Thursday, July 5, 2012

Musings on Federal Blvd.

We got our house through a government program for teachers. They take rougher neighborhoods and find the roughest of those houses and offer them to teachers for a hefty discount. When we first moved into our house, the girls were only 4 months old and I was on maternity leave for the year.
Our little HUD home when we got it

Our little HUD home now

Because of the nature of the HUD program for teachers, I convinced myself that our neighborhood was sketchy. But I found out very quickly not only that we were on a great block (our next door neighbor brought us menudo on Christmas morning!), but that our new home was nestled in the heart of Denver's Little Asia and Little Mexico, if you will.

Since we're leaving, I wanted to post about our favorite places in our neck of the woods. Starting with the best kept secret in Denver: Bamboo Forest

Bamboo Forest offers a one hour massage for only $25
I mean, it's not exactly a traditional massage. They take you into a dimly-lit room and sit you down in a big Lay-Z-boy type chair. There are about 8 chairs in one room-and there are often other people getting massages there too. But don't worry you leave your clothes ON (wear shorts or loose sweats). They start by soaking your feet in a bucket of really hot water, then they start the massage. It's totally amazing and for only $25 you can really relax.

Next up. Pho 95
Pho is a Vietnamese soup that most people (Jim) love. I don't love it. But do you know what they have there? They have something called the egg roll bowl. Can you imagine anything more delicious? Picture a bowl full of vermicelli noodles, shredded carrots and cucumbers and tons of chopped egg rolls drenched in fish sauce. It is the most spectacular dinner (or lunch).

When you are pregnant and constantly craving drunken noodles (or anytime you want drunken noodles), head next door to Pho 95 to J's Noodles. J's has the best drunken noodles in Denver.

Now on to the Mexican food of Federal!

My favorite go-to Mexican restaurant on Federal is 4Gs. It's cheap and delicioso. Breakfast is served all day-not to mention, breakfast includes coffee and juice. Usually it's under $5, but I almost always order the HUGE smothered breakfast burrito and it's about $7.

Jim's favorite Mexican place is Tacos y Salsas. There are TWO Tacos y Salsas on Federal and they're basically across the street from each other. The one on the West side is gross. Stick with the one on the East side of the street.

Tacos y Salsas has freshly made mexican fare with a huge variety of....SALSAs!
watch out! Some of those are spicy.

One more Mexican place. Tacos Rapidos. The name can be misleading, but it's only because they make the food to order. Tacos Rapidos is this little drive-thru (or walk up) restaurant in the Kmart parking lot off Evans and Federal.
These burritos are dense. If you go, you have to order a breakfast burrito. If you want to be popular in your office or at a party, I recommend getting 3 (for every 9 people) bean and cheese, potato egg and cheese and a chorizo, egg and cheese. This is the best variety.

Last, but not least, Jim's favorite: Cowboba's. This is a steak place.

steak and potatoes, right here on Federal Blvd!

Cowboba has more than just steaks. It has a large variety of Boba drinks. Boba tea origionated from Taiwan. Boba tea has small chewy tapioca balls in the bottom. I hate tapioca, therefore I think these smoothies are better sans boba.

There you have it! Where to go on Federal Blvd. between Alameda and Hampden. The next time you're here, maybe you can make a day of it?


  1. We went to 4-G's yesterday for breakfast. It's hard to beat for yummy cheapness.

  2. To clarify just a little, next to J's Noodles is Lao Wang Noodle House, run by an elderly Taiwanese couple who are incredibly nice, it gets great reviews but I didn't love it as much as the reviews led me to expect. For Pho and Egg roll Bowls Irish and I go to Pho79 which is a few blocks away from Js Noodles, I don't think we've eaten at Pho 95, but it's easy to get them confused. And on my own I usually go to Pho 555 because it's closer to our house. A few years ago Pho 555 got held up at lunchtime while police were eating there and it led to a shoot out. When I was there last week a sketchy guy acting weird made me think they were about to get robbed again. I ate much faster and looked for a back exit just in case. When I moved to Denver 12 years ago I thought Denver was a nice but kind of boring city. Federal Blvd keeps things interesting though.

    And Cowboba is awesome because they have good enough steaks for cheap, and they are called Cowboba.