Thursday, November 15, 2018

Frozen Gold adds stylish, unique dessert to Atomic Provisions enterprise

Posted By on Thu, Nov 15, 2018 at 9:18 PM

Believe it or not, the Springs just got something before Denver.

Break out the good crystal and pop the champers — it's time to celebrate! Drew Shader, founder of Atomic Provisions, launched the newest arm of his culinary enterprise in the Springs on November 14. Located right next door to his extant three-in-one Springs biz, Atomic Cowboy/Denver Biscuit Co./Fat Sully’s, it’s called Frozen Gold. Shader and company have made a bold decision to open an ice cream parlor in November, but there’s nothing like Frozen Gold in town. The dessert spot does gourmet soft serve, offering cups and cones with specialty toppings, a dessert option for its heretofore dessert-less sibling establishment. Atomic Provisions marketing director Fearon Perry compares it to the city’s various ‘50s-style drive-ins “on steroids,” although the glitterific pink-orange-gold interior and disco soundtrack read decidedly 1970s.

Frozen Gold offers three house-made ice cream flavors, with space for a fourth rotating flavor. In addition to classic chocolate and vanilla, they offer a vegan coconut soft-serve, made with coconut milk. Atomic Provisions executive chef Corey King says their soft serve’s a higher quality product than what corporate competitors like Dairy Queen serve, thanks to two factors: butterfat and overrun. Frozen Gold soft-serve has half as much air pumped into it, compared to DQ, and far more butterfat — 8 to 9 percent, next to DQ’s 1.5 percent, King says.

Beyond plain cups and cones, Frozen Gold specializes in inspired combinations. The You’re So Cheesy, for instance, draws from Chicago airport mixed popcorn, a combination of caramel and cheesy popcorn. It’s vanilla soft serve, with a caramel “core” injected into the middle of the swirl, topped with Cheetos, Cheez-Its and cheddar Goldfish crackers. Other flavors include the breakfast cereal-inspired Silly Rabbit, filled with cereal milk, and the Samoa Samoa, a girl scout cookie-inspired vegan cone with brown sugar fudge and salted caramel.

We recently stopped in for a little dessert — check out the slideshow below for more info.
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Friday, November 9, 2018

Do good and drink good at All Colorado Beer Festival

Posted By on Fri, Nov 9, 2018 at 1:00 AM

All Colorado Beer Festival, Nov. 10, 1-10 p.m., Chapel Hills Mall, 1710 Briargate Blvd., $35-$65, $10/designated driver, allcoloradobeerfestival.com. - SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • Shutterstock.com
  • All Colorado Beer Festival, Nov. 10, 1-10 p.m., Chapel Hills Mall, 1710 Briargate Blvd., $35-$65, $10/designated driver, allcoloradobeerfestival.com.
Let’s take a look at these numbers: 80 Colorado breweries, 225 different beers to sample, two drinking sessions with early entry and Brewers Lounge tickets available, and four nonprofits benefiting from it all. The seventh annual All Colorado Beer Festival promises all of the above, plus a generally fun drinking experience. We know, as proud Coloradans, that we have some of the best breweries in the country, so this is your chance to get ‘em all (or a good number of them, at least) under one roof. Try flagship and new beers from Ska Brewing, the Springs’ own Smiling Toad, Manitou Brewing Company, Odell Brewing and plenty more. Proceeds from this year’s festival will fund TheatreWorks, Home Front Cares, the Empty Stocking Fund and UCCS’ ACBF Scholarship fund. Do good and drink good — what could be better?
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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Give! Campaign is back and bigger than ever, along with its special Black Lager

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Give! Black Lager Release and 
2018 Campaign Kick-Off, Nov. 1, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Ivywild School Gymnasium, 1604 S. Cascade Ave., free, facebook.com/IndyGive.
  • Give! Black Lager Release and 
2018 Campaign Kick-Off, Nov. 1, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Ivywild School Gymnasium, 1604 S. Cascade Ave., free, facebook.com/IndyGive.
With 94 regional nonprofit organizations participating, the Give! Campaign is bigger that it has ever been. This annual fundraising initiative gives Springsians the opportunity to get to know the nonprofits making a difference here in the region, to support those nonprofits, and to get some awesome goodies in return. The first night of the campaign (which runs from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31) Give! will offer everyone their first chance to make a difference. For the seventh year in a row, Bristol Brewing Company has brewed up a special Give! Black Lager, and each pint you purchase puts $3 toward one of this year’s nonprofits. Give! Black Lager will be on-tap at Bristol and Old Chicago locations throughout the campaign, so drink up!
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Second annual Vegan Restaurant Weekend should provide new, healthy dining options

