Tag Archives: Restaurant

Day 5 – Calgary, Alberta Canada

Rain, Rain, Laundry and a Dutch Treat – other than the unusual dinner a not so exciting day. The plan for our first full day in Calgary was Heritage Park Historical Village, Canada’s largest living history musuem. Rain, wind, and chill put a damper on that plan. In addition Bob wasn’t feeling up to par so already on Day 5 it was time for a break and regrouping.

One of the positives of selecting lodging at Staybridge Suites is the access to free laundry facilities. The Staybridge Suites Calagary Airport is undergoing refurnishing. Unfortunately they haven’t gotten to the laundry room, more machines are out of order than are usable. With plenty of time I’m able to get two loads done and make the aquaintence of numerous workman and staff members as I go up and down from our suite to laundry room.


 Mid-afternoon we decide to work our way across town to Pfanntastic Pannenkoek Haus. During trip research I found mention of this restaurant featuring Dutch pancakes. Pannenkoek is a large thin crepe with savory ingredients cooked right in the batter. Dessert pannenkoek have the sweet ingredients served on top of the crepe. Soups, salads, omelettes and open-faced sandwishes are also available. I heard ladies at a nearby table raving about the Dutch pea soup.

The menu has dozens of pannenkoeken choices including vegetarian fare or diners can build their own from a list of ingredients. We select the potato, onion, bacon and cheese with a side of sour cream, popular for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Because I want to also try a sweet pannenkoeken the helpful waitress suggest we share one savory and one sweet. We appreciate her suggestion which totally satisfied our hunger. 

Our custom pannenkoek dessert featuring apples, maple pecans and caramel. Yum!

The day wasn’t a total rain out.

When You Go: Pfannastic Pannenkoek Haus, 2439 54 Avenue SW, Calgary, 1-403-243-7757, pfanntasticpannenkoek.com.

Day 1 – North to Alberta

From Centennial, Colorado to Buffalo, Wyoming – 445 miles from morning limited visibility to sun still high in the western sky at 8p.m.

Stops along the way:

Southeast Wyoming Welcome Center, I-25 exit 4

The Wyoming Rib & Chop House in Gillette, Wyoming

Mountain Meadow Wool Mill, Buffalo, Wyoming

Sightings of antelope with plenty of room to roam, brown cows, black cows and some really ugly spotted cows, horses, hawks, coal mines, long trains of empty coal cars headed north, trains of filled coal cars headed south, working oil fields, Crazy Woman Creek and miles of green, green grasses.

*Travel Log* – Taos, New Mexico – July 15, 2011

Fantastic Friday

Blue Chairs on Couse Porch - B

A century-old world of creativity and inspiration opened as we stepped into the domain of famed Taos artist E.I. Couse (1866-1936). By pre-arrangement, we met Couse’s granddaughter Virginia in the garden of his home and studio. For nearly two hours we were captivateCouse Palette - Bd by the stories she shared of her grandfather, one of the founding members of the Taos Art Society as we walked through rooms filled with family furnishings, collections, sketches, prints and original paintings. We left inspired not only by Couse’s art but the family’s commitment to preserve his legacy through The Couse Foundation.

Tours must be arranged in advanced. No fee is charged but donations to the foundation are gratefully accepted. When you go be generous for this is worthy of support.

Bavarian Exterior - BFor the afternoon we headed to the Taos Ski Valley and lunch at the Bavarian Lodge and Restaurant. The 19-mile drive from Taos ascends through the Carson National Forest into the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The restaurant sits at over 10,000” altitude, transporting guests to an alp-like ambiance. After a filling German lunch we stroll the Village of Taos Ski Valley, considerably quieter than a wintertime visit.

Returning to Taos we stop in the quirky village of Arroyo Seco. It’s impossible for me to pass through Seco twice without a stop at Taos Cow Bob with Ice Cream - BIce Cream. I consider the day a total success when one of today’s choices is Pinion Caramel, my absolute favorite. Across the street we “need” to do some jewelry shopping at Claire Works. Bob is now supplied with gifts for my birthday and Christmas.

