AURORA – I finally visited Royal International Cuisine last week for some classic stuffed cabbage rolls and a chicken piroshki (above), only to find that the small Russian eatery at 13736 E. Quincy Ave. was closing on Jan. 27 after five years in business. A Vietnamese eatery is planned for that space. The Royal International folks said they hope to reopen their restaurant at another location.
Luckily, diverse Eastern European edibles are available in restaurants and shops in the Aurora metro area if you poke around a bit.
A good first stop is Europa Grocery, 13728 E. Quincy Ave., a small shop with a big selection of packaged foods from Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania and elsewhere including heavy breads, frozen dumplings and great chocolate bars.
For a breathtaking selection of European cured meats, there is Solomon’s Grocery & European Deli, 1939 S. Havana St. Sample Estonian summer sausage, Lithuanian bacon, smoked pork loin and hunter’s sausage. The store also sells dried fish, heavy-duty rye bread and Eastern European jams, pickles and cookies.
For nearby dining, tasty schnitzel, latkes, vereniki and pelmeni are on the menu at Little Europe, 1842 S. Parker Rd. in Denver.
I’m also a big fan of the two Sawa Meat & Sausage shops (Wheat Ridge and Denver) for such sandwich makers as garlic sausage, knockwurst, Cracov salami and head cheese. At Arvada’s Royal Bakery I can find paczki – Polish doughnuts – and other Euro-centric pastries and breads.
Stretch your travel envelope a little and you can investigate the Eastern eats at Red Square Euro Bistro, Polished Tavern, Budapest Bistro and Sobo 151 in Denver, Golden Europe (Arvada) and Cracovia (Westminster). Further Russian and Eastern tastes are available at M & I International Market, European Mart, and East Europe Market in Denver.
Aurora’s Seoul Korean BBQ and Sushi, 2080 S. Havana St., has opened a second location at Northglenn Market Place, 311 W. 104th Ave. … Hall Brewing recently began bottling its debut stout, IPA, and red ale at its Parker farmhouse brewery. Bombers are available at local liquor stores and Hall brews are on tap at Cedar Creek Pub in Aurora. Information: hallbrewingco.com. … Longmont-brewed Oskar Blues Ten FIDY came in 32nd, Denver-brewed Great Divide Espresso Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout was in 43rd and Boulder-bottled Avery Uncle Jacob’s Stout ranked 45th in Ratebeer.com’s list of the top 50 beers in the world for 2013. No. 1 is Belgium-brewed Westvleteren X11.
A reader shared the following canned meat missive after seeing my recent Nibbles column about Spam:
“I secretly love Spam, with Miracle Whip on white bread. I lived for several years in Austin, Minnesota, where the Hormel Factory was. It gave off a very bad odor at times. We would play outside and my Dad would always say, ‘Smells like Liverwurst today,’ or, ‘Smells like Spam today,’ and us kids would laugh. This was the early ’70’s and my Mom used to put Spam in our lunches. I would never even consider serving Spam to my kids – they hate it, which is sad.”
(To see the original Nibbles column: https://www.aurorasentinel.com/guide/colorado-table/nibbles-spams-unbiquity-raises-question-whos-eating-all-that-pink-meat/
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
“I think it is ridiculous that a soldier back from Afghanistan can’t buy a beer if he/she is 20. You can go to war for your country, vote for president — some even vote intelligently — get married, enter into contracts, but oh no, you can’t buy a beer.” – Colorado State Sen. Greg Brophy, whose bill would allow parents to buy a drink for their 18- to 21-year-old child.
Send your comments, questions and local food news to: [email protected]. Visit (and like) the Nibbles Facebook page. Listen to John Lehndorff’s Radio Nibbles at 8:25 a.m. Thursdays on KGNU, 88.5 FM, 1390 AM, and kgnu.org.