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Colorado Springs Vegan Restaurant Week(end), Nov. 1-3, various locations throughout Colorado Springs, COSVeganRestaurantWeek.com. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Colorado Springs Vegan Restaurant Week(end), Nov. 1-3, various locations throughout Colorado Springs, COSVeganRestaurantWeek.com.
There’s no denying eating vegan is better for the environment, but it usually means sacrificing dining options. The Springs boasts few vegan-friendly restaurant menus, and some come with a hefty price tag. Recognizing a need, culinary instructor JL Fields of the Colorado Springs Vegan Cooking Academy helped set up the area’s first Vegan Restaurant Weekend last year. The challenge: for restaurants to offer vegan options for weekend diners, whether that means a prix fixe menu or daily specials. Last year, eight restaurants participated. “This year we have over 20 restaurants participating,” Fields says, “several vegan and most not, and I believe it’s a testament to the overall food trend that grocery stores and restaurants are noticing around the country: Vegans aren’t the only people demanding healthier, plant-based food.” Kicking off on World Vegan Day, Nov. 1, Vegan Restaurant Weekend should provide new options for vegan diners, and encourage restaurants and diners alike to try something new. “Younger people are highly motivated by environmental concerns, and people of all ages are trying to eat healthier. And many people who love dining out love foodie adventures,” Fields says. See the event website for a list of participating restaurants and their menus.
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Monday, October 22, 2018

In-N-Out, Five Guys and more flunk antibiotics report card

Posted By on Mon, Oct 22, 2018 at 8:52 AM

PETER HERMES FURIAN/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • Peter Hermes Furian/Shutterstock.com
Nearly every big-name burger chain in America lacks any public policy for sourcing beef produced with restrictions on antibiotic use, according to this report, recently released by a coalition that includes environmentalist nonprofit the National Resources Defense Council.

Let's break that down a little. Antibiotics are very effective for treating bacterial diseases and infections. But some livestock producers will give antibiotics to healthy animals, "either to promote faster growth or to prevent disease caused by factory farm production practices," according to the report. Keeping a cow healthy seems like a good thing. But using antibiotics when they aren't needed leads to more antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The report cites World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention platforms that antibiotic-resistant bacteria is "a global health crisis, threatening to create a future in which common infections could once again become life-threatening on a large scale."

So yeah, the stakes are high when the steaks are medicated unnecessarily. And of the 25 burger chains graded in the above report, 22 received F grades. That means they have no public policies for sourcing beef raised without medically important antibiotics. F-grade holders include higher-end joints like Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Smashburger, Texas' favored sons Whataburger and even California's golden cow itself, In-N-Out Burger.

The report blasts In-N-Out in particular, because in 2016, spokespeople claimed the company would start sourcing beef raised with responsible antibiotic use.

"However," says the report, "more than two years later, In-N-Out Burger has not publicly reported progress on formalizing an antibiotics policy, establishing a timeframe for ending routine uses, or identifying third-party auditors. In-N-Out Burger has also failed to answer thousands of consumer letters pressing the company for more information on its antibiotics policies and/or respond to requests for information by this report’s authors." Fingers crossed that'll change before the chain comes to the Springs in a few years.

Only two chains, New York-based Shake Shack and Florida-based Burger Fi, received A grades for sourcing antibiotic-free beef. Wendy's received a D-minus — the report says the company promised to source 15 percent of its beef from producers that use 20 percent less of one particular antibiotic, a move the company undertook in 2018.

Check out the report here for more information, including a full scorecard and how the authors of the report scored the companies involved.
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Friday, October 19, 2018

FH Beerworks' huge east side taproom/brewhouse opens

Posted By on Fri, Oct 19, 2018 at 11:14 AM

Expect 11 house taps to launch, and up to 20 online within a month or two. Pictured: The Extra Thicc Hazy New England IPA and gluten-free mango blonde. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Expect 11 house taps to launch, and up to 20 online within a month or two. Pictured: The Extra Thicc Hazy New England IPA and gluten-free mango blonde.
FH Beerworks has come a long way since its mid 2014 opening downtown. (We actually got our first taste of their beer in 2011, seeing an early sign of high quality and creativity. Originally the company was called Fieldhouse Brewing Company.)

