Some places we went a million years ago

We’ve been tightening up the blog in the past few days and some stuff has gone missing.  So I’m going to repost it when I find it cuz it’s still good!

The Depot in Palmer Lake and Ted’s Montana Grill in Colorado Springs, circa 2008.

Had lunch at The Depot restaurant in Palmer Lake. We thought Palmer Lake would be a cute old town but it wasn’t.

Mike playing a game at The Depot in Palmer Lake, CO

Mike playing a game at The Depot in Palmer Lake, CO

Of course we ate delicious food, tho. So all was not lost.
Cheeseburger, fries, and cole slaw at The Depot, Palmer Lake, CO

Cheeseburger, fries, and cole slaw at The Depot, Palmer Lake, CO

Mike had a rueben with fries and potato salad

Mike had a rueben with fries and potato salad

Last weekend we wanted to go up to Marigold for dinner but they were closed at 9:00 when we got there. LAME. So we went over to The Promenade at Briargate (LOL) and went to Ted’s Montana Grill which was really good! I’ve been wanting to go there for awhile so it was nice. It’s a chain restaurant owned by Ted Turner, who, according to him, brought back the American bison from the brink of extinction by ranching them. Of course there’s lots of buffalo on the menu which is fine with me cuz I like it a lot. They’re also all environmental with glass bottles and paper straws and things like that.

I started with an iceberg wedge, of course. Nice blue cheese dressing, tomatoes. Yum.

Iceberg wedge at Ted's Montana Grill, Colorado Springs

Iceberg wedge at Ted's Montana Grill, Colorado Springs

Then I ordered the bison meatloaf. I’ve made better bison meatloaf but it was pretty good. The garlic mashed potatoes and squash casserole (!?) were really tasty.
Bison meatloaf at Ted's Montana Grill

Bison meatloaf at Ted's Montana Grill

Mike had a ribeye steak which he enjoyed. I had a few bites of it, it was really good. The onion rings were, too, of course.

Ribeye from Ted's Montana Grill

Ribeye from Ted's Montana Grill

Here are some more shots of the interior:

Ted's Montana Grill, Colorado Springs, CO

Ted's Montana Grill, Colorado Springs, CO

Ted's Montana Grill, Colorado Springs, CO

Ted's Montana Grill, Colorado Springs, CO

We finished with a root beer float. Yummy!

Root beer float with a paper straw at Ted's Montana Grill, Colorado Springs

Root beer float with a paper straw at Ted's Montana Grill, Colorado Springs

The Ritz, Cowboys (Eli Young Band), and a quickie at Tony’s

Yesterday Janel and I went to The Ritz for a late lunch. I had a $30 groupon and wanted to use it. The online menu must be old, or they must change it a lot because there are things on it that they didn’t have yesterday and things they had that aren’t on the online menu. But everything there is good, so don’t worry.

The decor at The Ritz is very ’80s. Janel said they haven’t changed it since then! I dunno, I don’t mind it, it’s sort of classic. Black and white floor, pink neon over the bar, that sort of thing. It’s like when they did art deco in the ’80s.

They have a decent wine list. I like the list at Rico’s better, tho. I got an Alberti Malbec. Janel had a mingarita. They are very popular. My brother had one when we went last summer and he said it was the second-best drink he’s ever had. So there ya go.

Malbec and Mingarita at The Ritz Grill, Colorado Springs, CO

Malbec and Mingarita at The Ritz Grill, Colorado Springs, CO

We decided to share two small salads, the grilled shrimp cobb and the iceberg wedge.

Grilled shrimp cobb salad, The Ritz, Colorado Springs, CO

Grilled shrimp cobb salad, The Ritz, Colorado Springs, CO

Iceberg Wedge, The Ritz, Colorado Springs, CO

Iceberg Wedge, The Ritz, Colorado Springs, CO

Then we shared the flatiron steak. I was so happy to see it! it seems to come and go on the menu. The last few times I was here they didn’t have it. It is soooooo good. It had caramelized onions on top, and came with delicious french fries (and you know I’m picky about fries).

Flatiron steak and fries from The Ritz, Colorado Springs, CO

Flatiron steak and fries from The Ritz, Colorado Springs, CO

It was all delicious and we sat next to the window which made it seem like it was outside. They do have an outdoor patio but it was the time of day where the sun was right there and we didn’t want to try and eat with the sun in our faces the whole time. The Ritz is always a good time and the food is great, so be sure to go if you haven’t already.

