Colorado Getaway

As mentioned last week, we took a 5 day extended weekend out to Colorado. Eric was attending a conference for work and I choose to tag along. We stayed an extra 2 days after the conference to visit with some old college friends who live in the Denver area and had a great time catching up and exploring more of this great city.

This was not our first time out to Denver. As a tween, I came out to Denver with my family for a wedding and then we rented a car and drove all over the state to see as much as we possibly could in the 2 weeks we had allotted for the trip. I remember this trip well because it was my first time on an airplane and it was the farthest West my family had ever been.

The first time Eric and I went to Denver together, was for our friends wedding (the ones we visited). We fly to Denver, rented a car and took a huge road trip the included stops at the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Las Vegas, LA and back to Denver.

This getaway was a great opportunity for us to eat some good food and just relax and that’s exactly what we did. The first 3 days of the trip were spent in Golden, Colorado, where the conference was. This is a VERY small town. I walked the main street the first day and that is about all there is. It’s nestled in a valley and has the quaint small town feel with a beautiful river running through the center of town.  The two claims to fame are the Colorado School of Mines and the Coors Brewery.

We stayed at the Golden Hotel while we were there, that’s mainly where Eric’s conference was held. We didn’t get many meals together but did happen upon one of the most amazing sandwich shops. It’s called D’Deli and serves up some of the best sandwiches you’ll ever eat.

Why are they so good? Well, the bread is fresh and delicious, there are endless combination possibilities and just check out their sandwich menu:

Yep, there aren’t just 5 or 7 sandwich choices, there are 30+ sandwiches on that board plus the option to make your own.

I ordered the Bellanini which included: Bellanini - Grilled Panini Style, Olive Tapenade, Pesto Aioli, Roasted Garlic, Mozzarella, Spinach, Red Onions, Roasted Red Peppers, Portabella Mushrooms, Fresh Basil, Artichoke Hearts, Feta, Balsamic Vinegar and it looked like this:

Between the mushrooms, artichokes, cheese, spinach and tomatoes, I don’t know what I liked best. It was outstanding.

Eric chose the Olympian sandwich which included: Olympian - Corned Buffalo, Muenster, BBQ Sauce, Chipotle Ranch, Fried Onions, Mixed Greens, Jalapenos, Green Peppers, Red Peppers, Portabella Mushrooms

He said that the corned buffalo was some of the best meat he’s ever had.

After 3 days in Golden, we moved over to Erie, Colorado. Erie is close to both Denver and Boulder and is also close to the airport. The first night there, we went to one of the best restaurants we’ve eaten at in a while. Linger is a restaurant whose menu is made up of elegant versions of street food and is housed in an old mortuary. Yep, you read that right I said mortuary. They take the theme far enough to make it cute but not far enough to make it disturbing. Your water is served out of a glass bottle that looks like it use to be filled with embalming chemicals

Your menu is on a steel clipboard. Your check comes on a toe tag and the whole place has an industrial feel to it.

The food is ordered in small plates and many dishes are meant to be eaten with your hands. Between the four of us I think we ordered about 8 dishes and if course some cocktails. I love small plates because then you get the chance to try many different things during one meal instead of only 1-2 things.

Eric and I shared the mushroom barley soup. The mushrooms were earthy and delicious and the soup was served over a doughy dumpling filled with cheese! (Forgive my extremely dark iPhone pictures!)

Next, we shared Mongolian BBQ suck buns, which were my favorite. The BBQ sauce was sweet and tangy.

Next we moved onto the Strongbow Cider Mussels with Garlic, Thyme, Celery,  Grain Mustard,  Maple  Drizzle  & Grilled Spicy Cheddar Bread. They were almost better than my mussels. I found myself really enjoying the maple and mustard flavors with mussels; flavors I had never before considered together.

Next came the sesame BBQ tacos which were made with Kobe short ribs. These looked great but something about the sauce on them didn’t sit well with Eric or I and neither of us finished ours.

Finally came glorious dessert. All of us were very full by this point in time and decided to split one dessert between all of us. We choose the Italian Coffee & Donuts, powdered sugared donut holes, served warm with expresso chocolate mousse that has some sort of lemony goodness on top. The lemon was a bit strange but also added a lightness to the mousse. Amazing.

These were the two best meals of our trip and we had a wonderful catching up with old friends. We already can’t wait for our next trip to Denver and the new food we’ll get to try!

Colorado Birthday

It’s been 1 week since my birthday and I think I need to fill you all in on how we really celebrated. Eric had to attend a conference for work in Golden Colorado and I decided to tag along on the free hotel stay, so SURPRISE! we went to Colorado last week!

We left on Wednesday night and flew straight to Denver (don’ t you love direct flights?!) and then hitched a ride with some other work guys from Eric’s company to our hotel in Golden. I was fighting a nasty cold for the first few days and got to spend 2 glorious days laying in bed in my hotel room ordering room service and taking multiple naps as I watched free HBO. Best 2 days I’ve had in a while and they were exactly what the doctor ordered. Eric was busy attending conference sessions and making presentations.

So where is Golden Colorado? It’s in the surrounding Denver area and is a small college town. The Colorado School of Mines is located there along with the Coors brewery. This is the main street:

After about 3 days in Golden, we headed closer to Denver where some friends from college live and they were nice enough to let us stay with them for 2 nights. It was so nice to catch up with them and a little strange to think that college was over 5 years ago…time sure flies!

Anyway, the trip was great and we are finally getting back into the swing of regular life again. The trip was also the reason the blog has not been quite as active this week, things just got crazy.

Next week, I’ll fill you in all all the food and fun from Denver complete with more pictures and travel suggestions.

PS – Anyone still following Top Chef?! We caught up on last week’s episode of restaurant wars last night and watched the latest episode with Charlize Theron and Eric Ripert! The food last night was incredible, the best they’ve had all season. And I was happy to see Beverly go home, she was working my nerves with her kitchen etiquette. How about you guys? What did you think?