Dining

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Making New Traditions in the Familiar Town of Winter Park

Winter Park fits Ryan and I like an old glove. I think this is true for many Coloradans; especially Coloradans like Ryan who grew up skiing at Winter Park Resort.

I’ve been visiting for 16 years, and the town’s got a comfortable, familiar ambiance that I love.

Downtown Winter Park in the summer. HeidiTown.com

If you haven’t visited Winter Park, Colorado in the summer, the town pops with colorful flowers.

However, if you’re anything like us, when you get comfortable with a destination you tend to visit the same places on each visit. For instance, for us, a trip to Winter Park isn’t complete without a visit to Hernando’s Pizza Pub. That’s why, on our most recent trip to this well-loved Colorado resort town, we decided to mix things up a bit and add some new locations and activities to our agenda. Continue reading

The Best Taco I Ever Ate in Colorado

I’ll be the first to admit that I used this title as click bait. I knew that those of you with favorite taco shops around Colorado were going to click the link, and if you didn’t see your favorite taco listed you would school me on taco greatness.

The Best Taco I Ever Ate in Colorado. Fish taco at Kip's Cantina in Pagosa Springs. HeidiTown.com

Kip’s Cantina, fish tacos

Here’s the thing. “Best of” lists about food are crap and I can say that because I’ve written one in the past. Everyone has a different set of taste buds, not to mention we are influenced by things ambiance and the people we were dining with.

With that being said,  I shall reveal three of the most memorable tacos I’ve eaten in Colorado. I’m sure I’ve had other delicious tacos, but these are the ones that immediately come to mind, and whether that makes them the “best” or not, I refuse to be the judge. Continue reading

Ameristar Casino Resort, when you’re not gambling

We all know the number one reason to visit Black Hawk, Colorado is to gamble, but did you know that Ameristar Casino Resort offers several additional experiences?

When the Ameristar Casino Resort was first built I thought, “Now this place really looks like Vegas.” It’s not brand new anymore, but still retains that modern look of new Vegas. From the faux sky ceiling to the large, modern guest  rooms, Ameristar is the top-notch hotel in Black Hawk.

Ameristar Casino Resort casino floor. HeidiTown.com

This past week I finally got to experience a stay at this resort casino and it didn’t disappoint.

The Ara Spa at Ameristar Black Hawk

In the past year or so I’ve had the great pleasure of being pampered at some really fantastic Colorado spas and Ameristar’s Ara Spa rivals the best of them. It has a contemporary Colorado ambiance, and the interior design incorporates a calming combination of wood, stone and water. Continue reading

How we committed one of the 7 deadly sins in Alamosa, Colorado

Gluttony, it’s not something to be proud of, so it’s a good thing that we ran a 5K while we were in Alamosa, Colorado, because the rest of the time we were eating. You may think I’m exaggerating, but we hit no less than seven restaurants (two of them twice) during our two- night say in this Southern Colorado city of 10,000.

We were in town for the Rio Frio Ice Fest and Rio Frio 5K. The festival theme was Star Wars and I hope that explains some of the photos in this post.

We arrived on a Friday afternoon and soon found ourselves at San Luis Brewing Company, maker of our favorite chile beer, the Valle Caliente. We ordered a couple pints along with a platter of sausages to tide us over until dinner.

Grub & Pub in Alamosa during Rio Frio Ice Fest. HeidiTown.com

Later that night, after the Rio Frio Fest’s opening party, we headed to The Rubi Slipper. This diner/bar and has about 100 hamburgers on the menu. Okay, maybe not 100, but the most I’ve ever seen, so of course, we ordered hamburgers. Continue reading

The best pizza I ever ate in Colorado

Best Pizza I ever ate in Colorado. Poppy's Pizza & Grill, Rocky Mountain Pizza. HeidiTown.com

Rocky Mountain Pizza at Poppy’s Pizza & Grill in Estes Park, Colorado.

Nothing gets people more excited than soliciting their opinions about where to find the best pizza. I asked the question on Twitter and got five immediate responses. Responses were still trickling in a day later.

The fact is that we all have very different opinions about what makes a great pizza and I think a lot of this depends on the region where we grew up.

