For millions of Americans, clocking in to work is far from 9 to 5. From third-shift workers to restaurant employees, the workday begins when most people are tucked into bed. As someone whose first job was as an international flight attendant, my “daily life” got started after the sun went down and usually ended in the single-digit hours of the morning. One of the biggest challenges was eating out. More often than not the closed sign switched on just as I was driving home from a flight, which is why I was thrilled to try Tom’s Urban 24 in Denver, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Anytime of night (or day) the restaurant is open with a full-service food and bar menu. Too often all-night restaurants satisfy your hunger at a price – indigestion. Not so with Tom’s Urban. The menu is eclectic with breakfast, burgers and ethnic entrees – but without a pool of grease on the side. Where else in the middle of night can you get a bowl of Pho with shrimp, duck, egg and chicken and your tablemate a plate of soft eggs and spicy pork carnitas with red chile (Urban Cowboy Egg Bake)?
Tom’s Urban 24 is designed to satisfy all tastes at all hours of the night. During my tastings at Tom’s Urban 24, I put myself back in my days of odd-work hours and jet-lagged hunger pangs and tried a few must-have dishes that are made for after-hours appetites. The Urban Slopper (and Midnight Slopper with fried eggs) is a knife and fork burger smothered with green chile, a fresh pico, two layers of cheese (jack and Cheddar). See the slideshow for photos of some of the best late night menu items.
What put this burger over the top is the hand-formed beef patty sautéed in butter – if that sounds a lot like Smashburger, you are right. Tom’s Urban 24 was founded and dreamed up by Tom Ryan, the same PhD food chemist who invented the smashed, butter-pan fried burger chain in Colorado.
Ryan likes to play with food and he expects his customers to do the same. Where else at 2:00 a.m. can you choose between tacos made with Adobo chicken, slow-roasted southwestern or Korean pork carnitas or barbacoa beef or butter poached lobster and shrimp? Or for a late night sweet tooth order a good and strong cup of coffee with a house-made “pop” tart that would make Tony the Tiger jealous.
Tom’s Urban 24 also likes local. Check out the magnetic mural on the wall as you enter. You’ll see a seasonally interchangeable map painted by local artist Tract Weil, which illustrates all the farms and suppliers that give the menu a local vibe including peaches from Palisades, corn from Olathe, goat cheese from Haystack in Longmont an granola from Love Grown in Denver.
The next time you are in downtown Denver any time of day or night, check out Tom’s Urban 24 for a late night, early morning or daytime feast.
Tom’s Urban 24
1460 Larimer St