October in Chicagoland- corn mazes and pumpkins and delicious food!

Well, it took me almost a whole year to post these pictures! But I guess it’s OK because now is the time to go do this trip. We like to just get in the car and drive sometimes, so that’s what we did. We went up to Rockford, IL, then over to Madison, WI. Then came back down thru Wisconsin into Illinois again to a fun farm with pumpkins and a corn maze.

Rockford was kind of a bust. But we did find a The Wired Cafe that had espressos and a nice breakfast.

Breakfast Burrito from Wired Cafe,. Rockford,. IL

Breakfast Burrito from Wired Cafe,. Rockford,. IL

Madison is a cute college town! Lots of fun restaurants, bars, and cafes.

The view from our hotel in Madison, WI

The view from our hotel in Madison, WI

We had a great local WI type meal at The Old Fashioned in downtown Madison.

An Old Fashioned from The Old Fashioned in Madison, WI

An Old Fashioned from The Old Fashioned in Madison, WI

cheese curds in wisconsin

Cheese Curds! Sooooo Wisconsin

Mixed greens with Wisconsin cheese and local cherries

Mixed greens with Wisconsin cheese and local cherries

Is Wisconsin famous for chili?

Is Wisconsin famous for chili?

cobbler in wisconsin

Oh yeah, that’s cobbler

Breakfast was at Madison Sourdough, a great bakery with a pretty ambience.

Cafe latte from Madison Sourdough

Cafe latte from Madison Sourdough

ghost sign, madison, WI

I love old ghost signs

Heading back to Chicago, we stopped at Richardson’s Farm for pumpkins and a corn maze.

Corn maze at Richardson's Farm

Corn maze at Richardson’s Farm- it was hard!

Getting lost in the maze!

Getting lost in the maze!

Resting during our corn maze odyssey

Resting during our corn maze odyssey

Richardson's Farm, Illinois

Richardson’s Farm, Illinois

corn maze, richardson's farm, illinois

So Much Corn!

Fooling around at Richardson's.

Fooling around at Richardson’s.

We bought some pumpkins at Richardson's

We bought some pretty pumpkins

Blue Pumpkins

Blue Pumpkins?

Lots of pumpkins at Richardson's Adventure Farm

Lots of pumpkins

A petting zoo at Richardson's Adventure Farm

I love goats!

Overall it was a relaxing, fun Fall weekend.

 

It’s been a long time. How’ve you all been?

Miss us?

Of course you did. After begging for attention in the Indy’s dumb Best of the Springs contest, we needed to relax a little and regroup. Recover a little from our shame. Maybe have a cheeseburger or two.

Anyway, so we’ve been busy being out in the world. Here’s a quick roundup.

We saw Band of Horses in Denver earlier this month at the Ogden Theater. Great show, even though we had to get our tickets through Ticketmaster. Come on, Ogden, do something about that.

Band of Horses at the Ogden Theater, Denver

If you have a chance to see Band of Horses anywhere, it's probably a good idea. They put on a great show and seem like a genuinely decent group of people. No actual horses in the show, though. So there's that.

 

Band of Horses, Ogden Theater, Denver, Sept. 4, 2011

People at the Band of Horses show love Pabst.

 

Band of Horses, Ogden Theater, Denver, Sept. 4, 2011

After drinking the Pabst, instead of throwing the can in the trash, go ahead and crush it underfoot and leave it on the floor. The person who has to pick it up doesn't mind. It's cool.

 

Band of Horses, Ogden Theater, Denver, Sept. 4, 2011

Billboard outside the Ogden. Pabst, anyone?

 

Band of Horses, Ogden Theater, Denver, Sept. 4, 2011

Thick-rimmed glasses, check. Ridiculous beard, check. Plaid snap-up shirt, check. Pabst, check. I am a caricature of the hipster. Except I am old. At least I put my damn empty beer can in the trash.

 

Band of Horses, Ogden Theater, Denver, Sept. 4, 2011

Of course this chick isn't a caricature of anything. Just having a rum and coke and enjoying the show.

 

Band of Horses, Ogden Theater, Denver, Sept. 4, 2011

After the show, we walked to Tom's Diner. Great food for a late night. I had the fish sandwich, and Adrienne had a BLT, I think.

After picking up  Adrienne from the Denver airport after one of her many trips to L.A., we stopped off at the Interstate Kitchen & Bar. Interesting. I really enjoyed the vast bourbon offerings and had for the first time in my life a flight of bourbon. Enjoyed the Interstate very much and will likely be back the next time we’re in Denver.

The Interstate Kitchen & Bar, Denver

The bar at the Interstate.

