Category Archives: American

The food cuisine of the cultural entity known as “America” the region inhabitated by the United States of America. America, a.k.a. The United States (of) is a republic in the Northwestern hemisphere of the Planet Earth, that comprises of 48 conterminous states, the District of Columbia, Alaska in North America, and Hawaii in the North Pacific. It is bordered to the East by the Atlantic Ocean, to the West by the Pacific Ocean, Canada to the North, and Mexico to the south. There are an estimated 267,954,767 citizens of this country that expands an massive land expanse in the conterminous states consisting of 3,022,387 sq. mi. (7,827,982 sq. km); with Alaska and Hawaii, 3,615,122 sq. mi. (9,363,166 sq. km). The Capital of the U.S.A. is Washington, D.C. which pretty much composes the entire District of Columbia. “The United States” as it is called, was colonized by a plethera of Europeans from Spain, The Netherlands, France, and Great Britain, that took the land from the Aboriginal inhabitants (often referred to as “Native Americans”), starting in the 16th century and gaining their independence in 1776. Climate: mostly temperate, but tropical in Hawaii and Florida and arctic in Alaska, semiarid in the great plains west of the Mississippi River and arid in the Great Basin of the southwest; low winter temperatures in the northwest are ameliorated occasionally in January and February by warm chinook winds from the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. Terrain: vast central plain, mountains in west, hills and low mountains in east; rugged mountains and broad river valleys in Alaska;
rugged, volcanic topography in Hawaii. Obtained from, and more references, statistics, and information can be found at http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=United%20States.Visit Leaf McGowan’s Virtual Tourist Page …. Travelling abroad, Living as an Expat, Visit Expatexchange.com.

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The Bench (Colorado Springs, CO)

The Bench
~ 424 S. Nevada Ave, Colorado Springs, Colorado * 375-0930 ~

A medium sized sports bar with a pub atmosphere in downtown Colorado Springs. It was created by the Odyssey Gastropub owners Jenny Schnakenberg and Tyler Sherman offering sports bar fare.

This restaurant has not been reviewed or visited yet.

Rated: Unrated of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Denny’s

Denny’s
~ Worldwide Franchise ~

Oh the memories growing up with “Denny’s”. It was a common hangout during my high school and college years. Late night, sitting for hours, catching up with friends. Even after college, it was a great location for after dancing/clubbing meet ups and place to sober up before heading home. This iconic table service diner-style restaurant chain is certainly an image of the American heartland and definition of American type food. It is called “Denny’s” or “Denny’s Diner” and consists of over 1,600 restaurants across the United States, including Guam, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Curacao, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Venezuela, Honduras, Japan, New Zealand, Qatar, the Phillipines, and the United Arab Emirates. It is famous for being open 24 hours, 7 days a week, year round except where required by law to be closed. They are open on holidays and late nights. They place themselves close to interstates, freeways, bars, and service areas.

A humble history spurring from a donut shop, Denny’s was birthed by Harold Butler and Richard Jezak as “Danny’s Donuts” in Lakewood California in 1953. In 1956, Jezak left the business leaving it to Butler who changed the image and concept from a donut shop to a coffee shop renamed “Danny’s coffee shops” operating 24 hours a day. By 1959 they changed their name to “Denny’s Coffee Shops” as another chain went by the name of “Coffee Dan’s” in Los Angeles. By 1961 they simplified their name to “Denny’s”. They became a franchise in 1963 and most of the locations today are franchise owned. In 1977 they introduced their very popular Grand Slam breakfast. By 1981 there were over 1,000 restaurants throughout the United States. They also absorbed many of the Sambo restaurants. By 1994 they became the largest corporate sponsor of “Save the Children” charity. Operating non-stop, 24 hours, many locations were built without locks and some are said to have lost their keys. With headquarters in La Mirada, California until 1989, they relocated to Irvine, California, then Spartanburg, South Carolina becoming acquired by Trans World Corporation in 1987.

They became notorious for the “free birthday meals” to anyone on their birthdates, but this only survived from 1990-1993 but was cut off due to over-use and abuse. They offer a free Birthday Build-Your-Own-Slam on a customer’s proven and tracked birth date. By 1994 they changed their theme, outlook, and decoration with a lighter color scheme. They were reviewed by the October 2004 Dateline NBC news story called “Dirty Dining” criticizing Denny’s cleanliness, safety, and operations pulling the health inspection records of over 100 of its establishments for a 15 month span totaling all of the critical violations that could lead to adverse effects of a customer’s health compared to Applebee’s, Bob Evans, Chili’s, IHOP, Outback, Red Lobster, Ruby Tuesday, TGI Friday’s, and Waffle House. They had the fewest violations averaging less than one violation per restaurant which they proudly boast is due to their successful model of their “principles of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points.”

