Monday, August 8, 2011

The Walnut Room, Denver

I’m with the band.

Dreamt of being that girl since I watched stovepipe-trousered Beatles flee frenzied birds with bouffants. Since Diane Lane rocked skunk hair and panties over fishnets in “Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains.”

Since Pamela Des Barres wrote her memoirs, one and two.

And as a girl with the band, I’m fully and first-person qualified to tell you The Walnut Room plays topnotch host to the acts booked to play there. From the elevated stage (and drum riser), to comp guest list, lights and Randall the sound guy. There’s even a green room. I had to restrain myself from running wildly down the just-as-you-imagine wide halls, burning hot white from fluorescent bulbs overhead yelling, “Hello Cleveland!!”

Okay, maybe I did.

And the joint feeds you, on them a pitcher of beer per artist (whatever you like on tap, the Stella good and cold) and share-worthy 18” pizza. Sliced Chicago style (in squares) and with a wafer-thin, crispy crust holding up inventive and inspired toppings. After a mix-up with another bands comp, the super-attentive staff brought us two (enough to feed the guys in the band, the girls and various friends). The Iron Maiden comes topped with pepperoni, sausage and smoked ham, each of the meats chopped and cut and crumbled thick and chewy, spicy and oily. Complimented by a simple and herb-aceous red sauce. 

Word of advice, always order a bars namesake. Especially if you find yourself at The Walnut Room and it’s the Walnut Special, a happy pie smeared with tomato pesto and layers of tomatoes, green olives, onion, garlic and walnuts. Walnuts! The crunchy, earthy feel and mouth taste had even the most traditional pizza eaters take notice.

Split an Antipasto Salad, fresh spring mix, ripe tomatoes, artichoke hearts and peperoncini plus what look like meat spring rolls – a slice each of ham, salami and provolone laid one on top of the other, rolled like a Cuban then cut into large pieces. A meaty mouthful, best to unroll and enjoy each layer separately.

Like to think I'd be the girl sneaking out, circa 1975 NYC, to see the Ramones play CBGB's. But I'd have been the puss at home listening to Captain & Tennille records.

And I was 10.

So boys take note, the ladies love the musicians. Singers make the "O" face and sway their hips, drummers bang hard. I bet even tuba players get some action. A guitar has the curves and nuances of a woman's body. Play that and we imagine how you'd play us.

In the good way.

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