Poppies epitomizes a friendly neighborhood restaurant. It started small and local—it’s the sole enterprise of owner Bob Newell, who opened it in 1985—and stayed that way. With that longevity comes a long-standing clientele, and there are times of the day when you might think you’ve stumbled into an AARP convention. But this is a multi-generational dining space, with a number of tasty, familiar meals, from sandwiches (I’m partial to the Reuben) to steak.
The regulars come for the daily specials, so they don’t even look at the menu. Rookies don’t need to, either. Baby Back Ribs are the house specialty. Lean and meaty, they’re special-ordered from a farm in Iowa. Poppies isn’t a smokehouse—these morsels are braised in dark beer and a sauce that’s Bob’s original recipe—not a Carolina- style vinegar sauce, not too spicy, but a balanced concoction with enough sugar to pull back on the heat.
Poppies is also known for flavorful, tender and juicy Prime Rib—what started out as a special two nights a week has become the other best-seller on the menu. It’s certified Angus beef, USDA Choice, and the kitchen uses it in lots of ways, from French dip sandwiches to prime rib enchiladas. Go downtown and pay twice as much, or hang in comfort at Poppies? Not a difficult decision. And I’m so proud of myself for making it through this review without a cheap Seinfeld reference.
2334 S. Colorado Blvd.; 303-756-2939; poppiesrestaurantdenver.com