We announced earlier this year their plans for an east side expansion, and on Saturday, Oct. 20, more than a year's hard work by owners Niki and Travis Fields pay off with FH Beerworks' east location grand opening.
Expect food trucks — including the newly opening house food truck Twelve Thirty-One, dishing tacos — live music, some giveaways and the special release of a dark cherry kettle sour, a smooth 5-percent ABV brew we got an early sample of: based out of a nut brown ale recipe with dark crystal malts, Travis pulled 100 gallons of the batch out to age in bourbon barrels for two weeks, re-blending it later to add some vanilla notes to the existing tart fruit and nutty elements. It's delicious.

This new location (formerly Timberline Landscaping, which moved) sits on a total of 4.4 acres, just under an acre of which is developed (later plans call for adding retails spaces to attract other local businesses to combat Powers Boulevard's chain row). The taproom's 1,300 square feet, next to a 700 square foot barrel room and 3,100 square foot brewhouse, plus a 6,000-foot beer garden landscaped with pergolas. Travis anticipates beginning brewing on site in mid December, after a new Alpha Brewing Operations brew system arrives. FH Beerworks downtown spot host a 5-barrel system, this one will be 20 barrels, which will enable some retail expansion as well with new cans coming soon. 
Location Details FH Beerworks East
2490 Victor Place
Downtown
Colorado Springs, CO
354-4143
Breweries/Wineries/Distilleries


Expect 11 taps at opening, with up to 20 house beers within a couple months; Travis says he's been double brewing since July to prep for stocking this location until it gets up and brewing. At the media preview we attended, in addition to the special release dark cherry sour, we sampled The Extra Thicc Hazy New England IPA; gluten-free mango blonde; and Dream Crusher Black IPA. The hazy IPA's as excellent at Goat Patch Brewing's rendition, while the black IPA leads with huge roasted notes, and the mango blonde bests previous FH Beerworks gluten-free beers we've sampled; it's still rice- and millet-based, leading to a thin texture, but mango purée influence folds a nice soft fruity undertone into the mild hops.

We were also treated to an early bite of Twelve Thirty-One's tacos (their name's a Bible reference about "loving our neighbors"): a carne adada (with local grass-fed beef) topped notably in a smoked paprika cream sauce; a chimichurri with orange-braised pulled pork and the piquant parsley sauce; and The Vegan Experience of veggies topped in a fun Sriracha vegan aioli. Chef/co-owner Tyler Baggett (who'll be assisted by his wife Becky and a couple employees) also dished a chef's special waffle-BLT sandwich with candied bacon and maple syrup. All fared beer friendly and showed early promise.

On the whole, this new FH Beerworks stands pretty impressive for its footrpint alone, feeling like a beer campus in its infancy; it'll be exciting to see what five years adds to the land (to include the retail shop space Travis alluded to). This is a scale unrivaled by other local breweries outside of Bristol Brewing Company's Ivywild complex, perhaps, though Red Leg Brewing's got plans for something of equal ambition, as we previously reported.

Fieldhouse-turned FH Beerworks is growing up, and seriously blowing up at this new space. Cheers to the ambition and fine flavors.
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UPDATE: Black Forest Chew-Chew Gastrotruck wins big on Food Network

Posted By on Fri, Oct 19, 2018 at 11:05 AM

Black Forest Chew-Chew Gastrotruck took home People's Choice in the 2018 Small Business Week food truck cook-off with their bulgogi tacos. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Black Forest Chew-Chew Gastrotruck took home People's Choice in the 2018 Small Business Week food truck cook-off with their bulgogi tacos.
UPDATE: Congratulations to Deanna Johnson and her team at Black Forest Chew-Chew Gastrotruck. They won on Food Truck Fan Fight last night, beating out J Street Food Truck of Denver, Boar & Castle of Denver, The French Twist of Boulder, and Jessie’s Smokin’ NOLA of Denver.

“We battled so hard to do it,” says Johnson. “It was quite a process, the whole thing was a process, but the win was incredible.”

The first round took place at Aurora’s Stanley Marketplace, and working with manager and right hand gal Sarah Wynn, Johnson took second with the truck’s bulgogi steak tacos, coming behind J Street’s signature BBQ brussel sprouts.

Round two was tragically delayed by the death of Johnson’s husband, Dodd, who also co-owned the truck. Filming ultimately picked back up in March, when the two finalists competed for sales at the St. Patrick's Day parade, each coming up with a new dish featuring a surprise ingredient: beer.

“And of course, being the St. Patty’s Day parade, we both did corned beef,” says Johnson. While J Street served theirs with potatoes and brussel sprouts, Johnson and her crew whipped up a corned beef taco they dubbed the Ragin’ O’Hagan, for Wynn’s grandmother.

