FEED ME: Plane goodness in Denver

By on October 29, 2014

Climax Jerky sounds and looks dubious. Photo: Geraldine Mishev.


Jackson Hole, Wyoming – As much as I am enamored with its name, I just can’t buy Climax Jerky. Is it jerky laced with Viagra? I have taken a photo of the Climax kiosk in Denver’s B Concourse most every time I’ve walked past it. I think I’m up to about a dozen photos now. Looking back through these photos, no one else is buying Climax jerky either.

Beef jerky just isn’t on my radar as a food when I’m in transit.
As some of us might be planning an off-season escape about now, I thought I’d run down DIA’s best dining options. Sorry, Delta passengers! You have to fend for yourselves in Salt Lake City.
While beef jerky isn’t on my radar, the newish Cru – a Wine Bar, near gate B51, totally is. Imagine Bin22 transported into an airport. That’s Cru, minus the communal tables and attached liquor store.
Sadly, flying though DIA last weekend, my connection wasn’t long enough to enjoy Cru. Also, it was 8:30 in the morning. Cru is best for lunch and dinner. It’s positively life saving when your flight is delayed for hours. Returning home in 2013, I think I made it through four of Cru’s tasting flights – each two ounce pours of three different wines – before the flight to Jackson was eventually cancelled and I sought refuge in some chain hotel. The tasting flights are between $11 and $22.
As nice as it is to get decent wine in an airport, Cru really shines for its food: beet salad, pizzas, ahi tartare, pan-seared crab cake, seared sea scallops. You get the gist. Expect prices higher than Bin22.
My other top recommendation for the other DIA B concourse restaurant that shines for its food, Que Bueno Mexican Grille, has one problem. It would be nice if DIA spaced its two best restaurants slightly further apart. If you’re at a gate in this area, you have a wealth of yumminess. If you’re not, you have Colorado Sports Bar and Deli.
In 2010, Que Bueno was closed for a six-month remodel. Cru wasn’t yet an option. Those were a difficult six months for me. Why? Que Bueno serves ginormous, fresh-made, chock-full-of-goodness, pork, chicken, grilled veggies and beef burritos for less than $10. To complement the burritos, there’s a full bar with particularly good selections of imported beer and tequila from Mexico.
Looking for something sweet? Wood River Bakery, located upstairs in the middle of the concourse, might have a different name every year, but the owners know better than to change its cookies, which are well above average, albeit far short of mind blowing.



Wood River Bakery almost always has free samples of cookies in the upstairs food court. Photo: Geraldine Mishev.



They are the best cookies this concourse has to offer, however: chewy in the middle with edges that have some crunch.
Best of all? At the bakery end of the counter, there’s almost always a giant bowl of samples to snack from. Over the years, I might have grabbed some samples without buying anything. If you want coffee with your cookie, I would stay away from the stuff at Wood River. It’s almost as over-roasted as Starbucks. Caribou Coffee is in the same neighborhood as Wood River; again, not amazing, but more than passable.



Just around the corner from the Woods River bakery is a wonderful lounge area with power outlets next to every chair. Photo: Geraldine Mishev.



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