Denver mac and cheese

Denver Mac and Cheese Reviews | Forest Room 5

Mac and cheese is one of my greatest loves so I decided to start a blog series reviewing Denver mac and cheese dishes from restaurants around town. I’m on a mission to spread the word about the best and worst mac and cheeses in the area. My quest is to find the best in town. Join me as I eat my way through Denver, one mac and cheese review at a time. Today, I’m reviewing Forest Room 5’s mac and cheese entree. Enjoy!

Denver Mac and Cheese Rating

Flavor – 3/5
Consistency – 3/5
Presentation – 4/5
Price – 5/5
Topping – 3/5
Mix in options – 2/5
Total: 20/30
Conclusion: Great!

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Denver mac and cheese lovers

Forest Room 5

Forest Room 5 is a quirky little bar in LoHi with a whimsical forest theme. If you’re into sitting on stumps or drinking around a campfire, this is the place for you. Since I don’t drink, my favorite bars or breweries are the ones with good food and this place got bonus points for having a mac and cheese. They’re version of the classic dish has a great, creamy cheddar based sauce. While the cheddar provided a nice flavor and texture, it left me wanting more in terms of cheese variety and overall flavor. While the sauce was creamy, all the moisture seemed to sink to the bottom, leaving the top dry.

This mac and cheese was pretty pretty. Cavatappi pasta is always a solid choice and the skillet it was served in added a nice visual touch. The dish was topped with plenty of fresh herbs, which were delicious, but the topping lacked the crunch I look for in a good mac and cheese.

The menu listed two mix in options, bacon or green chile. While I appreciate that there were meat and veggie options, there were still only two mix ins available. I went with the original, and it was very filling. I showed up hungry and left satisfied. At only $8, it was a great priced meal and cheaper than the drinks! Plus, the mix ins were only $1 each. Forest Room 5 made a great mac and cheese for those hungry or sober bar hoppers!

Denver mac and cheese

Obligatory cheesy photo of me eating mac and cheese!

Denver mac and cheese review

Where’s the best mac and cheese you’ve had in Denver? Comment below so I know where to try next! Click here for all my Denver mac and cheese reviews. And check out my About Me page to see what else I’m obsessed with!

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Falstaff Student Matinee | Colorado Opera Photographer

The Student Matinee is one of Opera Colorado’s largest education events every spring. Over 1000 students from all over Colorado come to the Ellie Caulkins Opera House to see an full length production, presented on the main stage. In addition, the show is broadcast live to students around the state. All the students learn about opera and about the show they are seeing in their music classes before the come see the show. I love that as a Colorado Opera photographer, I get to be a part of this amazing event.

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The show the students see is the same show that opera patrons see that week and weekend but with some small variations to make it more kid friendly. Sometimes the opera is done in English or with a English narration. Sometimes there are other small changes in the plot or the libretto or the show is shortened. This version of the show is performed by Opera Colorado’s Artists in Residence. You’ve probably heard me talk about hem a lot. They are awesome! Last year’s show was Falstaff, a comedic opera by Giuseppe Verdi. This year’s show is the Marriage of Figaro and the Student Matinee will be on May 9th.

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What’s really fun about this day, every year, is that it’s both a performance and an event. I’m tasked with photographing all of it. I get there as the students first arrive and capture them entering the opera house, often for the first time. I get to catch them oooing and awing at the beautiful historic building and the majestic theater. Then I get to capture the show. This is the only time the Artists in Residence perform this version of the show on the main stage. There are no rehearsals on stage so this is the only chance we get to take production photos.

At the intermission, I wander around the Ellie capturing the kids chatting about the show so far. Sometimes, they’ll bring a lunch and eat it in the lobby or just stretch their legs a bit. For this show, they also kept the curtain open for scene changes so the audience got to see how the tech crew changes everything over. Then, after the show ends, some of the schools stay for a Q and A session. Students get to ask the artists and the director anything they want and they get to take a peak at the orchestra pit. It’s always fun to hear their questions.

