El Poblano in Colorado Springs is yummy and has pupusas!

Ever have a pupusa? They’re really popular in L.A. They’re delicious! I haven’t given them much thought since being here but recently we were driving down Circle and saw a big sign that said “pupusas” in front of a restaurant called El Poblano at 908 N. Circle Dr.  Then I started thinking about them again.

The first time we tried to go they looked open but were actually closed. The handwritten sign on the door said they were at the “banko.” No kidding. Banko.

But the second time we had good luck.

El Poblano, Colorado Springs

El Poblano, Colorado Springs

It’s a smallish place with a couple of tables. You order at the counter and they bring it to you.
The interior and menu at El Poblano

The interior and menu at El Poblano

We started with some tasty chips and salsa.

Chips and salsa at El Poblano, Colorado Springs

Chips and salsa at El Poblano, Colorado Springs

Beef burrito at El Poblano, Colorado Springs

Beef burrito at El Poblano, Colorado Springs

And now for the pupusas. They were great! And since they’re the only people in Colorado Springs who make them, that’s even better.

Cheese pupusas from El Poblano, Colorado Springs

Cheese pupusas from El Poblano, Colorado Springs

I also got a side of rice and beans

I also got a side of rice and beans

So, anyway, El Poblano is highly recommended. The burrito was good, at least as good as any other place like this in town, and they have pupusas! Oh yea, and they also have Mexican Coke in a bottle.

Please let us know if we’re missing any other pupusa places in Colorado Springs.

Candidates for mayor of Colorado Springs

Updated: Feb. 19, 2011

There are 11 nine candidates running for Colorado Springs mayor. Eleven. Nine.

That’s a lot of people to consider, and since you’ll want to vote for one of them, we figure it’d be worthwhile to let you know who they all are. If you want to visit the city’s terrible website and try to find this info yourself, feel free. Careful, though, the site is a portal back to a time before the Internet mattered.

Just about all the candidates say the future of the Springs rests on jobs. Jobs, jobs, jobs. Visit their sites, and you’ll see that thread throughout them all. How they manage to make that happen is the key. Can they work with others? Can they make difficult decisions? Can they be fair and transparent? All very good questions. It’s all up to you.

Since Richard Skorman has Oinkety’s vote, we’ll put him first, then the others alphabetically.

Richard Skorman

www.skorman4mayor.com

The 58-year-old former City Council member and Vice Mayor owns the Poor Richard’s compound downtown that includes the bookstore, Rico’s wine bar, Little Richard’s toystore, and the restaurant. Politics aside, these are fantastic places to spend time when you’re downtown. While he might be an “establishment” candidate, let’s remember that he was part of the establishment back when our city was prosperous. Sure would be nice to see that again.

  • Two-term City Council member
  • Vice mayor for two years
  • Board member, Fountain Creek Watershed, Flood Control and Greenway District

Here’s an interesting piece about Skorman from our nemesis and third-place rival John Hazlehurst from back when he was still at the Business Journal.

Steve Bach

www.stevebachmayor.com

You’ve probably seen Steve Bach’s campaign signs. That is, if you’ve been outside. The Briargate resident is a commercial real estate broker and consultant with deep pockets, and according to his paperwork, he says he’s lived in the Springs area for 45 years.

This Gazette blog post offers a decent roundup of his experience. Bach is definitely winning the campaign-sign war.

Brian Bahr

www.springsmayor.com

Bahr, a “dedicated conservative,” owns Challenger Homes. He graduated from Utah’s Brigham Young University in 1995, and his career is primarily real estate and development. Bahr has a radio blog, where he discusses his views on Colorado Springs’ issues of the day.

Mitch Christiansen

www.talktomitch.com

I get nervous when I see images of the U.S. Constitution in political campaigning. But I won’t judge. Christiansen does seem a little angry, though: He’s running for mayor because he “will no longer sit on the sidelines while our elected officials pass off their personal agendas as public policy and steer our city, a rudderless ship, into the ground.”

In his paperwork with the city he lists his occupation as general contractor, real estate broker, and consultant. Other than an unsuccessful run for City Council in 2006, he has no political experience. The 64-year-old cancer survivor says he has a medical marijuana card, but that he hasn’t used it since 2009.

Kenneth Duncan

www.home.comcast.net/~kpduncan/site/?/home

The 48-year-old isn’t very revealing in his city paperwork, listing his occupation as “recently laid off” and his political experience as “voter.”

The Gazette’s Daniel Chacon has a great bio at his City Desk blog. So far, Duncan’s the only one who seems interested in wading into the topics of abortion, immigration, and religion.

Tom Gallagher

www.electtomg.com

You’ll learn more about Gallagher from his City Council page than from his own web site, which is “under construction.” Time’s a’wasting, Tom. Better get that site up. He says the Springs is a city in decay and “we’re mad as hell and we’re not gonna take it anymore,” according to this KXRM piece.

