Monthly Archives: September 2013

Pride of Philly Cheesesteaks – Copper Kettle Brewing Company – 9-10-2013

A truly rainy afternoon in Denver made yardwork impossible and a visit to a brewery and food truck likely.  Although Pride of Philly Cheesesteaks is not a truck (it is a small trailered food stand), they are a regular fixture at area breweries.  Saw the notification over Facebook that Pride of Philly would be down at the Copper Kettle Brewing Company, located near the intersection of Mississippi and Leetsdale in southeast Denver, and went that way immediately.

Pride of Philly offers a variety of cheesesteak options, including a thinly sliced ribeye or chicken option for the meat, with a choice of cheese (American, provolone, or whiz) and toppings which included onions, mushrooms, peppers, and cherry peppers.  He was also offering a Korean style cheesesteak  and a “bacon” cheesesteak which came with slices of bacon on top.

Going the classic route, sort of, I went for the ribeye meat with peppers, onions, mushrooms, cherry peppers, and Cheez Whiz.  The sandwiches were ready in just about 5 minutes on a quiet night at Copper Kettle, and the service was friendly and more than efficient.  Ketchup was provided upon request.

Loaded with onions, peppers, mushrooms, cherry peppers and cheez whiz

Loaded with onions, peppers, mushrooms, cherry peppers and cheez whiz

I paired this sandwich with Copper Kettle’s Mystery Man IPA​ which is a Belgian style Fresh Hop IPA made with local “Mystery X” fresh hops from Voss Farms in Arvada.  Copper Kettle describes these hops as an unknown varietal, with strong citrus flavors.  This was the best fresh hop beer I can remember tasting, ever.  Delicious.  Not that this is a beer blog (there are a number of good ones around in Denver), but you should avail yourself of this fine fresh hop ale before it’s out of season.

About the food.  The cheesesteak was served on a fresh roll that was about 7 inches long.  This is shorter than a lot of cheesesteaks you’d find, but I actually liked that because it meant I wasn’t about to explode from eating a bunch of red meat, bread, and cheese.  Pride of Philly’s ribeye steak was excellent. Sometimes with cheesesteaks, you can get meat that is not up to par and tastes like cheaper cuts.  This was delectable meat – good flavor and texture.

Upon the confirmation/recommendation of the purveyor, I went with the Cheez Whiz which is the obvious best choice for authentic cheesesteakery.  Diced up with the meat were the mushrooms, peppers, cherry peppers, and onions.  The level of dicing was pretty impressive, and these ingredients were mixed in with the meat in a “chopped salad” style – every bite had every flavor. The Whiz was distributed throughout and coated everything in this thing. My only regret with my selection of cheesesteak additions was that I didn’t ask for jalapenos.

Ribeye Cheesesteak by Pride of Philly Cheesesteaks - Copper Kettle Brewing Company - 9-10-2013

At a mere $6, this is an outstanding value for what amounts to a custom quality steak sandwich made into a cheesesteak format.  I do not think it was super authentic based on what I’ve had in Philly (everything I’ve had in Philly always has more dry meat, less even distribution of cheese, and the type of bread differs).  But, I think this is a welcome improvement or variation on the classic.  As noted above, each bite was flavorful and I didn’t get one of those bites of just bread and plain meat.  This looks messy in my pictures, but it was surprising easily eaten without a fuss.  With a bit of care, even with the Whiz, you can nearly avoid dripping a mess all over the place.  I actually liked that this wasn’t served on trays or on plates or anything, but just on a sheet of serving paper. Saves on trash generated, cuts costs, and was unnecessary in this particular setting.  If I had to eat this standing up, I might have wanted a tray. Fortunately for my T-shirt and overall cleanliness, I didn’t have to attempt this.

Ahh, dang. I am getting hungry just writing this thing.



SNACK ATTACK — Food truck gathering, August 24, 2013

Went down to the Snack Attack food truck gathering in the Argonaut Liquor parking lot on East Colfax and Washington in Denver’s Capitol Hill on a warm but rain-threatened Saturday afternoon, August 24, 2013.  Heading down there just around 1:30PM, for a lunch time meal.  I came hungry, not having much breakfast.

Snack Attack - 8-24-13

There were a handful of trucks here, along with live music and a beer tent in the middle pouring some beers. Capt’n Crabby, Hey PB&J, Barbed Wire Reef, Crazy Good Food, Little India Food Truck, The Panna Cotta Peddler, Crock Spot, and the Denver Bistro Bus were present and serving food.  There were several tables set up for eating, and a couple of promotional booths.

There were some chalk arts on the ground, including this one:

Snack Attack - 8-24-13 - Chalk Outline in Argonaut parking lot

After having witnessed a shooting about 5 blocks down on Colfax during lunch hour a few days before this, I thought this was a little bit crazy to have here!

