Archive for the ‘Dining’ Category

What are you doing for Labor Day in Denver?

There are so many things to do this weekend, i don’t even know where to start!

First Friday –

it’s every first friday – but why not go since you have an extra day off this weekend?

Santa Fe, RINO and Golden Triangle – I love first friday! A bunch of people get together and look at some really cool art!

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The Taste of Colorado

So many restaurants, such good food, a wonderful time to spend an evening or a day!

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Sniagrab –

going on

The World’s Largest Ski and Snowboard Sale – At Sports Authority! We have yet to get our buts there – but I hear the deals are phenominal!

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Ski REx

Starts Saturday but has a VIP day today (Friday) – just sign up for their mailing list and you get a ticket to get in!

Ski Rex

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Cirque de Soleil

– many deals –

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Flobots bowling

They are bowling for Charity this Friday!!! You could bowl with them!

Where will you be this weekend?

Food Glorious Food

It starts today!!!

Do you like to eat – as you may have notice I love to eat and I love to talk about it! And I love Yelp – great reviews, honest opinions, tips and tricks!!!

Coming this month similar to 5280 week is Yelp Eats!

7 days. 15 restaurants. 3 courses. $25 per person.

yelpeats

Yelp Eats. Yelp Eats. Yelp Eats…Yelp Eats!

Monday, July 20, 2009 – Sunday, July 26, 2009

Participating Denver restaurants will offer special 3-course prixe fixe menu for $25 (+ tax and tip) during dinner time. Woohoo!!!

FYI:
1. Reservations are not required, but they are highly recommended. When you call to make reservations, request the Yelp Eats menu! (booking early is highly recommended)
2. $25 does NOT include tax/tip or additional items.
3. Spread the word, this deal is open to all, yelpers and non-yelpers alike!

Here are the participating restaurants:
Duo
Juicy Lucy Steakhouse (Denver location only)
Tambien
Root Down (Menu is subject to change according to season)
Olivéa
Mezcal
Marlowe’s
Le Central
Jonesy’s
LaLa’s Wine Bar
Citron Bistro
Argyll Gastropub
1515 Restaurant (Menu is subject to change according to season)
The 9th Door
Sketch

Hooray food!

Thursdays with Abbondanza (week 2)

Thursdays are CSA Pick-up Days! Abbondanza Organic Seeds & Produce is a local CSA, or “Community Supported Agriculture” farm. CSA membership fees in the winter and spring help support the farm, and members pick up a share of the produce each week during harvest.

That’s CSA 101. And this is CSA Week 2!

(What happened to Week 1? I was out of town. Oops.)

Click over to the Abbondanza web page and take a look at the upper-right-hand corner of the page: “What’s in the Box?” This is updated every week to give members an idea what to expect when they come pick up their veggies. This week, Week 2, a lot of the produce was damaged by hail, particularly the lettuce and the arugula. That’s farming for you – stuff happens. But there were plenty yummies to be had regardless. Here’s what I brought home today in my partial share (full and individual shares vary):

CSA 2009 Week 2

CSA 2009 Week 2

There was also cilantro, from which I abstained.

Hon Tsai Tai is a new one on me. Monday I got to meet it in the field when a team of us were out there weeding (wanna volunteer? click here!). They pointed it out to us as we unrolled the hail-protective covers from several rows of lettuces and Asian greens. “See that one there? That’s a great crop. It’s kinda like broccoli. You can just eat it raw in a salad–the flowers, too.”

Some of everything, except the garlic scapes, went into tonight’s salad, which accompanied my first grilled cheese sandwiches since de-rusting, cleaning, and re-seasoning my grandmother’s old cast-iron skillet. Bliss. And now I’m looking forward to stir-fry.

Recipe: Very Simple Basalmic Vinaigrette

  • 3 tbls balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbls olive oil
  • 1 tsp or 3 stems chives
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 hard boiled egg yolk, mashed

Combine all ingredients. Chill overnight. Shake thoroughly when you think about it.

(Next batch will have a garlic scape instead of the chives.)

Note! Abbondanza are still taking membership applications! Also, you can find them at the farmer’s markets in downtown Boulder and I do believe in Longmont too.

Restaurant Week Has Started!

It’s that time of the year – Restaurant Week in Denver!
I love restaurant week! All the cool expensive restaurants have a deal where you can pay 52.80 a couple or 26.40 a person if you are flying solo to enjoy some yummy eats!
Make sure you check the menu’s some of them offer up free wine or discounted cocktails – gotta make sure you get the most for your money in this economy!

My roster for this year is as follows:
Cru (yes I already know I love it, but doesn’t hurt to make sure!)
Vesta Dipping Grill (been meaning to try this place forever)
The Oceanaire
Soleil Mediterranean Grill and Wine
Pearl Street Grill

Keep an eye on Yelp for my reviews!

If you haven’t made your reservations for 5280 week, you are in luck, they just extended the end date to March 6th! Woohoo!
Get your choices in and dine away!!!

Reverse Osmosis Water for the table?

Reverse Osmosis Water for the table. It’s clean; it’s green and less costly than Avian water.

