Some places to get happy hour drinks and snacks in Colorado Springs

Another wrap-up post- where to get some drinks with your food.

Judge Baldwin’s: another brewpub

Judge Baldwin's in The Antlers Hotel

Judge Baldwin's in The Antlers Hotel

MacKenzie’s Chophouse: great vintage decor, excellent food, and pretty good happy hour specials.

MacKenzie's Chophouse

MacKenzie's Chophouse

MacKenzie's has some nice drinks.

MacKenzie's has some nice drinks.

Johnny’s Navajo Hogan: Johnny, of Southside Johnny’s, did an excellent restoration of this historically landmarked building. Service is fabulous, and the drinks are good too.

The Navajo Hogan is an historic building.

The Navajo Hogan is an historic building.

Johnny's Navajo Hogan

Johnny's Navajo Hogan

Johnny restored the original neon sign

Johnny restored the original neon sign

Red Martini:

The cozy bar at Red Martini

The cozy bar at Red Martini

A blurry picture of their happy hour menu, which is pretty extensive.

A blurry picture of their happy hour menu, which is pretty extensive.

Not sure if anyone ever plays the piano at Red Martini

Not sure if anyone ever plays the piano at Red Martini

Red Martini snack menu, lots of good happy hour specials.

Red Martini snack menu, lots of good happy hour specials.

Happy hour cocktail

Happy hour cocktail

Happy hour cheese plate

Happy hour cheese plate

Happy hour coconut chicken fingers- these are really really good!

Happy hour coconut chicken fingers- these are really really good!

Sonterra Grill:

The very pretty Sonterra Grill

The very pretty Sonterra Grill

Happy hour!

Happy hour!

They have a few really good happy hour food items, including free chips and salsa.

They have a few really good happy hour food items, including free chips and salsa.

Springs Orleans: Good happy hour specials. Don’t forget to go next door to the new hotel, they have a beautiful lobby bar.

Springs Orleans

Springs Orleans

Springs Orleans

Springs Orleans

I love happy hour!

I love happy hour!

They kept tons of the original features when they renovated the hotel (Wyndham at the Mining Exchange) and restaurant

They kept tons of the original features when they renovated the hotel (Wyndham at the Mining Exchange) and restaurant

The original tin ceiling

The original tin ceiling

Springs Orleans has a very long wine list- almost all of them are available for happy hour.

Springs Orleans has a very long wine list- almost all of them are available for happy hour.

Swirl Wine Bar:

Nice atmosphere to go with your wine and cocktails at Swirl Wine Bar

Nice atmosphere to go with your wine and cocktails at Swirl Wine Bar

The Famous: if you want to spy on Colorado Springs movers and shakers, you have to go to Friday night happy hour at The Famous.

Hob-nobbing with Oinkety nemesis, John Hazlehurst at The Famous

Hob-nobbing with Oinkety nemesis, John Hazlehurst at The Famous

Snacks at The Famous

Snacks at The Famous

A gigantic plate of french fries at The Famous

A gigantic plate of french fries at The Famous

The Loop: great Mexican food and fab margaritas.

A huge margarita at The Loop

A huge margarita at The Loop

Rico’s Cafe and Wine Bar:

Rico's Cafe and Wine Bar

Rico's Cafe and Wine Bar

Delicious hummus and happy hour wine on the sidewalk at Rico's

Delicious hummus and happy hour wine on the sidewalk at Rico's

Rico's offers 3 and 6 ounce wines by the glass, so you can try a few at a time. And their food is interesting and tasty, too.

Rico's offers 3 and 6 ounce wines by the glass, so you can try a few at a time. And their food is interesting and tasty, too.

 

Shuga’s: Of course, Shuga’s. My Fave. Great food, great atmosphere, great happy hour.

Happy hour!

Happy hour!

Special cocktail for happy hour at Shugas

Special cocktail for happy hour at Shugas

Now go to happy hour somewhere and come back and tell us all about it!

 

Our favorite Colorado Springs restaurants

We got so busy in the last few months we were in Colorado Springs that we didn’t have time to do very many posts. So I’m going to do a few Colorado wrap-up posts in the next few weeks before embarking on full force Chicago entries.

These are some of our favorite restaurants in The Springs. Give them a try if you haven’t been.

