1242 South Broadway
Monday to Saturday, 10:30 to 7:30
Bus directions: take the 0 from Market Street Station
Update: Urban Pantry closed in mid-2009. Alexandra Failmezger can be found on Facebook and Linked In.
When I walked into Urban Pantry on South Broadway in Denver, the first thing I noticed was the selection of beautiful holidays wreaths hanging over the cash register. And the second was how the layout of the store draws your eye toward the back, where the meat and cheese case awaits.
On the way, you walk past enticing displays of everything from oil and vinegar to nuts to chocolates.
Owner Alexandra Failmezger chose Denver as the location for her store after extensive research indicated it was a promising market for the kind of specialty market she envisioned. As she says on her website, she wanted Urban Pantry to be “a fun place where people can explore different flavors, sample new products, and learn more about food.”
And learn I did, because she was happy to talk to me and the other customers about how special the Iberico ham was (at $89.99 per pound, it had better be) and how hers was the only store in Denver to carry it. I took home some of the Iberico (see its history here and here), as well as prosciutto, and once my husband finished exclaiming over the price, we sampled both. The Iberico had a stronger flavor than the prosciutto, both more nutty and more fatty. We had only a few slices between us, but it was quite filling.
The case in the back was full of out-of-the-ordinary meats and cheeses (such as “Stinking Bishop, Sheep, Raw”) from the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, and the United States. On the left were shelves full of crackers, and blackboards listed the sandwiches and fresh pasta available.
If you don’t fall in love with any of the hundreds of offerings at Urban Pantry, each selected by Alex, well … for a consolation prize, you can always pick up a “Chocolate Boyfriend” or “Chocolate Girlfriend” and take it home.
On the way out, I stopped to sample the P. B. Loco peanut butters, one with cinnamon and raisins, another with chocolate (my favorite, of course), and a third with banana. The sign read: “The mind is boggled. But tongue understands.”
Urban Pantry has an extensive party menu; please allow twenty-four hours notice for catering. The staff can create a basket for you combining food from Urban Pantry and wine from Divino next door.