SLOAN’S LAKE — It’s getting real now. St. Anthony’s is gone and in its place is a new hipster city neighborhood awakening on the south shore of Sloan’s Lake. Gone are the cracked seas of parking and steady hum from the hive of healthcare workers and their patients buzzing in and out at all hours of the day including by air from the helicopter pad. A new section of Raleigh Street that had, for 100 years, been blocked by the hospital is now open with romantic apartment balconies, a pedestrian suspended bridge linking the apartments, and Sloan’s Lake Tap and Burger bustling with the new business of the day – food and drink with lots of televised entertainment at every angle.
Taking advantage of a car-free evening, my husband and I met after work. We needed to lock our bicycles across the street as the bike racks had not yet been installed on the northwest corner of Conejos and Raleigh. There is a parking structure to the west of the building that is dedicated to patrons of the businesses on the street.
The restaurant space looms large. Very tall ceilings have large industrial pipes leading from the back rooms to the center of the bar where over 40 different beers await. There is a wall of floor to ceiling windows with two-seat and four-top tables, as well as a long patio overlooking Raleigh. On the other side of the bar, there are large comfortable booths for parties of six and more. There is also a private space that can be closed off for a private party. Every seat in the house offers a view of large screen TVs. I get overwhelmed by so many TVs but the fans appreciated watching the World Series there along with other sporting events.
We came for the food. On the first night we dined, I selected a burger, well because its name is Sloan’s Lake Tap and Burger so it seemed prudent to think they might be good at the burger. And sure enough, the Shroom Luva’s, $ 10.50, was one creamy, mushroomy, delicious combination of a beef patty topped with a plentiful pile of sautéed mushrooms with melted Swiss Cheese and truffle oil. It was a juicy, filling and overall satisfying experience. It was definitely not a first date burger as so much creamy deliciousness was hard to corral to my mouth without dripping back down on the plate. The hand cut fries that accompanied the burger were thin and crispy, but they seemed a bit dried out and cool.
My husband selected the Tuna Poke Burger, $ 13. It came topped with jalapeno tempura, radish sprouts, a black sesame sauce, and caramelized onions on a bun. Although it sounded really zesty, my husband said it did not have as much flavor as he expected. The tuna was plentiful and seared on the outside as forewarned by the waitress.
On a return visit, we shared a three meat BBQ platter, $ 23, that included BBQ bison brisket, BBQ lamb, and a Hatch Chili pale ale and cheddar hot link. A plentiful square plate arrived filled with the sliced and pulled meats as well as the sides we ordered: corn bread hot cakes and Pilsner battered onion rings. The meat comes unadorned with sauce. Instead, three house-made BBQ sauces range from sweet to spicy to tangy. I thought this was a good value and something to share while watching a game. On this night, the Virginia Tech Alumni Association took advantage of the space and packed the place with hooting fans.
We also ordered two salads. The Beets by Tap, $ 11, came beautifully arranged on the plate with fennel, orange, almonds, aged goat gouda, with a light sherry vinaigrette. My husband tried the Baby Kale and Arugula Salad, $ 10. This salad was more heavily dressed in a good way with a honey miso dressing that added richness to the zesty pomegranate, ginger beer apples, puffed quinoa, and goat cheese. For a sports bar, this salad hit the spot.
As we sat on the edge of the action while two college teams battled it out on the field, it felt as if the bartenders were in the middle of the field with so many sets tuned to football action. While I am not a big sports fan, the food, beers and gracious seating will make this a winning spot for anyone seeking out a venue from which to take in a game.
Sloan’s Lake Tap & Burger | 1565 Raleigh Street | (720) 456-6779
The post Neighborhood awakens with Sloan’s Lake Tap & Burger appeared first on North Denver Tribune.