With that in mind, here are my picks for the best pizza in Colorado. Granted, I’m no pizza professional and I would love to hear your picks too.

Colorado Boy Pizzeria & Brewery, Montrose

Colorado Boy’s Rustica is one of the most delicious things I’ve ever put in my mouth. It features garlic oil, cheese, artichokes, roasted peppers, capicola ham and gorgonzola.

I recommend sitting at the back bar and watching the pizza makers put these delicious creations together. Everything that goes into this pizza is fresh, fresh, fresh.

Pair your dinner with one of Colorado Boy’s award winning beers and life is good, very good.

High Mountain Pies, Leadville

This tiny restaurant seats eight, maybe, but there’s a big backyard for summertime guest to enjoy.

Pizza here is awesome and you can create pretty much anything you want. Love extra jalapenos? Be careful what you ask for, they don’t skimp on toppings here.

Even if you can’t find a seat and the weather outside is frightful, get a pie to go. You will not be disappointed.

Poppy’s Pizza & Grill, Estes Park

Poppy’s makes a pizza that has had me coming back for several years. It’s the Rocky Mountain and it features smoked trout, capers, cream cheese, red onions and mozzarella. It may sound a bit odd, but I’m telling you that this combination is divine.

Always busy, I’m definitely not the only one who loves Poppy’s.

Hernando’s Pizza Pub, Winter Park

I’ve left a lot of dollar bills on the walls at this place. A longtime favorite of many Coloradans who grew up skiing in Winter Park, Hernado’s Pizza Pub is a must-stop anytime we’re in town.

Honorable Mention

I couldn’t finish this piece without including an honorable mention category. We stumbled into Pablo’s Pizza in Grand Junction a couple of years ago. Their pizza was so good that I still remember how pleased we were with our lunch there.

If you enjoy New York Style pizza, you’ve got to go to Antonio’s Real New York Pizza in Estes Park. The Godfather will make you a New York style devotee.

Colorado Farm & Art Market Harvest Dinner

I love this time of year. Farmers’ markets overflowing with colorful produce, folks find ways to preserve the flavors of summer and harvest dinners blossom on tables throughout the country.

One such dinner is happening at Margarita at Pine Creek  in Colorado Springs at the end of the month. A friend who attended this dinner last year said the Colorado Farm & Art Harvest Dinner was the best meal she has ever eaten.

Colorado Farm & Art Market Harvest Dinner. heirloom tomato. HeidiTown.com

Courtesy photo

Margarita’s executive chef Eric Viedt will create an incredible meal from produce donated by CFAM vendors and the Arkansas Valley Organic Growers. Lamb, goat and pork will be from Venetucci Farm and Frost Farm, and beef will be provided by Sangres Best.

From September 22 through the 26th, Margarita on the Pine will be offering their diners an all-Colorado menu. The Harvest Dinner will cap on this Colorado Proud week of dining.

Chef Viedt’s menu remains a secret until the evening of the event, but here’s a glimpse of last year’s menu.

Colorado Farm & Art Market Harvest Dinner menu

Courtesy photo

Wine tasting is part of the CFAM Harvest Dinner with wine provided by Sette Dolori Winery and other Colorado’s wineries. Beer will also be available from a local brewery (still to be determined).

Guests are invited to take part in bidding in a silent auction throughout the evening.

silent auction at the Colorado Farm & Art Market. HeidiTown.com

Courtesy photo

The dinner raises money to support the market’s SNAP program. SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and is commonly known as “food stamps.”

Bonnie Simon, marketing director of the Colorado Farm & Art Market, believes that their market may be one of the only in the country that doubles SNAP bucks. In other words, if an individual has $10 in SNAP dollars, the CFAM gives them another $10 to use at the market.

Colorado Farm & Art Market Harvest Dinner

September 27, 2015

3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Margarita at Pine Creek

$65/ticket, two for $125

To purchase tickets to the Colorado Farm & Art Market Harvest Dinner go to  FarmandArtMarket.com.

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Colorado roadside restaurant gems

One of my favorite things about being a Colorado travel writer is stumbling across roadside restaurant gems. I honestly never know when or where it’s going to happen.

