Sometimes you just want some meat, you know what I’m saying?
Last night was one of those nights. The hubs was itchy to start his Thanksgiving vacation and I was going to tear my hair out if I had to spend one more night on the couch. I’ve been sick for more than 2 weeks people! I JUST COULDN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE! Even if it meant coughing up a lung on every unsuspecting Colfax bar patron, I was going out last night. For steak. And whiskey.
I dug through my big stack of Restaurant.com coupons and came up with one for Bastien’s, a Denver staple since 1937, and conveniently located just 2 blocks from my humble abode. Mmmmm… sugar steak! More on that later…
It’s true… I’m getting up there in years (WARNING: ROUND NUMBER BIRTHDAY APPROACHING!) but I’m not quite ready to join the early bird special contingent just yet. So I told the hubs to meet me for a pre-dinner whiskey cocktail at one of The Omelette’s favorite spots: The PS Lounge, just across the street from Bastien’s, and hands down my choice for best dive bar in Denver. The place has been around forever too. Yep – it was an Old School Colfax kind of night.
I don’t know that I’ve ever been in the PS before 6PM previously. Normally I end up there after one too many at Atomic Cowboy or Goosetown or Mezcal… and I drink Jameson on ice until I do one of the following: cry, get in a fight or party like it’s 1999.
But last night I was at the bar by 5:45PM. And to my surprise I learned that The PS Lounge has a happy hour! $2.50 for a strong-ass pour of well whiskey + ginger ale + a free tang/sloe gin shot and a limp yellow rose (ladies always get a rose at The PS). If you haven’t been before – SHAME ON YOU! Go now – introduce yourself to Pete, the owner since dirt. Before you know it he’ll be buying you a shot and you’ll be in love with the place. You might even try convincing Pete to hire you as a guest bartender (this actually may have happened once when drinking Jameson w/ Betty Steele at the PS… yep) But, don’t forget a fistful of cash. No credit cards accepted.
Anyway – turns out whiskey and cough drops compliment each other well. After a couple of cocktails I was feeling fine and hungry. We crossed Colfax and got ourselves a cozy booth at Bastien’s Restaurant and Steakhouse.
Bastien’s prides itself on being a Colfax staple since the dawn of time. It embraces it’s Rat-Pack-era heyday with retro decor, a crooner-heavy soundtrack and a simple (and affordable) menu. From what I understand this place has always been just like it is– strings of white lights, paisley carpet and all. The waitresses too are in it for the long haul, all of them in their 60’s and beyond. They don’t mess around. They serve up Bastien’s famous Sugar Steaks (a New York Strip with a sugar coating seared over an open flame) briskly and with an attitude. They might spill a drink on you by accident… but they’ll have a replacement on your table in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.
The hubs and I both indulged in a rye manahattan, a famous Sugar Steak (meat quotient satisfied for a looooong time…) and a baked potato. All cooked perfectly (just ignore the limp frozen veggies on your plate… that’s not why you come to Bastien’s). The best part of evening at Bastien’s though, even more than the delectable sugar steak, is enjoying time in a setting where you feel at ease, where decades of Denverites have done the same before you, and feeling totally content knowing some things never change.
Like we always do, we got a slice of the banana cream toasted coconut pie to go. Simple… perfect… a great old school night on Colfax.
I’m still coughing like the devil… but the PS Lounge and Bastien’s made me forget about it for a while. Try them both out some time. You’ll like it.