denver's union station (+ the kitchen next door's beet burger)

Have you ever walked into a space and thought, "I'd like to take every single thing home with me? Those lamps would look perfect here, and that chandelier- despite its size- would look perfect there…" That's how I felt the first time I walked into the new Union Station in downtown Denver. The renovation is spectacular; the design is impeccable. Each piece fits the space and contributes to the historic feel of the station. It's gorgeous: the couches, the lamps, the desk lighting. And don't get me started on the crown molding and the restaurant decor…it's something you should see in person.

Our schedules have changed a lot since the summer ended. Otis and Theodore are now in pre-school till 3:30 every day and I've transitioned from stay-at-home mother to working "3/4 time." Though it's been busy on the work front, last Friday afternoon I took some time to peek around Union Station…this is what I found.
If you want more information on the history and amazing transformation of Union Station click here. For more details on the restaurants and shops click here. I wasn't able to photograph everything because some restaurants were already closed for the day (Snooze is open from 6:30 am- 2:30 pm) or had not yet opened (Merchantile Dining + Provisions officially opens on September 8th and I've been hearing great things), so check it out for yourself!
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After my little self-guided tour, I grabbed a quick lunch at The Kitchen Next Door. I ordered a delicious beet burger, which was topped with balsamic glazed onions, arugula and feta cheese. Lucky for me, and now for you, I have the recipe. Thank you Kitchen Next Door for sharing your culinary creations and for your great work through community outreach and education! Enjoy.  

Beet burger photo courtesy of Davis Tilly Photography
Next Door Beet Burger
Courtesy of The Kitchen co-founder and chef Hugo Matheson
(Printed with permission)
Makes 5 6-ounce patties
1 ¼ cup mirepoix (diced carrots, onion, and celery)
1/8 cup olive oil
1 pound roasted beets, quartered
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1 egg
¼ cup Panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
pinch cayenne
pinch smoked paprika

Preheat a pan over medium heat and add olive oil, then the diced carrots, onions, and celery. Sweat until soft and all excess liquid has evaporated.

Place roasted beets and cooked chickpeas in the food processor with the cooked mirepoix and mix, pulse until a rough paste forms. Empty mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add the egg and Panko bread crumbs, and stir together. Add seasonings. Form into patties on a parchment-lined sheet tray and chill. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350°. Cook for 15 minutes until hot in the center but not too dry on the edges. The Kitchen Next Door serves the burgers on potato buns with balsamic onions, feta, and Arugula tossed in lemon olive oil.