There is a lot in a name. Take Jonesy's EatBar, for example. I love it mostly because it evokes the idea of the trendy gastropub without any pretension at all. And although their website delves into what I would consider too much detail on the "gastropub", I think that they have actually come up with a much better name in "EatBar". Think of it as American for gastropub. We don't go to the "pub" in America any more than we experience "gastronomy" once there. We go to the bar. We drink. And being American, whether or not we are hungry, we eat. And if the food is better than the typical bar food then we are happy. All of our language and naming should be so simple and descriptive. It reminds me of a Simpson's episode (of course it does) where Homer and Moe run across Tipsy McStagger's Good Time Emporium of Drinking and Eating.
Though far from the chain that Tipsy's has become, Jonesy's EatBar is in this fine company as far as naming goes. So it should come as no surprise that their brunch menu stars a sandwich with an equally fine, descriptive and simple name: the torta ahogada, or drowned sandwich. The Torta Ahogada is a Mexican-style torta sandwich that is swimming (or better yet, has drowned and died) on the plate in a bath of red chile sauce. (Drowned is Mexican for smothered in the American Southwest-- a very good thing.) This traditional plate is native to the city of Guadalajara, where it is as ubiquitous as mariachi and tequila. I have never eaten a torta ahogada in Gualajara, so I won't comment on the authenticity of Jonesy's dish, but what I can say is that this Eat Bar makes a good sandwich soaked in chile sauce.
It was simple, as far as tortas go: just a fried egg and some tender pork sandwiched between the bread, which again was all smothered in a chile sauce (guajillos, I would guess). It was also large, but not that large. Our waiter warned us of the gravity of eating a whole torta ahogada, and I don't know why I listened to him. He made a joke (to every table) about how one would be advised not to make plans for the rest of the day after ordering one. He was a skinny little guy, so I should have known better. It was pretty easy to put down. In fact, I'm not bragging, but I could easily eat two if I was hungover enough, and even that would be less painful than one torta cubana. Nevertheless, it was a pleasant amount of food washed down with Pablo's coffee and truffle fries.
Yes, of course I had to have some of this EatBar's famous truffle fries, although again our skinny waiter dissuaded me from ordering my own plate (yes, I had plans that day ha-ha-ha), so I picked at my wife's order. She ordered some sliders with falafel which were in reality pretty sorry-tasting, but the obvious star of the plate was the French fried potatoes covered in shaved truffle.
Not to worry, I didn't leave hungry, and it is probably for the best that I didn't overeat yet another time, seeing as how I arrived at Jonesy's on two wheels powered by my own two legs. I will reinforce, however, that I absolutely and quite literally mopped the plate where once sat my torta.
While there are other places in Denver that will likely serve you a more authentic torta, Jonesy's EatBar has created one great sandwich, and offers those caught up in their downtown bubble some brunch variety. Jonesy's is also a very pleasant place for brunch, with a small patio outside, and inside seating that is warm and inviting with tons of natural light. Jonesy's is also part of the DINR Deck discount card pack that I bought for my wife last December. Shamefully, though I have given away many, this is the first card we have used for ourselves. I have another $10-off card for Jonesy's, so I will certainly be back to this EatBar even if it insists on paying respects to the gastro pub.
Also see Sheehan's Westword review which I swear I had never read before I wrote this, as it makes another case against the term, "gastropub". Though my review is, of course, less opinionated, it is another vote for "Eat Bar"!
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