Slayton’s Tejon Street Grill: A

I didn’t intend to pay $30 for a shot of bourbon, but that’s exactly what happened.

We also didn’t intend to go out for dinner this night, but as were walking out of the Fine Arts Center, we overheard someone in a small group of people say the word barbecue. We are weak when it comes to barbecue.

Since Slayton’s is relatively new, we decided to give it a shot. Turns out it’s not a typical barbecue joint with greasy floors and paper towels on the tables. Instead, it was a very pleasant upscale place with what turned out to be great food and a great atmosphere. There were even lounge singers!

Adrienne had the Hummus and Grilled Flatbread Trio (grilled rosemary flatbread with roasted red pepper hummus, Greek olive spread and a roasted garlic and creamy ricotta cheese blend). Seriously scrumptious.Really? Did I just use the word scrumptious? You know what? Yes I did. So what.

I had the barbecue combo platter, which was plenty of food for the two of us even though it’s priced as a single meal.

Now, about that bourbon. Check out their menu: It’s got a lot of drink options. Fifteen whiskeys, including Old Grand-dad, one of my favorites. One of them, though, caught my eye: The Pappy Van Winkle 23. I’d heard of it, but I’d never tasted it, so here was a good chance to have a drink without buying a whole bottle. I might have considered it was a special bourbon when the bartender pulled out a ladder to get to it.

Turns out there are a bunch of Pappy Van Winkles. This one is the 23-year-old Family Reserve Fancy Pants bourbon. It didn’t occur to me that a $300-a-bottle bourbon would be sitting at a downtown Colorado Springs restaurant. So when I got the receipt, I was a little mystified, but when you’re a bigshot ordering all the most expensive drinks and making bartenders climb ladders, you can’t go, “Oh, hey, uh, what’s this? $30?! Are you insane?!”

No, you have to suck it up and be a man: Pay the tab, tip well, and find a part-time job to supplement your income.

We enjoyed ourselves a great deal, and we’ll definitely be back. Of course next time, I’m having the Old Grand-dad.

Also, if you’re hiring for anything, I’m available.

Slayton's Tejon Street Grill, downtown Colorado Springs

Hummus plate on the left, barbecue sampler on the right. And glistening like gold in the center is the $30 shot of bourbon.

Old Grand-dad bourbon

A bottle of Old-Grand-dad, at $20, is less than a single shot of the Pappy Van Winkle. Also, it's "Bonded"!

A side story

So Adrienne and I are bicycling to dinner, and a carload of people pull up next to us at an intersection. The driver shouts at us: “Get a job! Get a car!”

I notice he’s driving a Hyundai, and while I know I’m absolutely right about this and on the moral high ground, I don’t want to start a fight since I’m outnumbered. But you can’t yell out “buy a car” when you drive a Hyundai. So I try to point this out to him in the politest, most nonconfrontational way possible.

“You mean like a Hyundai?” I ask. “That’s a pretty sweet ride.”

Then, they start making fun of Adrienne’s bike, a Huffy.

Really? You’re a grown man driving a Hyundai, and you’re taunting a girl on a Huffy? Who does that?

At any rate, it was a long light. I kind of felt bad for the people in the car because I don’t think they expected to be stuck at the intersection with us, and I don’t think they really considered that they were all in a Hyundai. And because they could only taunt a girl on a Huffy, they seemed pretty deflated.

Moral of the story: If you’re in a Hyundai, you can’t make fun of anyone else’s transportation. Even if it’s bicycles.

Slayton's Tejon Street Grill on Urbanspoon

The Independent’s Best of Colorado Springs 2010-vote for us!

It’s that time of year again to vote for all your favorite things in the Springs. The Independent’s annual compendium goes far beyond where to go and what to see. Vote for your favorite mechanic, the best brewery, the Springs’ best radio personality, Town Clown. If it’s here in the Springs, it’s in the ballot.  The deadline to vote is August 31 so go on and vote now!

Adrienne is the owner of Pink Kitty Studios, a local glamour photography studio, and she wants to get in on it this year.

We think Pink Kitty Studios would be great in the following categories:

  • Best Photographer
  • Best Place to Buy a Thoughtful, Over-the-Top Gift
  • Best Naughty Business

You’ll need to vote in 15 categories for your ballot to count and to be entered to win an iPad.