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? I would love to help tell your story through photos. Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

Wild Heart Dance | Colorado Dance Photography

Colorado dance photography is all about creativity. I like to refer to myself as a translator of art. My job, first and foremost, is to document the movement and emotion of the performers hiring me. that probably doesn’t sound like there’s a lot of room for creativity on my part, but it is so much more than that. Everything can be interpreted in different ways, by different viewers, so my job is to interpret what is in front of me, from my perspective. I then translate that into a new medium – two dimensional, still photography. It’s always exciting to see new works, new ways of moving, new ways of expressing, and to be the one to translate that to others.

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I was so excited when Wild Heart Dance started describing their vision for this session. Jumping, falling, dancing in water, the flatirons in the background, and tall grasses in the foreground. This session had it all! Wild Heart was in the midst of experimenting with tumbling and creating new work around it. They brought their mats and blocks to the session and we found ways to hide them from the camera, in the grasses. Then it was time to get wet! I made sure to bring my rainboots so I could wade in the water with the dancers. They ended up having a water splashing fight, which was so much fun to capture. I also ended up with an X shaped sunburn on my back that stuck around for months. It was totally worth it!

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We did lots of individual portraits in addition to the dancing photos. We took headshots at the beginning of the session, then right after coming out of the water, and again at the end of the session. I love seeing them all lined up together below.

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? I would love to help tell your story through photos. Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

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La Boheme Opening Night | Denver Event Photography

One of the best parts of Denver event photography is getting to go to swanky parties! When La Boheme opened at Opera Colorado, there was an opening night dinner at Kevin Taylor’s in the lower level of the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. It was so much fun photographing this event. I loved seeing everyone in their best formal wear, ready to enjoy a classic opera! The same night, I also got to photograph the pre-show talk that was open to all the opera attendees. I love when companies include educational pieces like pre-show talks and Q&A’s. I think it really adds to the overall experience of seeing a show live.

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Just a bit of a photo nerd out here. This was the first event I photographed with my new lighting setup. I had just bought three brand new flashes. light stands, umbrellas, and the little bits that go with it. This was the first event I was able to use it for after lots of playing around in my apartment. I was definitely still getting used to it and playing around with different setups for everything, but I love how the images turned out. I remember getting home that night and downloading the photos to my computer. It was so exciting to see what a difference the lights made and so proud of the images I created.

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Kevin Taylor’s at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House is a really cool space, but it is very difficult to photograph. The ceiling looks like the night sky, with tiny spots of light throughout and there are some really cool paintings by Vance Kirkland. But the lighting is very low with weird spotlights and a low, dark ceiling. I used to dread photographing events in this space but my new lighting setup made it so much better.

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Want engaging photos of your next event? I would love to help tell your story through photos. Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

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Whiskey and Doughnuts Festival | Denver Event Photography

This was such a fun event to photograph last year! Denver event photography brings me to so many new spots around the city and introduces me to so many fun things to do. The Whiskey and Doughnuts Festival is exactly what it sounds like, a day-long festival full of whiskey and doughnuts from local vendors across Denver and Colorado.

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I loved seeing some of my favorite doughnut shops on display, like Habit Donut Dispensary. I don’t drink so I have no input on the whiskey selection but there were some really cool displays and a huge selection of distilled goodness. Last year’s event took place at Denver Rock Drill, a huge old warehouse on the north side of the city. The decorations of the event were bright, fun, and colorful (like donut sprinkles) so I felt right at home!

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Each whiskey vendor was paired up with a doughnut vendor and together, they had to come up with a boozy doughnut to serve at the festival. Toward the end of my time shooting, in between sessions, I setup photos of each of the pairings. They were so fun and I loved how they turned out. I love that the festival used the photo above for the Facebook event this year. It’s always so exciting to see my photos being used for marketing. Seriously, it never gets old!

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11 Creative, the company who puts on these events, just announced this year’s Whiskey and Doughnuts Festival! Tickets go on sale soon so if you want to go (and why wouldn’t you) get on their waitlist before they sell out. The festival will be in downtown Denver on May 18th, from 2pm to 9pm. The event also helps support, Minds Matter of Denver, a local non-profit that makes college dreams a reality for low-income high school students in the Denver area. Get your tickets here.

