Travel Channel television host Adam Richman visited the Mile High City in the first season of his show, "Man v. Food." Spoiler alert: He was defeated by a massive burrito.
For the uninitiated, the show is all about sampling regional cuisine and puts forth some high-calorie, insane food challenges.
Denver was featured on Season 1: Episode 16 of the reality television show, which followed Richman in his attempt to eat a 7-lb. burrito in one sitting at Jack-n-Grill. The show has since wrapped its fifth season and it has a new host, Casey Webb.
In the segment, Richman declares that if you have a real "mountain man" hunger, you need to head to The Buckhorn Exchange.
"Nowhere else can you chow down on so many members of the animal kingdom," Richman says.
Here, he samples nachos that are served with rattlesnake, Rocky Mountain Oysters (ahem, those are fried bull's testicles), as well as buffalo tenderloin, ostrich, elk with a cherry cabernet glaze ("that's the gospel right there," he declares), yak and a medium-rare steak.
This storied restaurant lives up to its name with more than 500 animal heads used as decor in Denver's oldest restaurant. While it can be a bit unnerving to dine on venison under the watchful eye of a stuffed and mounted buck, the restaurant features game of all varieties for the avid gourmand. The Buckhorn Exchange opened its doors in 1893, and proudly displays Colorado's first liquor license. Buffalo, elk, alligator, and rattlesnake are on the menu, as well as Rocky Mountain Oysters, an odd but surprisingly delicious Denver delicacy. The restaurant is conveniently located across the street from a light rail stop as one of 12 Denver tourist attractions on the light rail.
Oh, and Richman's reaction to the Rocky Mountain Oysters? He admitted they were good.
The Buckhorn Exchange
1000 Osage St.
Denver, CO 80204
While Richman refers to the burger bar as Duffy's Cherry Cricket on "Man v. Food," most locals drop the "Duffy's" and call the restaurant the Cherry Cricket. The Cricket opened in its current location in the 1950s, long before the upscale neighborhood of Cherry Creek North sprang up around it. The Cricket has kept on chirping for decades with its inventive menu of burgers decked out with everything from avocados to peanut butter. In a nod to the health-conscious times of today, turkey burgers are also available.
The Cherry Cricket
2641 East 2nd Ave.
Denver, CO 80206
The original Jack-n-Grill opened in 2000 along North Federal Boulevard in Denver, but the restaurant has recently added locations in the suburbs of Westminster and Littleton. The 7-lb. breakfast burrito challenge, which features a dozen eggs as well as five pounds of potatoes, is still on the menu. The massive burrito costs $20 for those who dare to attempt the challenge. For the record, Richman got about two-thirds of the way through the challenge before he was defeated by the burrito.
If you don't feel like inhaling seven pounds of burrito, Jack-n-Grill also offers generous portions of enchiladas, tacos, and stuffed sopapillas. For best results, order menu items smothered in homemade red or green chile. If you can't decide, "Christmas" style offers both kinds of chile mixed together.
2524 N. Federal Blvd.
Denver, CO 80211
Are you a Food Network fan instead? Make sure to check out the Denver Eateries on "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives."
Nina Snyder is the author of "Good Day, Broncos," a children's e-book, and "ABCs of Balls," a children's picture book. Visit her website at ninasnyder.com.