Friday night a friend of mine was giving an informal workshop for Macintosh users at a local coffee shop, The Press Coffee Company. As a new Mac user, I saw it as an opportunity to learn some new tricks for my laptop and to catch up with my friend, Jeff Gamet, and his wife Erica. Jeff has been in a few shows for me, and, in addition to being a talented performer, is a dependable and fearless artist. Those two things go a long way with me as a director.
Jeff also happens to be one of the sharpest Mac experts around. He writes a column for The Mac Observer and has recently published a book, The Designer’s Guide to Mac OS X Tiger, available from Amazon.com.
After the lecture, Jeff and some of his neighbors who also attended the workshop invited me to join them for dinner at the little Irish pub next door, The Exchange Tavern.
Upon entering the Exchange, we were overtaken with the lively and fun Celtic rock of local band, Big Paddy. Mixing authentic Celtic instruments and tunes with raucous barroom blues and rock, Big Paddy is a name I’ll be watching for again.
We worked our way past the bar into “the snug” and sat with some friends who were already waiting for us there.
The impressive menu gave so many wonderful choices that I settled quickly on bangers and mash (Irish sausage and mashed potatoes) and closed the menu. Otherwise I would have kept changing my mind and never decided on anything.
I thoroughly enjoyed my bangers and mash, but was a bit envious of Zach, who had ordered the bangers and colcannon, which also looked very tasty. I’ll have to try it next time, which I hope will be soon. The Exchange Tavern’s bangers and colcannon won them an award for best specialty food item with the Denver Metro North Chamber of Commerce.
All the way around the table, though, were dishes that inspired equal envy: both Amanda and Michael had the bread with artichoke dip; Leah, who had formerly been a waitress at the Exchange, had her favorite, the green chile; Jeff seemed to really enjoy his chicken sandwich, so much so that I was afraid to interrupt him. There was also a plate of appetizers at the table called “bottlecaps” (batter-fried jalapeno slices) that were very tasty and very, very hot. Erica, who had left the workshop early to retrieve her mother (Denver theatre personality, Nita Froelich) from the airport joined us a bit later, and I discovered another great thing about this little pub: after 10:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, you can order breakfast! Erica had a delicious omelet made-to-order of which she was generous enough to let me have a couple bites.
However, much as everyone else’s dishes appealed to me, I was quite happy with my bangers and mash. I'm not an alcohol drinker (long story) but everyone at the table really seemed to be enjoying their drinks as well. All at the table apart from me are frequent patrons of the Exchange Tavern, and all raved about the food and ambiance. There is a weekly quiz show in addition to lots of live music and televised sporting events.
The Exchange Tavern is locally owned and operated by Teddi and Gary Davis. Their daughter, Thea, and son, James, tend bar, so this is very much a family-run operation. I also had an opportunity to meet the Exchange Tavern’s chef (note that I said “chef, ” not “cook”) who was introduced to me only as “Dave.” Dave is an amiable and obviously quite talented chef who is very enthusiastic about his changing menu and his patron’s appetites.
The Exchange Tavern is someplace I will be going again very soon, and I highly recommend it to anyone who lives in or will be visiting the Denver area anytime soon.
And remember to keep on the lookout for Celtic rockers, Big Paddy.
Current theatre recommendation:
Paragon’s Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.