In light of spaetzle and ice cream we make a workout visit to the Taos Spa. The facility accommodates regional visitors with reasonable priced day passes or multi-visit punch cards.

We peacefully conclude the day back at the casita with music, wine and books – a fantastic Friday.

 

“Travel Log”–Taos, New Mexico–July 14, 2011

Tantalizing Taste and Tranquility in Taos

Orlando's Birdhouse - BWe’ve arrived for our long anticipated yearly sojourn in Taos, New Mexico. Next week Bob attends a watercolor workshop given by Taos resident artist/potter Stephen Kilborn. Driving from Colorado our traditional first stop is lunch at Orlando’s, a personal favorite consistently serving excellent New Mexican fare.

Today we savored every tantalizing taste – Bob a shredded beef chimichanga, Nancy a combination platter of cheese and onion enchilada in a blue corn tortilla, chile relleno and a shredded beef taco in soft shell blue corn tortillas, accompanied by posole and beans. Yum! Although many Orlando’s menu items are ones similar to those found on Tex-Mex menus there’s a world of difference in the rich New Mexican flavors.

Orlando's Diners - BFilled to the gills, we declined one of the homemade dessert treats. During our Taos visit I’m planning on several more visits to enjoy the shredded beef burrito, the fish tacos and grilled shrimp burrito plus dessert at least once. The flan is always exceptional and the frozen avocado pie uniquely refreshing.

Birdhouses at Casa - BFor the third year we’re delighted to settle into Casa de Las Abuelas, an adobe guest house. I’ll share more about this exceptional property in a separate posting. The convenient yet secluded location provides much needed tranquility after a day of travel, museum and gallery visits, or outdoor activity. After threatening afternoon skies we peacefully watched evening descend as mere whiffs of clouds inched across the sky. A perfect beginning to a Taos vacation.

Nancy on Patio - B

The Slogar Bar & Restaurant – Crested Butte, Colorado

Family-Style Fried Chicken & All the Fixin’s

Grandma’s Sunday fried chicken dinner is a treasured memory from my youth. When visiting Crested Butte, Colorado we’ve established the tradition of Sunday night dinner at The Slogar for family-style platters of fried chicken and all the fixin’s.

Slogar Exterior - Large

The weathered building was built in 1882 when it was one of 18 taverns in the mining town of Crested Butte. The Slogar was the first one the miners came to each evening as they came down from the Big Mine on the Bench. Stepping into he 21st-century Slogar feels like stepping into a 19th-century movie set. The antique bar, back bar and red upholstered Victorian furniture set the stage.

As soon as we’re seated our cheerful waitress, Kelli, brings bowls of cottage cheese, tomato chutney and a relish tray with celery and carrot sticks, butter pickles and cinnamon pear slices. My favorite is the sweet/sour coleslaw made from an early 1800s Pennsylvania Dutch recipe. Is this like Grandma’s, or not?

Kelli soon returns with our drink order and a basket filled with homemade baking powder biscuits accompanied by crocks of honey butter and homemade strawberry preserves. After tasting the preserves you’ll want to purchase a couple of jars to take home. Wish I could make biscuits as good as Slogar’s to go with the strawberries!

Slogar Chicken Dinner Our waitress offers to refill any of the dishes; but, knowing what’s ahead we decline. After clearing the debris from the first round Kelli brings out a platter piled high with crispy skillet fried chicken – four pieces per person. The flavorful recipe dates back to 1915. Since I prefer dark meat I negotiate my breast for Eric’s thigh – chicken pieces, of course. We pass around the dishes of mashed potatoes, gravy and creamed whole kernel corn. Once around and the mashed potato bowl is empty. Kelli quickly brings a refill as well as more biscuits.

Our table falls silent as we dig in; after all, we’ve eaten lightly all day saving up for The Slogar. We note that the same thing happens at other tables. As soon as the main course is served conversation ceases, eating is paramount.

My only complaint is the thin gravy. Our family has always made a thick cream gravy with the chicken pan drippings; it’s hard to change expectations. Also, if they provided a bread plate one wouldn’t have to work so hard keeping the biscuit from getting soaked with thin gravy and corn cream.