 

The Interstate Kitchen & Bar, Denver

The Interstate Kitchen & Bar, Denver

 

The Interstate Kitchen & Bar, Denver

Adrienne had the fried chicken at the Interstate. She said it was very good, particularly the gravy.

 

The Interstate Kitchen & Bar, Denver

My flight of bourbon. And an Olympia beer. Because why not.

More recently, we took a day trip to Littleton and to Rollinsville to look at a summer shack we’re interested in buying, even though we have no money to buy a summer shack. But we figured we ought to look at it anyway, just in case.

In Littleton, we stopped at Merle’s for a cheeseburger. Lots of mixed feelings here. First of all, we have no complaints about the food. But the service was lacking. We’ll list our dissatisfactions and leave it at that because we don’t want to dwell on the negative.

  1. Virtually every place we’ve ever been will seat you, hand you the menus, and a single drink menu. Why only one drink menu? Are they in short supply? Seriously, people, give a drink menu to everyone at the table.
  2. The Tex-Mex burger with jalapenos and barbecue sauce is amazing. But it’s a little messy. How about you give me a couple extra napkins?
  3. Once at Flatirons, the hostess sat us at a table right next to a family of screaming toddlers even though the place was empty. I know there’s a flow and a system. You don’t want people seated at opposite ends of the restaurant, making the server walk unnecessarily. But at the same time, if there’s plenty of room, please don’t sit tables right next to each other. It’s uncomfortable.
Merle's Restaurant, Littleton, Colorado

Adrienne wanted to sit out on the deck at Merle's in Littleton. The hostess said it was cold, but we found it to be just fine.

 

Merle's Restaurant, Littleton, Colorado

The cheeseburger at Merle's in Littleton. The fries, though, get rave reviews from Adrienne, who's very picky about her fries. She would not stop talking about how excellent the fries were. The perfect combination of crispy and greasy. Fries: A-plus.

 

Merle's Restaurant, Littleton, Colorado

All this space out on the deck.

 

Merle's Restaurant, Littleton, Colorado

Go ahead and seat these guys here right next to us. You know what, how about you seat them at our table? We have two extra seats.

And on a final note, my mom dropped by unexpectedly tonight and delivered a fall/pumpkin seasonal sampler pack of beer. My mom is awesome.

Seasonal beer dropped off unexpectedly by my mom for no reason at all.

Seasonal beer dropped off unexpectedly by my mom for no reason at all. We're liking the Tommyknocker very much.

 

 

 

 

Please vote for us!

Voting ends on Wednesday August 31st for the CSIndy Best Of The Springs– so go vote and earn a chance to win an iPad! Of course we’d love you to vote for us- Oinkety- as best local blogger, and Pink Kitty Studios for best photographer, best place to buy an over the top gift, and best naughty business. Since you have to vote in at least 15 categories, here are our other faves!

1.Best Wait Staff: Detz Cafe.

2.Best Restaurant for Tourists: Paris Crepe.

3.Best French Restaurant: La Baguette. The one on Chestnut.

4. Best Patio Dining: Shuga’s.

5.Best Middle Eastern Restaurant: Taste of Jerusalem.

6.Best Food Truck: Phat Hattie’s.

7.Best Burger: Drifter’s.

8.Best Place for Ice Cream: Dogtooth Cafe.

9.Best Local Beer for Winter: Bristol’s Venetucci Pumpkin Ale, of course good luck getting any.

10.Best Breakfast: Smiley’s.

11.Best Caterer: Blue Sage Catering.

12.Best Place for an Over-the-Top Gift: Pink Kitty Studios.

13.Best Photographer: Pink Kitty Studios.

14.Best Naughty Business: Pink Kitty Studios.

15.Best Local Twitterer: @barelyescape.

16.Best Local Blogger: Oinkety!

Thank you!

Colorado Springs Restaurants with Good Decor

One of my major peeves in life is restaurants with bad decor (first-world problem). You can have the best food in the world but if your decor sucks, it’s really hard for me to go. Colorado Springs has a LOT of restaurants that look horrible. Luckily, we also have a few that are awesome.

Amuze at The Fine Arts Center- this restaurant is CLOSED is currently on my shit list- I bought a Deal Of The Day from them and of course forgot about it till the last minute. It expires next Tuesday but since they’re not open during the week I wanted to use it next weekend. No dice, no can do, so sorry, we can’t extend it. Whatevs, that is completely lame. So I called Deal Of The Day and got a refund. Take THAT, Amuze. You just lost $12.50. Ha. Anyhow, The Deco Lounge is the bar and Amuze is the restaurant. Both have lovely art- deco style decor. Amuze is insanely expensive, but the Deco Bar has normal bar prices. Really really pretty inside with lots of natural light so try to go in the evening before it gets dark. It was built in 1936 and has a very interesting history. Also, since it’s a museum, the restaurant and bar have lots of neat art in them.

