India Oven | S. Colorado Blvd.

Gary James India Oven is known for reasonably priced lunch and dinner buffets, seven days a week. A typical spread includes the popular Indian chicken dishes—Tandoori Chicken, its derivation Chicken Tikka Masala, and a piquant Chicken Vindaloo. But order from the regular menu to explore variations in the diverse cuisine. Bhuwan, the chef, cooked at … Read more

Kiki’s Japanese Restaurant | S. Colorado Blvd.

Gary James The modest atmosphere of Kiki’s Japanese Restaurant belies its authentic, tremendously varied menu. Traditional Japanese fare—sushi, tempura and teriyaki—is served for lunch and dinner, and there are rice bowls and noodle dishes. The set menus called teishoku-ya, consist of a main dish (i.e., a meat or fried seafood), a bowl of rice and … Read more

Poppies | S. Colorado Blvd.

Gary James 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 … Read more

Leon’s Taqueria Restaurant | Grand Junction

Gary James A number of Mexican restaurants populate the Grand Junction area, including fancier, more gringofied eateries like WW Peppers—and who wouldn’t eat crab enchiladas in white sauce? But for authentic Mexican food, make mine Leon’s. It provides the key values, from a slightly out of the way location to a family friendly atmosphere to … Read more

Red Rose Cafe | Grand Junction

Gary James Next door to Grand Junction is Palisade, a verdant valley floor celebrated for its fruit orchards (put me down for the best damn peaches in America) and vineyards. Set downtown, the Red Rose Cafe has long been guided by Tom and Rose Cassabona, who combined their roots to bring Italian and Vietnamese choices … Read more

Il Bistro Italiano | Grand Junction

Gary James Raised in the small Italian village of Bibbiano, Brunella Gualerzi learned to cook at her mama’s knee. Her travels brought her to Grand Junction over 20 years ago, and as chef and owner of Il Bistro Italiano, she’s a stickler for authentic Italian cuisine, setting the standard for the Grand Valley’s most consistently … Read more

Courses at Courses

Gary James The Red Canyon Grille at The Golf Club at Redlands Mesa accompanies its standard wraps and salads with magnificent views of Grand Mesa, the Bookcliffs and Colorado National Monument.   For more exceptional fare—and European ambience—head south on US Highway 50 Cedaredge Golf Club, where Wildfire Pizza’s imported-from-Italy’s wood-fired pizza oven turns out … Read more

Grand Junction Restaurants

Gary James This column gives me permission to obsess over food. Any kind of preoccupation can be unfortunate, and I aspire to stay this side of normal. But then I survey The Golf Club at Redlands Mesa in Grand Junction, one of our state’s most scenic courses, and look at the colors of the Grand … Read more

B.O.B.S. Diner | Louisville

By Gary James Bob Thiele, the proprietor of B.O.B.S. Diner, will tell you he’s a scratch golfer and start scraping his body parts. But after he washes his hands, he’ll incapacitate you in ways other than laughter. A recent breakfast special was the Southern Benedict, a breaded boneless pork loin on a homemade biscuit, topped … Read more

DJ’s Cafe | West Highlands

By Gary James This small breakfast/brunch/lunch joint (the 75th person in the place would be the fire marshal) has been feted in all the local media for its six kinds of eggs Benedict, and justifiably so—they’re all tethered by a lemony hollandaise sauce made by chef and co-owner Devin Stallings that really pops. The New … Read more