Rocky Mountain Oysters

Rocky Mountain Oysters
by Shazde Asdola Mirza

Denver reminds me of the Tehran of my youth. I like the West End and enjoy being close to mountains. They inspire us of the higher ideals in life, and perhaps even of higher beings. After all, the colorful Greek gods of mythology lived up in the mountains, unlike the intolerant Semitic allahs.

My first trip to Denver was the most memorable, as we experienced spring, summer and winter, all in the same week. I was taught that; “If you don’t like the Denver weather, wait for 5 hours”! Monday was a temperate day in April – Tuesday evening we had 5 cm of snow – by Friday it was warm and sunny.

Our gracious hosts took us to a very unique restaurant at the foot hills of Table Mountain. Not sure if there is an actual “table” at the top of that mountain, but someone has scribbled a huge “M” on it.

Briarwood Inn is a unique dining experience. You almost step back 50 years in time … when jackets and ties were omnipresent, chairs and tables were real oak, leather seats were softer than a mother’s kiss, and silver cutlery was actually made of silver!

Without any question or inquiry, we were presented with a sumptuous Lazy-Susan full of a dozen appetizers, from foie gras to rocky mountain oysters. Well, it wasn’t my first exposure to oysters, but I was a bit surprised to have Donbalan in the USA heartland.

It was a bit overcooked, but still deliciously prepared. Donbalan is such a soft and delicate organ, which really doesn’t need much cooking at all. It can almost be devoured raw … at least that’s how some of my lady friends used to prefer it!


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Shazde Asdola Mirza

Briarwood Inn

by Shazde Asdola Mirza on

I have only dined there twice, last time 7 years ago. The funny thing is that they clearly know how heavy their menu is. So after the desert, waiter comes with a box and a nice bow-tied carrying bag, so that you can choose which items to carry home.

Nonetheless, my favorite restaurent in Denver West is a more modern place:


Shazde Asdola Mirza

ماهی‌ قزل آلای کرج ... یادش بخیر

Shazde Asdola Mirza

Oon Yaroo dear,

Thanks for reminding us of the Karaj river fishing. I only had that experience once, and only recall having had the local trout ... which was very nice and flavorful.

Come to think of it, I have had trout in Denver area too. How can that fresh-water river fish be found across 3 continents?

You made me think again, but don't have an answer.


Rocky Mountain High

by Faramarz on

Thank you Shazde.

Denver for sure beats Orlando and the Dolphin hotel! Don't forget to add a little bit of John Denver music too.

I have been to the Briarwood Inn back in the 90’s and it is great to see that the menu is still the same with classic items like Beef Wellington or Chicken Rochambeau, whatever that is!

Nowadays, high end restaurants are all about young and innovative chefs, fusion food, vegetables flown in from far away and fancy presentation.

Places like this are timeless.

Oon Yaroo

Shazdeh Jaan, I second you when it comes to Denver!

by Oon Yaroo on

Denver's mountains remind me of Tehran, Karaj, and many similar places in Iran. Having been exiled for the past 34 years, I fulfill my needs for the reminiscence of Iran by flying to Denver, renting a car, and driving around for days and weeks all over the Rockey mountain nearby states.

Back in the 60's and 70's we used to fish along the Karaj river. We wouldn't have access to fancy restaurants, instead, we would simply clean the fish right there, set a fire, and cook and eat it primitively .... Of course, we catch and release when we go to Colorado...

Any ways, thanks for the very poignant story..!

How about a reunion of IC folks in Denver? Do you think Mammoor and others would show up!? :-)


Shazde Asdola Mirza

مأمور جون، درست گفتی‌

Shazde Asdola Mirza

دو چیز دائم دنبال ما مردان ایرانی‌ میاید: دنبلان و مأمور!

Shazde Asdola Mirza

Dear Kaveh

by Shazde Asdola Mirza on

Thanks for pointing that mistake out. I was looking for a panoramic view, so Googled "rocky mountain denver", and used the first nice picture.

After this blog's no-edit time expires, I will change the picture with one of those in your link.

Kaveh V

Jenab-e Shazde

by Kaveh V on


I love Denver too. The frontal range are awe-inspiring. You can check out some of the beautiful Denver skyline images here:


Although more similar to Tehran, the image above is of the Wasatch range just to the east of Salt lake city. The Mormon church in the lower left is the easy give away.



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