I first experienced it at Twelve – a restaurant that popped up over night! One day I walked by and it was just an old marquis with news paper on the windows. The next it was a dimply lit, clean lined, intriguing place to dine!

Our waiter explained that reverse osmosis was a really cool process that filtered the water, down to the smallest of particles! Twelve served two different kinds at their establishment, the plain and the kind with bubbles!. How fancy!

They put a bottle of whatever kind you chose on your table and you could fill your glass yourself (which I love, since I drink an inordinate amount of water in a sitting) or if they were in the area, they would happily keep your cup filled to the brim.

Our waiter indicated that this was the new thing and many of the smaller restaurants in the area were doing it.

My next experience with the go green, save the planet, reverse osmosis system was at Root Down. They only had one kind of this special water, and their bottles were fat and happy, but it was still neat and tasted pretty good.

They presented the bottle at the table and explained what it was and how it was one of their many things to help sustain the planet.

Look for the new water at your favorite dining establishment!

Elephant Hut Approacheth

Regulars and residents of Boulder’s Steel Yards neighborhood have been eagerly watching the developments in the restaurant space next-door to fave coffee house Joe’s Espresso. The space last housed Kerrigan’s, a sort of local Bennigan’s sort of place: Celtic knotwork on the tables, mostly American food on the menu. Before that it was LuLu’s, a soul food establishment that reopened briefly on the Hill before succumbing once more, I suppose, to local disinterest in stewed greens and damn fine catfish. Kerrigan’s shut down in… 2006? Early 2007? …leaving the restaurant space empty since. A lock box showed up on the door, and the windows got all papered over.

Then, some months ago, obvious signs of interior renovation in action. The sounds of saws and hammers filtered through the wall to disturb coffee-sipping patrons next door.

A sign went up on the 30th Street side of the building: ELEPHANT HUT THAI CUISINE. In the window, an LED sign: CLOSED, it said. For now.

The Sign Is Up

Soon afterwards, a liquor license hearing notification appeared in the window. The hearing date came and went. The notice came down. Around the east side, on the entrance facing the parking lot, hours had been posted: Lunch 11-3, Dinner 5-9 Mon-Thu and 5-10 Fri/Sat. Closed Sunday.

Hours of Operation

Wi-fi obsessed patrons at Joe’s – OK, well, that would be me – noticed a new WPA2-encrypted network in the area. So there I am, still blinking at the word “ElephantHut” in my Wireless Networks dialogue box, when a man walks into the cafe and playfully demands of the barista, “Where’s my pad thai? When do I get my pad thai, dangit?” Dude, I sympathize. I’m not even a fan of Thai food, and I want to know when I can get my pad thai. These incremental changes are like watching a slow-reveal movie hype campaign. They’re like opening the little doors on an Advent calendar. Dude.

This past weekend revealed a new development. My husband and I are walking home from the 29th Street Mall, and we notice something green up ahead on the sidewalk. We get closer and discover these plastic “hedge” blocks set out in a rectangle, surrounding an area of chairs and tables.

Now There's A Porch

That was Sunday; today the furniture are gone, but the “hedge” blocks are still there, some of them tumbled over. I’m figuring that one doesn’t set up outdoor furnishings that aren’t chained up or nailed down without having prompt follow-up intentions.

The indoors entrance door, the one near the restrooms, is no longer papered over, so you can see the interior decor. It’s pretty, in a gaudy bamboo-orchid-and-altar-figures sort of way. It makes for an interesting effect in combination with the Steel Yards warehouse-with-exposed-ducts-and-girders look.

You Can See Inside

Sir, I believe our pad thai is imminent. Stay tuned for further developments

I don’t know anyone.

Last night hubby and I were talking about a friend of his, who’s soon to be wife, is having a hard time out here (in Colorado) and wants to move back to the state they came from. AH!


She’s having a hard time because she does not know what she wants to do for work (who does) and does not have a lot of friends. (They moved here because of his job.)

I feel bad for her. Truly! Meeting new people when you aren’t working can definitely suck.
And you don’t always want to mooch off your partner’s friends.
Although some times you can find some dear and lasting friends that way!!

Anyhoo – that got me thinking about my current social engagement calendar. As well as what the hubby is doing.
There are so many groups out there. All kinds of group – heck I even saw a knitting drinking group getting together at dazzle to help support the troops. Really – how cool is that? On so many levels! If only i could knit! Maybe i could go and hold the yarn?

    Some of my recent outings:
  • Denver Happy Hour – met at 9th door – all different walks of life and business and age etc etc etc
  • Yelp Elite Event – met at Jonesies Eat Bar – again all different kinds of people that come together because we like to eat!
  • Walnut Room for drinks – met up with a friend hubby made on twitter
  • Gym – tons of friends made there- and i’m usually a heads down, music loud, sweat it out typeo f gal
  • Cruise Room for drinks – a couple old co-workers, but also a friend of a friend – again another way to mooch and get some good people. they have already been vetted!
    Some of Hubby’s outings:
  • Denver Tweetup at Steuben’s – again a bunch of different kinds of people that are all on twitter
  • Re-Fresh at Forrest Room 5- some sort of web techie thing
  • My Brothers Bar – post re-fresh outing to talk about creating another gathering
  • RMAUG – rocky mountain adobe user group

What I’m getting at, is i could be busy every dang night of the week without trying. The one caveat – you have to make the effort to introduce yourself. Sure it can be nerve racking going into someplace where you don’t know anyone. But just put a smile on your face, put our hand and say “Hi, I’m Nicole, how are you?”