However in 1934, they were damaged by their involvement in a series of discrimination lawsuits over food servers denying or providing inferior service to racial minorities from African Americans to Native Americans. That year, six black U.S. Secret Service agents visited a Denny’s in Annapolis, Maryland and were forced to wait an hour for service while their white companions were seated immediately. The 1994 class action lawsuit filed by black customers who were refused service, forced to wait longer, or pay more than white customers led to a $54.4 million settlement. In 1995 a African American customer in a Sacramento California location was told that he and his friends had to pay up front at the counter before ordering their meals, because, according to the waittress, said some black guys had been in earlier who made a scene and walked out without paying their bill, so the manager now wanted all blacks to pay up front. In 1997, six Asian American students from Syracuse University were discriminated upon late at night at a Denny’s having to wait more than a 1/2 hour as white patrons were served before them. After they complained to management, they were forced to leave by security, then afterwards a group of white men came out of Denny’s and attacked them, some beaten unconscious. Denny’s addressed this with racial sensitivity training programs for their employees and worked hard to improve public relations featuring African-Americans in their commercials. They made headway and was awarded in 2001 by Fortune Magazine to be the “Best Company for Minorities”. By 2006/2007 they topped Black Enterprise’s “Best 40 Companies for Diversity.” However in 2017, a Vancouver Denny’s made an Indigenous woman pay for her meal before it was served. The restaurant called the police on her after she left claiming she had a sharp-metal object in her pocket.

June of 2017, eight Denny’s in Colorado Springs and Pueblo, Colorado were immediately shut down because the franchise owner failed to pay close to $200,000 in back taxes as well as $30,000 in sales tax from the previous year. Many of these employees also filed that their accounts were not paid, received bounced checks and paychecks not arriving on time. The IRS came in and closed the locations, seizing property, and no advance notice given to its employees for the closures, leaving many without work or preparation for the losses. The franchise owner fled the state of Colorado.

Rated: 4 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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On the Border

On the Border Mexican Grill and Cantina
~ https://www.ontheborder.com/ ~

A massie chain of Tex-Mex cuisine that can be found throughout the world with numerous locations in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea. They began in October 1982 in Dallas, Texas. I’ve dined there many times and is one of the more popular chains to me that I enjoy. Great food, good service, and a social environment.

Rated: 3.75 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Old Chicago

Old Chicago Pizza and Tap Room
~ https://oldchicago.com/ ~

A national chain run by CraftWorks Restaurants and Breweries, Old Chicago has a presence of over 60 restaurants in the United States covering 22 states. They have even franchized another 36 additional locations separate from CraftWorks. They focus on the pub-like experience of a tap room with craft beer as a specialty for the last 40 years since 1976 as a bar, restaurant, and brewery with an Old Chicago style and decorum served with pizza. The pizza parlour theme with classic pinball games and arcade, was brewed by friends in Boulder, Colorado enhancing the chain with additional old school charm and style. It’s not just about the beer and pizza though. Its a place for dates, family night, kids, meetings, friend gatherings, and social occasions. The dishes are quoted to be phenomenal, although I have yet had the chance to review the restaurant. The multi-brand outfit CraftWorks has dual offices in Chattanooga, Tennessee and Broomfield, Colorado.

Rated: ___ of 5 stars. Not yet rated. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Fazoli’s

Fazoli’s
~ U.S. Chain – visited Austin Bluffs Plaza | Cheyenne Mountain Shopping Center, Colorado Springs, Colorado | https://www.fazolis.com/ ~

A national American Italian fast-food chain with drive-thru and sit in dining, the first restaurant was opened in 1988 in Lexington, Kentucky. They offer fast, fresh, Italian influenced food. Currently they have over 213 locations across America. Popular with their spaghetti and meatballs, Fettuccine alfredo, lasagna, ravioli, pizza, submarinos sandwiches, salads, and bread sticks – they offer a good selection of food. I’ve tried many of the dishes and am impressed. One of my favorite fast food chains as they are much more healthier option than the burger shacks.

