Red Ginger restaurant, Denver


All the rolls are half off. You should go there and get some.

Cell phone photo↑. 

The area.

hamburger, fries, Burger-Fi, Denver, sunset

We were started in a gourmet kitchen. By gourmet chefs. They didn’t know fast food, so we’re less burger joint, more five-star restaurant. Meaning, there are no shortcuts. Or microwaves, freezers, or heat lamps for that matter. 
We cut. We chop. We mix, instead.
Well look at you.

A 5-star restaurant would have white tablecloths, substantial hefty serviceware, comfortable seating and there would not be two gigantic ice soda drink dispensers dominating the visual field. And food would be served on plates not in paper baskets. But let's not have any of that interfere with this idealization.
Our beef is purveyed from the best, most natural ranches on earth. Where cattle roam free. Eat grass. Breathe mountain air. And, are treated humanely. This doesn’t come easy. Certainly not cheap. Truth is, there are simpler ways to put a burger on a bun. But, they’re not better. 
If you say so then it is so.
No hormones, no antibiotics, not now, not ever. 
We appreciate all that. We do. What about steroids? What about branding? What about tagging their ears? Castrating bulls into steers? What about genetically modified corn and feed? How are pathogens managed? Do they put a ring in their nose to lead them around to their massage sessions and their beer drinking sessions like the insanely coddled Kobi Wagyu?  Still, the ring. Do you jab a ring through their nose?

Fries are hand cut.

It is a very good hamburger. 

I bought a malted milkshake and Chicago style hot dog to bring home.

Ha! These photos were just now "favorited" on Flicker before I finished this post. They notify by email when somebody does. 

crossroads taco, green chile pork taco, Torchy's takeout.

There's more to their menu than this. 

Damn, this is one hell of a devilishly good taco. It's hot! And you just don't see that anymore. Genuinely hot, and I appreciate that. And not pickled jalapeños either, roasted jalapeños, and it makes all the difference. All the difference in the world. But we're not in the world anymore, Charon is our guide across the river Styx as we descend to chaos and noise and go were Dante went. 

It was an experiment. I don't see the advantage of calling it in.  There is no separate line for pick up that I can see today. There was no line the moment I walked into the place, but in that moment a line formed behind me and I'd be stuck behind them waiting had it not worked out the way that it did. Maybe there's a trick to it that I'm not seeing just yet. 

The advantage of staying there is free refills and you can also have proper cocktails if you like or wine or beer.  The prices of these tacos are amazing for what you get. I can see the popularity of the place. 

shells in cheese sauce

This is a 99¢ package of noodles found along the Mexican food aisle. I imagine they import their durum wheat from the U.S.

The cheese is clean-out-the refrigerator of remnants collage. There must be some six types combined, no holding back sour cream, Philadelphia, mozzarella, Parmigiano Reggiano, American, Velveeta, munster with chiles and Oaxaca.  

Edit: I went back to the store and notice the packages of noodles are 30¢, not a dollar. 

azuki bean miso

Kombu, edible kelp. 

Umami is a loan word from Japanese. It means "delicious taste" and it refers to glutamate that is present in a lot of savory foods and it does have it's own taste receptor so now western scientists generally accept it as a distinct taste. 

This kombu is dry and brittle. When immersed in hot water it quickly softens and swells, turns green and becomes rather tough. It can be removed and sliced into tough thin noodles. Here it used to produce a sort of kombu tea. It makes a huge difference with miso. 

Miso paste and water make a fine cup of soup while using this kombu dashi tea-like liquid as base produces a more complex broth. And even more complex with a fish element of dry skipjack flakes, bonito. The saturated flakes are usually strained out but I don't mind having them in there. 

The tricks here are to wipe off the white powder that accumulates on the kombu using a damp towel first. The second trick is not over do any of the three elements. It is a light kombu dashi and a light dry fish element and light on the miso, then all three flavors are appreciated fully. (My error is usually I tend to overdo everything)

The sushi delivery reminded me of all this. Their miso is the most excellent I've tasted in  a very long time. They have the balance down perfectly. 

This company bonito is different than any I've had before. It's broth and not only the flakes. 

This is the best miso I've found in the United States. South River Miso. Recommended. The older the miso, the longer the fermentation, then the more salt that is added along the way.

iceberg slab, blu cheese, white beans with pork, pecans and raisins.

I'm surprised how delicious this is using available bits. It comes together unexpectedly well. The raisins especially add a unique texture and toasted pecans come through very well combined with blu cheese and with beans. It's all quite extraordinary. And to think the elements were there the whole time not so inviting on their own and not expected to work well with others but they do. 

chocolate covered pecans

The little silver pin is a temperature sensor. It controls a hair dryer blower inside that blows hot air then neutral air around the bowl.

The game is to guess how much chocolate will be needed for the project.

My method of guessing is to pull out the amount of pecans with my hands and then pull the amount chocolate buttons with my hands that goes with that.  

Sea salt and chipotle powder make a big difference. 

The sea salt has more minerals and less sodium chloride than table salt.

roasted pepper pizza

The sauce is made from water and dried chiles, the kind that are tied into decorative ristras and two other kinds too that would not be attractive strung up that way. 

A few dry chiles of each is broken open over the sink and the seeds poured out, and the stem broken off. The pieces of dry flesh are boiled awhile until they soften. I'm aiming for about a cup of sauce so I'm boiling two cups of water. 

The softened chile skins and water are processed to thick goop and forced through a strainer for a smooth mixture that looks like catsup. It is taste-tested and adjusted with the usual things, vinegar and sugar to impart sweet and sour if necessary, salt, pepper, what have you. 

Obviously each time I make it the flavor is different. This time some chile negros and few dry smoked poblano are included with the hotter red stringable ristra types. 

This pizza also has my own roasted poblano on top of that. Those things were frozen earlier. 

The cheese is a mixture, mozzarella and parmesan. 

There is heavy cornmeal on both sides of the dough as learned from the Denver Pizza Co delivery. 

I remembered, it's not proofed like bread, it's rolled out and smeared up and baked without rising. Mine did rise in the mixing bowl and pulled by quarters its corners stretched and folded over patty cake style and with all that handling it never did fully deflate. The heavily folded but only partially deflated dough was stretched out as it relaxed over cornmeal, turned over and covered with more cornmeal as it stretches then smeared up loaded up and baked. It turned out very good. 

jacket potato with bacon, baked Parmesan tomato

You say "potato" and you say "tomato" and however you say them I say "okay, Honey."

Hardly baked. The tomato is mostly raw.

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