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    Best Of 2013: Place to Shoot Pool

    Best Of 2013: Bar Patio

    Best Of 2013: Banquet Facility

    Best Of 2013: Restaurant for Tourists

    Four categories? How does any establishment take four categories? Well, here's the skinny: six standard beers on tap, five+ rotating seasonal and specialty beers, 13 pool tables, a second-floor patio that seats 95, a banquet hall used three to five times a week, warm décor, all in the heart of downtown. "We have something for everyone," says Erica Russell, restaurant manager. Free Pool Mondays, College Night on Wednesdays, or happy hour all day long on Sundays (in honor of the holy pigskin), are a few of the major draws. And we haven't even mentioned specific beers, or food for that matter. "Our lemon Tabasco fried chicken has always been very popular, as well as the Railyard Ale," Russell says. Two gas fire-pit tables on the new patio keep guests warm as they feast. — Joshua Hutton

    Bites 2013: Blonde Ale & Smoked Gouda Soup

    Like the Iron Throne in Game of Thrones or one of those geek-ass elven blades from The Lord of the Rings, this soup is legend. It's not so much that wars have been fought over it (aside from the personal mental battle of resisting eating it all the time) as the fact that it's pretty much the greatest beer-cheese soup in the known realm. With its Queen's Blonde Ale base and thick cheese, it's so rich it's royal. ($3.25 cup/$5 bowl)

    Click here for Phantom Canyon Brewing Co.'s Pork Green Chili

    Best Of 2013: Tourist Destination

    Time for your annual refresher: You can drive through Garden of the Gods or walk, hike, bike, climb or ride a horse through it, but keep in mind that bikes yield to horses. The hiking trails range in length from .5 to 3 miles, and some paths are paved so they're stroller-friendly and disabled-accessible. Dogs are welcome on a leash. And the Visitor and Nature Center is not a tourist trap, although it does include a gift shop — there are educational displays, a café, and as is true of the National Natural Landmark itself, no admission fee. — Kendall Kullman

 

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