Wednesday nights at this well-known Denver dive are apparently not very brawl-inducing. This was my impression of the place, as I live so damn close to it I can hear the fracas more often than not, always breathing a sigh of relief when my clock reads 2am and I know I can finally get some sleep. I brought 3 friends along for the ride, thinking there's safety in numbers. But it turns out no protection was necessary: the place was only half full and everyone was behaving themselves.
Streets shares the building with another eatery, Spices. Although I did spend a fabulously hung-over morning there once, waiting a baffling 20 minutes for a breakfast burrito to-go (we were the only patrons and the single sound I heard from the partially open kitchen was the ding of a microwave), Spices does not have a Colfax address nor an entrance on that street, so consider it un-Eat Colfax-worthy. The food available inside Streets of London is actually run by another company: 3 Guys Pies. Sound convoluted? Add to that the adjoining Scooter Liquors and you have yourself quite the hodgepodge of places to buy food and drink, not a strip mall, but a chubby L-shaped block of cement and brick and asphalt, surrounded by a triangle of streets where Park Avenue reaches it's terminus. In my opinion, (and the patrons' and purveyors' of Steets of London no doubt), 3 Guys Pies is the best thing to have inhabited the building, providing honest-to-goodness New York style pizza to soak up the pints and perhaps provide a greasy and cheesy if not quiescence than at least civil air to those disorderly late-night folks.
The patio was full when we got there, so we grabbed a bar table, the 4 of us taking a minute to adjust to the dim and figure out the protocol to ordering. Actually they make it pretty clear at Streets: two signs declaring "Order Here" and "No Wait Staff on Duty", although having worked in restaurants and bars myself I'm aware that there are always some customers who are blind/lazy/ignorant. We go up to the pizza window, where the extent of their menu hangs above the counter in brilliant yellow and red and green. Well-organized, easy to read, in short, enticing. I see they offer gluten-free crust (I mean, if you're not jumping on that band wagon already you're sunk), pizza by the slice, whole pies ranging from 14 to 30 inches (30 inches!), calzones and salads available in half or whole sizes, subs and pasta. Standard NY pizza joint fare, with topping choices galore, although nothing overly unusual (still looking for pizza with broccoli in Denver). I order a small chef salad and a half-calzone with spiced meatball, sautéed onion and pineapple, 10 bucks and some change. I hear my name called some minutes later and pick up my "side" salad at the window. Wow. If that's a side I can imagine a "whole" coming in a salad-serving bowl. Mine is served in a lovely ceramic dish, the ingredients perfectly rounded over the top, each pepperoni and crouton and mushroom slice placed deliberately atop the lettuce, a plastic ramekin of house-made Italian dressing tipping precariously on the side. It's almost like a cold pizza, and you really gotta dig through the meat and mozzarella to get to the greens below. It's delicious and filling and as my companions' slices come out I come to realize that 3 Guys deals in enormity. The slices, perhaps coming from the 30 inch monster, are draped over the paper plates like a flamboyant man's wrist. They're a little unwieldy, and using the method of picking up the plate and eating about 6 inches off the pointy end first is a must. Everyone is "mmm"-ing and I'm excited for my hot portion to arrive as well, which it does soon after. Again, this is a half-calzone? It's been cut in half, so to me, it's two halves, which if I remember my math classes correctly, equals a whole. Bang for your buck here folks. The ricotta and mozzarella are oozing out of the perfectly plumped up crust. Cutting into it, I laugh at my innards-choices, it's really a bunch of white foods, even the crushed up meatballs have not escaped a color change, having just soaked up the sauce. And you know what they say about white foods. Well, they're tasty that's for sure. The sauce though, the mixture of ricotta and herbs, is a tad too sweet. Sure, it could be the pineapple or the onion (i.e. my own fault) but the spiciness of the meatballs is a bit lost and I can't help but think there is something a little off about it. A healthy dose of marinara brings back the savory acidity, but not quite enough. I manage to polish it off, along with two pints of London Pride, and am already planning my next visit where I will stick with a traditional Neopolitan.