So I recently got an opportunity to get nice and knackered with some coworkers at a place I’d never been to before, a bar called Linger in LoHi here in Denver. First off, “LoHi” is such a weird term for me. I know it means “Lower Highlands”, but from a taxonomy/linguistic standpoint, couldn’t you just say “Midlands?” And, what’s to distinguish it from “Higher Lowlands?” And then, why isn’t there a “Higher Highlands?” separate from that? I mean, I’m pretty sure the higher area is just called “Highlands”, but then if we look at this from a set theory perspective, would “Lower Highlands” be a subset of “Highlands” or in it’s own class? Naming schemas are important, people!
Moving on to content people might actually want to read, did you know that Linger used to be a mortuary? Pretty crazy! They’ve got that fact incorporated into their interior design. Well, if you imagine a disco morgue or something. But no, it’s really cool! The menus look like toe tags and the bar upstairs is constructed with Light Bright pieces. And there a pile of pool balls in the stairwell, along with a gorgeous sweeping view of downtown Denver. Hmm, so much for my disco morgue theory.
Anyhow, the food! The menu is total frou frou, what with it’s fennel and deconstructed regular food and whatnot. Kinda intimidating at first, so it might be a good idea to point and choose at random, or consult with a conveniently placed waitron. Or just get a beer first (they have Left Hand Milk Stout on tap, w00t!) and let the alcohol decide later on. In any case, we started off with the “organic waffle sweet potato fries.”
Tasty! They came with chipotle-tomato ketchup, which is just like regular ketchup, except kinda weird! I’m still trying to warm to the idea that I can a.) eat sweet potatoes and that b.) it is possible for them to taste good. I seriously didn’t like them at all growing up, but I’ve had a few good experiences so I’m growing here. Anyhow, if I’m gonna learn to like sweet potatoes, a great method is to deep fry the bastards, which certainly worked for these fries.
By this point, my camera had had a wee bit too much to drink, as you can tell by the poor quality of that photograph above. Anyhow, these guys were poppers. Or rather, deconstructed poppers. “Popper breakdown”, as the menu called them. Someone was all like, “If Heidegger wanted him some awesome poppers, what kind of poppers would he eat?” and thus this menu item was born. Peppers sitting separate from some breaded and deep-fried cheese curds. Actually, I could totally overlook the pretentiousness of this menu item due to those amazing cheese curds. As I’m not too good at spice, I just ignored the peppers completely and stuck to the cheese. Holy cow, deep fried cheese curds! Genius!
So I have mixed feelings about mussels as bar food. They’re slimy and get all over your fingers and are apt to go flying at any moment. However, as this is the same argument I have against eating wings (which, much to my chagrin, is a very accepted form of bar food), I’m thinking I have no real footing on this one. Anyhow, I got over my aversion to the gooey and chomped down on several of these. They were in a flavorful sauce and tasted better than the majority of such shellfish I’ve eaten over the course of my life. So yeah, would totally recommend.
And then at some point, these tiny burgers showed up! It’s like at some point I stopped having any input into what menu items actually got ordered, and all of the sudden there were tiny burgers staring me in the face. With bacon! This might have been a better “early on in the drinking” item to get, actually, when the hour is closer to the dinner hour and one’s stomach is not so saturated with beer. But, still pretty good. Came with more of that chipotle ketchup – and it’s not that there was anything wrong with the ketchup, but I think I would have preferred a straight up barbecue sauce instead. This of course did not prevent me from downing a tiny burger (or slider, or whatever the heck the kids call them these days), and then later using my ninja stealth skills to eat all of the bacon off of a second one. Actually, this is the danger in getting such a dish later on in the drinky part of the evening. My Id takes over and is all like “Hmm…why eat the entire thing when I could just fill up on BACON!” Actually, wait, why is this a bad thing?
Anyhow, I’d totally go back to Linger. Place gets kinda packed on a weekday night (a good or bad thing, depending on your feelings on such things). But, pretentious menu aside, the food and ambiance are both pretty awesome.