I am not a superstitious person. It’s not in my nature. I am a slave to logic and the scientific method. It’s a blessing and a curse (or it would be if I believed in blessings or curses). But something has happened in the Highlands that can only be described as supernatural. You see, when my psychic Madame Kamayzee (who I go to purely for conversation, not advice) looked at my tarot cards last week, she gasped and very nearly had a major cardiac event. As she regained her breath, I demanded that she tell me what she saw in those cards. She stared at me rapt in silence for a minute. She didn’t believe her cards. “Tell me,” I begged her, losing my own composure. “You won’t believe it,” she finally relented. “In all my years I’ve never seen anything like it. But my cards suggest that you will eat good Southern barbecue in the Highlands. And soon.” I turned over my chair in disgust, sending alligator eyes and frogs legs flying across the room, and marched out the door. Good barbecue in The Highlands? Anyone who would believe that really ought to have their head examined.
So imagine my shock, and instant contrition for the way I treated poor Madame Kamayzee, when I wandered into Jezebel’s Southern Bistro + Bar a few Mondays back and found a restaurant in The Highlands serving delicious, melt in your mouth barbecue. It immediately made me wonder if I should still take that three hour Hawaiian boat cruise next month, which Madame Kamayzee had assured me will end in disaster.
Jezebel’s Southern Bistro + Bar is located on 33rd and Tejon, where the old Squeaky Bean Cafe used to be located. When you walk into the redone space at Jezebel’s, you are instantly overcome with the sensual vibe of the South. More precisely, the sensual vibe of New Orleans. Purple has a way of relaxing a space. There was a 1938 film titled Jezebel, staring Bette Davis, about a harlot in New Orleans. During the opening credits, the plot of the film is explained to be “The scarlet portrait of a gorgeous spitfire who lived by the wild desires of her heart.” And that’s Jezebel’s at its essence. It taps into the wildest barbecue desires of my heart. There is no more provocative food than barbecue. The sauce coats your fingers and your mouth. There is a lot of cleaning up involved. It’s a little bit like…you know…eating ice cream. What’d you think I was going to say?
“The story of a woman who was loved, when she should’ve been whipped!” -Jezebel
Jezebel’s delivers endless pleasure. And during happy hour, they do it on the cheap. We ravaged plate after plate of smoked jerk wings ($5 during happy hour), brisket and pulled pork sliders ($2 a hit during happy hour), and a skillet of melty mac and cheese (not on special, but nonetheless special). You can get good pulled pork at a lot of places. But there is an art to tender brisket, and it is an art Jezebel’s has mastered. I washed them down with multiple Shiner Bock’s, which are on special during Happy Hour, but there is also an assortment of Southern inspired and very seductively titled cocktails (The Stranger is my personal favorite). And the wait staff, in true Southern style, was endlessly friendly in helping guide us through this culinary burlesque show.
Jezebels are known for their seductive powers. Well, the Jezebel we got working the corner of 33rd and Tejon in the Highlands is as seductive as they come. If her barbecue tricks don’t work on you, then congratulations. You are without human weakness. But for the rest of us, it is better to jump in and roll around in the sauce and tender meat than to drone on endlessly about questions of morality.
Phew. Done. Is it hot in here?
jezebel’s southern bistro and bar
3301 tejon street denver 80211
in the lohi neighborhood