Rocky Mountain Diner promises food just like Grandma's. Apparently, "Grandma" used a lot of meat in her cooking. Enchiladas? Stuffed with roast duck. Tacos? Filled with steak. Each sandwich and plate listed on the menu is meat-based (Buffalo Meatloaf, Chicken Fried Steak, Vaquero Cheese Steak...), and even the salads (apart from the house salad and, depending on how you interpret "vegetarian," the caesar salad) have some type of meat component.
The only two dishes on the lunch menu which do not list meat among their ingredients are the chili rellenos and the huevos rancheros. I ordered the chili rellenos during a recent visit. While, in retrospect, the meat-heavy menu should have been a warning, I didn't bother to ask whether the green chili atop the chili rellenos (and huevos rancheros) contains meat. However, a few bites in, it became clear that the green chili does contain meat - giant chunks of pork which seemed to permeate the entire dish.
Although it may be a meat-lover's delight, Rocky Mountain Diner is a difficult place to eat as a vegetarian. It's a shame, because the restaurant appears to use fresh ingredients and to prepare its dishes from scratch. It's been a long time since I've been to a restaurant which didn't include any vegetarian options on its menu - even in meat-intensive south Texas, I was able to order cheese enchiladas or a grilled cheese sandwich. Although it has a great location (in the historic Ghost building downtown) and a nice patio, I will probably not return to the Diner in the future. For vegetarians who do find themselves at the Diner, I recommend telling the server that you don't eat meat, and then asking what items on the menu can be prepared without meat.
Rocky Mountain Diner
800 18th Street
Denver, CO 80202
From Claire at Culinary Colorado: News that the Asian restaurants and markets at Alameda Square are slated to be replaced by yet another modern shopping mall.