Peak of the season heirloom tomatoes, southern okra, sweet root vegetables, and Colorado summer squash — these are just some of the locally grown ingredients that will end up on plates at The Squeaky Bean Farm + Table in Denver. Chef Chris MacGillivray creates seasonal dishes the old fashioned way — sourcing from the restaurant's own farm known as Squeaky Bean Acres.
What originally started as raised growing beds near the restaurant has grown into two 6,000-square foot greenhouses and a mega-garden at Warren Tech High School in Lakewood. Using state-of-the-art agriculture methods, the mini-farm produces top of the line organic produce for the restaurant kitchen. As MacGillivray puts it, “We call it transFARMative cuisine: big authentic flavors from organic, non-GMO plants grown right here in our backyard.” Students, future farmers, and aspiring chefs also participate in farm operations in order to gain valuable educational experience.
The Squeaky Bean Farm + Table is centrally located on the corner of 15th and Wynkoop Streets near the restored Union Station. Not surprisingly, the menu at The Squeaky Bean Farm +Table changes frequently depending upon what is available both from their farm and from other locally-sourced purveyors for various protein ingredients.
Start with a cocktail such as their Farrah Fawcett Squeaky Spritz ($10) with Aperol, Prosecco, and house bubbled seltzer. They also have one in honor of Muhammad Ali called Rhum-Ble in the Jungle ($10).
Next, try one of the salads, perhaps its most popular consists of quinoa made with yams, avocado, feta, shaved fennel, and yogurt ($12). Unlike the grainy taste you might get with most quinoa dishes, this one is creamy with the grain creating more of a background taste to the delicious feta cheese.
For your entrée, choose from several sandwiches or seasonal items, again depending upon the time of year. The lamb shoulder lettuce wraps with kimchi, bean sprouts, and herbs ($14) is light, tasty, and satisfying.
Popular sandwich offerings usually include the LoDo combo burger ($15) or their fried chicken BLT ($12), stacked high with a generous and perfectly seasoned fried chicken breast topped with bacon, onions, special sauce, and pickle.
Dessert might include a chocolate almond cake with mint ice cream. This ice cream really has an intense mint flavor, obviously made with fresh mint from the farm.
The Squeaky Bean Farm + Table also offers winemaker dinners featuring award-winning wines ($75 plus tax and gratuity) and farm dinners ($70) every couple of months. The farm dinners are held at Warren Tech High School (the site for Squeaky Bean Acres) and include four courses and paired mocktails, alcohol free versions of cocktails. Integrating the school’s mission to “marry industry and education,” students help prepare the meal.
The restaurant owners also believe in giving back to the community. In 2015 they fed 5,000 people on Thanksgiving and hope to increase that number to 6,000 for 2016.
For more information on The Squeaky Bean Farm + Table, click here.
FTC Disclosure: This was a sponsored visit, however, all opinions herein are the authors.
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