Rated: 3.5 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Hacienda Villereal (Colorado Springs)

Hacienda Villereal
~ Colorado Springs, Colorado 80916 | Haciendavillarreal.com ~

A popular Mexican restaurant in Colorado Springs, I have yet to try the establishment but seems to be fantastically reviewed by its patrons. They call their cuisine “Mountain Mex” in like comparison to Tex-Mex, New Mex Mex, etc. They take Mexican food and give it a Rocky Mountain twist. A festive restaurant, colorful and exciting, embedded into a small strip mall. They have unique food and drinks, over 40 tequilas to choose from. Definitely on my lists of places to visit.

Rated: ___ of 5 stars. un-rated. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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McDonalds

McDonald’s Fast Food Chain
~ https://www.mcdonalds.com/ ~

As a child, my parents and school system were captivated victims of the advertising brainwashing of this corporate fast food giant. I myself have fallen into their lure many years of my life, and still victim of the addictive taste of their food. Just like most parents, a quick simple failing nutritious meal for their kids, I was taken to McDonalds at an early age. I remember a school trip to a farm making the industry look wholesome and local, taken into a set-up building where they showed us kids how to flip burgers, gave us special hats, and made us want to grow up to be a burger flipper for them. As a kid, McDonalds excited me. I have had the same issue having exposed my son to them – and its a hard habit to break, an addictive drug is their food, that captivates billions of people around the world. The Expose “Super Size Me” shows the dangers of the restaurant chain and how brainwashed the world has become.

But is it truly dangerous? it definitely has its delicious appeal. It wasn’t always a corporate giant. They of course like all businesses chase after money. They wanted success and they got it. The restaurant was started in 1940 by brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald with its founding in San Bernardino, California. Not a surprise right? California. That home farm experience I attended in school was in upstate New York in the 70’s. They were already en route to world dominance by that point.

With humble beginnings, McDonald’s started out as a hamburger stand. It turned into a franchise in the 50’s when Ray Kroc in 1955 talked them into starting a franchise, opening the fist one in Phoenix, Arizona. The owners were suspicious at first and were originally reluctant to the expanding ideas. Kroc purchased the chain from the brothers, and moved its headquarters to Oak Brook, Illinois, and then global headquarters to Chicago by 2018. Since the campaign to turn to franchise, extreme advertising and promotions, world dominance across the Great Pond happened relatively quickly. Today McDonald’s is the world’s largest restaurant chain by revenue, boasting over 69 million customers daily in over 100 countries.

McDonalds sells a variety of sandwiches from hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, fish sandwiches, french fries, soda, milk shakes, wraps, desserts, cafe items, coffee frappacinos, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Since the 1980’s they have been attacked for their world dominance, menu, food quality, and unhealthiness of their food. Since then, they have made annual changes to their menu to address the concerns promoting a healthier option line. They are also the second largest private employer in the world next to Walmart.

Rated: 2.5 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Quiznos

Quiznos Sandwich Shop
~ WORLDWIDE ~

A step up from Subway, Quiznos is a fancy sub-shop chain that you can find throughout North America. It is the second largest submarine shop chain in North America, just behind Subway. It is a franchise that is based in Denver, Colorado and specializes in toasted submarine sandwiches. It was founded by Jimmy Lambatos in 1981 and now has over 5,000 restaurants throughout North America. Today it has over 1,500 domestic locations and approximately 600 international sites. (2018)

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Piccino Wood Oven Pizza (Littleton)

Piccino Wood Oven Pizza
~ 5350 S Santa Fe Dr, Littleton: Denver, Colorado 80120 ~ piccinopizza.com ~ (303) 794-2100 ~

This restaurant has not yet been reviewed. I have done a few deliveries for the establishment, and customers seem dedicated, enthusiastic, and happy with the service. Piccino’s is a wood over pizzeria as well as a contemporary chain for order-at-the-counter pizza and pasta shop with some tap beers and wine available.

Review: ___ stars out of 5. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Five Guys

Five Guys
~ Worldwide ~

On the way to Burning Man, passing through Fort Collins, Colorado – my travel mate introduced me to this fine Burger Joint. Freshly cooked and prepared, there is a bit of a wait, so not your atypical fast food chain – but higher quality and creation. They are a fast growing chain, casual diner style with that 60’s-80’s decor. Free peanuts to snack on while you wait. Originally was called “Five Guys Burgers and Fries” it has been shortened to “Five Guys”. They focus on hamburgers, hot dogs, and fries. Their headquarters is located in Lorton, Virginia and opened their first location in 1986 (Virginia). Today they have over a thousand locations within the United States and Canada. (2018)

I’ve had the pleasure of dining in and take out, as well as delivering for them. The burgers and fries are great. I have yet to try the hot dogs.