Adam’s Mountain Cafe:

Honey pot at Adam's Mountain Cafe

Honey pot at Adam's Mountain Cafe

Adam's Mountain Cafe in Manitou Springs, CO

Adam's Mountain Cafe in Manitou Springs, CO

Veggie Enchiladas at Adam's Mountain Cafe

Veggie Enchiladas at Adam's Mountain Cafe

Insanely good brownie from Adam's Mountain Cafe

Insanely good brownie from Adam's Mountain Cafe

Borriello Brothers Pizza: 

Veggie Pizza from Borriello Brothers

Veggie Pizza from Borriello Brothers

Downtown Burrito Company:

Downtown Burrito Cart Man!

Downtown Burrito Cart Man!

Mediterranean Cafe:

Mediterranean Cafe

Mediterranean Cafe

Mediterranean Cafe's food is good if you can abide their idiotic hours.

Mediterranean Cafe's food is good if you can abide their idiotic hours.

Falafel at Mediterranean Cafe

Falafel at Mediterranean Cafe

The fries at Mediterranean Cafe are good but not as good as Taste Of Jerusalem's

The fries at Mediterranean Cafe are good but not as good as Taste Of Jerusalem's

Cucuru Gallery Cafe:

The outdoor space at Cucuru Cafe and Gallery

The outdoor space at Cucuru Cafe and Gallery

A tasty veggie sandwich from Cucuru

A tasty veggie sandwich from Cucuru

Lemon cake and cheesecake from Cucuru- yum!

Lemon cake and cheesecake from Cucuru- yum!

Detz Cafe: (not sure what’s going on with the pictures on this website, they’re for sure not of their food):

Everything is good at Detz Cafe

Everything is good at Detz Cafe

Calicrate beef burger from Detz Cafe

Calicrate beef burger from Detz Cafe

Perfect french toast from Detz Cafe

Perfect french toast from Detz Cafe

Mmmm grilled cheese from Detz Cafe

Mmmm grilled cheese from Detz Cafe

Gold Hill Java:

Egg salad sandwich lunch special from Gold Hill Java

Egg salad sandwich lunch special from Gold Hill Java

Healthy Mediterranean wrap from Gold HIll Java

Healthy Mediterranean wrap from Gold HIll Java

Go right away to have the most amazing affogato at Gold HIll Java!

Go right away to have the most amazing affogato at Gold HIll Java!

Heart Of Jerusalem:

Falafel from Heart Of Jerusalem

Falafel from Heart Of Jerusalem

Heart of Jerusalem

Heart of Jerusalem

Lunch at Heart of Jerusalem

Lunch at Heart of Jerusalem

Lunch at Heart of Jerusalem

Lunch at Heart of Jerusalem

Lunch at Heart of Jerusalem

Lunch at Heart of Jerusalem

Jake and Telly’s:

Soup and appetizers at Jake and Telly's

Soup and appetizers at Jake and Telly's

Janel enjoying some apps at Jake and Telly's

Janel enjoying some apps at Jake and Telly's

Lofty’s:

Chicken salad from Lofty's

Chicken salad from Lofty's

Reuben sandwich and pasta salad from Lofty's

Reuben sandwich and pasta salad from Lofty's

 

McCabe’s Tavern:

Cheeseburger and cider at McCabe's Tavern

Cheeseburger and cider at McCabe's Tavern

French dip from McCabe's Tavern

French dip from McCabe's Tavern

The Melting Pot:

The Melting Pot

The Melting Pot

The Melting Pot

The Melting Pot

The Melting Pot

The Melting Pot

Paris Crepe: (You must go to Paris Crepe. Check out our official review with more pics)

Paris Crepe

Paris Crepe

Paris Crepe

Paris Crepe

Paris Crepe

Paris Crepe

Paris Crepe

Paris Crepe

Pizzeria Rustica:

My parents enjoying Pizzeria Rustica's patio

My parents enjoying Pizzeria Rustica's patio

Locally sourced antipasto tray

Locally sourced antipasto tray

Shuga’s: By far my favorite restaurant in Colorado Springs, or really, just about anywhere. We’ve written a ton about them on this blog.

Shuga's has an excellent happy hour

Shuga's has an excellent happy hour

Fabulous sandwiches at Shuga's

Fabulous sandwiches at Shuga's

One of the daily pasta specials at Shuga's

One of the daily pasta specials at Shuga's

Fancy roast beef sandwich at Shuga's

Fancy roast beef sandwich at Shuga's

Smiley’s:  Another place we’ve written about before, here and here.

Breakfast at Smiley's

Breakfast at Smiley's

Smiley's cute decor. They've recently expanded to the space next door, doubling their size- shorter lines now!

Smiley's cute decor. They've recently expanded to the space next door, doubling their size- shorter lines now!

