There’s a lucky contingent of hoagie lovers who have enjoyed Pirate Alley since its days as a pre-pandemic pop-up — once located at the sorely-missed house of Southern cuisine Julep. But for anyone absent during that era, Chef Kyle Foster — Julep’s former co-owner and chef — recently revived the concept in downtown, sharing the space with his wife Katy Foster’s Stir Cooking School. Pirate Alley Boucherie is a weekday lunch spot specializing in po’ boys, sandwiches, melts, salads and small plates — all utilizing its top-tier deli meats made on-site. While the original incarnation was a clear-cut homage to New Orleans, Kyle says that the Boucherie will now act as a vehicle used to highlight its house-made products.
This fact is exciting for Denver, especially since Kyle has spent a considerable amount of his cooking career focused on whole animal butchery, charcuterie and all things meat. In 2010 he arrived in Denver from Miami, where he attended Johnson and Wales North Miami and completed a five-year stint at the cutting-edge Miami Beach hotspot Talula. He began to work the line at yet another one of our city’s great culinary losses, Colt and Gray. Moving up to chef de cuisine, he instituted a butchery and charcuterie program that covered both Colt’s menu as well as its downstairs sister bar Ste. Ellie. Then it was off to Rebel Restaurant, where he cemented his talents in local lore at yet another now-shuttered favorite of yore. “They called me ‘the meat guy’ at Rebel,” he grinned.
The seven sandwiches that currently make up the bulk of its menu are each worthy of investigation — multiple visits are a must. The roasted pork loin tonnato ($13) with briny tonnato sauce, capers and thick-cut radish is the most robust choice of the bunch. The Cubano ($14) filled with mojo pork, ham, Swiss, mustard and pickles arrives as a particularly delicious version of the classic while sticking to the fundamentals. Though it’s the NOLA Style BBQ Shrimp Dip ($16) — topped with creole shrimp, celery slaw and a buttery BBQ dip — that may indeed be the piece de resistance, with its juicy morsels absolutely shining on the Trompeau Bakery bread. It’s advised that all sandwiches be joined by its kitchen sink gumbo (cup $8, bowl $15), which as the name suggests, is a hodgepodge of some of the best daily bits. Pirate Alley is sandwich expertise at its very finest.
Pirate Alley Boucherie is located at 1801 Wynkoop St. Suite A-175, Denver. It is open Tuesday – Friday from 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.