Jay Fox's Dining Guide

FOX: IT WAS A SAD DAY IN DENVER

“Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.” — Mark Twain

THE RESTAURANT COMMUNITY WAS SADDENED earlier this month with the sudden and unexpected passing of restaurateur Noel Cunningham, owner of String’s Restaurant. He was also a partner with Michael Coughlin in 240 Union Restaurant in Lakewood.

Noel was the epitome of an entrepreneur. He was an effective businessman who understood how to treat his workers and how to serve his customers. He was generous to a fault, with frequent donations to the needy and hungry, and his philanthropic endeavors consumed great amounts of his time and energy. His passing will leave all of us a bit sadder, but his memory will leave all of us a bit wiser, a bit more generous and caring, and a bit better off for having walked in his path. May he rest in peace.

There’s some tidbits that I’ve saved up for some months, so I’ll just get with it.

If you ever travel to the East Coast, check out Hershey’s ice cream. They’re located all over the place, and their ice cream is mighty fine. The Ben and Jerry’s at Belmar closed just cuz no one would buy their over-priced ice cream. So an unknown gelato peddler is going to replace them. Good luck.

If you haven’t tried one of the fine pies, cakes or other pastries offered at the popular full line European bakery, Bonjour Bakery (8172 S. Holly St, Centennial, 303-721-7547), you are missing some of Denver’s best. I haven’t tried their bagels yet, but hear tell they’re extra yummy. Closed Mondays.

ON THE “HA HA GOOD NEWS from New York” side, New York’s famed but sucko Tavern on the Green filed bankruptcy a while back and closed last New Year’s Eve. Word is that The Donald wants to buy it and re-open it as a restaurant. Sed he’d spend up to $20 million! That’s one pricey remodel, doncha think? The restaurant reportedly grossed almost $40 million a year. If he does take over, I hope he hires real cooks and servers. Gorgeous setting and rooms but boring food and bad service.

Ready for a chuckle? I received lotsa comments on my recent burger stories but this from a sympathizing reader got me giggling. “What do you call an over-cooked hamburger?” Answer: meatloaf.

ON BAGELS AND LOX. The best bagels I’ve found are at Moe’s Broadway Bagel (550 S. Grant St, 303-733-7331; www.moesbroadwaybagels.com.) If you’re looking for the best lox to go with your bagels, make sure you buy cold-smoked lox which is the best you can get. It’s available at Whole Foods, King Stoopers. And always at the Capital Grille.

Y’all remember all the bagel stores and frozen yogurt stores that opened all over town about ten or so years ago, and most are gone? Now the frozen yogurt craze is going into round two. Dozens of stores have opened around town and new ones opening weekly. I guess they don’t remember TCBY and the others. Meanwhile, my grandkids are in 7th heaven cuz Nana Fox can’t say no to any of them.

I TOLD YOU PREVIOUSLY ABOUT the maavelous meataballs at Macaroni Grill. Well, as all chefs do, they changed the recipe and on one recent visit the meataballs were terrible. I’ve heard that they’ve changed the recipe again, but haven’t tried ‘em yet. I did luv the crusted tilapia they had a few months ago, which has now been replaced by parmesan crusted sole. Not as good.

Y’all know where the coldest lavatory (bathroom) in the state of Colorado is? It’s in the wondrous cheese room at Cheese Importer’s Warehouse (33 S. Pratt Pkwy, Longmont, 303-443-4444; www.cheeseimporters.com). You need to zip and zap to find the place, but if you trust in your GPS, it will get you there just fine. They have wonderful sangies and desserts for your dining pleasure in their authentic French cafe. The cheese room also offers a selection of cured meats.

I’M KINDA TICKED AT THE FOLKS at New York Deli News (7105 E. Hampden Ave, 303-759-4741; www.nydndenver.com). Y’all know that I have six grandkids. Turns out #3 grandson is allergic to peanuts along with most everything else, and the only meat he can eat is chicken. NYDN cooks their chicken in peanut oil and he’s allergic to peanuts so he can’t have their chicken. So his mom tried to bring in his own chicken from that Scottish foodery, McDonald’s, next door and the NYDN folks were not what you would call cordial. The family was sent away. There were six paying customers but no one cared. I do luv the place but I can’t go with some family members from now on. So who’s the loser here? I understand the “don’t bring your own food in here” rule, but someone should have thought it thru.

AND FINALLY, Safeway is back to charging full price for a package of two-fers. Supposedly, if you buy only one “two-fer” at your local supermarket, they charge you half price. Not so at my local fat S store. I complained loud and clear. The customer service clerk told me, “Sometimes the register doesn’t do it correctly.” They refunded the difference, but seems like their system requires a live person to make the decision instead of the system computer.

Cya.

See, now you know why he’s called “No More Mr. Nice Guy!” Jay is saving up his niceties for when the legislature returns for session in a couple weeks. In the meantime you can pass on any culinary tidbits to him at jay@jayfoxcpa.com.