Summer 2019

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rant dating to 1893, liquor license No. 1 hangs behind the old oak bar on the sec- ond floor lounge where Buffalo Bill once quenched his thirst. There's a sign on the north side of the building that says "Steak Dinners Our Specialty," so my dinner companion, an old college friend I hadn't seen in years, and I thought that was a safe bet and then got adventurous sharing a combo plate of wild elk and bison, and for an appetizer, a dip topped with rattlesnake and a small order of Rocky Mountain Oysters, a dish I learned after a few bites was actually bull testicles. All I can say about this regional delicacy is you can fry anything and cover it in enough cocktail or aoli sauce to make it appetizing. May I suggest washing this stomach-curdling novelty down with some Rocky Mountain spring water, preferably from Coors, whose brewery is in nearby Golden. Beer is to Denver what cream soda is to New York, vodka is to Moscow and pressed juice is to West Hollywood: an unofficial civic beverage in a city that brews the most beer of any metropolitan area and is home to the Great American Beer Festival, earning it the nickname the "Napa Valley of beer." Downtown Denver's food scene is booming. No longer do elk steak and Rocky Mountain Oysters mark the limits of local chef's imaginations. Laura Rizzo at Visit Denver ticked off the following restaurants not to miss, including Acorn at the Source; Mercantile and Taver- netta at Union Station; and Bar Dough in LoHi, the eastern section of trendy Highland. The 16th Street Mall, a mile- long pedestrian precinct of outdoor cafes, fine shops, and restored buildings, is the hub of Denver's downtown and could easily be called the social, dining and en- tertainment center of the city. The Lower Downtown area, known as LoDo, used to be a warehouse wasteland. Now it boasts Coors Field (home base of base- ball's Colorado Rockies) thousands of residents and hundreds of shopping, eclectic cafes and dining options, art galleries and nightclubs. I spent the night at the J.W. Marriott in Cherry Creek, one of Denver's fan- ciest neighborhoods, and within walking distance of upscale shops and restaurant chains I like such as True Food and Kona Grill and a Whole Foods. If you have time to squeeze in exercise, the 42-mile long Cherry Creek Trail is popular for strolling, biking and in-line skating. I rushed back to the airport in the morning to meet my wife who joined me for the rest of the adventure, and we got our steps in on the course instead. Denver has its fair share of affordable public golf. First and foremost, is Common- Ground Golf Course, a Tom Doak design, in Aurora, that is owned and op- erated by the Colorado Golf Association. Although located less than 10 miles east of the heart of the city, the urban sprawl NCGA.ORG | SUMMER 2019 49 COLORADO TOURISM OFFICE

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