Paleo Restaurant: mmm…COFFEE! (Denver)

mmm...Coffee Paleo Denver

mmm…COFFEE! is the first (and only) Paleo restaurant in Denver, CO and I’m glad our friend Nick told us about it.

Come take a tour of mmm…COFFEE! A Paleo Bistro (video below!). We will introduce you to the owners Derek & Jami, learn about how they got started and of course take a visual tour through all they have to offer on their Paleo menu.

While we were in Denver attending the Authority Conference by Copyblogger Media, we rented this Mad Men style Airbnb condo with a fabulous kitchen. I had made a batch of my Carrot Origin Bars before we left home, to have some snacks available while traveling, but I was looking forward to cooking in the chef’s kitchen at the condo and also venturing out to try some Paleo friendly restaurants in Denver.

A few months before this trip we were in Austin for Paleo f(x), where I demo’d my Personal Paleo Meatloaf. While we were at Paleo f(x) I got some Denver restaurant recommendations from Juli and at one of the parties prior to the start of that conference we met Nick, who lives in Colorado. When we posted our first photo on Facebook saying that we were heading to Denver, Nick sent me a message letting me know I should check out mmm…COFFEE! A Paleo Bistro. So while Dave was working on finalizing a few projects, Jeff & I left the condo and went to check out the first Paleo restaurant in Denver!

What is a Paleo Bistro?

Bistro means small restaurant so mmm…COFFEE! is simply a small Paleo restaurant.

They are located in the art district of Denver so walking down the street as you come up to the entrance you’ll walk past many different art shops with artistic graffiti on the walls. The entrance can be a little hard to find since mmm…COFFEE! is located inside an open air area. So look for the banner below on Santa Fe and you’ll know you’re in the right place.

mmm...Coffee Paleo Denver

When we walked in we were greeted by Kat. She was the first person hired by owners Derek & Jami right after they opened. Kat was energetic, quite knowledgable about the history behind the shop and really fun to talk to, which you can see in the video below.

An Interview with Derek & Jami, Owners of mmm…COFFEE!

Kat told us her Paleo story while we were checking out the menu. She went Paleo about a year ago, currently trains at CrossFit Broadway with Juli Bauer, has completely immersed herself in the Paleo lifestyle and clearly has a love for her job!

mmm...Coffee Paleo Denver

After talking to Kat for a bit, she introduced us to Derek and we all decided to wait for Jami to arrive before we jumped in to talk all things mmm…COFFEE!

mmm...Coffee Paleo Denver
I specifically wanted to know what made them start a Paleo restaurant, when they made their Paleo lifestyle change and all the nitty gritty details about what happens daily at mmm…COFFEE! All of which you can hear explained in our video interview with them! :)

While we were waiting for Jami we decided to start by tasting the coffee. Before we left the condo I had pulled the mmm…COFFEE! website up to familiarize myself with the menu. Specifically, the details about the coffee caught my eye.

“They are the first restaurant to serve ReishiSmooth Coffee – a revolutionary process that uses Reishi mushrooms to remove the bitter and acidic compounds from green coffee beans, and impart them with the immune stimulating Beta-glucans found in the gourmet fungus.”

mmm...Coffee Paleo Denvermmm...Coffee Paleo Denver

So I ordered a cup and asked Derek all about the mushroom coffee while Jeff ordered a cup of bulletproof coffee. Derek prepared the ReishiSmooth Coffee using the Aeropress and if you’ve never seen that done before, you can watch and listen as Derek walks through the process in the video.

mmm…COFFEE! also offers Bulletproof Coffee and we took full advantage of that fact and we even had them mix in our travel size Vital Proteins collagen we brought with us. On our first time there, we were kind of starving so beyond coffee, we also ordered a few different dishes for lunch off the menu.

The Sardines on Greens Salad was exactly what I was looking for! A huge spinach salad with red onion, capers and topped with sardines. Just like what I would make at home.

mmm...COFFEE! Quote

We also tried one of the Turkey Bacon Wrapped Dates. This reminded me of the mini meatloaves we tried when we were at Hu Kitchen. They are the perfect little package of protein that you can easily travel with or take to go. Jeff loved them!

mmm...Coffee Paleo Denver

Kat gave us a sample of both of the soups of the day: Ginger Root and Creamy Chicken Tomato. Typically I’m not a huge fan of ginger (although Jeff loves the stuff!) but the Ginger Root Soup was very smooth and delicious. It reminded me of my Carrot Soup in Pigskin Paleo with a more mild flavor plus a burst, thanks to the ginger.

The Ginger Root Soup is a vegetable broth based soup made from carrot, parsnips, ginger, celery and red onion which made this soup not only Paleo, but also vegetarian and vegan friendly too.

The soups change daily so these specific soups may not be available on the menu the day you arrive but I guarantee whatever’s on the menu will be just as tasty.

mmm...Coffee Paleo Dessert Tray

Calling Your Paleo Sweet Tooth!