Rated: 4 stars out of 5. (Overall Worldwide) ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Subway Sandwiches

Subway Sandwiches
(Worldwide)
~ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subway_(restaurant) ~

Subway Sandwiches is a world-wide chain restaurant offering deli sandwich selections and specialties. They can be found all over the globe. The review here only covers my experiences with several dozen I’ve frequented around the world. Subway has always been a quick healthy stop off for breakfast, lunch, or dinner when I’m on the run and busy with work. They hands-down beats the other fast-food competitors. I’m a little disappointed that they discontinued the seafood salad sandwich but understand where they are coming from. Otherwise, my favorites is the cranberry turkey subs and the meatball sandwiches as second and third place. Never had a sandwich here I didn’t like.

An American fast food franchise, Subway serves sub sandwiches, salads, cookies, soups, and other culinary delights. The company is one of the fastest growing franchises in the world with over 45,000 stores located in over 100 countries (2018). They are based in Milford, Connecticut with regional offices in Amsterdam, Brisbane, Beirut, Singapore, and Miami.

Overall Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Fractured Prune Donuts (Denver)

Fractured Prune Donuts
~ 9696 E Arapahoe Rd, Greenwood Village, CO 80112 (Denver, Colorado) ~ (303) 759-0635 ~ https://fracturedprune.com/ ~

A great little hole-in-the-wall donut shop located in a Greenwood Village strip mall off Arapahoe. I discovered it whilst doing food deliveries for a company I contract with. After making several deliveries of the unique pastries, I decided I had to try them for myself. I went back the evening of March 31st, 2018 and ordered a half a dozen. They were hot, delicious, and tantalizing. This counter-serve pit stop for hand-made, freshly created donuts where you decide the toppings you want. They also have coffee, juice, and drinks available. You can watch the process from a window into their donut machine, and watch the donut specialist make the donuts for you. Delicious and well worth the price as well as experience.

Rated: 5 stars out of 5. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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IHOP Southgate (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

IHOP – Southgate
~ 2290 Southgate Rd, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80906 ~ (719) 635-0777 ~

Out of the Colorado Springs locations, this International House of Pancakes is one of the best. Who doesn’t enjoy IHOP? Its a pancake house worth the wait that you’ll often be greeted with upon entering as IHOP has that reputation. Wide variety of pancakes and all-day breakfast selections, fresh fruit, and delicous fried goods. 24 hours of availability, it will satiate your appetite. Delivery is also fast and efficient. Friendly staff and good food.

Rating: 4 out of 5 ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Trader Joes

The Trader Joe’s Chain
~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions as a 5 stars out of 5 ~

Manifested and created by the German grocery store chain Aldi – Trader Joe’s is the Americanized version of Aldi Markt or Aldi North. They tapped the American kitch and spirit of what middle class America wants with an affordable price that catches the budget. But it is different and quite unique, as it is driven by American culture, philosophy, and business practices.

I was first introduced to the shop when living in California the wee stages of Y2K. (year 2000 for the Generation X crowd) Back then, there wasn’t many stores around America. When I moved to Colorado in 2005, i was saddened there were none. It was at that time my favorite grocery store and I really appreciated the food quality, the pricing, and their business model. I can’t say I fully feel the same way today now that Trader Joe’s is in pretty much every state with locations everywhere. By 2015 they became a major grocery store competitor. By the beginning of 2018 they have over 480 stores in America expanding 43 states as well as the District of Columbia. With the growth comes sub-standard practices. They have become a bit more generic and similar to practices that regular grocery chains use. Their prices have increased substantially. Food quality is not so great and they over-use plastic and packaging contributing to the great trash problem on the planet.

Although birthed as its manifestation today being a branch of Aldi Markt (Aldi North) from Germany it was originally founded by Joseph “Joe” Coulombe in 1958 as the Pronto Market convenience store which mimicked 7-11 style and operation located in Los Angeles. He weaved the idea of the Trader Joe’s South Seas motif after vacationing in the Caribbean borrowing its Tiki kitch style as it was very popular motif in the 50’s and 60’s. It wasn’t until 1967 when it was called “Trader Joe’s” and appeared as such with one store on the Arroyo Parkway in Pasadena, California. He leased out space with local butchers to provide fresh meat, operated a sandwich shop within, offered fresh cut cheese and squeezed orange juice.