For Johnson, the most intimidating part of the competition was the fact that she and her team were up against Denver-area trucks on their home turf. But that’s made the victory all the sweeter. And in the months since, she’s already seen familiar faces from Denver showing up at the gastrotruck in the Springs. Long-term, she hopes her win will continue to draw attention to the Springs’ culinary scene.

“We have some great things going on, and we came right on the heels of Brother Luck on Top Chef,” she says.

————————— ORIGINAL POST 2:26 P.M. THURSDAY OCT. 18, 2018 —————————
Local food truck Black Forest Chew-Chew Gastrotruck will appear on Thursday's premier episode of Food Truck Fan Fight on Food Network. According to the Food Network website, owner Deanna Dodd and her all-female crew be competing against four other food trucks from Denver, Fort Collins and Boulder.

"First, the chefs head to Stanley Marketplace in Aurora, Colorado, to hand out samples of their signature dishes to savvy locals who then vote for their favorites," explains the Food Network site. "The top two trucks move on to downtown Denver where they must sell a new dish featuring a surprise ingredient at the St. Patrick's Day parade."

If the Springs' response to the truck is any indicator, they'll be strong competitors — the Indy praised them in our initial review, and they took home People's Choice in this and last year's Small Business Week food truck cook-off. We'll be pulling for Springs pride and girl power when the episode airs on Thursday, Oct. 18, at 9 p.m.
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Friday, October 12, 2018

Snooze: an A.M. Eatery announces Colorado Springs expansion

Posted By on Fri, Oct 12, 2018 at 5:03 PM

Snooze, an A.M. Eatery, is known in part for its gourmet pancake flights. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Snooze, an A.M. Eatery, is known in part for its gourmet pancake flights.
Morning and afternoon meals just got tastier, as beloved Denver-based chain Snooze: an A.M. Eatery, has announced its first Colorado Springs location. Set to open in April 2019, the spot will anchor a new 8,295-square-foot development at 7587 N. Academy Blvd., according to the Gazette. The company, known in part for its pancake flights and morning-centric cocktails, has 28 locations nationwide and seven in Colorado.

If that sounds like something the Springs already has, it's because that is in fact the case — when we spoke with Rocky Mountain Restaurant Group CEO Randy Price in 2012, before he opened the first Over Easy, a daytime eatery, he acknowledged cribbing plenty of notes from the Denver chain, as well as from many other major-city breakfast spots.

The Snooze announcement comes on the heels of two other Denver-based restaurant businesses, Dos Santos Taqueria and Atomic Cowboy Provisions, opening Springs locations as the city's image shifts from stodgy and hyper-conservative to something more cosmopolitan. And while three data points isn't enough to declare a trend with any degree of certainty, it's certainly interesting timing, and if more well-known Denver eateries decided to expand to the Springs, it would be far from surprising.

In any case, Indy sister paper the Colorado Springs Business Journal reports that Snooze will neighbor Bishops Cuts/Color, a Portland, Oregon-based barbershop and salon chain, also already present in Denver. Karas further reports that Snooze plans on hiring 75 employees — keep eyes open for a hiring event tentatively scheduled for March.
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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Happy Hour: That's it, we're wintering south of the border

BRIENNE BOORTZ
  • Brienne Boortz
The first snow has fallen, and one can't help but to miss a warmer climate. While many can't afford a trip to tropical temperatures, we can live vicariously through our taste buds.

Earlier this year, the Principal's Office offered up a recipe thats sure to make you feel all warm (and buzzy), the Luna Muerta. It's a simple tequila-based cocktail with raicilla, orange liqueur, agave nectar and added citrus notes. And it's super sexy.

Here's the full recipe:

At least our taste buds can live south of the border while the rest of us are preparing our winter bodies.

