Oinkety fave: La Baguette French Bistro, Colorado Springs

Every time I go to one of the La Baguette locations I say it’s my favorite. The downtown one was the first I went to, then I went to the one in Old Colorado City, and finally, we went to the one on Chestnut St.

The Chestnut St. location is open for dinner. It’s a really authentic French Bistro. But unlike a lot of French restaurants, it’s super affordable.

Cute French decor at La Baguette

Cute French decor at La Baguette

I had a Pastis, a very French licorice flavored drink, at La Baguette

I had a Pastis, a very French licorice flavored drink, at La Baguette

 

We’ve actually been there a couple times. Once for lunch and one for dinner. It was delightful both times.

Crocque Madame sandwich with fries for lunch. Ham, cheese, and a fried egg on delicious bread.

Crocque Madame sandwich with fries for lunch. Ham, cheese, and a fried egg on delicious bread.

Another view of the Crocque Madame.

Another view of the Crocque Madame.

The special steak lunch entree.

The special steak lunch entree.

When we went for dinner I had this awesome salad.

When we went for dinner I had this awesome salad.

 

Mike had the Boeuf Bourguignon, which he said was fabulous

Mike had the Boeuf Bourguignon, which he said was fabulous.

Mike's mom had the special veggie rice entree.

Mike's mom had the special veggie orzo entree.

For dessert we had a creamy cheesecake.

For dessert we had a creamy cheesecake.

And the cream puff, which was a delicious as it looks.

And the cream puff, which was a delicious as it looks.

 

La Baguette French Bistro is a great place for an authentic but affordable French meal with great service and fabulous food right in Colorado Springs. Check it out! Let us know what you think.

 

Home cookin- How to eat healthy for cheap- pasta

Pasta isn’t always considered healthy but the Italians eat it all the time and they are pretty healthy, so whatever. Probably if you eat Big Fat American portions of spaghetti and meatballs, or huge creamy dishes of fettuccine alfredo it’s not so good for you, but if you eat sensibly, you can for sure include pasta in your diet on a regular basis and still be healthy. Plus, it’s cheap.

This is a really easy make-ahead dish for when you’re really busy. Cook half a box of small pasta shapes as directed on the package. Drain it and mix it with a jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (or homemade) and a cup of ricotta. Mix in some parmesan or mozerellaif you want. Put it into a baking dish, top it with some more parmesan or mozerella and cook it at 4:00, covered with foil for 30-45 minutes. Then uncover it and cook it till the cheese on top is all melty and slightly browned. Serve it with more warmed-up spaghetti sauce on top. This will keep for several days in the fridge.

Baked pasta

Baked pasta

These next three are really easy. Just cook some spaghetti in salted boiling water and either cook some veggies right in the water with the pasta, or roast it in the oven. Toss it together and add some cheese if you want. Fresh mozerella is delicious, and of course there’s always parmesan. Add some toasted nuts or bits of leftover meats. Top it off with some olive oil or a small amount of butter, even a small amount of cream adds silkiness without a ton of calories or fat. But be sure to keep it a SMALL amount.

Spaghetti with asparagus and fresh mozerella
Spaghetti with asparagus and fresh mozerella
Spaghetti with roasted broccoli

Spaghetti with roasted broccoli

Spaghetti with green beans, walnuts, and parmesan

Spaghetti with green beans, walnuts, and parmesan

Lasagna is not known as a light dish. Especially the American kind that’s loaded with cheese. But I like to make it from time to time anyway. There are a ton of recipes for lasagna, I’m sure you can find one if you don’t already have a favorite. Just don’t eat the whole pan!  I usually make a small dish of it (one of those square Pyrex pans) or two dishes and freeze one.

American Lasagne
American Lasagne
Italian style lasagna is much lighter than the American kind. For one thing, there’s no mozerella in Italian lasagne. It’s also usually just two stacks of noodles, not three or four. This one had noodles, ricotta, a small amount of bechamel, mushrooms, and red sauce. There was no cheese inside it but it was topped with parmesean.It came from the Silver Spoon Cookbook which is a great authentic Italian cookbook.

Italian Lasagne
Italian Lasagne

Rocco’s, Colorado Springs

Awhile back I bought a coupon from restaurant.com for Rocco’s Italian Restaurant. I had heard good things about it. We’ve since decided we don’t really like restaurant.com but we still had this dumb coupon to use.

So we went on over to the dying Academy core and had some Eyetalian food. Mike had an Italian beer and I had a nice glass of chianti.

Typical Old School Italian restaurant decor at Rocco's, Colorado Springs.

Typical Old School Italian restaurant decor at Rocco's, Colorado Springs.

We started with the special appetizer — baked mushrooms with blue cheese. They were OK, a little salty and yet somehow a little bland. Very, very hot, too.

Baked mushrooms with blue cheese.
Baked mushrooms with blue cheese.
Mike had the special of the day, the pepper steak. It came with pasta primavera. He liked it. I didn’t try any.

Pepper steak with pasta primavera, Rocco's, Colorado Springs.

I had the homemade spaghetti and the not-homemade ravioli with marinara sauce and meatballs. It was decent but not amazing.

Homemade spaghetti and meatballs, Rocco's, Colorado Springs.

Homemade spaghetti and meatballs, Rocco's, Colorado Springs.

The homemade spaghetti is a little too thick and chewy for my taste.

Homemade spaghetti and meatballs at Rocco's in Colorado Springs.

Homemade spaghetti and meatballs at Rocco's in Colorado Springs.

We finished it off with a cannoli, which are hard to screw up. This one was really good.

Rocco's cannoli.

Rocco's cannoli.

The service was really great. The food was decent, like I said. We will probably go back because we have another coupon. But maybe we won’t. I don’t know. If we didn’t have a coupon, I can say we pretty sure wouldn’t. It’s a little far from home, it’s in a crappy part of town, and it wasn’t super awesome.  There’s other better Italian food in town.

Home Cookin’- How to eat healthy for cheap

Sometimes when people see how piggily we eat, they ask “how come you’re not 300 pounds?” Well, I’m not exactly skinny. But ok, I’m not 300 pounds. It may seem like we are piggier than we actually are. We eat pretty healthy at home. In fact, since January, we’ve been on this new eating plan. Mike has lost 12 pounds! I have not. Of course. But I HAVE saved 30% on my grocery bills. Basically we eat a very large but light meal in the early afternoon. Then at night we have something light like soup or a sandwich. Our lunches consist of a big salad, then either some chicken, or eggs/fritatta, or a pizza, or some pasta/lasagne, then some sides like sauteed or steamed veggies/potatoes/beans/cheese, and always fruit. We almost always have a glass of wine, too. A SMALL glass of wine.  I’ll go into more details about each thing in the future, but for now, here are some pictures of what we’ve been eating.

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!