Deco Bar at The Fine Arts Center, downtown Colorado Springs

Deco Bar at The Fine Arts Center, downtown Colorado Springs

Dale Chihuly glass lamp at The Deco Lounge at The Fine Arts Center.

Dale Chihuly glass lamp at The Deco Lounge at The Fine Arts Center.

My favorite restaurant in the whole city is Shuga’s just south of downtown on Cascade. It’s a bar, it’s a cafe, it’s a resaurant with very unique and delicious food. They’re open everyday except Sundays, until midnight. That is awesome enough. But it’s also so so so pretty inside. A friend of mine mentioned that it seems to be perfect all the time, no matter what season. It can be the middle of a burning summer or a snow covered winter and their decor manages to be just right always. Plus they have live music some nights and they show movies on a big screen, too.

Shuga's, downtown Colorado Springs

Shuga's, downtown Colorado Springs

Shuga's, downtown Colorado Springs

Shuga's, downtown Colorado Springs

Shuga's, downtown Colorado Springs

Shuga's, downtown Colorado Springs

Cafe Latte from Shuga's, downtown Colorado Springs

Cafe Latte from Shuga's, downtown Colorado Springs

Roast beef sandwich and mac-n-cheese from Shuga's, downtown Colorado Springs.

Roast beef sandwich and mac-n-cheese from Shuga's, downtown Colorado Springs.

Another place we really like is Motif in Old Colorado City. It’s open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. They have live jazz every night, lots of wines, fun cocktails and fancy little food. There’s a cozy yet modern indoor space and an outdoor area with a completely different feel. Both are really great places to hang out and have a drink.

The bar at Motif in Old Colorado City, Colorado Springs

The bar at Motif in Old Colorado City, Colorado Springs

Motif in Old Colorado City, Colorado Springs

Motif in Old Colorado City, Colorado Springs

Looking inside from the patio at Motif, Old Colorado City, Colorado Springs

Looking inside from the patio at Motif, Old Colorado City, Colorado Springs

Evening cocktails at Motif, Old Colorado City, Colorado Springs

Evening cocktails at Motif, Old Colorado City, Colorado Springs

Comfy couches on the patio at Motif, Old Colorado City, Colorado Springs

Comfy couches on the patio at Motif, Old Colorado City, Colorado Springs

View of the mountains from the patio at Motif, Old Colorado City, Colorado Springs

View of the mountains from the patio at Motif, Old Colorado City, Colorado Springs

There are more nice places around and I’ll post about them soon. Meanwhile, let us know which places are your faves!

Victorian Day and some other stuff you might want to do

Looking for something to do this week? Of course you are.

We have a few ideas.

First, there’s Victorian Day on Sunday (June 26) at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum downtown. Looks like fun, and it’s free. There will be Victorian dance demonstration, a courtroom “melodrama,” free lemonade and watermelon and some Civil War re-enactors.

Victorian Day at Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum downtown.

You can come to Victorian Day dressed in your best "finery." I wanted to grow my facial hair this way for the event, but someone else who lives in the house vetoed the decision.

 

On Wednesday (June 29), there’s the second annual whiskey/beer tasting at the Fine Arts Center. The Whiskey for My Men, Beer for My Horses event costs $20 for nonmembers ($15 for FAC members), but if you wear a “big-ass” belt buckle, you can get $5 off admission. There will be samples from Downslope Distilling and Bristol Brewing, with music by Grass It Up, a bluegrass band from Colorado Springs.

After some midweek whiskey drinking, you might want to tone it down a little on Thursday with some Pinon Nut Brown Ale from Bristol Brewing. While the beer is probably outstanding, it’s worth the visit for the food from Blue Sage Catering. We had some of their food at Bristol’s Christmas Ale party. They’re incredible.

On Friday, the first day of July, nearly a hundred longhorn steers will be herded down Tejon Street. Why they’re doing this, I’m not sure — something to do with the rodeo, I guess. Whatever. Not into rodeos, but at noon on Friday, dozens of cows will be tromping along Tejon, so it sounds like something worth seeing.

Longhorn Steer Cattle Drive, downtown Colorado Springs

Yes, excuse me, I'm looking for Zeezo's -- am I on the right street?

 

July 2-4, if you haven’t had enough bovine entertainment, you can swing on over to Manitou Springs for the Buffalo Barbeque Festival at Soda Springs Park. Of course I’m not sure how entertaining the barbecue is for these bovines, but it sounds delicious.