Meanwhile, here's this week's Happy Hour map: 
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Boos & Brews promises to be a scary good time

Posted By on Thu, Oct 11, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Boos & Brews Haunted House and Brewfest, Oct. 13, 3-7 p.m., Colorado Springs Event Center, 3960 Palmer Park Blvd., $15-$65, facebook.com/HauntedMines. - ELIZABETH IRVINE-MADRID, COURTESY HAUNTED MINES
  • Elizabeth Irvine-Madrid, Courtesy Haunted Mines
  • Boos & Brews Haunted House and Brewfest, Oct. 13, 3-7 p.m., Colorado Springs Event Center, 3960 Palmer Park Blvd., $15-$65, facebook.com/HauntedMines.
When Haunted Mines, a long-beloved local Halloween attraction, was raised from the dead by Hellscream Entertainment earlier this year, fans of the haunt were overjoyed to hear they’d be opening a new location well in advance of Halloween season. Now that we’re mere weeks from Halloween, Haunted Mines, Hellscream and Jon Eddy Productions have put together a perfectly spooky celebration to get you in the spirit of the season. Boos & Brews promises a thoroughly entertaining haunted house experience in Haunted Mines’ new 14,000-square-foot location, and a scary spin on the traditional brew fest with samples from local breweries and distilleries filling the Colorado Springs Event Center, where you can enjoy live music by Alice Cooper tribute band Dragontown Dan and a performance by DJ Grin, who also happens to be one of Haunted Mines’ actors.
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Thursday, October 4, 2018

Happy Hour: It's not hard to act like an expert bartender at your next party

A classic Rye Old Fashioned
  • A classic Rye Old Fashioned
With Halloween right around the corner, the holiday party season is about to begin. Cocktails can make or break any get-together, so it's always good idea to have a handle on a few go-to recipes to keep your guests buzzing.

Mixing drinks, though, can be a chore — especially with larger parties — so it's best to stick with some simple classics you can churn out quickly. Montana Horsfall of Craft Cocktail Inc. knows all about that, and created a simple drink menu of familiar classics for us to master mixing earlier this summer for our first-ever Drink Issue.
Among our staff favorites were the Bee's Knees, a stupid-simple gin drink, the ever-customizable Mimosa, and the Brazillian Cachaca-based Caipirinah. More importantly (perhaps) we learned that it's not that hard to be an expert bartender at your next party — or at least act like one.

But if you're one to leave the expertise up to the, uh, experts, here's this week's Happy Hour map:
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Garlic Fest is quite possibly the tastiest of traditions

Posted By on Thu, Oct 4, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Garlic Fest, Tapas and beer/wine, Oct. 5, 5-7 p.m.; street festival including cook-off, Oct. 6, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Great Garlic Dinner, Oct. 6, 6-9 p.m.; ice cream social: Oct. 7, 1-4 p.m, Local Relic at The Carter Payne, ppugardens.org. - SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • Shutterstock.com
  • Garlic Fest, Tapas and beer/wine, Oct. 5, 5-7 p.m.; street festival including cook-off, Oct. 6, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Great Garlic Dinner, Oct. 6, 6-9 p.m.; ice cream social: Oct. 7, 1-4 p.m, Local Relic at The Carter Payne, ppugardens.org.
The average foodie might not consider that garlic — aside from its irreplaceable flavor in literally all the best foods (speaking with a bias for a moment), and its reputation as vampire repellent (happy Halloween) — has enough uses to fill three days and an entire street festival with garlic-themed activities. But every year Pikes Peak Urban Gardens delivers us Garlic Fest, a chance to celebrate all forms of our favorite allium. While some of the more exclusive Garlic Fest events carry a price tag, the Saturday festival is free to attend and includes vendors selling all manner of garlicky goods, plus experts from garden stores and local farms. If you’ve got some money to spare (and considering this is PPUG’s big fall fundraiser, it’d be nice of you to spare some money), consider beginning the weekend with a buffet-style tasting event on Friday night (tickets: $50). For a more intimate gala-like experience, try the Great Garlic Dinner on Saturday (tickets: $80), with multiple courses and plenty to drink. The serious gardener will enjoy a workshop about garlic planting and growing on Saturday morning (tickets: $45); and the serious chef will enjoy the Garlic Cook-off ($20 to enter). When it’s all said and done, join PPUG, Local Relic and other garlic enthusiasts for a garlic ice cream social on Sunday. That’s right, garlic gelato. We’re curious, too.
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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Dos Santos Taqueria shows promise, a possible Denver restaurant wave

Posted By on Tue, Oct 2, 2018 at 5:50 PM

Jason Wallenta says he was hesitant to open a second Dos Santos in Colorado Springs, until his buddy, Atomic Cowboy Provisions founder Drew Shader, brought him down to take a look at the space where he was planning his own Springs expansion. Wallenta was sold immediately on both the neighborhood and the view, and since, he and wife Riley have moved to the Springs full-time. Over the coming years, Wallenta and his brother/business partner, Kris, hope to open another four Dos Santos locations in the Springs, plus four locations for his currently-Denver-only pizza joint, White Pie. (Wallenta also owns two eateries in Mexico, dating back to 2006 and 2008; the Denver Dos Santos opened in 2015.)

