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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunset magazine shows the COS some love

It’s always nice when Colorado Springs is recognized nationally for something that’s not about right-wing craziness.

And so here’s a small piece by Sunset magazine on downtown that gets at what we’ve been saying for years: It’s pretty cool here.

The Sunset article mentions many of our favorites: Nosh, Poor Richard’s (owned by our next mayor, Richard Skorman), Shuga’s and the Fine Arts Center.

So in addition to being Santa’s favorite city, we also have a pretty cool arts scene and a thriving downtown.

Take that, Pueblo!

Colorado Springs

A cool downtown and a great view.

 

More Colorado Springs Cheeseburgers

So you can get a burger just about anywhere. We covered some of our fave quick ones last month and now I’ll tell you about some of the fancier ones. I prefer burger stand burgers over restaurant burgers, but I didn’t know that until I tried all these restaurant burgers.

The Independent loved the burger at The Famous, giving it the title of The Best Burger In The Springs,  and I know I’m in the minority but I’m just not a fan of The Famous. I haven’t had their actual burger, but I have had their sliders and didn’t really care for them. For one thing, not everything needs to have bacon on it. Frankly, bacon is played out as a condiment. I know we are just discovering it here in The Springs, but believe me, it’s over. Except the bacon at Smiley’s. That stuff is eternal. Secondly, I’m not crazy about the decor in The Famous. They have that annoying faux finish crap on their walls that Springs Orleans does. Hello, 1993 called, they want their look back. It’s like The Famous WANTS to look classic with those tall red leather booths and all, but hasn’t kept up with what classic decor looks like now (hint: it doesn’t include faux finishing of any kind).  And finally, it’s expensive. Too expensive. This isn’t Beverly Hills.

ANYHOW, there are three burgers we’ve tried at three downtown nice restaurants that weren’t The Famous: The Ritz, Nosh, and McKenzie’s Chop House.

My favorite burger was at The Ritz: 15 South Tejon Street, although I prefer the atmosphere at MacKenzie’s and Nosh. The bun was kind of overly fluffy but other than that it was good. The fries are delicious, too.

Cheeseburger at The Ritz

Cheeseburger at The Ritz

Cheeseburger at The Ritz

Cheeseburger at The Ritz

The burgers at Nosh: 121 South Tejon Street, are like all the other food at Nosh, small and kind of weird. Since it’s small and yet tall, it’s kind of hard to eat. Good, tho! The fried onions on top are nice and the fries are pretty tasty, too.

Cheeseburger at Nosh

Cheeseburger at Nosh

French fries at Nosh

French fries at Nosh

 

MacKenzie’s: 128 South Tejon Street, has a vintage-y retro vibe to it which I really like. They know how to do classic decor! They have a great Happy Hour and really good food. Their burger was just OK, tho and I don’t like those thick cut steak fries. Also, I ordered it medium rare and this is how it came! That’s not what I would consider to be medium rare, At All.

Cheeseburger at MacKenzie's

Cheeseburger at MacKenzie's

Cheeseburger at MacKenzie's
Cheeseburger at MacKenzie’s

These burgers were fine, they were even pretty good, but next time I go to any of these places I won’t be getting burgers. They seem to be the weakest link on all these menus- there are so many other much tastier choices. I’ll stick to Burger Joint burgers from now on.

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:

THE BLUE STAR
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
STEAKSMITH
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
COQUETTE BISTRO & BAKERY
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
RASTA PASTA
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!

First Friday Art walks are back this week

Here is a complete list of art to go look at tonight.

The ones we’re going to go check out are:

“The Incomparable Steampunk Art Exposition” at Heebee Jeebees: 318 E. Colorado Ave, just east of Weber. 7 p.m.

I love Steampunk (hello, I’m 25). Lots of Steampunk art and clothing, a Steampunk burlesque show  by Lola Spitfire’s Peaks and Pasties, a wine tasting sponsored by Swirl Wine Emporium in Manitou, beer from Bristol Brewery, snacks from The Blue Star, Nosh, Taste Of Jerusalem, and Lofty’s Idea. An afterparty will be hosted by The Triple Nickel Tavern.

The Circle of Light Photo Project at Smokebrush Gallery: 218 West Colorado Ave. (under the Colorado Ave. bridge, just follow the signs from the Colorado Ave bridge). 5-8 p.m.

From the press release about the show: “What if the blind could suddenly see? A unique art exhibit featuring photographs taken by people who were once blind but can now see because of a corneal transplant, opens in Colorado Springs. The exhibit is presented by the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank (RMLEB). Sponsored by Centura Health and Colorado Corneal Consultants, PC.” Sounds interesting.

Christian Murdock’s “My Colorado” photography exhibit at Dogtooth Coffee 505 E. Columbia 7-10 p.m.

Vintages Wine and Spirits at 9 South Tejon is having a wine tasting today from 2-6 p.m. Also tomorrow from 12-5 p.m. Hey, wine is an art!

See you there!