Trader Joes really didn’t become the genius idea it is today until being owned in 1979 by German entrepreneur Theo Albrecht who purchased the store from Joe as a personal investment for his family. By 1987 Joe was succeeded by John Shields as CEO who expanded the market into Arizona in 1993 and the Pacific Northwest by 1995. By 1996 they opened stores in the Boston area opening the East Coast market. By 2001 Dan Bane took over being CEO expanding to 156 stores within 15 American states. Theo died in 2010 passing the Trader Joe’s business on to his family becoming even more so the Americanized Aldi Markt.

The Good
Trader Joe’s has unique items, still good pricing, and matches the populous generation’s budgets. It is still one of the best stores in America. In 2016 Trader Joes made a goal to have all the eggs they sell in Western STates to come from cage-free suppliers by 2020, and all eggs nationally to be cage-free by 2025.

The Bad
With its growth has come sub-standard quality and practices, pushing out local markets and chains. While this is normal for any major growth of a company, their practices are beyond secretive. Reports have claimed at the majority of Trader Joe’s products are made on equipment that doesn’t separate out production for those of philosophical or health-concerned needs. The equipment is exposed to dairy, nuts, meat, and non-kosher foods. In 2017 they claimed to have invented the “puff dog” – a roll of spiced sausage meat wrapped in a puff pastry, but British and Commonwealth Media challenged their claim by stating this was already a traditional British savoury snack.

The Ugly
Trader Joes uses too much packaging causing it to be a plague on the environment. This has caused Trader Joes to rank low on Greenpeace’s sustainable seafood report card stating they have excessive packaging with even produce sealed in plastic and utilizing a business mode that forces consumers to buy large enough quantities to encourage waste. They have been known for their lack of transparency about their sources of their products.

Stores reviewed:

Products reviewed:

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Pulcinella Pizzeria (Denver, Colorado)

Pullcinella Pizzeria
~ 1400 E Hampden Ave, Englewood, CO 80113-3116 ~ http://www.pulcinellapizeria.com/ ~

Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

A fabulous little pizzeria with great slices, wonderful hospitality, and perfect service. I was introduced to this charm from a friend and has been a favorite pizza parlor ever since. It has been suggested that this Denver location is no longer and that the pizzeria is now in Fort Collins. For this visit, 2/24/11, it was a 5 stars out of 5 experience.

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The Zombie Frappacino

Zombie Frappacino

Starbucks Zombie Frappacino
~

Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~
https://www.starbucks.com/menu/drinks/frappuccino-blended-beverages/zombie-frappuccino- ~

As usual, Starbucks is always on top of getting in chime with current fads, whims, and trends. Of course, “Zombies” are a year-round trend, they are just more popular in October. So to get with the spirit, Starbucks has created the “Zombie Frappacino” – a tasty an colorful blended iced drink with delicious apple and caramel flavors. Not caffeinated either, so it won’t turn you into a running zombie. A nice treat in the month of October. Limited run and selection offering. Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Ingredients: Ice, Milk, Crème Frappuccino Syrup [Water, Sugar, Salt, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid], Zombie Mocha Drizzle [Mocha Sauce (Water, Sugar, Cocoa Processed With Alkali, Vanillin), Pink Powder (Dextrose, Fruit And Vegetable Color [Apple, Cherry, Radish, Sweet Potato])], Green Caramel Apple Powder [Dextrose, Fruit And Vegetable Color (Spirulina, Turmeric), Natural Flavors, Citric Acid].

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Zombie Frappacino (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=33965) – Starbucks Kiosk, Shopping at King Sooper’s, Uintah Street, Colorado Springs, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken October 25, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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Poor Richards (Colorado Springs, Co)

Poor Richards

Poor Richards
~ Colorado Springs, Colorado ~

Write up coming soon ….

Poor Richards ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=29645) – New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken December 23, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

Poor Richards ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=29645) – New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken December 23, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

Poor Richards ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=29645) – New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken December 23, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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Marilyn’s Pizza Parlor

Marilyn's Pizza (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=29417&); Explorations around Manitou Springs, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf  and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken December 18, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit   http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography.  Manitou Springs: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=22613; Colorado: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=22613.
Marilyn’s Pizza (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=29417&)

Marilyn’s Pizza
~ 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

Marilyn's Pizza (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=29417&); Explorations around Manitou Springs, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf  and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken December 18, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit   http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography.  Manitou Springs: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=22613; Colorado: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=22613.
Marilyn’s Pizza (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=29417&); Explorations around Manitou Springs, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken December 18, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography. Manitou Springs: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=22613; Colorado: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=22613.