But, back to the food trucks. I went for the Hey PB&J as my main course for the day.  I ordered The Barcelona after careful menu study and on the recommendation of the truck’s purveyors, who mentioned it was the staff fav.  The price: $7.25.

Hey PB&J Menu - Snack Attack - 8-24-13

After a quick wait, my meal emerged.

Homemade Almond Butter & Date Jam, Manchego [cheese], Applewood smoked bacon, & Carmelized Sherry Onion / Grilled

Homemade Almond Butter & Date Jam, Manchego [cheese], Applewood smoked bacon, & Carmelized Sherry Onion / Grilled

The Barcelona - Hey PB&J - Snack Attack - 8-24-13

This thing was pretty delicious –and rich.  It included some thick cut applewood bacon, which was a highlight of the sandwich.  Here is a picture of it

Closeup of Bacon - Hey PB&J - Snack Attack - 8-24-13

Not too bad! I thought this was a really interesting sandwich concept.  I have never been a huge peanut butter and jelly sandwich eater.  But this was nice with the almond butter and date jam, and the addition of cheese and bacon.  The toasting of the sandwich was perfect.

As I plowed through eating this thing, I finished the first half feeling really satisfied.  By the time I got to the second half, the sandwich started to feel really rich and more dessert like as I went on.  Not being the biggest connoisseur of sweets, the heaviness of the almond butter, greasy bread, and sweet jam weighed on my ability to enjoyably finish the sandwich.  Glad for a bottle of water, I finished eating The Barcelona.

My verdict on the Barcelona — wow, amazingly interesting sandwich and a lot different than what you’ll find in many food trucks.  I think if one is a big fan of peanut butter and jelly, and you enjoy bacon, this is basically a can’t miss.  If you are a more casual fan of pb&j, this is something I would recommend splitting with someone, especially if there are other trucks around to sample from.  One of the nice things about food trucks is, when they gather, you can put together a multiple course menu by sampling and splitting items.  I will return to Hey PB&J to try their other offerings, but the richness of The Barcelona means I will probably try to find someone to share this and something else more savory with.   In terms of value and eatability– as easy to eat as any sandwich, and the price is low at just over $7.

Hey PB&J - Snack Attack - 8-24-13

Remaining strangely hungry after the sweetness of Hey PB&J, I chugged a bottle of water and went looking for a smaller savory treat for balance. Oh look, its Capt’n Crabby!

Capt'n Crabby - Snack Attack - 8-24-13

I head over to visit the Capt’n and ordered up a  petite Authentic Maryland Crab Cake Sandwich.  Capt’n Crabby offered a limited menu for Snack Attack, seen below:

Capt'n Crabby Menu - Snack Attack - 8-24-13

The crab cake is made from blue crab out of Maryland, and is formed and pan cooked in the truck before being loaded onto a toasted sandwich roll with old bay aioli, lettuce, and tomato. It is served with a side of Lays smothered in old bay seasoning.

Petite Crab Cake Sandwich - Capt'n Crabby - Snack Attack - 8-24-13

This looks bigger in the picture than it is– its about the size of a slider, maybe a touch larger. At $6, you get what seems to me a good value.  The cost of fresh crab is not cheap (go look at your local grocery story if you don’t believe me), and while you won’t necessarily fill up for your $6, you are getting freaking fresh crab out of a truck in Denver!  This is a fine crab cake sandwich and the sauce was tangy and tasty.  While warm throughout, this crab cake was not particularly crisped up.  I think this is because its mostly made out of fresh crab meat, instead of a bunch of bread fillers that would toast up. Delicious.

I am still waiting for Capt’n Crabby to come back with his Royale crab salad sandwich.  Come on buddy, make it happen.

Finally, I was filling full (remember, I didn’t eat breakfast! That’s my excuse this time for eating so much….yep)  Yet, my Snack Attack experience was not yet done.  The Panna Cotta Peddler was also there.  I love the name of this pedal powered bike-trailer based Italian dessert server.  Having seen the Peddler around town for a long time, it was long time to give it a try.  I ordered the Lemon Rosemary kind for $4. Free samples are offered of the flavors.  I didn’t grab a photo of the menu.

The Panna Cotta Peddler - Snack Attack - 8-24-13

The Panna Cotta comes in attractive packaging with a tiny little spoon. Wikipedia let this uninformed (uncultered) foodie know that panna cotta (from Italian cooked cream) is an Italian dessert made by simmering together cream, milk and sugar, mixing this with gelatin, and letting it cool until set.

This is not a huge amount of panna cotta from the Peddler,and it was fairly light and refreshing.  Basically a chilled pudding, the flavors of the lemon rosemary were mostly faint, but noticeable, and did not overwhelm.  I found it an interesting alternative to the common cupcake truck or ice cream trucks that are ever present.

The Panna Cotta Peddler - Snack Attack - 8-24-13