 

So there you have it, the first of my Colorado Springs wrap-up posts. Be sure to visit these places and let me know what you think!

 

 

 

Ice Castles at Silverthorne

A couple weeks ago we went to see the Ice Castles at Silverthorne and it was really neat!
Now you can get half off tickets from Groupon.

We took the scenic route to get there- Highway 24 to Highway 9 to I-70. It was a beautiful clear day like so many we have here in Colorado, and just lovely. If you go to the Ice Castles and you’re coming from Colorado Springs, I highly recommend this drive.


View Larger Map

First stop: Happy Meadows, our favorite summer camping spot. The campground isn’t open in the winter but we walked around on the frozen stream awhile anyway.

Happy Meadows in winter

Happy Meadows in winter

Happy Meadows, Colorado

Happy Meadows, Colorado

There are many scenic stops along the way.

Scenic point along the way on Highway 24.

Scenic point along the way on Highway 24.

Made a stop in Fairplay for a snack. There are lots of little cafes in Fairplay but the best cinnamon roll in the whole world can be found at the Brown Burro Cafe. Two coffees and this huge treat was only $4!

Cinnamon roll from the Brown Burro Cafe in Fairplay, CO

Cinnamon roll from the Brown Burro Cafe in Fairplay, CO

The recreated old west town of South Park is also in Fairplay. It’s really neat, kids and adults will like it, there are lots of good photo opportunities and its’ definitely worth a stop. We’ve been there before so didn’t go this time.

South Park recreated old west town, Fairplay, CO

South Park recreated old west town, Fairplay, CO

The rest of the drive is also really pretty but it was getting late and we wanted to get to the Ice Castles before it got dark.

We drove thru Breckenridge and debated hitting up Breckenridge Brewery because we love the delicious Vanilla Porter they make. But we decided maybe we’d come back thru later and go there.

On to the Ice Castles, which is about 20 minutes north of Breckenridge. The Ice Castles is a man made art exhibit. They run sprinklers all night long, the water freezes, and these neat sculptures are formed. You can walk all around them and even inside some of them.

Ice Castles at Silverthorne, CO.

Ice Castles at Silverthorne, CO.

 

Ice Castles at Silverthorne, CO.

Ice Castles at Silverthorne, CO.

 

Ice Castles at Silverthorne, CO.

Ice Castles at Silverthorne, CO.

 

Ice Castles at Silverthorne, CO.

Ice Castles at Silverthorne, CO.

 

Ice Castles at Silverthorne, CO.

Ice Castles at Silverthorne, CO.

 

Ice Castles at Silverthorne, CO.

Ice Castles at Silverthorne, CO.

 

Ice Castles at Silverthorne, CO.

Ice Castles at Silverthorne, CO.

 

Ice Castles at Silverthorne, CO.

Ice Castles at Silverthorne, CO.

 

Ice Castles at Silverthorne, CO.

Ice Castles at Silverthorne, CO.

 

Ice Castles at Silverthorne, CO.

Ice Castles at Silverthorne, CO.

 

Ice Castles at Silverthorne, CO.

Ice Castles at Silverthorne, CO.

 

Ice Castles at Silverthorne, CO.

Ice Castles at Silverthorne, CO.

We didn’t know when we got there, but it’s open at night, too. It looks totally different at night and they let you come and go on one ticket, so we wound up going to Breckenridge Brewery afterall and then went back to the Ice Castles later.

 

Vanilla Porter at Breckenridge Brewery, Colorado.

Vanilla Porter at Breckenridge Brewery, Colorado.

Then back to the Ice Castles. By now it was pretty cold so we didn’t stay as long, but it was really pretty with the lights they use.

Ice Castles at Silverthorn, at night

Ice Castles at Silverthorn, at night

 

Ice Castles at Silverthorn, at night

Ice Castles at Silverthorn, at night

 

Ice Castles at Silverthorn, at night

Ice Castles at Silverthorn, at night

 

Ice Castles at Silverthorn, at night

Ice Castles at Silverthorn, at night

 

Ice Castles at Silverthorn, at night

Ice Castles at Silverthorn, at night

So go get these half off tickets from Groupon and go check it out.  And be sure to tell us what other interesting things you find along the way!

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.

 

 

 

 

Day trip: Cañon City

There’s a point, probably, in every hoarder’s life when they say to themselves: I’m not a hoarder. But I probably need to buy that wall hook shaped like a flower. It’s only a dollar.

And so on this sunny summer day, we hopped in the car and headed to Cañon City for some antiquing, fishing, aimless driving around, and of course, feeding our piggy faces. It’s only about an hour away (there’s construction, so plan for some periodic delays), so it’s an easy day trip.