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Chai Creme Frappacino (Starbucks)

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The Chai Creme Frappuccino – Blended Beverage
* Starbucks Worldwide *

My biggest addiction in the world is the Chai Creme Frappuccino. It’s not a Starbucks Secret Menu Item and its infamous in the United States as well as other parts of the world. Though, every now and then you’ll get a novice Starbucks employee who’ll state that “we don’t make those” or that “they can’t do that”. WRONG ANSWER. The Chai Creme Frappuccino is a core part of Starbucks culture for those of us the “don’t do coffee”. It’s in your manual and its made by intelligent baristas in every Starbucks I’ve visited around the World. Well I’ve yet to make my way around the world – but it holds true where I have been – Everyone of the 50 states that has a Starbucks, Canada, England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Holland, and Australia. Though now that American Starbucks have just come out with the ever-so delicious CHOCOLATE CHAI – it was a Starbucks in South Carolina that suggested we try the Chocolate Chai Creme Frappucino and we’d find a few Starbucks across America who didn’t think they could make them (duh! same way as a regular one, but using the chocolate chai concentrate instead of the chai concentrate – problem is the Chai Creme Frappucino is so common in the states they already have a pump-mix for making them – or so I have been informed).

The Chai Creme Frappuccino is a Starbucks’ branded drink with spicy Tazo chai blended with soy or milk and ice. Alternatively it is topped with sweetened whipped cream. Chai is the name for spiced tea in India which is quite simply black tea infused with cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, and other spices over a stove. This is a cold smoothie-milkshake version of it blended with creme and milk (or soy). Starbucks owns the brand name and invention of the “frappucino” which is a known mix of a “frappe” and a “cappuccino” originally a espresso coffee with frothed milk. The term “frappe” may have come from the Greek term “frapp’” for a Greek Iced coffee or the Boston term “frap” meaning “thick milkshake frappe”. The original Frappucino was created by George Howell’s Eastern Massachusetts Coffee Shop chain called “The Coffee Connection”. The Coffee Connection was bought out in 1994 by Starbucks. With the sale came the rights on the “Frappuccino” beverage. After that point an explosion of all sorts of thousands of different concoctions as “frappuccinos” became available through Starbucks. [Rating:5] * 5 stars out of 5 *

chai-frappuccino

To read more about the Starbucks Corporation for history, links, and resources visit here: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2345.

Chai Creme Frappacino: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=15411. Swords Starbucks - http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=24187. Swords: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=24171. 4 January 2014. Clongriffin to Swords. Chronicles 3: Walking with the Ancestors -  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=15579. Winter 2013/2014: Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Cian - the Prince of Endurance.  Photography (c) 2014, 2015: Thomas Baurley,  Leaf McGowan, Technogypsie Productions. www.technogypsie.com/photography/.  To follow the stories and tales visit http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/ and http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/.  Dublin: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2754. Malahide: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=24123. Clongriffin: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=24119.
Chai Creme Frappacino: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=15411. Swords Starbucks – http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=24187. Swords: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=24171. 4 January 2014. Clongriffin to Swords. Chronicles 3: Walking with the Ancestors – http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=15579. Winter 2013/2014: Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Cian – the Prince of Endurance. Photography (c) 2014, 2015: Thomas Baurley, Leaf McGowan, Technogypsie Productions. www.technogypsie.com/photography/. To follow the stories and tales visit http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/ and http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/. Dublin: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=2754. Malahide: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=24123. Clongriffin: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=24119.

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In-N-Out Burgers

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In-N-Out Burgers

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.

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Chocola Tree (Sedona, Arizona)

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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.

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Dream Dinners : Quick meals for the weekender traveler

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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.

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Charleston Marina Variety Store and Seafood Restaurant

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.

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Boiled Peanuts – a southern U.S. specialty

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Boiled Peanuts

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.

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The Diner (Columbia, South Carolina)

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The Diner
* 4405 Fort Jackson Blvd * Columbia, SC 29209 * (803) 661-7676 * http://www.thedinercolumbia.com/ * http://www.facebook.com/TheDinerColumbiaSC *

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.

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Hungry Jacks

Hungry Jack’s
* Australia * www.hungryjacks.com.au *

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”.

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Agia Sophia (Colorado Springs, Colorado)



Mediterranean Platter & Chai

Agia Sophia
* 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.

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Hard Rock Cafe Dublin

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.

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Coffee Beans Clean Jeans (Pueblo, CO)


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.


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Breakfast King (Denver, CO)

Breakfast King
* 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.

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