Eat at Ted’s, not Joe’s.
I remember when it was Nico’s.
The good news today is about a little cheese steak place in Denver. I have been going to Denver Ted’s since it opened, and the past two years it has declined, seriously declined. The quality of the food has never stopped, but the shop, the hype, the coupons, everything just fell apart, and I have been sad. The biggest decline was in hours, not only did he chop hours off to us customers, but he also had to chop hours to workers. Ted’s can not be the end all be all for a job, and it is always young kids who have worked there, which usually means the wage is jack. Well, I have great news about the place, Ted’s is under new ownership!
I was a stupid teenager punker when I first encountered my addiction to cheese steaks. I ended up working with a delivery driver, and eventually, I ended up working the kitchen at a place in Houston called Rocky’s. Rocky’s has a tragedy behind it, Rocky himself moved from Philly to give Houston its first real cheese steak back in the 1980‘s, and was shot in a robbery not much after he had opened for two years. Peter, his 2NC, took over the biz, and never strayed from the perfection of great cheese steak, pizza, and the godlike stromboli’s. I learned the secrets to making a good hogie, and it made me, once again, pickier than hell about them. When I moved to Denver in the 90‘s, I grieved for the loss of great cheese steaks, it was hard on a beef lover like me. I have tried everyone in town, but when Ted’s opened up on Pearl and 13th, I had a heart attack. They don’t do anything but the sandwich, so no fooling around, it is a cheese steak place and not a salad bar pizzeria. Actually two heart attacks, one from getting the real deal in the party spot of Capitol Hill, and the second from my first pizza steak in years.
Jack is the new owner, and he got me all pumped up. My first question was about later hours, oh please, extend the hours for us. I get up at about 2-3 pm on a normal workday, and I am not ready to hork down a cheese steak the moment I get up. Give me about 4 hours though, and a juicy drippy cheesy delight filled with meat is just about what I am thinking of. He just took over, but one of the first possibilities is him staying open later. I also asked about late night Fridays and Saturdays, and it is also a possibility. The sign out front is coming inside for an art piece, and a new sign hopefully with lights on it is going outside, along with a fresh paint job. But please, lets cut to the chase.
A cheese steak with bacon. I know, I know, Philly probably has done this, but in Denver, well it is a thing of beauty who’s time has come. I haven’t changed my philly order in years, cheese steak with jalapeños and whiz, the all time classic favorite of any Texan who has ordered one. Today I think it might have been the sweet smell of bacon that made everything seem all right, so I ordered the 12 inch appetite destroyer right away. Nothing is precooked at Ted’s so I interviewed Jack a little more about the new changes. He is looking to grow the biz for one, so now is a great time to come by, show your support. The bread is great, the steak is great, and the dropped pepperoni steak is coming back too. He is adding a new italian with capicolo, it’s in the works, but not on the menu board yet. There is no web presence, but their Facebook is up and running. Most of you will probably see this in the Facebook anyways.
Then it came, the most gorgeous cheese steak in Denver, a Baconator. 6 Strips of bacon infused with mushrooms, cheese, and of course, loads of yummy steak. I got fries on the side, and could not finish them. The perfect mix of bread, salt, pork, beef and cheese, I have to totally give the new cheese steak a 5 star approval. There is a 9 inch version as well, and for those bird like hipsters, you may even have to split that! The fries were a perfect golden brown as well, not that flash fried crap we get everywhere else in Denver. Oh, and these are real fries, 1/4 inch cut, crispy and perfect with or without ketchup. I might have to add jalapeños to the bacon next time. I love the view too, people watching is perfect off the corner, and I actually had to run outside halfway through the meal to say hello to my friend Kristie and her perfect dog, Parson. Neighborhood food is always the best food.
I could not help myself, I just wandered around in a meat filled daze for ten minutes afterwards, standing outside and smoking a square. I went back in and shook hands with the men who can make the real deal. I unhooked my bike from the rack out front, and with a heavy sigh of fullness, I mounted up and cruised down Pearl. I then proceeded to go up the incline on 14th until my heart started beating and my breathing was harder to work off a little of that amazing sandwich. Go give Ted’s another shot, Jack has things well in hand, and though he has the starting man’s blues, his cheese steaks are already the polished perfection we have come to know and love.