Category Archives: Travel

(Review) Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs – Denver, CO

Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs          Three Star Rating

2148 Larimer Street

Denver, CO 80205

720. 746.9355

http://www.bikerjimsdogs.com

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.

Vegan Dog w/Baked Beans
Vegan Dog w/Baked Beans

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.

All Beef Dog Wrapped in Bacon and Fries
All Beef Dog Wrapped in Bacon and Fries

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.

Wild Boar Dog with Biker Jim's Classic Top and Mixed Green Salad
Wild Boar Dog with Biker Jim’s Classic Top and Mixed Green Salad

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.

 

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(Review) Woody’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Watering Hole – Golden, CO.

Woody’s Wood Fired Pizza & Watering Hole         Four Star Rating

1305 Washington Avenue

Golden, Colorado 80401

303.277.0443

http://www.woodysgolden.com

After we arrived in Golden, Colorado this past June for our family vacation, we found that the condo patio looked down over the main strip of restaurants and shops on Washington Avenue – and just up and over Woody’s.  The pizza place had come highly recommended from several of our friends who either owned the condo or had stayed there before us, so it was high on the list of places to try.

The atmosphere was fun, with a full-size bar just beyond the front door.  There is some outside seating, and the weather there is pleasant enough (at least it was in June) for dining on the patio.  We had two kids with us, however, so we opted to go inside for the nice air-conditioning.  There was clientele of all ages and types, from couples, to groups, to families; with sports playing on televisions throughout the restaurant, and I think music was also playing.  It wasn’t quiet, but it wasn’t so loud that you couldn’t hear each other talking.  ALL of the staff were VERY nice, friendly, and accomodating.  When our two year old daughter wanted to stop a server and speak to them, they always did, and most of the time would squat to her level and actually talk to her – even with the restaurant mostly full with customers.  Our server was so great with both kids, and we really appreciate that when we go out, knowing how busy waiting tables can be.

2014-06-09 18.08.58
The special request pizza with anchovies

The main attraction that we had been recommended was the All You Can Eat Wood-Fired Pizza, Soup, & Salad Bar for $11.38 (kids 4 & under only $3.58, kids 4-10 only $8.78).  The salad bar was huge, with a fairly large offering of salady-stuff.  The soup was a beer cheese soup that was SO good.  And the pizza bar offered a pretty big variety of old favorites and unique types; and if you see something you didn’t like or wanted something that you didn’t see, the pizza chef would make it for you.  I saw one special request that was an Alfredo pizza with pineapple and anchovies.  Yeah.  I didn’t try that one.  They made an Alfredo Four Cheese for my wife, and a BBQ Chicken (Woody’s own whiskey barbecue sauce, wood-roasted chicken breast, bacon, mozzarealla & local honey) at my request…which I LOVED (I only wish I could have eaten more)!  I also tried the Italian Stallion (olive oil, Italian sausage, mushrooms, onion, black olives, roasted garlic, fresh basil, and mozzarella)….hearty and an awesome flavor combination.  We both tried the Margherita (olive oil, thin sliced Roma tomatoes, fresh basil, fontina & mozzarella) – very simple, vegeterian, but great flavor came from all of the fresh ingredients!  *I will add here that there were NOT a lot of vegeterian options on the pizza buffet until we asked for it; but they WERE very accomodating with anything that we requested.  They have a few vegeterian options listed on the menu under the pizzas, but we only saw one at any given time out and already made.

Pizza Bar
Pizza Bar

They also had options for the salad, soup, and pizza for those that didn’t want the All You Can Eat route.  If you want some of this, and some of that, it is exactly in that way that it is listed on the menu.  You can make a one-trip salad bowl for $3.99, a platter of salad for $7.98.  You can get just the salad bar for $9.38, or soup AND salad for $10.38 (no pizza).  If you want just soup, you can get a crock for $4.29 or endless soup for $7.28.  I loved all the options!  And slices of pizza for those who can’t eat very many, like mysef who got full after two, are $2.25 each anytime.

Salad/Soup Bar
Salad/Soup Bar

Our son opted for the Mark T’s Pulled Pork sandwich and fries – which was HUGE!  But for a fourteen year old boy, it was more than enough, and it seems that I remembered that as much as he loved it, he still had to get a box and take some back to the condo.  They have several options under sandwiches besides the pulled pork with one vegeterian as well as one fish.  The menu does say that gluten free buns are available as well.  There are also a few burgers available, and you can make it custom with cheeses, veggies, sauces, additional meats, or even swapping the beef for turkey, chicken breast, veggie burger patty, or a “skinny” burger with no bun.  I really like having the turkey and veggie burger options, since I prefer one of those on my burgers nowadays.  Next time we visit, maybe I will get a turkey burger!

There are entrees and calzones available for those who don’t want the pizza, sandwich, or burgers…but only a few options like mac ‘n’ cheese (3 types!), fish & chips, a couple of pasta options, and chicken tenders.  There were three calzone options that I saw:  lots of meat, no meat vegeterian, or create your own.  I like that option in a calzone personally!

There were several options for the little ones, which we were happy to see.  The $6.25 Kids Menu (includes a soda, juice, or milk) for ages 10 and under had:  spaghetti, chicken strips, mini burgers, grilled cheese, or mac & cheese.  Our little girl doesn’t eat meat, so she was plenty content with the mac & cheese, and trying our cheese/mushroom pizza.  You can also add a salad to the kid’s meals for just $1.99, which is a nice addition.  We gave her olives and broccoli from our salads, so she was a happy girl.  But if you don’t want to get one of the kid’s meals, there was always the Kid’s Buffet and Baby Buffets that I listed above.  2014-06-09 18.04.43

We didn’t see or hear of any desserts, and there aren’t any on the menu, but they DO have them – you just have to ask your server for the day’s selections.

I’m not sure if they deliver, but they do have a “Take and Bake” option, where you can pick it up and cook it in the comfort of your own oven.  One night when it was raining, and we were tired and didn’t want to go out again, we considered going and picking up to cook it ourselves – but didn’t only because we didn’t have a pizza cutter and honestly, just didn’t want to cook (yeah, we were THAT tired).

Overall, I loved all of the options, and the prices seemed pretty decent for a touristy, college town.  My only negative would be to have more vegeterian pizzas out and on the pizza buffet.  The ingredients were clearly fresh, and each pie made by hand.  I will totally return upon our future visits to Golden, and highly recommend it to anyone who happens across this hidden treasure of a locale!

Coming This Summer!

Domestic Dyke and family are going on the road this summer! I am expanding my blogging to travel writing and photographing, and looking forward to some amazing adventures starting summer 2014!
We are starting our journey with the whole fam loading up in June to Golden, Colorado, and probably some visits to Denver while we are there as well. In July, the wife and I will be traveling to San Francisco and Napa Valley, and plan to visit some cool, LGBT friendly venues as well. I will take tons of pictures – like I always do – and write up blog reviews as we go. I want to be able to pass on all of the good to all of our peeps, especially the LGBT friendly ones! Somewhere in there, hopefully sooner than later, I want to book a trip to one of our favorite spots – Little Rock, Arkansas – now that marriage equality has landed there! Hopefully there will be a lot more LGBT traffic in that beautiful, green state now that marriage is a reality. So if you have any destinations that you have been to and can recommend that might be interested in hosting us/me in exchange for a photo blog review, send me a message or list it in the comments – and I will check it out! Who knows…maybe I’ll be visiting in a town near you. If I do, let me know and let’s have a drink!

travel pic