He’s known as a strong supporter of the medical marijuana industry, and while the 49-year-old has been beat up on for living in a South Nevada Avenue rental, I find that kind of interesting. He’s often a lone voice on the City Council, which, considering the state of things lately, probably isn’t too bad of a thing. Another great bio from Daniel Chacon at The Gazette.

Buddy Gilmore

www.gilmoreforcoloradosprings.org

Gilmore is the CEO of defense contractor Shape Technologies and is active in veterans issues. Gilmore and his family moved to the Springs in 1987 and attends New Life Church.

Buddy also serves as a member of the Pikes Peak Roundtable, the National Defense Industry Association, International Test & Evaluation Association, the Executive Committee of the El Paso County Republican Party, and Congressman Lamborn’s Defense Advisory Board and his Service Academy Nomination Board. He is a former member of the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce’s Government Affairs & Public Policy Committee and Legislative Watch Council. — Gilmore’s campaign site

Phil McDonald

www.philmcdonaldformayor.com

Phil McDonald, owner of The Uniform Shop, is by far our happiest-looking candidate. He makes a point on his site to mention that he is not a real estate developer, that he does not have ties to anti-tax activists, and does not have ties to political powers. He does, however, have ties (family) to the Donut Mill shop in Woodland Park, which gives him a leg up in my book. He also used to be a police officer.

He calls himself the “average Joe, the working class citizen.” He also says that, if elected, he would fire the police chief and the city attorney immediately. Interesting.

Dave Munger

www.mungerformayor.com

The 64-year-old Old North End resident belongs to a number of influential groups and community organizations, including Council of Neighbors and Organizations; Memorial Health System’s citizens panel; Downtown Partnership; and Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority citizens panel. Munger is a capital-C Contender.

Kelley Pero-Luckhurst WITHDRAWN

www.kpluckhurst.com

According to his paperwork filed with the city, this student / unemployed nine-year resident says it is his “priority to focus on community service.” He’s working on a bachelor’s degree in Applied Psychology at Regis University.

Marvin Venson, Jr. WITHDRAWN

No website. Here’s his city paperwork.

Venson, the first black candidate, says he wants to be a “candidate who listens,” according to this write-up from The Gazette’s Scott Rappold. This candidate says he also isn’t planning to raise any money.

Withdrawal of Candidacy

Paravicini’s Old Colorado City, Colorado Springs, CO

I recently went to Paravicini’s where Janel was working the lunch shift. I had never been before but always wanted to go.

Janel made me a delicious cafe latte, which she claims she’d never made before. That’s surprising because it was really good.

By the way, Janel is a really great server so you should call to find out when she’ll be working and go then.

Cafe latte at Paravicini's, Old Colorado City, Colorado Springs

Cafe latte at Paravicini's, Old Colorado City, Colorado Springs

They have lunch specials every day- all under $10, so I decided to get a pasta with chicken (I can’t remember what it’s called). It was the perfect size for lunch and really tasty.

Pasta with chicken and Paravicini's in Old Colorado City, Colorado Springs

Pasta with chicken and Paravicini's in Old Colorado City, Colorado Springs

And a cannoli for dessert. Yum!

Cannoli from Paravicini's, Old Colorado City, Colorado Springs

Cannoli from Paravicini's, Old Colorado City, Colorado Springs

I’d like to come back on a weekend when it’s more crowded and lively. And maybe even sit in the Frank Sinatra room! Anyhow, it’s really good and has a nice atmosphere and you should go!

Nickel Diner, Los Angeles, BOO!

I went to the Nickel Diner in downtown L.A. last year and thought it was pretty good. So I dragged some of my family there over Thanksgiving weekend and I am sorry to say, it now sucks.

Everyone looks pretty happy so far at the Nickel Diner in Los Angeles

Everyone looks pretty happy so far at the Nickel Diner in Los Angeles

I really liked the polenta with maple syrup and chicken apple sausage last time so I wanted to get it again. I also saw someone at a nearby table with some really great looking toast. So I thought I’d go ahead and get the 2 egg breakfast which comes with 2 eggs, polenta, and chicken apple sausage, TOAST and HOMEMADE JAM. I really wanted the toast and figured if I didn’t eat the eggs, someone else at the table would. You see that this menu says it comes with toast and homemade jam, right?

Well, everyone gets their mediocre meals and so do I.  But mine is missing the toast.

Scrambled eggs, polenta, and chicken apple sausage. Notice the glaring absence of toast.

Scrambled eggs, polenta, and chicken apple sausage. Notice the glaring absence of toast.

The sullen waitress never returns to check on us so I can’t ask her about the toast. I kept expecting it to show up. Finally when we were all done and she brought us the check I asked her where the toast was. She says “we don’t serve toast anymore, it’s 50 cents.” WTF, Nickel Diner? Fifty cents for toast? When it says on the menu that it comes with the breakfasts? And she didn’t tell me that upfront when I placed the order. Just decided not to bring it to attempt to get me to pay extra for it (which I wouldn’t have done, and she probably knew that so just tried to ignore it — lame) And then she never returned so I could ask her about it? I think this place should be called The Nickel and Dime-ing You Diner. You’ll notice the online menu hasn’t been changed to reflect the 50-cent toast and I’m sure the actual menu hasn’t either.

