Where Mayor Hancock, Gov. Polis get takeout during the COVID pandemic

Feeling like the news could not get any worse after a recent COVID-19 press briefing, I decided to take my mind off things by thinking about our elected officials back at home, untying a plastic bag and eating to-go food directly out of its container while binge-watching “The Good Place.”

I wondered about their takeout preferences. I imagined them scrolling and then cursing to find their first choice of restaurants closed already. I guessed they’d take the easy route — third-party delivery — or would order direct and walk up to a makeshift to-go window, elbow-bumping the counter guy (a.k.a. the owner).

All that speculation led me to the obvious next step: reaching out to ask them what they are really eating these days.

I was excited to hear back rather quickly.

By turns endearing, surprising and contentious, the electeds’ takeout preferences provided some serious fun for a moment. These answers shed light on the men behind the podium and the mask, and the voice on the other end of the telephone, ordering a Shack Stack and Crinkle Cuts.

They’re especially poignant as I imagine Polis and first gentleman Marlon Reis quarantining with COVID-19. From these answers, I learned so much about sandwich and burrito preferences, healthy streaks and snacking habits.

What I did not learn was anything at all about state epidemiologist Rachel Herlihy’s dining preferences. Her office responded: “Instead of singling out a few locations, we would love for Coloradans to consider take-out from local restaurants and to shop local this holiday season.” OK, we get it. But still, bummer.

Now for what we do know.

Gov. Jared Polis’ picks:

“If I’m in Pueblo, it’s hard not to pick up a meal from Rita’s. But I recently had a sandwich from Pass Key and loved it. If I’m providing an update on our response to the COVID pandemic, sometimes I’ll order a pizza for my team or takeout from Santiago’s. Since Marlon is vegan, we love Leaf in Boulder and Watercourse (Foods) in Denver. Of course, we also do Chinese from Tsing Tao or China Gourmet.”

Mayor Michael Hancock’s faves:

“Welton St. Cafe, The Burrito Company, Blue Bay Asian Cafe and Shake Shack.” (But we’d also like to recommend he revisit Bastien’s Restaurant, since the Colfax steakhouse kept our Mayor in mind over the Thanksgiving holiday when the words below its sugar steak sign read, “Enjoy your trip Mayor Hancock!”).

Note: Denver public health chief Bob McDonald, if you’re reading this, the people I want to know where you’re ordering dinner from tonight.

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