Gunning for second place

It’s that time of year again, where we shamelessly ask for your vote on The Independent’s annual Best of Colorado Springs survey.

Last year, we tied for third with then-Business Journal writer John Hazlehurst and decided that he must be destroyed. He has since moved to the Indy, which means that while he still pens a regular column, we have not seen any Hazlehurst-specific “blog.” Consider yourself destroyed, Mr. Hazlehurst.

The first-place winner was a coupon thing, so whatever with that. Who can compete with bargains? The second-place winner is a member of Big Media, and who can trust Big Media?

It’s time for Oinkety to be the Springs’ No. 2 blog.

You have to vote for at least 15 things for your ballot to count. Here’s a sampling of what we voted for:

  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!

Adrienne and I agreed on a few of the categories. But we disagreed on a bunch, too:

  1. Best Neighborhood Restaurant – West: Adrienne enjoys La Baguette, but I like Cucuru.
  2. Best Neighborhood Restaurant – Central: Adrienne went with Shuga’s, while I went with Detz.
  3. Best Restaurant for Dining Alone: Adrienne would rather go to Shuga’s alone, and I prefer Poor Richard’s.

In fact, for just about every category, Adrienne picked Shuga’s. Best Happy Hour; Best Patio; Best Place for a Wedding Reception; Best Appetizers; Best Soup; Best Bartender (Kevin); Best Place for a Fancy-Pants Cocktail. Someone has a Shuga’s addiction.

Vote for Oinkety or this cat will cry

We sometimes write about cats. That alone is worth your vote.







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.

It’s Restaurant Week in Colorado Springs

Starting tomorrow (Tuesday March 8 ) thru Sunday March 13 is Colorado Springs’ first Restaurant Week (I thought we had one last year but maybe that was something else).  You can get meals for two for either $35, $45, or $55, some even include adult beverages! Just mention Restaurant Week when you go. You might want to make a reservation because it’s going to be pretty popular. It’s going to be a great way to try out some of the more expensive restaurants in town!

The whole list of which restaurants are participating, what they’re serving, and how much it costs is here.  The ones we’re particularly interested in are:

1645 South Tejon Street
Colorado Springs
(719) 632-1086

3 course meal for $55 for dinner for two (not including tax and gratuity)

1st Course

  • Cup of Beehive Cheddar Soup or Endive Caesar w/ julienne snow pea, garlic croutons & parmesan

2nd Course

  • Petite crab cakes, jasmine rice, crunchy snap peas, wasabi mayo or Petite bacon “steak,” roasted tomato polenta, roasted Brussels, natural jus or Millefeuille of tomato concasse, spinach feta w/ creamy tapenade

3rd Course

  • The Corleone (Blue Star signature dessert) or 1 oz. portion of any of our daily cheeses
3802 Maizeland Road
Colorado Springs
(719) 596-9300

$55 for two

  • 1st Course – Mini-Shrimp Cocktail
  • 2nd Course — Full Salad Bar or Bleu Cheese Wedge
  • 3rd Course — 10 oz. Prime Rib, prepared to your liking, including starch, bread and butter, Ice Tea or Coffee
  • 4th Course – Creamy smooth Lemon Snow Flake Dessert
915 Manitou Avenue
Manitou Springs
(719) 685-2420

Dinner for two for $35 (all gluten-free)

  • cup of soup
  • choice of entree w/side salad
    • Coquette: black forest ham, béchamel sauce, sautéed mushrooms, & Swiss cheese
    • Philadelphian: thinly sliced tri-tip steak, sautéed onion, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, & Swiss cheese
    • Cajun: pan seared shrimp, onion, tomato, & mushrooms in a Cajun cream sauce
  • cupcake of the day
405 N. Tejon St
Colorado Springs
(P) 719-481-6888

Dinner for 2 for $35

  • unlimited soft drinks, coffee or tea
  • 2 beverages from the bar, choice of Rum Punch or Redstripe Beer
  • 2 dinner salads served with basket of garlic bread
  • 2 dinner entrees, choice of any on the menu
  • 1 ridiculously good dessert to share

Be sure to check it out and let us know where you went and how it was!

And speaking of barbecue …

Some ribs, cornbread, and cole slaw from Front Range Barbeque — courtesy of coworker Christian Murdock. Thanks, Christian! Next time we’re out, beer’s on me.

Front Range Barbeque ribs, cornbread and cole slaw.

Coworker Christian Murdock brought in some fantastic food. We never eat this good at work. Awesome.

UPDATE: My keyboard is slathered in barbecue sauce. Wonder if that’s a workplace violation of some kind.

Firehouse Southern Style BBQ: A-minus

A disclaimer: We happen to know a couple who work at Firehouse — Janel, a server who also does hair and makeup for Adrienne’s Pink Kitty Studios; and Pete, Janel’s current love interest. I don’t know what Pete does at Firehouse, but it’s important. Hey, Pete, what’s your title there?

They did not give us free food or anything.

In true barbecue fashion, there’s a lot of opportunity at Firehouse for gluttony. The beer alone is served by the bucket. Overall, the dining at Firehouse was excellent. The chicken was a little dry, but smoked chicken, apparently, is just that way sometimes. Loved the bottomless sides — I had okra (a lot of okra) and the western beans. Adrienne had the regular beans and green beans.

I know there are people who don’t care much for my barbecue opinions. But I’m going to tell them to you anyway.

I was called a name.

I've been called worse, certainly, but "moran" hurt. Seriously, I have very delicate feelings, people.

The bar at Firehouse BBQ in Old Colorado City.

The bar at Firehouse BBQ in Old Colorado City.

A Bristol Brewing Co.'s Beehive beer at Firehouse BBQ, Old Colorado City.

This beer is unreasonably large. I'm not complaining. Just pointing out that it's an enormous beer. Bristol Brewing's Beehive, I think. I was having trouble lifting it.

Brisket and chicken dinner at Firehouse BBQ in Old Colorado City.

Adrienne had the brisket and chicken, with green beans and baked beans. The chicken was a little dry, but that's the way it goes sometimes with smoked chicken.The brisket was delicious and so moist and flavorful that it didn't even need any sauce, Adrienne says.

Brisket, pulled pork, ribs at Firehouse BBQ in Old Colorado City.

In addition to my 40-gallon drum of beer, I also had brisket, pulled pork, and ribs. I also enjoyed the jalapeno pepper that came as a garnish. Nice touch, Firehouse.

Sauce selection at Firehouse BBQ in Old Colorado City.

The sauce selection at Firehouse is nice and varied. I liked the Wild Side best. No idea about high-fructose corn syrup. I fear I may be losing my battle against HFCS.

Sauce selection at Firehouse BBQ in Old Colorado City.

I also really liked the B-B-Nero sauce. Spicy.

Pecan pie at Firehouse BBQ in Old Colorado City

Dessert? Oh, sure. Why not. The pecan pie was fabulous.

Ask for Janel. She'll make sure your Firehouse experience is good.

Ask for Janel. She'll make sure your Firehouse experience is good.

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