Restaurant: McCabe’s Bistro and Pub, Aurora, Colorado
It was that time of year. Time for the annual trek to Colorado.
Why head out to Colorado? Well, there is this fantastic little convention that I have attended for the past four years. I’ve sort of fallen in love with my journey’s out there. Everything is so beautiful. And, it helps that I know a local out there who can direct me to some fantastic food.
Now, my good friend Sharon knows that my roommate and I are big on pub grub (I know…like you couldn’t tell!). So, she called me up a couple days before we headed out and mentioned grabbing some lunch on our first day out there at this little local pub, that makes some of the best Irish food in the Denver area, before going up into the foothills and mountains and having a fun afternoon. Now…how can we say no to that sort of a lead-in? Besides…it’s a pub we had yet to try…and this had to be remedied.
Upon our arrival in Denver, we got our rental car and headed to Sharon’s home. We got things together and she drove us out to the Southlands Shopping Mall. And there, tucked away in this little outdoor shopping center, was McCabe’s Bistro and Pub. It doesn’t look very Irish upon first glance. After all, it is situated in a shopping center. But all of that changes the moment you walk through the door.
That Irish hospitality is evident from the moment you set foot in the door. We were seated in a rustic little booth near the back and given some time to peruse the menu. Although, coming into this, we pretty much had an idea of what we wanted to dine on. Sharon went for the McCabe’s Sirloin Shepherd’s Pie. Cathy, naturally, went for her usual order of fish and chips. And this left me. Being a vegetarian with a gluten sensitivity doesn’t always make pub grub the easiest to navigate. We told the server of my food allergies and she assisted as much as she could. When asked about the fries, though, she indicated they were fried with the breaded fish…so those were out.
What I ended up getting was this fantastic little salad. It is the Pear & Gorgonzola Salad, which is a mix of baby greens with the addition of sliced pears, toasted walnuts, red onion, and a sprinkling of gorgonzola cheese with a balsamic vinaigrette. I was very careful when placing my order, wanting to make sure that I wouldn’t have any problems with what I was eating that might make me ill. I wanted to enjoy this vacation and not worry about getting glutenized, which was what happened at the last pub I ate at in Denver. With the assurance of the server…we talked while we awaited our order.
Soon, it was brought out to the table. While my friends both were served lunch portions, my salad was H-U-G-E. I was okay with that. Because when you are making a meal out of salad, it is best to have it big and filling. And, let me tell you, the combination of flavors really worked on this one. The mild greens paired very well with the sweetness of the pairs, and the bite of the onions gave it a bit of volume. But the star of this salad was the fantastic toasted walnuts. Honestly, when mixed with the drizzle of the balsamic dressing, this was the absolute star of the salad. I found myself saving the walnuts for last because I loved the way they tasted. So delicious.
We all dug in and took our time savoring our food. Perfect size. I was ready now to go out and explore a bit of the mountains and enjoy an afternoon with friends. That’s what this trip was all about. And with McCabe’s so close, I know I’ll be going back and enjoying another meal there next time I’m in town. Just an amazing little pub in an unexpected little place. And when you can enjoy great Irish pub grub with good friends…life is already awesome. The food here…was very good and they made me feel at ease about what I was eating.
Irish hospitality with the volume turned up.