~ 964 Manitou Ave, Manitou Springs, CO 80829 ~
A great little hole-in-the-wall restaurant and pizza parlor in the heart of Manitou Springs downtown next to the former Ancient Mariner and the Mate Factory. Friendly service and timely pizza with a variety of choices. We had the basic slice and a macaroni and cheese slice. Good eats. Rating 3 stars out of 5
I was first introduced to In-and-Out when I was living in Los Angeles as a paid audience member and extra for Hollywood, needing fast food, “in” and “out”. I was introduced to their un-advertised attraction, the leaf wraps. Those were back in the days when I had no problems with fast food or the health consequences of having that kind of diet. I have since made motions to thin out (and someday totally eliminate) fast food from my diet. Me and my wife are on the gluten-free path, so the idea of a leaf wrap sandwich when there was no other open food options sounded perhaps ‘healthier’ than some of the alternatives. While ditching the gluten by skipping the bun, it still was a mild option to the the extremes that is fast food. Traveling through the American Southwest we were curious to give it a gander. Personally in terms of fast food, its not much different than the others, though the quality outside of the lettuce was good tasting but same as most fast food. We were surprised they didn’t advertise the lettuce wrap option on their menu and that its more a “word-of-mouth” item, especially since its an element that makes them stick out from the others. The In-N-Out Burger chain is regional, with locations throughout California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Texas. It was founded by Harry and Esther Snyder in Baldwin Park, California in 1948. Their grandchild Lynsi Torres currently runs the operation. It is not franchised nor public, and has distribution centers in California; Phoenix, Arizona; Draper, Utah; and Dallas, Texas. They have not changed this practice in order to maintain quality and customer consistency. They are one of the few fast food chains in the U.S. to pay their employees higher than the state and federal mandated minimum wage guidelines. They offer three burger varieties – hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and the “Double-Double” (their trademarked double meat, double cheese). They also sell french fries, milkshakes (vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry), and typical fountain drinks. Burgers come with lettuce, tomato, optional onions, and their special sauce (like McDonald’s, a variant of thousand islands dressing). They do however have a secret menu available at most In-N-Outs. These can be found on their web site. These include a 3×3 (three patties, three slices of cheese), a 4×4 (four patties and four slices of cheese), 20×20, Neapolitan shakes, grilled cheese sandwich (no meat, two slices of melted cheese), Protein style (wrapped in lettuce – all ingredients of a burger just no buns), and Animal style (animal style: burger cooked in thin layer of mustard, lettuce, tomato, pickles, grilled onions, and extra spread – hot peppers option. Animal fries come with two slices of melted cheese, spread, and grilled onions on top). Their decor is red, white, and yellow branding – white building exterior and uniforms, red for the roof and aprons/hats, yellow for the roof’s decorative band and iconic zig-zag in the logo. They also plant palm trees often to form an “X” in front of the restaurants. One problem with In-N-Out is its secret proselytizing of Christianity. They print discreet references to Bible verses on their paper containers such as the Double-Double burger wrapper and the drink cup. These consist of the book, chapter, and number of the verse not the actual text of the passage. This came into play during the 1980’s when Rich Snyder was president, as a reflection of the Christian beliefs he held. Because of their fundamentalist Christian practices and the fact that the food is not healthy (not company specific – fast food overall), I will no longer frequent this company. For those of you desiring junk food and not minding the Christian fundamentalism, enjoy your GMO beef. Rating: 2 stars out of 5.
