As the cyclists began their climb on Lookout Mountain outside of Golden, Denver was setting the table for a party like no other. Race fans are lining the course around Civic Center Park and local food vendors are standing by ready and waiting hunger pangs to start.
Though the other race cities put on a nice party spread for race fans, Denver seems to have won the competition for the most local food vendors. As of lunchtime, Denver sported more than one dozen local vendors and food trucks, plus a bevy of beverage carts and Sierra Nevada beer tents. Still no local beer on site, but local food is out in full force.
Today’s near 90 temperatures will make the Coaches Scoop Ice cream and Italian ice a popular spot. The father and daughter team, Fred and Kayla Langley are ready for the hot crowds with a double chocolate, blackberry, key lime and dozens of other flavors. You may know Fred Langley as the basketball coach for University of Wyoming. When he left his job last year, he partnered up with is daughter to launch a grown-up ice cream truck. Kayla is the flavor coach, while Dad is first in line to try Kayla’s culinary creations (and he helps drives the truck). www.coachesscoop.com
No matter where your taste buds calls you, there are some great options for today’s cycling party scene:
Crazy Good Food
Wraps are king here. The owner Claudia Holler will fill a soft tortilla with vegetables, salmon, chicken Caesar or fresh tomato, basil and mozzarella wraps. www.crazygood.com
Build a bowl of slow cooked roasted duck, pulled pork, shredded chicken or curried lentil hominy. Add a grain and sauce for a one-handed walk around gourmet meal (you need free hand to ring your cow bell). Stephen Daniels, the owner, and Peter William Edholm, his right hand, recommended the shredded chicken with a chimichuri and the pulled pork with a chipotle sour cream, neither disappointed our taste buds. www.thecrockspot.com
Tres Picosos Burrito Company
Jane Hartgrove, you can miss her in the lime green sombrero, is dishing up smiles and burritos and bowls. All real ingredients, no fillers, just pure good. www.trespicosos.com
Christian Azmar, owner of The Goods, is a familiar face on Civic Center Park. His smoked sausages and turkey wings are a festival favorite. The cameraman gave the all-beef kielbasa a juicy thumbs up. www.thegoods.com
At 11:00am, Epicurean already had a line of hungry diners. Pete Lagomarsino was dishing up New York Strip Sandwiches, Black Bean Burgers, Rosemary and lemon chicken wings, and sweet potato fried. www.epicuriancatering.com
Max will set you up with a cool lunch of gazpacho, salads, and sandwiches on his own baked breads and for dessert ice cream sandwiches. www.maxlunch.com
Vegans this is your place. Zack Anderson will wok-fire 21 vegetables in a garlic ginger sauce. For protein lovers, you can add teriyaki-glazed chicken.
Grass fed burgers and basil beet salad will fit with bill for any localvores in the crowd.
Nick Messer has a mess of apple wood smoke meats. The best way to find him is to just follow the aroma of BBQ brisket, ribs and chicken. He even has smoke tofu for vegetarians. www.nzsmokinguns.com
Zen and Art of the Grilled Cheese
Imagine a grilled cheese inside out, and that’s what owner Steve Stevenson has come up with for his Burnt cheese sandwich. His stand is just next to the large video screens by the fountain.