Have you been to Lime? It's a Mexican restaurant with four locations in Denver. They have a killer cocktail menu and some pretty good food, but I must say, I think I'm too old to eat there.

I have had the (unfortunate?) luck to visit lime on 'Taco Tuesdays' both times I've eaten there. The crowd is what you would expect on a night when they offer $1 tacos. The tacos are good, by the way, I'm just not into the crowd that specifically visits a place so they can have dinner and a drink and walk out for less than $10.

We've been to the Larimer and Landmark locations. Both are good spaces, and the Larimer patio is especially excellent. The patio is the ONLY place you should consider sitting on 'Taco Tuesday' (and possibly other nights of the week - I'm not sure), otherwise, if you're over 24 years old, you will be totally unable to hear your dining companion under the best of circumstances.

The service has been decent at both locations and the food decent or better than decent as well. Their hand cut tortilla chips and salsa are delicious and will shut you up while you wait for a drink during the taco chaos. After that, we tried the ceviche, which was quite good, if a bit unimaginative. A very generous portion of shrimp and unidentified whitefish in a low slung glass with tortilla chips and slightly underripe avocado was a crowd pleaser despite some minimal shortcomings.

I had the shrimp fajitas (despite the fact that whenever I (very infrequently) order fajitas, I feel like I must be in a freaking Applebee's or something). The portion was VERY generous and really quite tasty. Lots of shrimp mixed with lots of onions and a few other token veggies such as zucchini and peppers. A stingy portion of guac and sour cream (where's the fat, people?) and some nicely spiced rice and black beans rounded out the dish. A nice feature is that you can mix corn and flour tortillas, pleasing everyone. I mention that because you should SHARE this dish - it's too much for one person!!

My companion had tostadas, which were good- but remind you after you start to eat them that everything you've eaten and snacked on thus far is just another version of a tostada. Veggies, crispy tortillas, guac, etc. It's sort of redundant. But well executed.

So the net is, good food, good, hip vibe, really loud and pretty fun - but if you're over, say, 31 or so, it will make you feel old to be there. Maybe I should try Sunday or Wednesday next time...

Nutty snacks

I love nuts. They're good for you and it easily allows for a healthy salt fix (if you're able to eat them in moderation, of course). I'll eat roasted, salted mixed nuts, or take raw almonds or cashews or a mix and make my own. This following is a basic guideline, but keep in mind you can easily alter the flavors with different spices or reducing sugar, etc. Be creative - try different salts (smoked salt, maybe?) or add some lemon zest or freshly picked herbs other than rosemary (minced oregano? fresh thyme?). Give it a go - they're easy and they are perfect cocktail or pre dinner snacks!

Caramelized nuts (modified from 'A Kitchen Safari' by Yvonne Short)

1 c raw almonds, cashews or mixed nuts (check the bulk aisle in your supermarket)
2 tbsp butter
1/2 c soft brown sugar
Sea salt or Kosher salt
Cayenne pepper
2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary, minced

In a large frying pan, melt the butter. Toss in the sugar, salt, a healthy shake of cayenne (to your taste!) and the rosemary. Mix over the heat then add the nuts. Fry until the nuts are coated in a salty-sugary glaze. Perfect yin-yang combo!

Delicious with a cocktail hour drink!

Celery Root Slaw

I once again find myself turning to Jack Bishop in my time of vegetative need. When you get a celery root in your CSA bag you sometimes need some inspiration. Luckily, Jack is usually there for me. This recipe comes from his superb 'Vegetables Every Day' book which I have mentioned countless times on this site.

I wish I hadn't been in a hurry yesterday so that I could produce a photo of the very dirty, very ugly (but very delicious!) celery root I used in this recipe. You probably waltz past its ugliness in the grocery store where it is relegated to obscure status, drying out by the horseradish and taro root (if your grocery store even bothers to carry them!). Fortunately, our farm pops one in our bag as a surprise every now and then and they *are* fun to cook with.

This salad took me all of 6 minutes or so to make last night as a side to go with roasted potatoes and buffalo burgers. Give it a try - you won't be disappointed. I will note here that the recipe does require a food processor (or good knife skills and a LOT of patience). I used to think it was too fussy to mess around with the other blades on the processor but now that I've worked the shredder into the rotation, I don't give it a second thought.

Celery Root and Apple Slaw
Adapted from Jack Bishop's Vegetables Every Day
Serves 6 as a side

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (Bishop calls for lemon juice, but I didn't have any, hence the 'adaptation')
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp plain yogurt
1 tbsp minced fresh parsley leaves or 1.5 tsp minced fresh tarragon leaves (it was cold and rainy and I didn't feel like going outside to find parsley, so I didn't add any fresh herbs. Dish was still great, though undoubtedly could have been even better with the herbs!)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 medium celery root
1 medium Granny Smith apple

Whisk the vinegar and mustard together in a bowl. Whisk in the oil until the dressing is smooth. Whisk in the yogurt and herbs. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cut a thin slice from either end of the celery root. Place the root on a cutting board and cut around the root with a paring knife to remove the skin as if removing the peel and pith from an orange to expose the flesh. Cut the peeled celery root into chunks that will fit in the feed tube of a food processor. Quarter and core the apple, but do not peel.

Shred the celery root and apple in a food processor fitted with the shredding disk. Place the shredded celery and apple in the bowl with the dressing and toss well with your hands until all is well coated. Adjust seasonings as necessary. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 2 hours and serve chilled.