Chocola Tree Organic Eatery
* 1595 West Hwy 89A, Sedona, Arizon 86336 *
As I try to live the healthier lifestyle, incorporating more vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free into my diet, we were very happy to see a gluten-free vegan restaurant in Sedona. Though “Sedona” being “Sedona” amped up in price tags taking advantage of alternative travelers and tourists I met with what I expected – HIGH priced menu items for unforgivable quantity, quality, or measure. I’m not sure why these trendy spots feel they need to over-charge people who want to be healthy as it seems counter-productive to what the movement stands for in my opinion. New age is new age, and this would be one of the classic hotspots for that kind. Don’t get me wrong, the food was decent, but the manner of delivery is not. First off, everything was way over-priced – and would have been a place I normally would not even give a moment of my time. I was however with a group that wanted to try their food, so in we went. I figured I’d try to be minimalistic with price so was going to go for the coconut curry soup. But the waiter says “its cold – is that ok?” I said, “cold? can’t you heat it up?” and he said “No that’s how its served, we don’t have any way to heat it up here, we don’t use microwaves and we don’t have a stove top”. Okay, being health-conscious I get the “no microwave” but really? A restaurant without a stove top? really? In addition, the soup would not come with bread, even though the bowl of soup was in the $8-10 price range. Really? If I wanted some bread, I’d have to order it separately and it would cost $4-8. I was sickened with the concept. So I went with the Gluten-free waffles. They were good, the middle part. The edges were a bit hard. If they don’t have a stove top, I suppose it was done in a waffle maker. Anyhow – neo-hippie decor with southwestern style, staff was friendly (though full of themselves), and it was crowded. If you’ve a lot of money to toss out the window, into the New Age lifestyle, this would be the perfect place for you – I’m sure the minimalistic food would be perfect for your palate. Not mine. Will never return. They claim 100% organic and/or wild-crafted produce with a 95% seasonal menu. They state they use artesian spring fed source free of chlorine or fluoride water in their cooking and serving. Rating: 3 stars out of 5. Visited 11/24/2013.
Dream Dinners @ Pigly Wiggly
* http://dreamdinners.com/ *
We first discovered this little “making life easier” treat when my co-workers and company chipped in and got us $100 worth of “Dream Dinners” – a service we’ve never heard of before until this event. As we were in recovery mode from the birth of our baby … they generously helped out with making meals easy on us. The service is brilliant, as they make meals easy to do especially for when you don’t have much time to gather ingredients and cook. Realized quickly the meals would be grand for taking on outings, picnics, and camp-outs. The company was founded on a mission of bringing together families around the dinner table, providing everything needed to assemble great dinners to enjoy with meal preparation times under an hour. Here in Columbia, South Carolina they are based out of the Pigley Wigley grocer stores. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Marina Variety Store and Seafood Restaurant, Charleston, SC
Marina Variety Store and Seafood Restaurant
* 17 Lockwood Dr – Ste E * Charleston, SC 29401-1160 * 843-723-6325 * http://www.varietystorerestaurant.com/ *
Mom was in the downtown Roper hospital so this was an easy to walk to location while caretaking and visiting her, but it wasn’t very quick on the service, even though decent on the wallet. Scenic views of the municipal marina, The Marina Variety store has a semi-decent variety of dishes and meals offered, and decent prices. It has been offering fine food since 1963 including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This has been my second visit. Each time I was pleased with the food, dissatisfied by how long it took for the food to come out. The Crab cakes are delicious as are the sweet potatoe fries. Three bean salad mediocre. Overall, I had a good meal with my wife … Rating 3.5 stars out of 5.
I was first initiated into this redneck snack when moving to Tallahassee, Florida for University. I was abhorred by the idea, but fighting resistance of trying things odd, I came to love them. They are very popular in any region where peanuts are found to grow. It is the practice of boiling green and raw peanuts, rather than fully mature nuts. They are not fully dried as is done with roasted peanuts or those for oil, butter, etc. They are boiled in salt or cajun flavoring, and develop a strong salty taste with a consistency that is very soft very similar to peas. You can find them being hawked on the roadside by vendors when driving down country roads in the southern United States. This became a folk food in the southern USA, and were called “goober peas” since the 19th century. Some believe they were brought by African slaves and were prepared liek a fish fry in a social gathering setting, often accompanying fried green potatoes, fried fish, okra, black eyed peas, collard greens, and barbecque or cajun food. They can also be found as street foods and snacks in Indian, Indonesia, the Phillipines, Thailand, Central and South America, Nigeria and Ghana, as well as many other parts of Africa. In China they are boiled with salt and star anise, and made into a soup in Taiwan. They are known to contain antioxidants and therefore very good for you – with over four times the antioxidants of raw or roasted peanuts.