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Want engaging photos of your next event? I would love to help tell your story through photos. Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

Revolutions | Denver Dance Photography

I have been photographing Park Hill Dance Collective and Academy for a number of years now. When their yearly production, an evening of pieces performed by the Collective dancers and Academy dancers, was approaching they asked if I could photograph is. I love Denver dance photography and I really wanted to see and photograph this show, but I knew I would be out of town on the dates they needed me.

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That’s when Amanda came in! Amanda Tipton and I work together a lot throughout the year. Anytime, one of us cannot photograph a show or event, we call up the other one to help us out. Amanda was able to be my associate photographer for the event. She photographed the show, then sent the photos to me to edit and deliver. This works out really well because my clients don’t have to deal with a new business, new contracts, or new pricing. And their events are still covered even if I’m unavailable. Plus, I only hire associates I trust to photograph at the same level as my own work.

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I really wish I had been in town the see this show myself! Looking through the photos to edit them was so much fun because I was really seeing this work for the first time. It looks like an amazing show! I always love how Park Hill combines their studio and company dancers into one performance.

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I also thought it was really cool that the male dancers wore long, red skirts in one of the pieces. I was talking to another male dancer last year who was upset that there are so few opportunities men have to dance in flowing clothing. He felt that a big part of the movement could be missing with tight-fitting clothes. So, I was so excited to see the whole company, men and women, in flowing skirts during this production!

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? I would love to help tell your story through photos. Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

Denver Mac and Cheese Reviews

Denver Mac and Cheese Reviews | Wynkoop Brewing Company

Mac and cheese is one of my greatest loves so I decided to start a blog series reviewing Denver mac and cheese dishes from restaurants around town. I’m on a mission to spread the word about the best and worst mac and cheeses in the area. My quest is to find the best in town. Join me as I eat my way through Denver, one mac and cheese review at a time. Today, I’m reviewing Wynkoop Brewing Company’s mac and cheese entree. Enjoy!

Denver Mac and Cheese Rating

Flavor – 3/5
Consistency – 2/5
Presentation – 3/5
Price – 3/5
Topping – 2/5
Mix in options – 4/5
Total: 19/30
Conclusion: Good

Wynkoop Brewing Company
Denver Mac and Cheese Lovers

Wynkoop Brewing Company

I’ve been to Wynkoop Brewing Company before and I had an appetizer size of the mac and cheese. This time, it was time to try the real deal. The main flavor I got from this mac and cheese was a green chile flavor. This is a common ingredient in many dishes in Denver, but it was not listed on the menu, which I would have appreciated. I’m not a big fan of green chile but it didn’t turn me off to the dish too much.

The consistency of this mac and cheese was a bit disappointing. It was not as creamy as I expect from a good mac and cheese. The dryness didn’t necessarily come from a lack of sauce, although it could have used more overall. It mainly came from the sauce itself. The choice of cheeses and other proportions left a bit of a dry feeling in my mouth after each bite.

The default topping for Wynkoop Brewing Company’s mac and cheese included breadcrumbs, herbs, and parmesan. While it wasn’t gooey and melty, it was quite tasty and the breadcrumbs added a nice crunch.

The “mix-ins” were not actually mixed in but instead put on top, which seemed like an afterthought. I took one point off presentation because I think it took away from the overall look. There were great protein mix in options but no other options like veggies or different cheeses. I went with bacon, which always makes everything better!

In terms of price, $11 was a good value for the quantity (I took half of it home for leftovers), but the quality wasn’t outstanding and some topping prices were almost as much as the dish itself. Overall, Wynkoop Brewing Company offers a good, solid mac and cheese, with options to mix it up each time you visit.

Denver Mac and Cheese Reviews

Obligatory cheesy photo of me eating mac and cheese!

Denver Mac and Cheese

Where’s the best mac and cheese you’ve had in Denver? Comment below so I know where to try next! Click here (link coming soon) for all my Denver mac and cheese reviews. And check out my About Me page to see what else I’m obsessed with!