“Expectations will only get you so far,” or so says Bryce Crawford in his recent review of the Rabbit Hole for the Colorado Springs Independent. Armed with his Thomas Keller Desk Reference Set and his magnifine glass he set out to review a fledging establishment that is attempting to do something unique in a city crowded with Applebee’s and Olive Garden’s. Not so long ago, when I was in culinary school I would whip out chocolates flavored with sake and lavender or rum and banana, and when my instructors would turn up their noses to that which my partner and I had created, we would quietly joke, “These people have noooo palette.” Well, Mr. Crawford, if I may, has no palette. What he calls “candied ginger” a more discerning tongue would call candied chives. What he calls “onion dip” is sour cream with herbs, not onions. Perhaps he is a smoker and has lost his ability to tell flavors, textures and colors apart? That would make sense to me. Furthermore, I feel that Mr. Crawford has lost the plot to some degree in his estimation, nay accusation that the Rabbit Hole is misleading the public by proclaiming that they serve locally sourced foods. Has Mr. Crawford even climbed off his desk chair to place an order with Sysco or worked directly with a farmer to ensure that they are growing that which his establishment requires? I’m guessing no, that the extent of his ordering at work centers on barking for a latte as the intern walks out of the office.
As someone familiar with the ordering of food for a restaurant and also with that which Colorado has to offer, I can tell you that it is not so simple as walking over to the window and yelling “I WANT LOCAL GOODS!” Far more complicated. In fact, Mr. Crawford’s hero du jour, Thomas Keller, has often taken heat from within the culinary community because he believes anything that can be gotten to his restaurants within 24 hours is “local,” making Maine lobster a local dish in the eyes of the French Laundry. In this day and age of industrially produced meats and vegetables it is next to impossible to offer all “local” goods without passing the expense onto the customer. What the Rabbit Hole does is sets its margins and allows the food reps to do their jobs. Is the rabbit in the rabbit meat loaf always from Colorado? No, often it is from Montana, which is still within the Rocky Mountains and, therefore more or less, local. The same is true for most of the dishes on the Rabbit Hole menu: they are as local as is humanly possible. It is a goal to be local, not a religion. Shame on Mr. Crawford for somehow implying dishonesty on the part of Mr. Campana and his associates. Maybe he could’ve made an appointment with the Mr. Campana and Chef Beemer, instead of playing phone tag?
In closing I would like to remind Mr. Crawford that what Joe Campana is trying to do is no small task: Open a hip joint in a down economy where one bad review can make or break you. Honestly, I get the feeling that there is more at play with Mr. Crawford’s sour attitude than just simply disliking his hovering waitress or his cold coffee (Maybe tell said waitress that your coffee is cold?). It’s a pity because if the Rabbit Hole sees success than it’s likely others will try their hands at opening an eatery that does more than serve bottomless piles of breadsticks and then Mr. Crawford will have more to do than try to sell ad space to MMJ dispensaries. But who am I? He’s got a copy of the French Laundry at home, so he must know what he’s talking about…right?
Yep, same Glacier. The UV location is a branch (or franchise?) of the Boulder-based company. Bhan Thai was sourcing from Glacier before they had a COS location.
Good to know and thanks for sharing. Are we talking about the Glacier ice cream that opened in University Village in July, 2010? That's who's making it for them? Regardless, can't wait to try their version.
About the Thai Iced Tea ice cream....
No real "creative thinking" or "experimentation" there. I've been eating Thai Iced Tea ice cream for years from Bhan Thai on Centennial. They put in a Glacier Ice Cream stand a few years back and have a few flavors created especially for them, included Thai iced tea. It's AMAZING, and needs no "dialing in."
I have eaten there several times and each time had something completely different. The bumble wrap is great and the new "the works" bagel is incredible. My family and I have never had a bad drink or meal at Gold Hill Java Downtown. I would recommend this coffee shop over any other downtown for its quiet, welcoming atmosphere and amazing friendly staff! Don't let the Indy discourage you from trying this new place you will be pleasantly surprised and you'll recommend it to all your friends and family. I have recommended it to all my friends and family and they have given it rave reviews. AS usual the Indy doesn't know what they are talking about and last I looked they aren't food critics they are biased writers with their own agendas! rag paper to say the least.
Gold Hill Java is a wonderful new neighbor to north-end Tejon businesses, residents, and shoppers. The coffee shop is always sparkling clean and comfortable. The staff is friendly and welcoming. So far, we've tried the M wrap, the Bumbel wrap, and Polly Olly wrap--they've all been delicious. And that bite of fudge included with meals is heavenly! Give them a try--we don't think you'll be disappointed. John and Pam Ramsey, Tejon Street Music.
I live walking distance to India Palace, and so it's my go to "I don't feel like cooking" place to eat.
Every time I have eaten there since the new management has taken over, each and every dish has been spot on and perfect.
In fact, I enjoyed the Lamb Korma much better here at India Palace than I did while I was in England at no less than 3 curry houses that I went to. (My fiancee is from England, so he eats a lot of curry)
The Chai tea is a wonderful blend for when I want to be decadent.
Suddenly it makes sense where I had seen Raj Kumar before, I used to eat at "Taste of India" (it was a friend of mine's favorite curry house). Thank you for that realization as I couldn't place where I knew him from.
No More Bluefin!
Colorado Springs, jump on the train: http://culinary-colorado.com/2010/12/03/pr…
Support your local sushi restaurants that don't serve bluefin (restaurant pledge at www.bluefinboycott.org), not overfishing.
Good stuff, well worth the visit.
Your review is honest but this is definitely a restaurant everyone in the area should try. The breakfast is great and affordable -- hands down the best value for your money in Woodland Park -- especially better than the over priced Hungry Bear.
I agree the place is a bit quirky but as a WP resident this is appreciated. Obviously this reviewer isn't a 'mountain' person.
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WTF? Their website is void of any info, other than name, address and email link. Menu?
I am loving the new Sahara in Manitou. The lamb was out of the world and really enjoyed the Sahara Salad when I was there. Also, the coffee is fantastic, done to perfection and is perfect after a wonderful dinner there. Very good customer service as well. I will be back!
Great Middle Eastern food for everyone and the best I've found in the area! The service was excellent service, the menu diverse and flavorful. I will definitely be visiting Sahara Cafe again!
Good article--I love frozen yogurt. Sound interesting--another yogurt place that is healthier than Pinkberry is U-Swirl. http://u-swirl.com/franchise.html It's popping up all over the place--and it's really good.
We've been won over by the great food and amazing staff at Sahara's. We've tried all the area Middle Eastern places, and lived in the Middle East ourselves, and Sahara's is the best -- both for the fresh salads (I love their fattoush) and meats and the welcoming staff. If you like Middle Eastern food you'll see what makes this place special. Great for carnivores and vegetarians. Yum!
and i will make sure my baklava is not dry ever again
thank you so much for the great article
we already started remodling the didning area hopefully it will look better the next few weeks
the old tables already gone since wedn. the 18th of May and the lighting will be changed the next few days
thanks for you support
Nothing against little kids and dogs, but not running around the crops that I'm going to eat. clearly there is no food safety program at Fruition Farms. This farm would instantly fail any third party audited food safety inspection. Chefs who use product from this farm had better make sure their liability insurance is paid up.
Hi Dave (nat),
To answer what I'm going to assume is a real question, I began with that phrase because regardless of how a restaurant institutes cost-cutting measures, there's a difference between the real thing and not, and one shouldn't be mistaken for — or graded like — the other.
Hope things continue to go as well as they have at the Gazette.
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