Just off the beaten path outside Gate 1 of Fort Jackson is a nice friendly little artsy diner plainly labelled after its namesake. They are after the classic American diner experience and image, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So far, we’ve only experienced their fantastic breakfast setting. Family owned and operated, they have an assortment of deals, specials, and offers from burgers to pancakes, fish to apple pie. They also cater. They are very kid friendly – so much that kids eat free on mondays. Military and senior citizen discounts apply as well. We’ve tried the pancakes, eggs, and french toast – all of which we were very pleased with. If you’re travelling through Columbia, this hot spot is just off the Interstate, and a great place to take a road break. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
One who first looks at the “Hungry Jacks” logo might get confused because it awfully looks identical to the “Burger King” logo in the States. That’s because “Hungry Jacks” is part of the “Burger King” Franchise. It has been operating in Australia as “Hungry Jacks” since its first Perth store opened in April 1971. It rapidly took over since that date. Within 10 years, there was 26 stores in 3 states. They even took over the near-dead “Wendy’s” Hamburger chain stores in Victoria when they purchased them in 1986. So why not just call it “Burger King”? When Burger King expanded into Australia it found that “Burger King” as a name was already trademarked by a takeaway food shop in Adelaide. Therefore, the Burger King franchisee Jack Cowin, had to operate Burger King under a different name. Cowin selected “Hungry Jack” after one of Pillsbury’s US pancake mixture products. By 1990, “Competitive Foods” was permitted to franchise Hungry Jack’s as independent businesses. It was around this time that Burger King was trying to expand in Australia and wanted all stores under their “Burger King” logo. But because the “Hungry Jack” trademark had 30 years of heritage, it made more sense to keep it as a separate brand. It is also known as “HJ’s”, “Hungry’s”, or “Hungie’s” and stands as an exclusive Australian master fast food franchisee of Burger King wholly owned subsidiary of Competitive Foods Australia, privately held under Jack Cowin. In 1991 Burger King took Hungry Jack’s Pty Limited to court as it wasn’t meeting up to terms with its franchise agreement in opening a certain number of stores each year as promised. After the Australian trademark on the Burger King name lapsed in 1996, Burger King made a claim that Hungry Jacks violated its conditions for renewal and wanted to terminate the agreement and thereby in partnership with Royal Dutch Shell’s Australian division began opening its own stores in 1997. Jack fought back in 2001 claiming Burger King violated the conditions of the master francising agreement and the Supreme Court of New South Wales agreed with Cowin, awarding him with 46.9 million Australian dollars. This led to Burger King terminating its operations in the country and in July 2002 transferred its assets to its New Zealand franchise group – Trans Pacific Foods. They agreed in 2003 to re-name these locations to “Hungry Jack’s”. Today there are over 300 Hungry Jack stores throughout all states of Australia and is known as a well-established Australian brand. Most of the new stores have a 1950’s theme, with music played from this era occasionally through a 1950’s style jukebox with associated contemporary pictures and memorabilia as part of the decor. Many of the larger sit-down style restaurants have their seats and tables laid out in a 1950’s diner style. The only Burger King trademarks sold at Hungry Jack’s are the “Whopper” and the “TenderCrisp” sandwiches, all others go by generic names such as “hamburger”, “veggie burger”, or “grilled chicken burger”.
* http://www.agiasophiacoffeeshop.com/ * 2902 W Colorado Avenue *
Colorado Springs, CO 80904 * (719) 632-3322 *
A great little coffee shop and reading library right off of Colorado Avenue in historical Old Colorado City of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Old world charm with a great cup of Joe and spiritual benedictine monks chanting in the background. It is truly a place to the heart of what coffee shops began .. a place to discuss business, religion, politics, and philosophy. They take that trait to heart and not only serve great caffeinated beverages, but pastries, desserts, and cafe-style lunch dishes. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.
Hard Rock Dublin
* 12 Fleet Street, Dublin, Co. Dublin City – 01 6717777 * www.hardrock.com *
I’ll be honest … I’m not a big fan of chains or Hard Rock Cafes. The only time I usually enter one is when I’m with friends who are fans … such as was the case for my visit to the Dublin one. The setup for these cafes are pretty similar wherever you go I find, and the memorabilia on the walls and in the cases are the usual lot of “this belonged to so n’ so” and “this was used is such n’ such”. Not much different than the movie fan chain of Club Hollywood, just for the Music industry. The food was mediocre pub food, and the drinks pricey. Some interesting and unique art/stuff for Ireland. Anyhow, if you’re a fan of Hard Rock Cafes … this one will please you as its the only one in all of Ireland, as the one in Northern Ireland was closed down. The Dublin one was established in June 29, 2004. They pride themselves for their unique collectibles just like all the other Hard Rock’s … in this case a pair of Bono’s sunglasses, a favorite shirt of Elvis, Paul McCartney’s “Beatle Boots”, one of Madonna’s jackets, a Paul Stanley guitar, and a Mimi Hendrix rug. Rating: 1 star out of 5.
