Often times, the best restaurants are the ones that are the most unassuming. I love finding a little treasure of a restaurant with a small sign, few tables and a location in a storefront that’s usually tucked into a strip mall. Maybe places like this just try harder to be good because they have to. Or maybe it just amuses them to be successful without paying exorbitant rent or spending a lot for fancy décor and slick uniforms. Whatever it is, I’m always glad to discover them.
It’s with some trepidation that I share the secret of a little treasure of an Asian restaurant in East Denver, lest they become so successful, they no longer recognize me when I call or come in (they are as loyal to their neighbors as their neighbors are to them!).
But alas, in the name of helping people find really great food, I’ll spill my little secret…it’s called Sweet Rice Café. There, secret’s out. Now everyone can go to this tiny place in the Mayfair neighborhood, complete with its basic sign, one table that’s outside(!), and its unassuming location. Yup, fits my profile of “restaurant treasure” perfectly!
We’ve eaten at Sweet Rice for years and have literally never had anything less than wonderful. Their Sesame Chicken ($9.95) is like chicken candy (which, believe me, is a good thing), tender on the inside with a crispy, spicy-sweet coating outside. The Mongolian Beef ($9.95) is spicy with a variety of textures. Egg Foo Young ($9.95-$10.95) has a thick, puffy pancake of rice, egg and bean sprouts topped with beef, chicken, pork, shrimp or veggies. Their BBQ Pork fried rice has a delicious, smoky flavor and lovely texture. It’s the best I’ve had anywhere.
Sweet Rice also has other Asian specialties like Kal Bi ($13.95), a Korean dish with grilled baby short ribs, Lettuce Chicken ($9.95), minced chicken sautéed with onion, peppers and basil and more. Again, everything we’ve had has been delicious. You can also ask to have your entrees made with steamed meats and vegetables.
Wouldn’t it be great it I had beautiful photos of our most recent meal from Sweet Rice? Sure would! Too bad we dove into it so fast we forgot to take a picture of our feast. Sorry!
A good way to try out a variety of Sweet Rice’s dishes is with their lunch specials between 11am-3pm ($6.75 – $7.50). They include an egg roll, crab cheese wonton and fried rice.
Sweet Rice does deliver within 3 miles of their location. However, it is well-worth driving across town to get the food to go. On a nice day, take advantage of the lovely park and playground across the street, spread out a blanket and have a picnic.
Sweet Rice Café
942 Jersey St.
Mon-Fri. – 11am-9:30pm
Saturday – 4pm-9:30pm
Sunday – 4pm – 9pm
Come, E.A.T. with us!