Colorado food / Dining and Restaurants / Food trends

Food writing secrets and green chile adventures in Colorado

Del Taco is celebrating its 50th anniversary with new items like the CrunchTada (above) and a killer green chile sauce. (Photo by Kim Long)

Del Taco is celebrating its 50th anniversary with new items like the CrunchTada (above) and a killer green chile sauce. (Photo by Kim Long)

By John Lehndorff

June 5, 2014 – The thing I’ve loved about being a food journalist for 30-plus years has been the variety of roles I’ve gotten to play in pursuit of a decent meal. I’ve been a short order cook, food columnist, caterer, blogger, cooking instructor, food editor, dining critic, food radio host and spokesperson for National Pie Day. This Saturday, June 7, at the Boulder Book Store I’ll be teaching my first-ever Food Writing Workshop. I’ll be sharing some secrets to being a culinary reporter in the new digital/mobile media landscape and how to dine like a dining critic. Details: http://www.boulderbookstore.net/event/will-write-food-five-course-workshop-john-lehndorff

Goin’ Where The Chile Winds Blow
I’ve been a little obsessed with green chile and have lately sampled a green chile topped cheeseburger at Westerkamp’s in Denver, and bowls of green at El Taco de Mexico and Johnson’s Corner Café along with a bottled version from the Durango Diner. When folks at Del Taco asked me to taste some of the menu as the West Coast chain celebrates its 50th anniversary, I was ready to underwhelmed although I’d never actually BEEN to Del Taco. But after sampling an array of dishes at the Del Taco in Lakewood – I liked the new Turkey CrunchTada and the Grilled Chicken Taco – I found that overall Del Taco is several steps above Taco Bell in quality. They actually use knives in the kitchens which means fresh pico de gallo! The refried beans are made every day at each Del Taco and they grind cheese from big blocks. The food (including burgers) is cooked to order – ordering it “bold” adds fries and hot sauce. The great highlight of the visit was Del Taco’s green chile, a lively (but not painfully hot) chunky sauce made mostly with roasted green chiles which upgrades every dish it touches. It’s delicious, a word I tell my food writing students to never, ever use.

COMING TASTE EVENTS
Pie alert! The big annual pick-your-own rhubarb harvest takes place 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 7 and 8 at High Altitude Rhubarb, 7225 Wildridge Rd., in Black Forest. http://www.highaltituderhubarb.com/Pages/default.aspx

Boulder’s inaugural Taste of Art event at the Dairy Center June 12 to 15 features an array of appetizing attractions including an Iron Chef-like cooking competition, kids’ gardening workshop, culinary seminars, food movies, and a national food photography exhibit. Details: http://www.thedairy.org/

John Lehndorff is a the former food editor and Nibbles columnist at the Daily Camera and dining critic for the Rocky Mountain News. He also created the 2014 Colorado Pie Trail Calendar and travel guide to pie palaces. He hosts Radio Nibbles Thursdays at 8:25 a.m. on KGNU (88.5 FM, 1390 AM, and streaming at kgnu.org.)
Facebook: Nibbles (Colorado food news) page
Colorado Pie Shop Tour – AAA’s Encompass magazine: http://encompassmag.com/2013/12/colorado-first-pie-altitude/

Contact John at radionibbles@kgnu.org

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