Denver has a fabulous network of groups that embrace all walks of life and cover just about anything you might do in your spare time, or for work!

Here is just a few off the top of my head! Please add your favorites in the comments!

Options for meeting people:

  • Yelp – events going on all the time – and you don’t have to be elite for most of them
  • Meetup

Networking

Techie Type Groups

A tasty sammich

Tasty sandwiches, I’ve never had their cheesesteak, not really my thing

It’s Wednesday: Do You Know Where Your Potatoes Are?

This is a question to ask yourself, come Wednesday. And if, when you do, your answer is, “Well, until recently, just chillin’ under the ground at Thomas Open Space,” then that must mean you’re an Abbondanza Keeper Share CSA Member!

Meet Mac the Goat!CSA: Community Supported Agriculture. You give ’em money at the beginning of the season when it’s most needed, and, if the season goes well and stuff does in fact grow, they give you a bunch of locally grown yummy at regular intervals (weekly is the usual rule) all season long.

Abbondanza Organdic Seeds and Produce: A Boulder County located CSA Farm.

Keeper Share: An allotment of late-season, long-storage vegetables (potatoes, onions, carrots, winter squash, dried herbs, etc.) to be picked up every other week or so from late October through early December. First pick-up will be October 29th. (Abbo also offers regular summer veggie shares, fruit shares from Ela Family Farms, coffee shares, a pick-up location for Windsor Dairy‘s whole milk shares.)

Between that salmonella outbreak that tainted the nation’s tomato supply earlier this year and the ever rising cost of gas, “eating local” has never seemed a better idea. This past summer, my family has been doing a lot of that, having become CSA members for the first time. I’ve also spent my Thursdays helping out at their two farms on a volunteer basis, which means I’ve had the satisfaction of eating veggies that I myself helped pick and process. I’m begun to learn what it means to eat in season. And with all that extra greenery coming into the house each week, the need to eat it up rather than let it go to waste means eating out less, buying less in stores, finding new recipes, and eating more healthily all around.

If you’re interested, it’s not too late to buy in to a Keeper Share. Like I said, first pick-up is this Wednesday coming, and after that pick-ups are every other or every third Wednesday through December 17th. Follow the link (here it is again!) to learn all about what veggies will be waiting for you and how much it costs to buy a whole or half share.

Abbondanza Farm Stand, Sept '08, Outside If you hurry, you can also visit Abbondanza’s Farm Stand at the Thomson Open Space. There you can buy pretty much everything that’s in season (sorry, that would not include peaches and squash right now; these pictures were taken late August or early September), along with fruit from Ela Family Farms (their cider is divine ambrosia, I kid you not) and bread from local bakery “Good Feedback”. Still haven’t picked up a jack-o-lantern pumpkin? Abbo’s got some lovely ones. Planning your own garden next year? Abbo’s seeds come from the very plants they grow right here.

Abbondanza Farm Stand, Sept '08, InsideThe Farm Stand is just west of the Highway 287 and Baseline intersection. It’s open from 9 AM until 7 PM every day through Samhain / All Souls’ day / Día de los Muertos / November 1.

And–hey!–it’s not too early to sign up for a 2009 membership!

So neighborhood Flix is gone

logo_main.gifI’m not sure I care. Harsh as that sounds, I think they executed poorly. Here’s why.

1. Cost. I tried to have Ignite Denver there, they wanted $2500 for the night, not counting any food or drink, that was just to secure the location. Other bars (including the one we ended up at) were free, relying (successfully I believe) on food and drink orders from the 100+ people to carry the night.

2. First run movies. Blah. There’s too many movie theatres already, if I want to just go see whatever is out, I’m not gonna do it at a place where I can eat and drink. I’ll find a showtime, and go. I’ll meet up with friends, or go out on a date with my wife before or after. Go for the niche stuff. Do a Planet of the Apes day/night. Star Trek marathon, Star Wars, B movie marathons, heck a Shermer Illinois marathon!

Go for the off beat, the “Brings back my childhood”, the “I want my kid to experience the wonder” type films. I don’t know and could be wrong, but I’m guessing it’s easier to get the rights to Planet of the Apes, than to Iron Man.

I hope the next owners of ‘Flix are better able to capitalize on the incredible library of past works. Shoot, show a “Movie remakes that were better the first time” marathon, there’s no end to what could be seen.

And advertise, set up a twitter account to let people know what’s playing, blog about what running the joint is like, get social. Don’t just expect people to show up, being next to Tattered Cover isn’t enough.

Maybe I should buy the place? LOL

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