Holy Smokes! The grain-free, gluten-free Paleo desserts available at mmm…COFFEE! are so freaking good!! If you’re reducing your sugar intake for a 21 Day Sugar Detox or something of the like, just know the sweets will definitely tempt you. :)

Derek & Jami make their own chocolate chunks and Paleo Mexican chocolate syrup (that has a hint of spice). They use their house-made chocolate syrup for mocha’s and other recipes. Derek developed the Mexican chocolate syrup “to put Hershey’s out of business”. ;)

Jami let Jeff & I try a spoon full of the syrup, on it’s own, and then mentioned that they also bottle and sell the stuff in shop! It is a honey base mixture that also includes cocoa, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, nutmeg and salt. To say it’s delicious would be an understatement. :) If you’re interested in making your morning Mocha with a Paleo chocolate sauce, I’d highly recommend you contact Derek & Jami or just stop in and pick up a bottle.

I’m a sucker for chocolate chip cookies so of course I loved the Chocolate Chunk Cookies but out of all the desserts the Paleo Granola was by far my favorite. On each stop into mmm…COFFEE! while we were in town I added a cup of granola to our order.

The last item on the naturally-sweetened dessert menu I want to talk about are the Survival Bars. These fruit-roll-up-esque bars are the perfect snack to serve in Denver, where hiking is a serious sport! I can imagine taking a few Survival Bars to go. The combination of fruit and nuts remind me of our friend Anthony’s F’n Bars. :)

mmm...Coffee Paleo Denver

Paleo Cookbook Library

For Christmas, Kat purchased a whole host of Paleo Cookbooks for Derek & Jami to fill the mmm…COFFEE! bookshelves.

Customers can browse the cookbooks while they sit and enjoy a bulletproof coffee. You’ll even find my cookbooks Pigskin Paleo and Los Paleo sitting on the shelves. :)

Head over to mmm…COFFEE! A Paleo Bistro in Denver

The next time you’re in Denver you should absolutely stop into mmm…COFFEE! and give their Paleo goodies a taste. Whether you need a morning fix of coffee (like we did every day we were in town), or maybe you want to feed your Paleo sweet tooth with a choice of their Paleo desserts or grab a quick snack or lunch to go…regardless of your reason, Derek & Jami will have you covered with a delicious Paleo option. We can’t thank them enough for their generosity and love for supporting the Paleo community! :)

Don’t forget to watch our video interview with Derek & Jami in the video above!

Are you interested in more Paleo friendly restaurants? Have a recommendation of someplace we should check out? Let us know!

mmm...coffee Paleo Denver

Paleo Restaurant: mmm…COFFEE!

Restaurant: mmm…Coffee! A Paleo Bistro
Location: 910 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204 (in the 910 Arts Building)
Price: $$
Restaurant Rating: 5 out of 5
Paleo Rating: 5 out of 5

Paleo Restaurant Rating Scale

Restaurant Rating: How good is it? On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the best I’ve ever had), how good is the restaurant, no matter if it’s paleo or not.

Paleo Rating: On a scale of 1-5 (5 being paleo perfection), how paleo is it? A 5 will have grass fed and pasture raised meats, local, organic produce and no peanut oil in sight.

Video Transcript

Marla Sarris: Hey! So we’re on Santa Fe right now in Denver. And we are heading to mmm…COFFEE!

mmm…COFFEE! is a paleo coffee shop so we’re gonna go check it out!

So we’re walking down Santa Fe right now in Denver. And heading to mmm…COFFEE! at the recommendation of our friend Nick.

It’s a paleo coffee shop and restaurant and we’re gonna go check it out!

I’m gonna try a Crackaroon and a salad.

Jeff Sarris: And what is that?

Marla Sarris: A Crackaroon? It’s over there. It’s probably like a… Cocoroon? Cocoroon I think is the correct name.

Jeff Sarris: Like a macaroon cookie?

Marla Sarris: Ya, a macaroon but it’s called Crackaroon I’m sure because people get addicted to it so we’re going to give that a try. And then I’m probably going to get the Sardines on Greens salad.

Kat: That is pecans, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, a splash of vanilla, coconut and raw local honey.

Derek Fynboh: So this is the Aeropress if you’ve never seen one of these. Actually this is an old Aeropress. This is mine from 10 years ago, they last forever.

Simple mechanics. Just put in your ground coffee, there’s just a little paper filter on the bottom. Holds it all in the screen. Stir and agitate the grounds in hot water for about 20, 30 seconds. And you just press it through.

Kat: Derek wanted to start a coffee shop and asked Jami to do…

Jami Fynboh: The second one.

Kat: Ya, the second one. So Derek asked Jami if she would cook for the coffee shop and she said,

“…only if I do strictly paleo and only if you go paleo.”

So he went paleo and all of our food’s been paleo.

_It was Wednesday the Third, a cool, but cozy night._

Jami Fynboh: Marla, I’m Jami.

Marla Sarris: Nice to meet you. Derek, and this is Jeff.

Jami Fynboh: Hi Jeff

I’m Jami Fynboh and this is my husband Derek.

