1301 S. Pearl Street, Denver, CO
Website: Hanson’s Grill & Tavern
Heidi’s Illustrious Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (I’ll definately go again)
Located in the Pearl Street District, just west of I25 and east of S. Broadway, Hanson’s Grill & Tavern is a popular destination for locals. We arrived just after 5 p.m. on a Tuesday evening and by the time we left there was standing room only in the bar. Hanson’s claims the longest happy hour in town and they may be right. Starting every day at 11 a.m. and ending at 6:30 p.m., happy hour drinks will only set you back $2.50 (including almost every drink on the extensive drink menu).
NOTE: As of 7.1.09 Hanson’s happy hour drink prices range from $3.50 for house wines to $2.25 to $3.75 for beer. Happy hour runs all day on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Happy hour may be a big reason locals pile in, but it’s not the only reason. The food menu is huge and includes pub options such as fish and chips, all-American options such as turkey and steaks, as well as Mexican food, pasta and a great selection of salads and sandwiches. I’m usually skeptical of restaurants who try to do it all, but Hanson’s seems to be doing most of it right.
The building on the corner of Pearl and E. Louisiana Ave. has gone through several transformations. Eight years ago, it was home to a Mexican restaurant. Now the space has a neighborhood bar and grill type of ambiance. The front door opens into the tavern area and there can be quite a crowd huddled around the wait area during high times.
We’ve eaten at Hanson’s twice in the last couple months. On both visits we sat at booths in the high ceiling, brick-walled main restaurant. Service has been adequate (we happened to have the same waitress both times; she is nice, but seems less than excited about her job). On our first visit we had a party of four and the turkey burgers received rave reviews. I ordered the chicken Tuscan sandwich on focaccia bread. It comes with a thick spread of pesto, my favorite, so I was happy. My husband, however, did not enjoy his patty melt, which arrived without onions and on un-toasted bread. Our waitress remedied the mistake, but by the time he got the plate back, the rest of the table had almost finish their dinners. All burgers and most sandwiches are under $9.
We visited again just last week. This time I ordered the Teriyaki tuna sandwich on toasted cuabatta bread ($10) and Ryan indulged in a comfort food classic, chicken fried steak ($12). The Teriyaki sandwich is gigantic and for those who dislike hard-to-eat food, this is not the item for you. I could hardly get my mouth around the ciabatta bread, generous fillet of tuna smothered in melted Swiss cheese and thick-cut pineapple slice. Once accomplished, the bite was worth the sticky Teriyaki juices on my chin and hands. The chicken fried steak, served up with mashed potatoes and vegetables, turned out to be a satisfying choice.
Hanson’s Grill & Tavern is a nice alternative to a chain restaurant. With a great variety, it is the perfect restaurant to please everyone in the family or a large party. The prices are reasonable and paired with happy hour drinks, you won’t have to break into the savings account to afford dining out.
NOTE: We’ve been back to Hanson’s numerous times since this review was first written. We’ve been experiencing outstanding service and the food is always good. David was exceptionally nice and helpful on our visit last week.