Before getting into the SweetWater Mountain Taphouse review, let’s briefly go over what Priority Pass is, as that can get a little complicated. For those of you who are already up to snuff with Priority Pass, skip ahead to the review!
Take me to the SweetWater Mountain Taphouse
Priority Pass is a membership-based company that allows holders access to various airport services; most of the time, that means entry to an airport lounge. However, depending on the airport, it might only be a discount on electronics, a massage, a place to take a nap, or even part of a restaurant bill.
Some of the credit cards with hefty annual fees — e.g. Chase Sapphire Reserve, Capital One Venture X, and The Platinum Card® from American Express — come with Priority Pass membership. However, not all of those memberships include being able to eat at airport restaurants (Cap One Venture X and Amex are two examples of this).
Another thing, more and more companies are getting in on the lounge game — e.g. Chase, Capital One, and American Express — and from plenty of hearsay and conjecture, the latter two offer better bites than most of the Priority Pass restaurants anyway. That can also be interpreted as, Priority Pass spots can fill up quickly, since so many more credit cards include membership (not to mention, there’s a standalone membership).
I tend to think that a restaurant review isn’t as helpful as a lounge review, if your goal is to simply see how the food is (I’ve only got one stomach, and it’s often full).
That said, if this helps to bring attention to somewhere else fellow travelers can eat/use Priority Pass in transit, that’s the important part.
Although I’m no fan of Denver International Airport,I figured it would be good to see if Priority Pass had any presence. Coincidentally, Terminal B, precisely where I’d be using for my United flights, had one place, called the Sweetwater Mountain Taphouse.
But how do you get there?
Look for gates B80-B99. It’s quite the haul from B1, even with travelators (err, people movers), so make sure that you have the time.
When I made it to the restaurant, it was around 16:30 (4:30pm); surprisingly, I didn’t have to wait. However, after ordering, a number of other people started crowding around the overworked (or uninterested) staff.
There’s one key element here: if you opted not to read my blurb about Priority Pass acceptance, the following photo might be a shock:
Yowzers. Ah well, given that there’s not much competition at this end of Terminal B, the restaurant has a captive audience. (If only U.S. airports borrowed this “idea” from Europe.)
Thinking that I wouldn’t have enough time to sit down and eat, I asked if they had take-out. Surprisingly, the woman said that it was no problem. Once I started speaking in Spanish, she became quite talkative, and threw in some extra jalapenos to sate my hamburger craving.
After about 10 minutes, someone yelled “hamburger,” while looking in my general direction. Upon getting to my gate, I discovered that the flight was delayed by about 30 minutes. Then, I returned to the SweetWater Mountain Taphouse, which didn’t have an empty table left.
Seating wasn’t just a premium at the restaurant, so I placed the burger on a window sill, and starting chomping away at the bit (of the burger).
Now, if your question is, “how was the hamburger?,” I’d diplomatically say, I’m glad Priority Pass included the restaurant, as I doubt I’d have want to paid for it.
And don’t forget to tip when using your PP card.
Have you been to the SweetWater Mountain Taphouse in Denver? Thoughts?
I was just there yesterday around 10:30 am. I just missed breakfast. Servers was generally uninterested until a big smile with eye contact and then we were friends, they took care of us after that. Salmon salad and fish and chips were OK. (I never complain about free food). Our gate was also on the opposite end of where Sweetwater Mountain Taphouse was located but I enjoyed the walk. I am surprised that this is the only Priority Pass option at DEN.
Appreciate your comment, TJ!
AFAIK, DEN is getting a Capital One lounge soon, and I think a Chase one next year.
Worse is that ORD is sorely lacking on the Priority Pass lounge front … then again, if they had a single joint T1/2/3 lounge, it would be entropy.
But (nearly) free food is indeed a bonus, even with slow service.
LOL. That’s what Capital One said about IAD THREE YEARS ago!