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5.5
DEN

The BSide

This Restaurant is Permanently Closed

[This restaurant is now closed.]

Beware clever concepts. The kitschy approach that looked so good on paper can quickly become an albatross. Pinning your success on "_ food elevated" only works if you can actually levitate homes. Otherwise, you’re just another bad cover band or, even worse, Criss Angel. I’m mixing my metaphors, but so does The BSide with its evocation of Motown and TV dinners. The only difference is that I’d like to think my mix works. BSide’s most definitely does not.

The tag line is "Nostalgic Comfort – Turned Up a Notch," but the problem is that they forgot to actually turn the dial. BSide hits you hard with nostalgia in the form of TV dinners served in elementary school lunch trays, complete with separate compartments for mashed potatoes and butterscotch pudding. Unfortunately you can’t get your square pizza and chocolate milk grind on. What you do get is a whole lot of average-to-subpar food served in an immense space that formerly housed a Pasquini’s. A tragic cheese plate, bland green chili, and average burgers abound.

Service is competent, if a bit awkward. For example, our waitress didn’t explain, and neither did the menu, that the Green Chile Slopper is an open-faced burger served in a soup of green chili. Sure, people from Pueblo know what’s up, but dude I’m not from Pueblo and neither are 99.9% of your customers. You shouldn’t assume a dish this niche is widely known. Ordering the Slopper made my side of green chili unknowingly redundant and prompted the waitress to ask, “Big green chili fan?” Don’t play with my emotions.

But here’s the craziest thing about BSide. Out of all this mess, they did nail one thing—the fried chicken. It’s real good. Good enough that it should be the centerpiece of the entire menu from which all else radiates. Blow everything else up and start over, preferably in a smaller space.

Food Rundown

Biscuits N’ Gravy

The rosemary-parmesan biscuits are a nice change-up that pairs well with silky gravy and sunny side up eggs. This is your best option for brunch aside from the fried chicken, which comes with griddle jalapeno cornbread.

Sweet Potato Cakes

Filling, hearty potato cakes with some seriously good peppered bacon. Chive eggs were okay, but under seasoned.

Beer N’ Cheese Plate

Dude, no. This is the dividing line. If you’re a bar, I might forgive this. If you refer to yourself as a restaurant, you should never serve this. The cheese spread and rarebit cheese sauce are fine, but the untoasted, bare baguette and crackers are embarrassing. The plate is dying for some pickled veg, grilled bread, and re-thought chutney. Don’t waste your money.

Fried Chicken TV Dinner

Now we come to the conundrum of BSide. The chicken here is great. It’s crispy and light on the outside and juicy on the inside. On top of that, it’s even gluten free. This is the reason to visit. But even with the fried chicken dinner, the sides are f*cked. The Brussels sprouts were obliterated and the mashed taters don't bring it. If you’re going for elevated, ironic TV dinners you’ve got to come correct.

Salmon TV Dinner

The fish is too oily and topped with an insanely chunky and off-putting olive relish. The only thing we dug on our tray was the butterscotch pudding.

Green Chile Slopper

The plating is weird and, as mentioned, there’s no indication this is served open-faced in a pool of green chili. The burger and chili are in desperate need of a spice infusion.

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