A charcuterie and cheese platter is a new dish available for fans in the VIP and premium locations at the Pepsi Center, which unveiled new additions to its culinary line-up on Sept. 30, 2019, in advance of the 2019-2020 Nuggets season. (RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post)
Fans at Pepsi Center this season will find a new selection of menu items with a regional theme such as pork green chile fries and a bison pastrami melt.
The regional focus is an interesting choice for Legends Hospitality, the new food purveyor for Kroenke Sports and Entertainment.
Legends, started by the late New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in 2008, serves more than 80 stadium and entertainment venues worldwide. Legends also will be the vendor for the Paramount Theatre beginning Dec. 1 and Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Jan. 1.
Legends tapped James Beard Award winner and Denver chef Jennifer Jasinski almost two years ago to forge a partnership. Jasinski, who just inked a deal on a new restaurant at Denver Art Museum, is renowned for her Denver restaurants: Rioja, Bistro Vendome, Euclid Hall, Stoic & Genuine and Ultreia.
“We want to make it the food destination it should be,” Jasinski said at a preview event Monday at the Pepsi Center.
While Jasinski’s culinary creations will be featured in premium areas such as the club level and suites, she is also collaborating with Legends chef James Versfelt on several new “Local Eats” options. Also new this season, a master sommelier will curate rotating wines of the month and sports fans may spot a hot dim sum cart.
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Wyncoop Crispy Chicken (Sections 146, 303) features half-crispy fried chicken and patatas bravas in addition to more traditional chicken strips and a chicken sandwich. For fans looking for a healthier option, the stand offers a grain and seasonal vegetable salad made with quinoa and fresh vegetables.
“The Barrel Burgers & Floats is home to old school American food,” Versfelt said. It features a double cheeseburger and root beer floats, both Colorado inventions, according to folklore.
The origin of the root beer float rests with J. Wisner of Cripple Creek Brewing, who created the drink in 1893 when he added ice cream to root beer to capture the essence of Colorado’s snowy peaks. The history of the cheeseburger is a bit more complicated.
Another local nod at the Barrel (Sections 102, 112 and 319) is the bison pastrami melt made with smoked Colorado bison and marble rye from Golden’s Grateful Bread Company. “It is one of my favorite dishes,” Versfelt said. A veggie burger also is available.
The Denver Potato Co., known as PoCo, (Sections 148 and 330) serves French fries or tots loaded with either smoked bison pastrami, cheese and pickles or a pork green chile sauce, sour cream and jalapenos. Versfelt described it as a “Western version of poutine,” a dish beloved by many Canadian hockey fans.
“Plus it makes you want to have a beer,” he said.
Other regional options include Bristlecone BBQ (Sections 118 and 353) with smoked brisket, spare ribs and smoked chicken and Verde Y Rojo Cantina (Sections 118 and 379) with shredded beef and cheese flautas and loaded chicken nachos.
About half of the stands in Pepsi Center feature the new concepts but that there are plenty of traditional items as well, Versfelt said.
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