If you’re new to Denver or – a newer foodie – Denver Restaurant Week is exciting! The prospect of trying a place you’ve only heard of or always wanted to visit for a mere $52.80 is near irresistible! And, it seems like just about every joint in town is participating these days! Can’t get in to your fave restaurant? No problem! Pick from one of the other 812 establishments on the list! To this day I still know people who wait with bated breath for the list to publish and set aside night after night over the 2 week period so that they can get their cheap(ened) eats.
I know this is all true because this used to be me. However, times have changed. Call me an old lady… or call me a snob… I DO NOT CARE! I’ve learned to avoid Restaurant Week like the plague. In my experience the whole thing has become a long line of dumbed down food and overly cranky servers.
So when the hubs and I were craving middle eastern food last week, we first checked the list of participating Restaurant Week businesses to ensure Phoenician Kabob was NOT on it and headed out to satisfy our falafel jones right in our Park Hill neighborhood (5709 E Colfax). Well… turns out I don’t know how to read because Phoenician Kabob WAS in fact a participant in Restaurant Week. AND, that’s right… they sucked me back in.
Phoenician Kabob offers an extensive menu of salads, soup, kabobs and other Middle Eastern specialties, as well as the expected vegetarian fare (hummus, baba ghanouj, falafel, tabbouleh, dolmades, etc.) The hubs and I have no self control when presented with this kind of smorgasboard. We realized that if we went for the $52.80 deal we could try nearly all of the menu staples PLUS 2 desserts PLUS 2 glasses of lebanese red wine. SOLD!
We had a fattoush salad (more than enough for 2 people), the lentil soup, a meat combo and a vegetarian combo. Yep, all bases covered. For dessert we had baklava (of course) and another similar pastry- the name I cannot remember- that was a lot like baklava but stuffed with a cheese custard. Yes, it was in fact, heaven! All of this was a lot more food than we needed on a Tuesday night — but everything we sampled was damn near perfect from the piping hot pita bread we watched the baker pull fresh from the oven – to what might be the most delicious dolmades I’ve ever had. The falafel was dense with a subtle sweetness and the hummus and baba ganouj were truly elevated versions of what I’ve always known them to be. On top of all this – our waiter was friendly, open to questions about the menu and made much appreciated suggestions.
Aside from a few take-out pick-ups, we were the only diners at Phoenician Kabob that night. Hard to believe with it being Restaurant Week and all. I can say this with certainty Denver… you’re missing the boat! Phoenician Kabob is serving up possibly the best Middle Eastern food in the city, Restaurant Week or not. Next year, instead of battling it out with every other Denverite clamoring for their one chance at a cheap steak at Elway’s, why not opt for a true feast at this little E Colfax gem?
Also… just wondering… anyone ever tried the Ethiopian Restaurant next door to Phoenician Kabob? The menu looked amazing! I’d love to hear anyone’s experience?