As we sit back with satisfied sighs Kelli brings individual dishes of rich vanilla ice cream. We like to top the ice cream with any leftover preserves. Yum! Eric gets the doggie bag of four chicken pieces and biscuits for tomorrow’s lunch.

Slogar Sign When You Go: The Slogar Bar and Restaurant is open nightly 5-9pm. Steaks ($26.95) and a vegetarian entree are offered in addition to the fried chicken dinner. Specialty beers, wine list and full bar are available. The chicken dinner is $15.95/adult, $8.95/children 2-12, and includes ice cream, tea coffee and milk. The restaurant is located at 517 2nd St., at the corner of 2nd and Whiterock. Reservations strongly advised, 970-349-5765.

The Slogar changed ownership a couple of years ago. All the positives including traditional recipes remain. The reception, attitude and cleanliness are much improved.

Echo Lake Lodge – Mt. Evans, Colorado

Colorado History and Homemade Pie

Echo Lake Lodge Sign

It took me 47 years but I finally stepped foot into Echo Lake Lodge, a traditional stop before or after a trip up Mount Evans. It wasn’t an intentional avoidance we had simply never visited the seasonal gift  shop/restaurant. It won’t take us 47 years to return.

Constructed in 1926, many features of the log lodge still reflect that era. 2010 visitors Echo Lake Lodge Ext. appreciate the modernization evident in the remodel restrooms. Stepping into the gift shop feels like a step back to a curio shop of my youth. Sweatshirts, “Hike Colorado” hats, postcards, vials of gold flakes – souvenirs galore fill the racks, shelves and cases. Kids are sure to find something they really “need”.

 

Homemade Pie - ELL

Since the time was 3pm and we had yet to have lunch we were more interested in the restaurant. Years ago I read about Echo Lake Lodge’s homemade pies. The same concessionaire has carried on that tradition for decades. The critical decision is which one to order – apple, peach, cherry, blueberry, butterscotch or chocolate peanut butter. Bob chose cherry with vanilla ice cream while I devoured a slice of butterscotch – crust and filling were both winners.  The peach pie with cinnamon ice cream sounds like a choice I might have toCherry Pie try next time.

Bob preceded the pie with a chicken fried steak sandwich. I opted for a cup of buffalo chili. Both tasty and satisfying. Echo Lake Lodge is open from 8am-8pm, serving breakfast daily until 11am. How about Rocky Mountain trout and eggs for a Colorado breakfast entree? The large Mt. Evans cinnamon roll looks like something one should plan to share.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner and/or a piece of homemade pie – we will be back.

When You Go: Echo Lake Lodge is open seven days a week from mid-May into October. Opening and closing dates determined by weather conditions. Call 303-567-2138 for information.

*Update* – Merle’s Restaurant – Littleton, Colorado

The 3 O’clock Lunch

I love a restaurant where I can have a full lunch or dinner in mid-afternoon. I’ve frequently threatened to write a book focused on The Colorado 3 O’clock Lunch. I’m a late breakfast eater and often skip lunch. About 3pm the hunger pangs hit, I can’t wait till dinner but don’t want to fill up on snacks or junk food. If I eat at three I can skip dinner and finish the day with a piece of fruit. But, where to go that’s serving a full menu, not just a bar menu or fast food.

Merle's For today’s late lunch/early dinner we headed to downtown Littleton and Merle’s, serving the same menu from opening at 11am until 9pm and then a late night menu till closing. We started with a basket of yam chips served with a generous bowl of guacamole. The chips were crisp with not a hint of grease. I asked if they were made in house; our waitress said everything they serve is start from scratch.

We both opted for soup (New England Clam Chowder) and 1/2 sandwich. We chose the BLAT – bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato  – served on sour dough. A couple at a nearby table were enjoying entrees of Ginger Salmon and Smoked BBQ Ribs.

Our “No worry” waitress was cheerful and efficient, not something guaranteed at that time of day. Too frequently the wait staff is tired from the lunch shift and seem disgusted you’re interrupting what they consider their break.

Merle’s completely satisfied our Friday 3 O’clock Lunch need and would definitely be in my book.

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