A certain food celebrity with spiky hair and a sort of persona you might describe as a Rachel Ray mixed with a wannabe biker was recently in Denver to gush in cliches over more of our city's food. His arrival generated a little backlash--even a tinge of hatred--from more than one local media outlet. I'm not sure what makes him so polarizing, though I think watching too much Food Network these days would make anyone edgy. I personally have never been a fan (though I do secretly wish I came up with his tagline), but isn't it a good thing to get some national exposure for some of Denver's mom and pop joints? My answer to that question after eating at one of his stops on his last Denver tour is: maybe.
We entered the half-deli, half-diner strip mall space and among the family pictures and other homey kitsch decor was a TV playing a loop of their 6.5 minutes of fame. Big signs advertising a TV show is understandable and is one thing, but playing that spiky blond blabbermouth on a continuous loop while good people are sitting down to break bread together is a special kind of torture.
I hate it when my waiter tries to get me to eat less-- what are you my doctor?
My lox and bagel platter was just what I was in the mood for. A hearty serving of smoked salmon and a scoop of cream cheese with all the fixings. The bagel was decent and the meal was overall satisfying, and though not in any way large it would indeed probably be a tad too much for the average 4pm diner.
And regardless, I think it's probably good for the businesses in the end, though this one could tone it down a little. I think I would have preferred the Bagel Deli in the pre-fame days. Or I think I think so. Whatever. So like I always say: "Ess, bench, sei a mensch", or, "Eat, pray, don't act like a jerk!" (Note: I've never said that before, but if I were Jewish that would totally be my tag line.)
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