On top of that, the check was over $70 for six people eating mediocre diner food. And then, of course, they don’t take American Express.

Nickel Diner sucks.

L.A. extravaganza

We were in L.A. with my daughter, Tori, over Christmas and New Year’s. Since the kid has never been to L.A. before and since it’s such an interesting place the first time, we wanted to give her as grand a tour as we could in the time that she had.

The best view of the Hollywood sign without having to hike is on Mulholland and Canyon Lake drives. You can park there, and on one side is the Hollywood sign and on the other is a great view of the city. Click here for a map.

Tori at the Hollywood sign, taken with my camera phone

Tori at the Hollywood sign, taken with Adrienne's camera phone

Mike and Tori at the Hollywood sign, taken with my camera phone

Me and Tori at the Hollywood sign, taken with Adrienne's camera phone

Later we went to Miceli’s on Hollywood. It’s an old Hollywood Italian restaurant where movie stars like Marilyn Monroe used to hang out. The food isn’t very good but the atmosphere is pretty neat. The ceiling is covered with chianti bottles, and it’s very dark in there.

But the service was terrible. I guess when you’re famous, you don’t have to try anymore. Seriously, man, bring me my Coke already. Damn.

Micelli's, Hollywood

Miceli's, Hollywood

Mike and Tori under a ceiling of Chianti bottles at Micelli's, Hollywood

Me and Tori under a ceiling of Chianti bottles at Miceli's, Hollywood

Not very good spaghetti and ravioli at Micelli's, Hollywood

Exceptionally ordinary spaghetti and ravioli at Miceli's, Hollywood.

While in Hollywood we walked around along the Walk of Fame, with all the stars, and went to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and looked at all the handprints in the cement. I think you’d be surprised at how tiny celebrities are. Their hands and feet are itty-bitty.

Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood

Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood

It never occurred to me to visit the La Brea Tar Pits, but Tori suggested it. Good call, kid. What a neat place.

Some creature stuck in the tar at La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles

Some creature stuck in the tar at La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles

It will shock you to know that we also went to a bunch of restaurants.

Bob's Big Boy, Burbank, CA

Bob's Big Boy, Burbank, CA

Mike at Bob's Big Boy, Burbank, CA

Mike at Bob's Big Boy, Burbank, CA

The famous Big Boy Combo at Bob's Big Boy, Burbank, CA

The famous Big Boy Combo at Bob's Big Boy, Burbank, CA. Some seriously good food here. Burgers, shakes, fries. What a treat.

Here’s a picture of Adrienne in high school at the other Bob’s in Glendale. Wooo!

Bob's Big Boy, Glendale, 1983

Bob's Big Boy, Glendale, 1983. Adrienne is top right.

We also went to Pann’s, another mid-century diner. Pann’s was the restaurant in Pulp Fiction — different location, but they’re both identical. I did not yell: Everybody be cool, this is a robbery! Figure they’ve probably all heard it before. I did call Adrienne Honey Bunny at one point, but she just glared at me, so I stopped.
Pann's, Los Angeles

Pann's, Los Angeles

Tasty burger and fries at Pann's, Los Angeles

Tasty burger and fries at Pann's, Los Angeles

Dinah's Fried Chicken, Glendale, CA

Dinah's Fried Chicken, Glendale, CA. Surprisingly, Dinah's wasn't very good. It was only OK. It did, however, get us on a great discussion about our grading methods. I gave Dinah's a solid C: Not bad, not great; it was OK. Adrienne gave it a B-minus. Apparently, I'm a harder grader than she is.

Mmmmmm, ambrosia, Dinah's, Glendale, CA

Mmmmmm, ambrosia, Dinah's, Glendale, CA

Something else we did that was unexpectedly cool: Backstage where the Rose Parade floats were being made. I’m not much of a parade person, but this was fascinating. Never realized how huge these things were. And I also didn’t know the rules about how every float must be 100 percent covered with plants. Weird.

Rose Parade float in progress

Rose Parade float in progress.

A huge room full of roses getting ready to be put on floats, Pasadena, CA

A huge room full of roses getting ready to be put on floats, Pasadena, CA.

Another float in progress, Pasadena, CA

Another float in progress, Pasadena, CA.

Mike and Tori on the catwalk overlooking the Rose Parade floats being built

On the catwalk overlooking the Rose Parade floats being built. Not entirely sure it was OK that we were up there. But nobody said anything.

Samples of some of the plants being used on the floats

Samples of some of the plants being used on the floats.

Mike and Tori in front of the real Chinese Theatre and in front of the Hollywood float version of the Chinese Theatre.

Tori and me in front of the real Chinese Theatre and in front of the Hollywood float version of the Chinese Theatre.

Overall, I had a great trip. I think Tori did, too. She seems to enjoy herself wherever she happens to be, which is a nice quality.

I’d also like to thank all of Adrienne’s family for putting up with all the dumb touristy stuff we wanted to do. Thanks, too, for all the hospitality.