Our first stop was Uncle Sam Antiques. A couple years ago, we saw a very cool Victorian funeral cart there for $200 (something a little like this). We couldn’t come up with a reason for owning a Victorian funeral cart, and we still can’t. If you can, it’s still there. Would make a cool coffee table, I guess.

Uncle Sam Antiques, Canon City, Colorado

The outdoor section of Uncle Sam's, where you'll find odd glassware, rusting farm tools, and outdoor furniture.

 

Uncle Sam Antiques, Canon City, Colorado

There's a cool rocking chair in this weird little room. Why do I want a rocking chair? Good question. I don't know. I honestly don't.

 

Uncle Sam Antiques, Canon City, Colorado

The main "showroom" at Uncle Sam's.

One of the next places we went was a nifty little antique shop called Whistle Post Antiques along Main Street. We’ve been looking for hooks for our bathroom for some time, and we found four for only $2 each. (Being excited about bathroom hooks led to a brief oh-my-god-what’s-happened-to-me existential crisis, but we had some barbecue and beer, and that seemed to settle the ennui.) A good thing and a bad thing happened at Whistle Post. First of all, they did not accept credit or debit cards. Kimball’s, anyone? But, the guy at the counter, for no reason whatsoever, gave us the hooks for only $6, and Adrienne happened to have that in cash. Buy three hooks get one hook free. Awesome. Still. The credit card thing.

Whistle Post Antiques, Cañon City, Colorado

The extra-nice guy at Whistle Post Antiques gave us a great deal on some hooks. And though he wouldn't take plastic, he did say he'd let us mail him a check. I'm not making this up. Mail him a check. Anyway, great guy, cool store, and very good prices.

Next door there was a strange antique store, garage sale, flea-market, auto parts, hardware shop hybrid store that had the most puzzling collection of merchandise I’ve ever seen in one store. A sampling of items: Fishing poles, motorcycle, dishware, hand tools, framed art, books, electronics, cords, twine, shoelaces, clothing. The place reminded me of an old insurance salvage store I used to go to as a kid in Missouri.

In a box of hubcaps on the floor, there were three rusty and dirt-caked baby-moon hubcaps that would look great on the trailer. Five bucks for the pair. And somewhere in the deep cave of that store, Adrienne found a weird metal hook shaped like a flower. One dollar. I could have spent the rest of my life in that store, and would have, too, if Adrienne hadn’t dragged me out.

Cañon City, Colorado

Four hooks from the Whistle Post place, the weird flower-shaped hook that we'll put in the trailer, and the baby moons, which really shined up nicely. Here's a trick I learned: You can shine chrome and remove rust with WD-40 and tin foil. Thanks, Internet.

 

Strange insurance-salvage-style shop which might be named "Garage Sale" in Canon City.

Strange insurance-salvage-style shop which might be named "Garage Sale" or "Toolrite Zone" in Canon City.

There’s a new brewery in Cañon City: Royal Gorge Brewing Co. They don’t have any of their own brews yet because of some licensing snafus with the city. But the brewing room is all set up and ready to go. The taps now have the usual Colorado suspects: Bristol; Tommyknocker; New Belgium. Not complaining. Love the Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown ale. We’ll be back when they get their own beers going.

Royal Gorge Brewing Co., Cañon City, Colorado

Royal Gorge Brewing Co., Cañon City, Colorado

 

Royal Gorge Brewing Co., Cañon City, Colorado

Royal Gorge Brewing Co., Cañon City, Colorado.

 

Royal Gorge Brewing Co., Cañon City, Colorado

Apparently, pulled-pork barbecue sandwiches traditionally come with cole slaw actually in the sandwich. Did not know that. This place does it right, then.

 

Royal Gorge Brewing Co., Cañon City, Colorado

Adrienne had the cheeseburger, which she said was fantastic.

After lunch and some more driving around, we stopped off at an access point for the Arkansas River to do a little fishing. I did not catch anything because I left my fishing hat at home.

Fishing the Arkansas River, Canon City, Colorado

While I fished, Adrienne lazed around on the shore reading on a blanket.

 

Fishing the Arkansas River, Canon City, Colorado

Fishing the Arkansas River, Canon City, Colorado

 

Fishing the Arkansas River, Canon City, Colorado

Fishing the Arkansas River, Canon City, Colorado

Overall, a very pleasant day. Are we in denial about hoarding? Maybe. But whatever. We got some cool stuff.