Very, very carefully.
First, you & the Director arrange to meet Denver on a Spit (DOAS), Mantonat, & their blushing brides for a late lunch at this Lebanese sleeper on Colfax; then, you hardly eat all morning, to ensure you’ll be nice & saber-toothed by the appointed meeting time; meanwhile, you chip away at some looming deadline, so that hunger & work stress will swirl into a perfect storm of determined debauchery, a play-by-play of which, complete with full dish descriptions, you’ll find right here at DOAS.
By the time your companions arrive, you’ll both be on your 2nd of 3 glasses of Château Kafraya‘s red blend from the Bakaa Valley of Lebanon, & you’ll have polished off much of the 1st of 2 orders of your favorite, most vengeful of garlic dips with pita fresh from the oven.
Then DOAS—otherwise known as the only soul in all of Denver who can eat as much as you–will suggest you start with the pizza-like specialty known as manaqish (or, sometimes, lahmacun) heavily sprinkled with the region’s famed, earthy, slightly bitter spice mixture, za’atar, & dotted with, all of things, cornichons & Japanese-style pickles (aka tsukemono).
The fact that, being wonderfully airy but slightly dry, it doesn’t quite beat your favorite local version, that of Amira Bakery,
which also makes a killer pie topped with ground lamb,
will not keep you from digging in whole-heartedly.
DOAS will also suggest an order of fatayer filled with lamb, onions & pine nuts,
unusual to me for being open-faced rather than turnover-like, which as far as I know is more common. The pastry’s flaky, almost puff-like, but also slightly on the dry side (perhaps that’s a point in favor of encasing the filling completely, so the dough soaks up the meat juices)? Still, nothing a little tzatziki can’t fix.
Of course, you & the Director will have ordered separate combo patters: yours vegetarian with falafel, hummus, baba ghanoush, tabouleh, dolmas, rice & the richest of yogurt dips, lebne,
his topped further with chopped gyro & chicken.
(Meanwhile, one member of your party will order a daily special, comprised of enough saffron rice, beef & potatoes, along with more tzatziki, to feed a whole bunch of normal people.)
By now, not even you can stomach the thought of dessert, much as you adore baklava, kunafa, & the like. Coffee that’s nearly thick as fudge batter will have to do.
If, like me, you dig Arabic, Cuban & all the other coffee styles that are at once intensely bitter & well sweetened, you’l be set, but DOAS warns: “I hate sweet coffee & love strong, black coffee, so I was torn, though I appreciated the copious amounts of sludge on the bottom of my mini-cup (I think I got extra sludge & really did like it). And 3 or 4 pours had me going the rest of the day.”
And that, folks, is how you blow stacks of cash at Phoenician Kabob, & how you’ll no doubt do it again someday soon.