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Shark Sandwich Is on the Menu at Cap Hill’s Newest Restaurant

Bang Up To The Elephant! gets its inspiration from the cuisine of Trinidad and Tobago

Bake & Shark at Bang Up To The Elephant is made with spiny dogfish
Jonathan Phillips

Bang Up To The Elephant, the newest endeavor by the owner of Two Fisted Mario’s Pizza, Double Daughter’s Salotto, and Beatrice & Woodsley, is just as much an escape from the outside world as its quirky predecessors. It opens this Saturday, bringing some Caribbean heat to the intersection of Denver’s 13th and Pearl Streets in the dead of January. Owner Kevin Delk has imparted his love for the islands’ culture on the new space. And he’s transmitted to chef Travis Messervey his favorite staples from a complicated cuisine that spans influences from West Africa to East India and China.

Diners will find a Trinidadian “bake and shark” on the menu, a popular beach-side flatbread sandwich in this case made with breaded and fried spiny dogfish as opposed to any endangered shark species. Pimento wood-smoked jerk chicken is served with black-eyed peas and rice and also cabbage slaw and grilled pineapple. Kale salads are lined with fried sweet plantains. Hot little scotch bonnet peppers top almost every dish, and a twist on callaloo is made with kale and collard greens (as opposed to the traditional taro leaves) in a creamed taro root and coconut milk.

Bang Up to the Elephant’s Oodle Noodle Salad with rice noodles, mangoes, cherry tomatoes, pea shoots, cilantro, and lime juice
Jonathan Phillips

With coconut, pineapple, plantain, rice and beans, and cornbread as common elements, most everything on the menu can be made vegetarian or vegan. Some items, like the jerk chicken, probably shouldn’t be substituted. Morning service will bring donuts and chicory coffee to a sidewalk grab-n-go window and street-facing cafe, while evening drinks are served farther back inside the industrial-chic bar (and often inside halved coconuts). Cocktail ingredients include serrano peppers, Andy Capp’s Hot Fries-infused tequila, hibiscus and tamarind syrups, and cream of coconut. Eater photographer Jonathan Phillips got a first taste of the menu, pictured below, and a look inside the space, pictured here.

Status: Bang Up To The Elephant! opens for dinner Saturday, January 27, at 1310 Pearl Street. All-day service starts at 7 a.m. Monday, January 29.

Grilled Jerk Short Ribs with pickled pineapple and chermoula.
Jonathan Phillips
Bang Up to the Elephant serves up Kale & Mocco, a kale salad with fried sweet plantains, queso fresco, pickled red onion, jicama, and hot pepper vinaigrette
Jonathan Phillips
Shrimp fritters with cucumber chutney at Bang Up To The Elephant
Jonathan Phillips
Bang Up to the Elephant’s Tamarind Glazed Pork Loin with callaloo and spicy potatoes
Jonathan Phillips
Pimento Wood Smoked Jerk Chicken with rice and peas, slaw and grilled pineapple
Jonathan Phillips
Bowl-O-Chow Mein egg noodles covered with shredded cabbage, red pepper, broccoli and carrots
Jonathan Phillips
Mack the Knife Curry with spicy curried channa on top of rice and a hunk of cornbread
Jonathan Phillips
Bang Up to the Elephant’s Scotch Bonnett-Tamarind Wings with Trini pepper sauce
Jonathan Phillips

Bang Up To The Elephant!

1310 Pearl Street, , CO 80203 (303) 792-4949 Visit Website

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