in the sand and sea. I remember staring blindly into the closet of borrowed black clothing […]

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Taste: Our Mutual Friend

Just a quick note. I was hanging out at OMF on Tuesday to collect my third glass in their ‘Keep the Glass’ artist series, and was treated to a preview of their soon to be released Barley Wine. While I am not a diehard beer lover, I do love me some barley wine, and this is […]

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