 After The Ritz we walked up to Cowboys so I could get some tickets to the Eli Young show next Thursday night, October 28th. Cowboys is a pretty small venue for bands so it’s fun to see shows there. The Eli Young Band sings that song “Always The Love Songs.” For a long time I thought it was Jason Aldean. It sounds like him. And it sounds like a song he’d sing. Of course Jason reminds me of Kenny. His songs seem like songs Kenny would sing. I dunno. Anyhow, you should go check The Eli Young Band out at Cowboys, it should be fun. You can get tickets on the Cowboys website or at the Cowboys box office. If they don’t sell out, you can also get them the night of the show at Cowboys.

Then we continued up the street and Janel wanted to stop at Tony’s for a shot. You know we have a love-hate thing with Tony’s. I had been drinking wine so I didn’t want a shot. She went up to the bar and I sat at a table. In the 5 minutes she was at the bar, TWO people came up and asked me if I needed anything. LOL. So much for the terrible service at Tony’s! Maybe they know us now. Or maybe they recognized us from this blog. Hee hee. Anyhow, we love Tony’s. Everyone else does, too, because they always win Best Local Bar in all the Best Ofs in town.

Janel drinking shots, Tony's, Colorado Springs, CO

Janel drinking shots, Tony's, Colorado Springs, CO

Crepes Francaise: B-minus

Crepes Francaise is no substitute for Paris Crepe!

It’s true. While we enjoy all crepes and crepe-related foods, we have a special affinity for Paris Crepe.

That said, Crepes Francaise is a couple of blocks closer to us, so it makes sense that we’d give it a try.

First of all, though, I need to talk a little about the parents of small children. Toddlers don’t need to eat fancy French food. If I wanted to be around your children, I’d go to Chuck E. Cheese’s.

It’s really a shame about Crepes Francaise being in the building it’s in. I’m afraid it’s a little bit of a doomed place. No business has yet found a way to survive there, and it might be because of the forbidding brick columns in front that block any kind of street presence. And while that’s not necessarily Crepes Francaise’s fault, they have to work extra hard to overcome it. Here are a couple ideas:

  • Have tables outside set and ready to go: candles, tablecloths, silverware. The empty, black metal ones they have don’t look like anything. The restaurant always looks closed.
  • Put people in the outside seats even if you have to pay your brother-in-law. People need to see other people outside having fun. Make that happen.
  • Maybe some tall potted plants with twinkle lights in them.
  • No alcoholic drinks outside? Dumb. Again, probably not their fault, but they need to figure out a way to serve alcohol outside.

And while we’re discussing the building, we need to also talk about the inside. Not a lot of ambiance here. The lights seem too bright, and it feels more diner than cozy French cuisine. Maybe some higher-backed booths would help along with some expertly placed room dividers and plant features. I don’t know. The place seems echo-y and a little harsh.

One more problem. We went on a Friday night, and we ordered a cheese-plate appetizer. Oh, sorry, we’re out of cheese. OK. No problem. Drinks? I’ll have this particular beer. Oh, sorry, we’re out of that beer. OK. No problem. How about this one? We might be out of that one, too. Do you have a third choice? And for you ma’am? Oh, I’m sorry, we’re out of that particular wine.

Seriously, you can’t be out of anything on a Friday night. Especially things like cheese, beer and wine. Turns out they weren’t out of the second beer. But still.

Once we got the food, though, all my complaints faded into the background. Such exquisite deliciousness. I had the salmon, and Adrienne had the steak.

Sounds like we’re being harsh, I know, and I am usually a much harder grader, but I really want this place to succeed. And despite its few minor problems, Crepes Francaise shows great promise. They have the fundamentals down: The food is outstanding; the service is great. I hope they make it.

Crepes Francaise, downtown Colorado Springs

Adrienne made her hair big for our date at Crepes Francaise. I think it looks pretty.

Crepes Francaise, downtown Colorado Springs

Real butter with our bread at Crepes Francaise, downtown Colorado Springs.

Crepes Francaise, downtown Colorado Springs

Adrienne's steak, with fries and green beans at Crepes Francaise, downtown Colorado Springs.

Crepes Francaise, downtown Colorado Springs

My salmon came with some kind of sauce. As you can tell, I'm not much of a foodie. I also had a Buffalo Trace bourbon.

Crepes Francaise, downtown Colorado Springs

I still see some morsels I could have eaten.

Crepes Francaise, downtown Colorado Springs

Oh, yes. The dessert. Crepes Francaise had the best dessert. This berry cake with ice cream was pretty outstanding.

Crepe Francaise on Urbanspoon

Palm Springs, Roscoe’s, Escena Golf Club, Copley’s

I spent a few days in Palm Springs with The ‘Rents and my brother. We stayed at the Horizon Hotel which is a fun mid-century modern hotel near downtown. It has a neat old history and I always love that.