We’re always looking for a good place to grab a meal, so if you know of a hidden roadside gem, please leave me a comment below. Without further ado, here are a few our favorite roadside finds.

Villa Grove Trade, Villa Grove, Colorado

We discovered this place a couple of years ago on our way home from Durango and stopped there again a couple of weeks ago.

Villa Grove Trade in Villa Grove, Colorado. HeidiTown.com

You can’t miss Villa Grove Trade as it is one of the only places in Villa Grove, Colorado.

This place isn’t fancy. It’s a quirky restaurant with a small market that sells all sorts of artsy knickknacks that look as though they’ve been collecting dust for some time, but we don’t stop here to shop, we stop here for the sandwiches.

Made fresh-to-order, these sandwiches are like the ones I make at home, except better, and for less than $6, they are a deal to boot. Plus, the folks who work here couldn’t be nicer. Continue reading

The best burger I ever ate in Colorado

The burger at the buck snort. The best burger I ever ate in Colorado. HeidiTown.com

The Forest Fire at The Bucksnort Saloon in Pine, Colorado.

The best burger I ever ate was at The Bucksnort Saloon in Pine, Colorado. I always get the Forest Fire, a buck burger with a thick smear of cream cheese and piled high with jalapenos. It’s the perfect amount of juicy and creamy with just a bit of heat. It pairs nicely with a light lager.

You go here for a burger, but The Bucksnort is a legendary Colorado saloon. The historic building oozes mountain charm.  The floor is a little slanted, so that you feel as though you’ve had one-too-many even if you haven’t had any. Literally perched above Elk Creek, if the place was ever quiet enough, which it isn’t, you could probably hear the sounds of splashing water over well-worn river rocks.

The Bucksnort Saloon is located off of Hwy 285 between Denver and Fairplay. Visit their website for directions at TheBucksnortSaloon.com.

There are two runners up for the “best burger I ever ate in Colorado,” and most recently a burger I devoured in Telluride gets second place.   Continue reading

My Big Date, a Valentine’s experience in Loveland, Colorado

My Big Date logoValentine’s Day is two weeks away and I’ve got the perfect outing for you and your honey – especially if you like beer and food.

Valentine’s Day in Loveland, My Big Date, lets participants experience Loveland, Colorado’s coffee, brewery, distillery and foodie scene. The Brewery & Spirits Tour package sold out quickly, and there are only seats left on our Brunch & Brew Tour. I am one of your My Big Date hosts and I guarantee that it’s like nothing else you have ever experienced.

You and your mate will board the NOCO Short Bus Tours bus at The Promenade Shops at Centerra in East Loveland. The bus will transport you to beautiful downtown Loveland where you will start your morning with a coffee tasting at Loco Artisan Coffeehouse. Owner, Tom Helm, is pairing three of his handcrafted, locally roasted coffees with a savory treat for our guests. Continue reading

Farm to table goodness in Delta County, Colorado

The Living Farm Cafe Paonia Colorado HeidiTown.com

The Living Farm Cafe

When I travel, my gut gets messed up. It’s happened for years now and I’ve chalked it up to too much eating out. I’ve come to expect it and carry tums as a matter of course. Something interesting happened on our trip to Delta County, Colorado, however. Even after three days on the trip, I felt great.

This is very odd, I thought, but then I realized that almost everything we’d consumed on this trip was organic food that had been grown within miles of where we ate it. There are very few places in Colorado where farm to table is possible, but it’s pretty standard if you visit Delta County.

My happy tummy was no coincidence; eating good food makes you feel good, so I thought I’d share what we ate and where we ate it.

The Living Farm Café

Paonia, Colorado in May is one of the most peaceful places I’ve ever visited. As we drove into town the sound of a crowing rooster greeted us. I was in love.

We were booked for two nights at The Living Farm Café & Inn in downtown. We’d previously been at the Leroux Creek Inn & Vineyard (read about it here). Our room above the café was small, but clean and adorable. The room had two windows and afternoon sunlight fell across the colorful quilt on the bed as we entered. Continue reading

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