Marla Sarris: And we are at mmm…COFFEE! in Denver. So when did you guys start?

Jami Fynboh: We started October of 2012. October 2nd.

Marla Sarris: And what made you start a coffee shop that’s paleo focused?

Jami Fynboh: Well we had a coffee shop back in the 90’s, that’s actually how we met and…

Derek Fynboh: We gave it up when our daughter was born. Focused on her for the next 13 years or so. And she was more independent so we figured we’d get back into the coffee business.

I just wanted a coffee shop really, but she’d been paleo for a year and a half before that and wouldn’t cook for me unless she could eat everything on the menu. So we decided to go paleo and do a full paleo restaurant with everything.

Marla Sarris: This is Reishi Coffee. They grow mushrooms on top of beans. Am I getting that right? They grow mushrooms on top of the beans.

Derek Fynboh: The biochemist that came up with it worked a lot with Reishi Mushrooms. And studied the way they grow and interact with the vegetation around them. In the forest they actually feed nutrients into the plant that they’re growing on or around.

So they’ll take the green beans and they’ll lay it out. Put a medium of the Reishi Mushrooms on and let it grow for a couple of weeks. And the Reishi Mushrooms just eat the compounds in the green beans that cause it to be acidic or bitter. So it makes a really low acid, smooth cup of coffee.

It actually enhances the flavor of lower end coffees. In the higher end coffees that we use it trims a little bit of the sourness off. We do it at a lighter roast here.

Usually a lighter roast will give you a more sour taste. Or a more acidic taste to the coffee. This smooths it out nicely so it cuts off the high that might become unpleasant.

Marla Sarris: Cool. So when I taste it am I going to get a taste of mushroom?

Derek Fynboh: No, you won’t taste it at all because there’re no actual mushrooms in here.

Marla Sarris: And right now you offer a wide variety on the menu…

Jami Fynboh: Pretty wide variety. We’ve pretty much kept it simple. I literally cook out of 100 square feet. I share my kitchen with our dry storage, our ice machine and our dishwasher and our dishwashing sink. So it’s pretty crowded and there’s not a lot I can do.

Marla Sarris: It’s like a home kitchen.

Jami Fynboh: It’s smaller than my home kitchen. Much!

This is my kitchen. This is the only space I have to make everything here at mmm…COFFEE! A Paleo Bistro. This is where I make all my soups. This is Creamy Chicken Tomato, kind of our house soup.

And this is my little baby oven that I make all my savories and all my sweets in. I have to wipe it out in between both so the flavors don’t cross over.

And it is quite a challenge!

Derek Fynboh: All the recipes are things that we would eat at home before we opened this up. We just brought the way we live to here.

Jami Fynboh: Smaller. We’re actually negotiating on our second location right now. Which would offer a bigger kitchen so that I could get a little more creative and offer a little bit more variety of savories and baked goods.

Jeff Sarris: So these are Turkey Bacon Wrapped Dates.

Jami Fynboh: It’s been an amazing journey. As far as we know we’re the first and only strictly Paleo in the United States. So we get people from all over the world coming in. People on a layover at the airport will literally rent a car just to come out here and eat.

It’s just been an amazing journey. There are no words to even describe it.

Oh when I leave the recipe for my salad dressings, because I make them, they’re like “how much salt and pepper?” A dash. And they’re like, “what does that mean?” So I actually had to measure how much.

Marla Sarris: I love it. I meeting other people who do the same thing as I do.

Jami Fynboh: A pinch here, you know.

Marla Sarris: Until it tastes right.

Jami Fynboh: Ya, and you know it always tastes the same. Always, always. But it tastes homemade and that’s the whole point. I want people to feel like they’re eating at home. I don’t want people to feel like they’re eating at a restaurant.

Marla Sarris: And how about your Paleo journey?

Jami Fynboh: It changed my life. So much so that I opened a restaurant.

Ya, I was really sick and nobody really knew what was wrong. I had a lot of doctors pat me on the head and tell me to take a Prozac.

Changing my diet changed my life.

Marla Sarris: Awesome. And the food is super tasty!

Jami Fynboh: Oh thank you so much!

Marla Sarris: I had the Sardines Salad and you’ll see more on the blog of what we ate, but everything has been delicious.

Jami Fynboh: Good!

Derek Fynboh: Good, good. Glad you enjoyed it.

Marla Sarris: Coming to you from Denver.

Jami Fynboh: Yay! Come see us!

Derek Fynboh: 910 Santa Fe!

Marla Sarris: So we just came back from mmm…COFFEE! And we met Derek and Jami, the owners.

We had the best time with them. They told us all about their paleo experience, and opening their coffee shop and how it’s the first and only Paleo Restaurant here in Denver.

We got to try a whole host of their menu. And we even got to see the tiny little kitchen that Jami cooks everything in.

We had a blast with them and I can’t wait for you to check out the review on PaleoPorn.net.

Come on over to Denver!

Jami Fynboh: I want people to feel like they’re eating at home. I don’t want people to feel like they’re eating at a restaurant.

I just want to nourish people. That’s all I want to do.