If you need suggestions on the other categories, here’s how we voted (and we consider ourselves to be experts on Colorado Springs!):

  • Best New Restaurant: Paris Crepe
  • Best Patio Dining: Arabica Cafe
  • Best Burger: Drifters
  • Best Middle Eastern Restaurant: Taste Of Jerusalem
  • Best Local Pizza Joint: Poor Richard’s
  • Best Crepes: Paris Crepe
  • Best Ice Cream/Gelato: Colorado Creamery
  • Best Cafe: Shuga’s
  • Best Local Coffee House: The Coffee Exchange
  • Best Gourmet /Spice Market: Extraordinary Ingredients
  • Best Bike Shop: Bicycle Village
  • Best Veterinarian: Pikes Peak Veterinary Clinic
  • Best Bartender: Kevin at Shuga’s
  • Best Happy Hour: Nosh
  • Best Weekly Bar Event: Lola Spitfire’s Peaks and Pasties Burlesque Show
  • Best Neighborhood Bar – Central: Tony’s (The bar we love to hate!)
  • Best Local Microbrew to Drink in Summer: Bristol Brewing’s Yellow Kite

And of course, don’t forget Best Local Blogger: Oinkety!

Best of Colorado Springs 2010

Best of Colorado Springs 2010

Extraordinary Ingredients, Colorado Springs

I went to Extraordinary Ingredients on Tejon today. It’s right around the corner from my house, and I’ve been a couple times before. But I recently bought a “deal of the day” coupon from gazette.com worth $20 so I thought I’d go spend it.

I got all this stuff for $20.

Extraordinary Ingredients
Extraordinary Ingredients

A small bottle of vanilla extract, two olive oil guest soaps, a bag of anasazi beans, a bag of giant lima beans, and a bag of granulated honey.

I could have gotten the vanilla extract and the lima beans just about anywhere. But the vanilla was a great price, just $3.99 for two ounces. That’s less than the grocery store crap and I bet it’s a lot better.  I’m not sure what I’ll do with the beans but they’re so pretty I had to have them. They have probably 10 or 15 other varieties, too. Most you can’t get at the supermarket or even at Whole Foods. The granulated honey is delish. I haven’t seen it anywhere else. I am going to use it to sweeten tea- hot and iced.

They have a million different spices, sugars, salts, jerkys, beans, rubs, chiles, etc. Lots of great stuff. If they’d start carrying fancy dried pastas, I’d be in heaven.

Anyhow, you should go. The stuff is awesome and the people are really great, too. Very friendly and they know what’s good!

Bicycle Village: A

Most bike shop people are assholes. It’s probably true with just about any hobby: You get so far into it, that you forget that other people may not be as passionate as you are about it. Bike snobs, beer snobs, movie snobs — whatever. They’re hard to deal with.

So when the girlfriend’s bike broke and I couldn’t fix it, no matter how much I dremeled, I dreaded going into any kind of bike shop to ask for help.

Turns out, though, that Bicycle Village was a delight.

Here’s a true story: Went into Old Town Bike Shop downtown because I live near them. I brought in the shredded gear cable and asked what I ought to do.

Old Town Bike Shop Guy: Oh, yeah, that’s an old Positronic.

Me: Really? Says “Shimano” on it.

OTBSG (in the snippiest way possible): I am not guessing.

Whoa, there, sensitive bike guy. I wasn’t challenging your expertise or trying to insult your delicate feelings. I was just pointing out that, to the casual rider, the “Shimano” stamped onto the gear led me to believe that it was a Shimano gear. Now, if there is some nuance that I didn’t understand or some hidden, secret feature that made this gear something other than what was stamped onto it, well, clearly, I am an idiot for not noticing. Please accept my sincerest apologies.

Now, compare the Bicycle Village experience. Guy looked at my stupid cable and talked to me at length about possibilities. He said he needed to probably actually see the bike, so I brought it in the next week. He was clearly pretty busy, but he spent the time going over some more options with me. The 1980s-era Huffy 3-speed was beneath his dignity, but he went over all the ways we could tackle the problem. In the end, though, and here’s what’s probably most impressive: He suggested to me that fixing it might not be worthwhile, knowing that he could probably have milked this stupid project for a good amount of money.

No, he said he could work on it, but it might not be fixable, and 3-speeds are plentiful.

So next time you’re in the market for a bike or some bike repair, check out Bicycle Village. They’re not assholes.

EDIT: To be fair, I only had that one experience at Old Town, so maybe they’re not always this way. Maybe Sensitive Bike Guy was having a bad day and I should cut him some slack. Fair enough. The girlfriend’s brother was in town and bought a bike there, and it looks like they treated him pretty well. Soon, I’ll be going back in to ship his bike to L.A., and we’ll see how things are then.

Another bunch of pictures