En Fuego pop-up restaurant packs the heat in Palisade Nov. 14
WHAT: En Fuego pop-up restaurant
WHEN: 5-8 p.m. Thurs., Nov. 14
WHERE: Outside Peach Street Distillers, 144 Kluge Ave., Palisade
COST: $5-$10 entrees
Decadence Gourmet Cheesecakes founder and chef Lee Mathis isn’t just known for his sweets. He’s also gained a mighty reputation for cooking with heat.
“I want to run up the cliffs of hell, lean over and feel the flames singe my beard without falling in,” Grand Junction’s own Mathis said of his passion for peppers.
“We love what we do; we love making cheesecake. As with any other cook, you gotta play and you gotta push the boundaries sometimes.”
To share his love for tastes full of fire, Mathis is hosting Grand Junction’s first pop-up restaurant — called “En Fuego” — next to Peach Street Distillers, 144 Kluge Ave. in Palisade Thursday, Nov. 14. It will run from 5-8 p.m. or until food runs out. The restaurant will be housed out of Duncan’s Gourmet Food Truck.
“A pop-up restaurant is when someone takes over an existing place or a shell of a building and does a restaurant theme for just one night,” Mathis explained. “I’ve always wanted to do something like this.”
En Fuego’s menu will also be varied, serving both savory and sweet foods infused with ghost peppers, Trinidad Scorpion peppers, habanero peppers and jalapenos. Examples from the menu include Burnin’ BLTs (with jalapeno/habanero bacon and chipote mayo) to Ghost Chile fries; “flaming” burgers; at least one dipping sauce with Trinidad Scorpion peppers; the El Diablo savory appetizer cheesecake, made with ghost peppers and habaneros; and even a raspberry-habanero popsicle.
Combo meals will be available, along with appetizers and desserts. And with a moderate price range — think $5-$10 per person, generally — Mathis predicts a busy night.
The En Fuego crew will be prepping food from Grand Junction’s Business Incubator Center, he said, then cooking live from the truck. The public is encouraged to eat outside by Peach Street’s fire pit, or head inside the distillery for a drink with dinner.
“I appreciate hot food, too,” Peach Street tasting-room manager Rachel Clark said, “and (Lee) has a way of sharing it with people so it’s not too intimidating.”
Clark added that she’s hopeful for a good turnout, and that everyone will stay after the special event for an extra drink.
Though pop-up restaurants are becoming more popular these days, especially in urban areas across the United States, Mathis thinks this is the first example of a pop-up food shop in western Colorado.
And when asked if he’d do more down the road, he said: “Hell yeah! I have more in mind.”
For more information about Decadence Gourmet Cheesecakes, visit http://www.decadencecheesecakes.com.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Glenwood Springs City Council member Shelley Kaup says she will seek reelection to another four-year term to one of council’s two at-large seats in the April 3 election.