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Two Critics Review Chop Shop on The Same Day

The restaurant critics at the Denver Post and Westword reviewed the same restaurant on the same day for the second time this month.

Chop Shop is lively, cozy, with a creative menu, said William Porter of the Denver Post. The Park Hill eatery fared very well in the write up. Despite dining on an evening where the heater was on the fritz, Porter noted that the kitchen created a concise, creative menu intended to warm up chilly diners. The only piece of criticism Porter had was that the French Onion soup was just slightly too salty. Chef and co-owner Clint Wangsnes was praised for his ability to create a contemporary, casual restaurant that is friendly to a variety of diners. The tender pork ribs, paired with grilled carrots and potatoes were highlighted, as was the crispy fried tofu. Besides catering to both carnivores and vegetarians, the Chop Shop menu is also kid-friendly.

The eatery earned some praise and some complaints from Westword reviewer, Gretchen Kurtz. Chop Shop has character with its exposed brick walls, funky orange chairs, and salt and pepper shakers made from refurbished lightbulbs. The character extends to the restaurant's customer base - which includes loud families and other boisterous diners. Customers who are particular about noise while dining should go later in the evening, advised Kurtz. The menu features proteins prepared with a sous-vide cooking style, which results in super-tender meat. Flavors were always top-notch, minus the "bland" mashed potatoes. The menu's star is the Indian-style grilled chicken, Kurtz described as "a masala-marinated boneless breast served over sautéed spinach and dal-like lentils fragrant with garlic, ginger and cumin." Diners should be aware that the restaurant is not completely full service. Kurtz was not pleased about standing in line to order dessert, and the restaurant survives on one lone food runner. Despite these few negatives, the restaurant earned the title of a "quick hit" in the Denver dining scene.

Chop Shop Casual Urban Eatery

4990 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO 80220 (303) 525-9475

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