It’s been a stressful year, and many of you didn’t take that vacation you had been planning. Understandable in the time of Coronavirus, however, it’s time for a quick getaway. Colorado Springs is an excellent place to spend a safe weekend, away from the worries of life.
At the end of August, we were booked at Hotel Eleganté at the south end of the city. We had stayed across the street at SCP Hotel last summer and had seen Hotel Eleganté from afar. At the time, we didn’t realize that it was a huge conference hotel with two pools and a wing for extended stays.
Our king room became our headquarters for the weekend. Thankfully, it was large and had lots of room to move around. The hotel is big enough that we parked outside our room’s wing and never went through the lobby to access it.
While we didn’t have the time to utilize the pools on this visit, they have inside and outside pool areas. There are rooms that overlook the pools and if I was a kid, staying in one of those would have been tops.
Our first stop was Battle Mountain Brewing Company, formerly Gold Mine Brewing Company. It is super close to Hotel Eleganté. We ordered lunch from next door at Paris Crépe. Ryan got the Turkish while I had the Mediterranean. It was a Greek Salad in a crépe minus the lettuce.
Battle Mountain has a proper brewery feel, with wood and metal and big windows to the patio area. I had the Peach Tea Blonde. It was so good that we walked out with a crowler.
After checking in at the hotel, we made it over to Hot Rod Rock and Rumble, our reason for being in Colorado Springs. I have written about it here. Then we went to Korean food and returned to the hotel very full.
For breakfast the next day, we drove to Olde World Bagel & Deli. They are following all the COVID-19 protocols so we waited in a properly distant line to get inside. Despite fewer spots available to sit we did get a table to eat our eggwiches. The bagels, obviously made here, are fluffy on the inside and crunchy on the outside. They also use a large amount of excellent bacon.
After breakfast, we took a stroll around Quail Lake, where we had learned to stand-up paddleboard the year before. It’s a nice little jaunt with the occasional bench overlooking the lake. Fishermen line the shore and the water is covered in SUPs.
At the event, I ate lunch at Musso Farms food truck. I love this farm in Pueblo and bought a bushel of roasted green chiles there last year. We also enjoyed their farm stand where we bought everything from green chile powder to pumpkins. We’re going back with some friends later this week to do it all again.
I ordered the green chile wrap with Italian sausage because when in Rome do as the Romans do. Colorado Springs is 40-minutes from the state’s green chile growing capital of Pueblo. These wraps—popular at festivals in Southern Colorado—are gooey with cheese and the green chile gives it a spicy kick.
Before dinner that evening we stopped in Shuga’s, a place that should be a stop on every Colorado Springs visit. Their extended patio (due to COVID-19) is a feast for the eyes. I give props to the person who designed it with old doors, mailboxes, succulents and more.
We only had drinks on this visit although I can tell you from experience that their spicy Brazilian coconut soup is a must when you dine here. I had the Garden Folly, which was a sip of summer topped with blueberries.
For dinner, we chose Italian. There are a lot of people of Italian descent here and there are a lot of Italian restaurants as a result. And they are good. Our favorite is Paravicini’s in Old Colorado City. We’ve been there several times and the experience is always memorable.
This time we opted for a more casual Italian dining experience at Mollica’s Italian Market & Deli. Ethnic food markets and farm stands are my Achilles’ heel. I showed real restraint by only buying a bottle of pesto aioli at Mollica’s.
This place has been in the same family for 33 years. It serves up tasty Italian sandwiches, crisp salads, and entrees like Ryan’s lasagna which was as big as his head. I ordered a Bravo, a sausage sandwich with mayo, and a side salad for $2.50. Despite eating a massive amount of food our bill was just over $20. By the way, for those who prefer patio dining during a pandemic, Mollica’s has a nice large outdoor seating area.
That evening we had dessert at Marigold Cafe & Bakery, just a few minutes away from Mollica’s. This is a French restaurant with the biggest dessert list I have ever seen. It’s two full pages of desserts that I’ve only ever seen on the British Baking Show.
We didn’t know it before we went, but this is the place for dessert in Colorado Springs. Everyone around us was ordering dessert and coffee. We had the Coconut La Raz with the best coffee I’ve ever had in Colorado Springs. This is a white cake layered with lemon and raspberry filling and topped with toasted coconut whipped cream instead of frosting. It’s like eating a delectable cloud.
The next morning, before heading home, we ate breakfast at the hotel. They are running a sweet deal right now for guests. Overnight accommodations come with two adult breakfasts and two dinners. It can help alleviate the stress that comes with today’s travels.
Before leaving we hit Sweet Tooth, a little market and coffee shop off the lobby of Hotel Eleganté. Chai lattes in hand, we headed home after a delicious weekend in Colorado Springs.
Thank you to Pikes Peak International Raceway for hosting the hotel portion of our trip.