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Food with Friends- Grind Kitchen and Food Blogger Triston Dimery

Is it just me or is Polenta freaking amazing?

Welcome to Food with Friends, in which local Denver creatives and I use this blog post as an excuse to eat all the deliciousness this city has to offer. Nom nom. All jokes aside, the purpose of Food with Friends is to shine a light on the truly awesome fare Denver has to offer. Food in Los Angeles and New York gets praised because of how giant the cities are but Denver has unique eateries and cuisine as well because of the amount of people that flock here. Of course, the focus is on local eats, I love Red Lobster as much as the next person but we're not going to focus on them here (Sorry, Darden restaurants). The second purpose is that I truly believe in community and bonding with others. In a time where we really should all just love each other more, food is always an enjoyable medium through which people can connect.

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Local food blogger and photography Triston Dimery of Tdimery Eats invited me to Grind Kitchen + Watering Hole in North Cherry Creek for some southern flavor. Chef Preston Phillips uses his Alabama roots to serve up sophisticated bar food. I know bar food and sophisticated don't seem like they would go in the same sentence but Grind does it, and I'm always a fan of a unique and creative juxtaposition. The first dish, the Double Cheeseburger was brought to our table and Triston got to business as she checked everything from how the bun held up, to the flavor of the sauce, to the texture of the meat patty. The flavor really stuck out to me when I bit in, the cheese was my favorite part. I saw Triston's approval and made mental notes on what to watch out for during a tasting. Triston and I originally met at Jiberish's RiNo location during a #TheyShootn Winter in America photo exhibit in February. She asked to take my photo, I said "Yass, Queen" and we hit it off from there.

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The second dish, and my personal favorite, was a beautiful display of polenta and garnishes. What is Polenta, you ask? Let's google it because I don't know either, I just know it's yummy. Polenta is a dish of boiled cornmeal that was historically made from other grains. It may be served as a hot porridge, or it may be allowed to cool and solidify into a loaf that can be baked, fried, or grilled. Thanks, Wikipedia! Think of the Italian answer to Grits. The polenta was the right amount of crunchy and savory, and Triston said it was her favorite as well.

"So, what's your favorite food?" I asked Triston.

"I love pasta."

"How long have you been food blogging?"

"I've been blogging for 8 months."

"Just for kicks, what's your favorite color?"

"Yellow."

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Before I knew it, the final dish, a hearty portion of shrimp, tender meat, and grits caught our attention. Of course it tasted good but I was also very impressed with the presentation of the dishes. The detail lets me know that there's been thought put into it and how much making a visual impression matters. Chef Phillips makes sure the food doesn't just taste good but looks like something you'd want to dig into. Triston doesn't just grab her camera and hope the photo looks decent, she angles this way and that to capture a moment. With my own styling, I aim to have your clothes not only tell part of your story but also to make people take notice and remember you (think about Michael Jackson's "Thriller", we remember the red jacket as much as the zombies). 

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As we finished our tasting, Triston and I continued our conversation about being a creative and how much belief and determination in yourself it takes. We agreed: No one can want your dream for you more than you. If you have a dream and you're going to pursue it, do it with all your might. Put in the work, dream big, and make those moves. Maybe that's part of the reason why Triston and I clicked so easily, because we're each pursuing our passions and want to always keep improving. Beyond dreams, it's also nice to grab a bite with people who inspire you. Remember to keep an eye out for @tdimery_eats on Instagram as she continues to sample and photograph grub around town, drop into Grind Kitchen at Cherry Creek for some casual eats, and be sure to stay tuned for the next Food with Friends to see what dining adventures other Denver creatives and I get into.

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