Coffee Beans Clean Jeans
* 23 West Northern Avenue * Pueblo, CO 81004-3109 * (719) 545-1034 *
A little coffee shop meets laundromat where you can eat, drink, and enjoy free wifi while awaiting your clothes to wash and dry. With an electronic guage above the door – you can see when your laundry is done without stepping away from your coffee to check. Friendly staff and clean establishment. The coffee and drinks seem to be all pre-made, but the pad is definitely a class above most laundromats. Ratin: 2.5 stars out of 5.
* 1100 S. Santa Fe Dr./300 W. Mississippi Ave * Denver, Colorado 80223 * (303) 733-0795 * 24 Hours *
The Breakfast King looks like a typical old-fashioned chain diner, but its a unique infamous greasy spoon of Denver sub-culture. All American roadside diner, with classic 70’s style decor, bright orange booths, and a large menu of selections. The Westword calls it a “culinary time capsule” that still serves Coney Island hot dogs, chiliettes, and other classic foods. I second their observations. Located right next to I-25 its definitely a great stop off for weary travellers and a great place for breakfast after a night of clubbing. The service is fast, friendly, and the classical diner atmosphere you’d expect from the diner age. I had the Pancake sandwich with scrambled eggs inside … delicious. Visited 1/17/2010. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
the Ritz Grill
* http://ritzgrill.com/ * 15 S Tejon St * Colorado Springs, CO 80903 * (719) 635-8484 *
The Ritz grill is a popular ‘older crowd’ bar and dance place in downtown Colorado Springs. Often frequented by 80’s cover bands and other live acts, the Ritz is a full scale restaurant and bar. They often throw themed parties like “Fat Tuesday”, “Halloween”, and “Xmas parties”. This visit on 11/15/2010 was a fundraiser for the Haiti Earthquake survivors. The food is very food. Though this visit I only came a drinkin’ vodka n’ club soda. Good service, friendly staff, fun times. Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5.
Briarhurst Manor * 404 Manitou Ave, Manitou Springs, CO, 80829. (719) 685-1864 or 1 (877) 685-1448 * http://www.briarhurst.com/ *
Briarhurst Manor is bombarded with negative reviews for its wedding services and its dining food. So I’ve always been hesitant to try the restaurant out, even though i was deadly curious about the place. I agree, the food is “Very” expensive and you don’t really get to portions for what you are paying. In a way, you are paying for the ambience of the place. The servers are very knowledgable and professional. I found our server to be pretty friendly and servicable. We walked in, no reservations. We had with us a coupon essentially for 30% (?) off our meal. We had the lobster bisque, frog legs, roast rabbit, and the escargot. Figured we’d make a meal out of a selection of appetizers as the main meals seemed to be much more pricey with little in portions to share. The rabbit was dry as were the escargot, the frog legs were tasty, and the lobster bisque was delicious. The desert sampler came with dark chocolate torte, creme Brulee, and a lemon raspberry tart – which were very delicious, though again, the portions small. Service was good, the ambience was exquisite, the food was so-so. For the ambience alone I’d give the place 4 stars, but the food at maybe a 3, and the pricing a 2. So to meet in the middle, I rate the entire restaurant experience a 3.5.