The pool at The Horizon Hotel, Palm Springs

The pool at The Horizon Hotel, Palm Springs

A guest room at The Horizon Hotel, Palm Springs

A guest room at The Horizon Hotel, Palm Springs

Bathroom at The Horizon Hotel, Palm Springs

Bathroom at The Horizon Hotel, Palm Springs

Some of the bathrooms even have outdoor showers!

The view from the room at The Horizon Hotel, Palm Springs

The view from the room at The Horizon Hotel, Palm Springs

We went out to eat at some really good places.

Roscoe’s was the first night. They have a varied menu and everything we had was really good.

Roscoe's Grill, Palm Springs

Roscoe's Grill, Palm Springs

Iceberg wedge- my fave!

Iceberg wedge- my fave!

Fried Chicken Platter, Roscoe's, Palm Springs

Fried Chicken Platter, Roscoe's, Palm Springs

Peppercorn steak, Roscoe's, Palm Springs

Peppercorn steak, Roscoe's, Palm Springs

Carrot cake from Roscoe's, Palm Springs, which is pretty much the best thing ever

Carrot cake from Roscoe's, Palm Springs, which is pretty much the best thing ever

 We also went to Escena Golf Club for lunch. Really pretty setting right on a golf course with the mountains in the background. Of course they have huge picture windows so you can enjoy the view from the diningroom. The food was really really good, too.

Cheeseburger from Escena Golf Club, Palm Springs

Cheeseburger from Escena Golf Club, Palm Springs

BBQ chicken salad from Escena Golf Club, Palm Springs

BBQ chicken salad from Escena Golf Club, Palm Springs

It was my mom’s birthday, as well as “restaurant week” when we were there so we went to Copley’s, a restaurant in Cary Grant’s former home. They had 3 prix fixe meals to choose from so we all had different things. It was all really good and the service was great, too.  I even had the lavender pound cake and basil ice cream for dessert and it was delicious.

Dad and Chris at Copley's, Palm Springs

Dad and Chris at Copley's, Palm Springs

Drinks at Copley's, Palm Springs

Drinks at Copley's, Palm Springs

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Happy Birthday, Mom!

BBQ short ribs, cold sesame noodles, grilled veggies, and banana sundaes- recipes included.

Sometimes I like to try new things at the Whole Foods prepared counter. I like to see if they’re good, then find a recipe for them to may myself- they have a lot of recipes for their prepared stuff on their website. Last week I tried these cold sesame noodles which were really good. I couldn’t find the exact recipe so I modified this one which was similar, and to use stuff I already had in the house and to still be able to make it like the one from the store.

Whole Foods Cold Sesame Noodles
Whole Foods Cold Sesame Noodles

Here’s what I did:

1 TBS rice vinegar

1 TBS soy sauce

1/2 TBS sesame oil

1/2 TBS chili paste

pinch of salt

1 TBS chopped cilantro

1 clove garlic, pressed

1/2 tsp brown sugar

1/4 pound udon noodles

1/4 orange bell pepper, well chopped

Mix the vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, chili paste, cilantro, garlic, and brown sugar in a small bowl to make the dressing.

Cooke the noodles according to package directions, be sure not to overcook! Once they’re cooked drain the noodles and run them under cold water right away.

In a larger bowl, gently toss the noodles, dressing, and bell pepper together.

it should be pretty cold because you cooled off the noodles when you rinsed them but you can chill it further or for sure put it in the fridge if you aren’t going to eat it right away. I think it was really good and DM really liked it, too.

My version of cold sesame noodles

My version of cold sesame noodles

We had it with grilled/BBQed boneless beef short ribs. We finally wanted to fire up the grill! I hadn’t used it in awhile and wasn’t sure how it would behave and didn’t want to accidentally waste an expensive cut of meat. You’re not really supposed to be able to grill short ribs but the ones I got looked pretty good and like they’d work. So I found this recipe and did it. I didn’t use their BBQ sauce recipe, I got one from The Joy Of Cooking instead. I imagine it would work with just about any BBQ sauce. I was very careful to watch them and keep testing them with the instant read thermometer. They came out really good, I was pretty happy. Dange was too.

Grilled boneless beef short ribs.

Grilled boneless beef short ribs.

 

And grilled mixed veggies. Just some olive oil, salt, and pepper and onto the grill they want. I like them pretty soft so it took about 45 minutes.

Grilled vegetables

Grilled vegetables

Then later we had this simple dessert. I melted some chocolate chips with some half and half to make a sauce, then drizzled it over vanilla ice cream and bananas. Really good!

Banana Sundae
Banana Sundae