Uncle doesn’t take reservations, is only open five hours a day and charges $14 for ramen? Sheeiiit...that’s a lot of strikes to overcome before you even step in the door. But despite those strikes and the insane hype for this place, Uncle somehow pulls it off. It’s hard to imagine that Uncle would’ve been in this location even five years ago, but the rapidly gentrifying Highlands hood seems like the perfect fit now. This joint is small (40 seats or so) and you should be prepared for a wait, especially on weekends. Again, no reservations are taken and you can’t call ahead. On the upside, there are several bars nearby, so if you want to stick it out they’ll text you when your table is ready and you can even see where you stand on the waiting list online. If you’re rolling stag, you probably have a better shot than most at getting in and the bar is a great front row seat to the kitchen action.
The staff at Uncle is laid back, attentive, and their food recommendations are dead on. The beer and cocktail list is small, but respectable. Ramen portions here are big (which they should be for the price) and if you’re not feeling like something with broth, there are noodle bowls and plenty of small plates to choose from. The menu also changes regularly. Uncle is the kind of place that justifies the sentiment that Denver’s food scene is taking off. Unlike most of the new spots though, it’s the food, not the scene, that’s puttin' in work.
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Two buns to an order, but unfortunately you can't mix-and-match. Soft and fluffy buns, but they could probably use a bit more sauce. The shrimp cake was damn tasty and might be our favorite, but the soft shell crab is a sleeper. And you can always go classic with the tender pork belly and hoisin. Pretty good jump offs here.
Salt & Pepper Quail
The name of this dish may be a 10 on the pH scale, but the taste ain’t basic. The skin is super crispy, but the meat is still juicy as hell. The smoked salt on this thing is crazy and takes the dish to a whole other level. Get this.
The soy broth is excellent and we basically want this duck in all of our ramen from now on. It may sound weird that corn is in this bowl, but the texture was a nice change up. Like the quail, this doesn’t sound too exciting, but it is delicious.
Aggressively spiced and not for the faint of heart. The broth has less depth than the others though. Great kimchi and shredded pork action, but watch your salt levels after this one and drink your water.
Spicy Chicken Ramen
Here’s the moneymaker. Highly recommended by the wait staff and damn were theyright. Luckily, this seems to be a regular on the menu, so you won’t have tohope its there when you drop in. The tahini broth is the sh