2148 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80205
Before we traveled to Colorado for our family vacation, I had a fellow blogger comment that we MUST go to Biker Jim’s in Denver for the gourmet hot dogs there. Well…we like hot dogs. We like gourmet. So hell yeah, what’s not to love about the idea of gourmet hot dogs??!!
We drove into Denver one day for lunch from Golden, so only about a 20 minute drive from suburb to downtown. After we located the place, we discovered that parking was a bit limited, but there is a paid lot right next to the restaurant. There were cool, trendy designs to the decore, and looked more like a hipster hangout than a family dining eatery – but we showed up with two kids in tow, nevertheless.
We went up and began to peruse the menu, each of us a little excited about how much we had built up the place in our minds before going. My wife knew before we went that she would be trying the vegan dog, considering that she doesn’t eat meat. She got the Vegan Herby (and it is also available in Spicy as well), with no extra toppings. Upon her first bite, I immediately knew that it was NOT the dog that she had anticipated. She said that the texture was way too mushy, and didn’t seem to like the flavor either. She also got a side of baked beans with her dog, and seemed to like those okay.
We ordered a kid’s meal for the tot, but the choices were VERY limited: All Beef Dog or Mac N Cheese Dog. Sides were extra. Drinks were extra. Not really our idea of a good kid’s meal. Plus, when we got the kid’s meal, we discovered that the Mac N Cheese dog that we thought would be simply mac n cheese formed into a hot dog shape was actually a meat hot dog with mac n cheese inside of it. Needless to say, the kid wouldn’t eat any of it.
The teenager ordered an All Beef Dog wrapped in Bacon. He also opted for no extra toppings, which was fine, because this dog was HUGE! I think that he added some ketchup and onions, maybe some relish – just your typical hot dog fare. He got fries for a side, and said that both his hot dog and his fries were really good.
Now, given all of the random meats that were available for Biker Jim’s gourmet dogs, I really thought that the kid would be more adventurous and try something odd. But no, he opted for safe and what he knew. So it was up to me. I mean, listen to the selection of available dogs: Alaskan Reindeer (REINDEER??? That’s crazy!), Jalapeno Cheddar Elk, Wild Boar, Rattlesnake & Pheasant, German Veal, Jack-a-Lope, All Beef, Louisiana Red Hots, Duck Cilantro, Vegan, All Beef wrapped in bacon, Southwest Buffalo, and Pheasant. I went with the Wild Boar, described as being made smokey, with apricots and cranberries. Sounded interesting! I also chose to top it “Biker Jim’s Classic” style or cream cheese and caramelized onions. To that I added some horseradish sauce, and very much enjoyed my combination of smoky, sweet, and slight spice dog; each bite exploding new flavors and sensations. I wasn’t able to finish it because it was really big. My side was a mixed green salad, with a great homemade dressing (fresh tomato vinaigrette, I believe) that I absolutely loved! I wish now I had thought to ask how to make it! There were about 7 ways to top your dog, if you so choose to, with various stages of heat along with various sauces and veggies.
My wife did end up going back and ordering some of the Fried Mac N Cheese from the sides menu for she and the tot to share. They were really hot when they arrived (hot meaning fresh is always a good thing; they just had a wait a bit to be able to eat them). We considered some of the Deep Fried Pickles from the sides menu as well, but the description said that they make them with horseradish habanero pickles and served with a roasted carrot habanero sauce – so we opted NOT to get them due to the intended heat factor.
Lastly, the drink selection wasn’t all that great, in our opinions. The fountain drinks were a selection of specialty sodas. My wife got the diet cola one (as she is a Diet Coke drinker) – hated it. I got the lemon lime one (hoping for a Sprite-type taste, as I am usually a Coke Zero drinker) – hated it. Son got one of the colas, I believe – also hated it. At first I thought that they all tasted funny because of the O2 of the fountain, but no, that is how they are supposed to taste. And I know that it was totally us, used to our Coke products and not liking the difference of something new. Fortunately, they were very nice and accommodating to us tourists from the South; they had regular Diet Coke and Sprite at the bar and made us some drinks from over there. We really appreciated that! I will also add that the bar was small, but looked like it had a decent selection of both craft beers and mixed adult beverages. They also have desserts, which we opted out of, given that we had spent quite a bit of money on quite a bit of food; most of which we didn’t end up eating.
My take on Biker Jim’s is that it is geared more towards the younger and trendier crowd who enjoy the odd sodas and craft beer, than the older folks like us (30s/40s) and their kiddos. Would we eat there again? All of us? Unlikely. I would go back, probably by myself if I am being honest, just to try some of the other unusual flavors and styles of their gourmet dogs, and for more of that salad. And I would be perfectly okay with having ice water with my meal.