Tulalip Casino and Buffet: Tulalip Eagles Buffet * 10200 Quil Ceda Blvd. * Tulalip, Washington * (888) 272-1111 * http://www.tulalipcasino.com/ *
Conveniently located off I-5 inbetween Mt. Vernon and Everett, a great stop-off for Vancouver – Seattle travellers … Tulalip Casino is an enormous palace of slot machines, game tables, bars, and fine entertainment. Usually very notable for their buffet, I stopped by on Monday, Dec 12th, 2005, to find not only did they raise their prices, but the food wasn’t as expansive as usual, nor as good. It also took the waittress quite a while to get back to me with refills which is odd, because they used to be right on top of everything, quality food, and great service. Not today. Usually I rate this a 4 1/2 stars, but this time, gonna have to give the buffet a 2. Rated 2 stars out of 5. On the visit during a pitstop on 7/5/09 coming back from Vancouver, I dropped in to find the Casino and Buffet had massively grown. The entire complex is a strip mall, large hotel, and entertainment complex. The food was better this time, but lacking in variety it had in the older days. Service was decent. Rating: 3 stars out of 5. [ More review http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/20ad6/da82b/2/ ]
* 137 W North Bend Way * North Bend, WA 98045 * 425-831-5511 * http://twedescafe.com/ * Hours: M-Th 6:30am-8:00pm ; F,Sa 6:30am-9:00pm ; Su 6:30am-7:00pm *
I’m not sure why I have an attraction to this place outside of the expected charm. I’m definitely a big fan of Twin Peaks, and the novelty of coming here once for that was enough, but there is an ‘odd’ charm about this place, even though its changed substantially since the filmings and had been burnt down as well. The food is pretty decent and you get enormous portions, though the menu is more expensive than it used to be. Everyone raves about the “Cherry Pie” – which is good, but not out-of-this-world good that everyone states, and certainly not worth the price you pay for it. I guess that whole ritual eating of the cherry pie is again part of the film novelty. The Cafe was originally called “Thompson’s Cafe” and was built in 1941 by Roy Thompson. The cafe lasted through World War II, the Depression, and the boom swings of the timber industry of Washington. The Cafe changed names to “Mar-T Cafe” as a pitstop for tourists and locals in the 1950’s. It was in 1990 that David Lynch chose it and the Snoqualmie Valley as a location for his series “Twin Peaks”. It was this series that immortalized his cafe and made the cherry pie famous as well as the “Damn fine cup o’ coffee!” saying in these parts. The cafe burnt down in 2000, but was rebuilt and remodeled becoming a significant part of “Historic downtown North Bend”. Besides the movie trivia, cherry pie, and coffee … the cafe is notorious for its large portions, home-cooked food, burgers, Big breakfasts, and home-style dinners. On this visit, I went for the Hot Cakes, sausage, and Hash Browns. Good stuff. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
* 615 W Clinton St * Ridgeway, CO 81432 * (970) 626-9800
We drove around in circles while passing through Ridgeway trying to find the right place for a road stop / pit stop / late brunch for these weary travellers. After hitting several places that were too expensive, too crowded, or not open, we caught Kate’s Place just before they were about to close and they were pleased to stay open to refresh these adventurers. Thank you sooo much. Good thing too, as the food and service was extroadinary. Rated very highly from the local community as it was recommended by the crowded restaurant we hit, it sure brought a slice of heaven to us. The cafe is decorated home-style, country-kitchen, with old signs and alternative decor. Lots of open windows and a nice dining patio outside (we didn’t use as the weather was sketchy). The food was definitely delightful. I had the Egg Salad Sandwich, while my friends had the breakfast platter, hashbrowns, grits, and fruit. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.
Baked in Telluride Bakery
127 South Fir * Telluride, CO 81435 * 970 728-4775 * http://www.bakedintelluride.com
A very charming little bakery in the heart of Telluride with a full fledge selection of baked goods with a deli and a cafe. Just 1/2 blocks south of Telluride’s mainstreet, this venue welcomes all folks with homemade baked breads, bagels, pastries, pizza, sandwich, and soups. At nighttime they serve a homemade Pasta dinner with wine and beer served. Great service and wonderful tasty foods. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Coyote Den Cafe
coyotescoffeeden.com * 675 State Highway 115, Penrose, CO – (719) 372-3012 *
A nice little coffee and pastry stop on Highway 50 in the small town of Penrose, Colorado. Old West flavor and style, this little den will suit your highway awakening needs and sensiate your palates with tasty goodies. One of my favorite pitstops in the area. Also has local art and crafts. Definite place to stop. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
http://www.texasroadhouse.com/ * 595 S. 8th Street * Colorado Springs, CO 80905 * Phone: 719-473-9711 * Fax: 719-473-9715
Well it’s definitely an American chain restaurant with over 310 locations in over 44 states. This cookie-cutter establishment was founded by Kent Taylor who wanted to bring good steaks, ribs, and beer to the American population for an affordable price. They wanted to merge the bar-room experience with the family restaurant kind. Peanut shells all over the floor, its a ruggid mess. They hand-cut their steaks and claim award-winning ribs, and blab about home-cookin’ and everything being made from scratch. Its a little hard to believe with chains. They offer the expected steaks and ribs, but also chicken, fish, salads, and veggies. The service was good during our visit, however the food was mediocre in my opinion. My dinner mate raves about the restaurant saying its one of her favorite places. To me though the food was the quality you get from chains, perhaps however, I’m biased on the chain experience. The food was decent and affordably priced. Not being a very big fan of country music, can’t say I could rate the music high either. Rating: 2 1/2 stars out of 5.