What I Ordered
Review By: Elizabeth Walle –
My favorite thing about Biker Jim’s Hot Dogs was that I saw some actual bikers there, which I had not expected. I think those bikers probably enjoyed their meal more than I did, in the end.
The vibe of Biker Jim’s was nice and Denver-y last Saturday afternoon: set in an airy converted warehouse, they serve beer from the Great Divide Brewery around the corner and a goofy fusion menu of far-out hot dogs like elk jalapeño cheddar, duck cilantro, pheasant and louisiana red hot. Their classic topping is cream cheese and ribbons of caramelized onion, though you can also get “the desert” — harissa roasted cactus with malaysian jam scallions cilantro and onions or “the international” — wasabi aioli, caramelized apple and shaved irish cheddar. Sides are enticing: fried green tomatoes, tahini charred cauliflower, and deep fried mac & cheese. The menu is extravagant and overloaded, and so are the dogs.
I ordered the duck & cilantro dog followed by the elk jalapeño cheddar with a bottle of Nomad, a pilsner from Great Divide, to wash it down. The dogs were enormous and heavy–I wasn’t quite sure how to approach them, so I ripped in as best I could. Therein lay the problem. As far as I could deduce, the flavors were savory and complimentary, but it was hard to get a mouthful balanced enough to actually taste them: the bun was thick and chewy, the dog–though split for grilling–difficult to tear through, and the toppings so generously applied that I had a few mouthfuls of nothing but onion.
My friend and I remarked that this seemed like “guy” food–I don’t usually assign specific food products to one gender or another, but we pondered at length whether men enjoy ripping into huge bites of meat and accoutrements more than women. Whereas I found the sausage casing difficult to rip apart, the bun distractingly thick and the toppings so abundant that it was more of a nuisance than it was flavorful, I could imagine how someone else–perhaps the leather-clad bikers behind me in line–might actually enjoy cramming their mouths full of chewy sausage and chunks of toppings.
I suppose this vision of a hotdog contradicts my own: to me a perfect dog is easy to eat, packed with flavor, and practically melts away in your mouth. The High Mountain Burger that my friend ordered, however, was pretty spot on: a deliciously charred patty with chunks of creamy blue cheese, served on a brioche bun and very nicely proportioned.
The thing I liked most about Biker Jim’s was the atmosphere, beer list, and exciting menu, but I was somewhat let down with what I tasted. I would probably go back again–I’m curious about the Louisiana red hot dog and that deep fried mac & cheese, and maybe I’d order something simpler, to see if I could just enjoy the flavors without all the maneuvering and mastication.
Photo Credit: CBS Denver