What to Eat? Denver’s Array of International Cuisine Offers Global Variety

American Cuisine. What exactly is it? Sometimes, my students ask me what the typical dish of the United States is. That is not an easy question to answer because unless you count the cuisine of the Native American peoples, which is the only true American cuisine, then there really are no typical dishes of the United States.

Some people might think hamburgers or hotdogs or even apple pie are but they would be wrong. Hamburgers actually start as far back as the Mongolian Empire and hotdogs, well, most people know they are actually a German food as well as is apple pie. But these foods have become icons in America thanks in large part to McDonalds and all of its subsequent spin-off chain restaurants. Many foreigners think that all Americans eat is McDonalds, which is entirely untrue, and now that McDonalds is a global franchise, that stereotype is for all intents and purposes moot.

So, students coming to BridgeEnglish Denver looking for that typical American dish might be a little disappointed because the typical American food is actually cuisine from all over the world. In fact, within one square mile of our school exists a plethora of cuisines from the countries where most of our students hail from. Just one block up in the same strip mall there is a Mongolian restaurant, a Japanese restaurant, Indian, Mexican and Arabic eateries and a hamburger place of course. For those students who are craving food from their home countries, here are some delicious, authentic “your country” cuisines in Denver.

Fogo de Chão, 1513 Wynkoop St., Denver, CO 80202

For the Brazilian students who have a hankering for churrasco, the Gaucho way of roasting meats over pits of open fire for delicious barbecues, then Fogo de Chão is where you want to go. Fogo de Chão is owned and operated by two brothers from Brazil so you know it is authentic. In fact, they started the restaurant in the south of Brazil and made their way up to the USA. At Fogo de Chão you will experience a different way of dining. Upon sitting at your table you are handed a round card that is green on one side and red on the other. This card is to indicate to the wait staff if you want more (green side up) or want to stop (red side up.) The wait staff makes rounds at your table with spits of the 15 different kinds of meats that have been grilling over an open fire for hours.

You can choose which meat you want and the waiter will slice it off of the spit right on to your plate. Some of the choices of meats are picanha (top sirloin), filet mignon, cordeiro (lamb), chicken and many others to satisfy your palate. There is also an amazing salad bar that has over 30 items. You can fill up on the salad bar alone! Choose from an extensive wine list and save room for dessert. This is truly a Brazilian experience in the heart of Denver.

Domo Japanese Restaurant, 1365 Osage Street, Denver

When most people (excluding Japanese people) think of Japanese food they probably think of sushi and ramen. While those dishes are indeed a main staple of Japanese cuisine, they by no means encompass the wide variety of dishes that make up the cuisine of the country. Domo is a unique Japanese restaurant in that it serves “country style” Japanese food. What is country style Japanese food? Well, you must visit Domo in order to truly experience a kind of Japanese cuisine that most Americans have never tried. Domo’s food is “very Japanese” according to the BridgeEnglish Denver Japanese students that have been there.

The menu includes eggy tojimono, donburi bowls topped with raw fish, nabemono hot pots and an incredible list of noodles, including soba, udon and some of the best spicy miso ramen in Denver. Entrées come with sides of pickled vegetables, yams and fermented soybeans. The menu is extensive so it is hard to choose which delicacy to order. The dining room resembles a dark, enchanted cottage in the forest, with its tables made from stone slabs and seats cut from tree stumps. The outside offers a Japanese garden setting surrounded by lush vegetation and Japanese décor. Domo has been voted the Best of Denver multiple times. It’s truly a Japanese experience.

Marrakech Lebanese and Persian Cuisine, 2990 S. Colorado Blvd.

BridgeEnglish Denver has a large population of students from the Middle East including Saudi Arabia, Syria and Qatar and the food from these regions is just as interesting as the culture. Denver actually offers a wide array of Middle Eastern restaurants and one of them is located right near the school.

Marrakech restaurant offers a mix of authentic Lebanese and Persian cuisines including hummus (a Mediterranean staple), baba ghanouj and stuffed grape leaves. Entrées include such delights as gyros and lamb curry. There are also some vegetarian items for the non-meat eater. The restaurant is adorned with beautiful, authentic decorations and soft Arabic music plays in the background while you dine. Marrakech also is a hookah café and a dance club at night, so for those of you who are really interested in getting some Lebanese and Middle Eastern culture, order one of their flavored tobaccos and enjoy the night smoking hookah with your friends.