While Wallenta's restaurant buddies have been hesitant to invest in a city they still perceive to be run by conservative bastions like Focus on the Family and New Life Church, they now have one more reason to come by and check things out. Whether the death and renovation of Southside Johnny's, the Springs standby that Dos Santos and Atomic Cowboy Provisions have taken over, will catalyze a wave of Denver restaurateurs expanding southward, only time will tell.
For now, we've stopped by Dos Santos' Springs location on its opening day and found plenty to enjoy. We start with cocktails and discover surprising quality — they're not slouching behind the bar. The Mezcalina has a mezcal nose, but it's not overly smoky on the sip. Agave notes sing with a measured hibiscus syrup and St. Germain elderflower liqueur, backed by nicely sweet yet subtle orange juice. The spicy margarita comes with a tajin rim, a slow-burner with plenty of complexity thanks to a three-pepper tincture. The sole vodka cocktail on the menu, basil limeade, is herbaceous and refreshing.

For starters, the taqueria's chips come seasoned, and while chips and salsa are extra, they're good, served with a smoky molcajete salsa, deep red from roasted tomato, and a fresh, sharp verde with lime brightness for days. Elote Is magical as it should be, creamy with aioli, salty with cotija cheese, roasty-sweet and delicious, finished with fried cilantro. As for the shrimp ceviche, my editor compares it to what he's had in Puerto Vallarta for excellence. There's a killer acidity, fresh radish and onion for more complexity, and it's all served with more of those seasoned chips.

We visit on taco Tuesday and sample the four $3 tacos they have available, all street-sized but generously filled. The Porky taco's full of tender meat, fresh with a nice spice level and a bright finish. The taco of the day, fried avocado, comes very creamy with a nice warm flavor, good seasoning and a pleasant spice level. Also vegetarian-friendly, the roasted cauliflower stands up to its seasoning and accompaniments without overwhelming; vegetarian diners should not feel left out. And the chicken tinga's ludicrously savory and tender, brightened by pickled onions.

For dessert, a seasonal flan comes with caramel corn and hibiscus syrup, and it's stupid creamy and rich. Overall, for a day one preview, we're pretty damn impressed. 
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Dos Santos Taqueria de Mexico opens in Colorado Springs

Posted By on Tue, Oct 2, 2018 at 9:53 AM

Dos Santos' Springs location opens on Tuesday, Oct. 2. - CHANDLER KIM
  • Chandler Kim
  • Dos Santos' Springs location opens on Tuesday, Oct. 2.
In January, Denver-based Dos Santos Taqueria de Mexico owner/operator Jason Wallenta announced that he and brother Kris, Dos Santos' owner/chef, would be opening a new location in Colorado Springs, in the former Southside Johnny's next to fellow Denver food expansionists Atomic Cowboy Provisions. Now we have an opening date: Dos Santos Colorado Springs will open today, Tuesday, Oct. 2.

"We’re just excited to open our doors to the public," Jason says, saying that friends-and-family soft openings over the preceding weekend went smoothly.

The Springs location will have a menu largely identical to their Denver spot, though they're adding tuna poke nachos for Springs diners. For beer, they'll have only three taps. One will feature Dos Santos Mexican lager, brewed by Denver's Station 26 Brewing Co. As a local nod, they'll be pouring Goat Patch Brewing Company's It Takes a Tribe red ale, which recently won bronze for Best Scottish-style ale at the Great American Beer Festival. They'll also have a full, tequila-centric bar.

“Arguably, we have the best margaritas in the Springs now," Jason boasts. "Everything is juiced and made fresh daily.”

Bold words, but Springs diners can see if they hold up soon. To celebrate, they'll be offering their taco Tuesday specials — four select tacos for $3 each, $4 Dos Santos lagers and $6 tequila mules. For hours and more info, click here.
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Monday, October 1, 2018

The Archives releases fall menu

Posted By on Mon, Oct 1, 2018 at 2:16 PM

A classic sidecar blends brandy, lemon and orange liqueur; Currier serves it with a sugared rim to mellow the tartness. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • A classic sidecar blends brandy, lemon and orange liqueur; Currier serves it with a sugared rim to mellow the tartness.
Bartender Dylan Currier's new spot, The Archives, has released its fall menu. Keeping in line with the bar's theme, the menu highlights a selection of vintage recipes, more recent classics and originals. 13 drinks are featured, and on Currier's invitation, we sampled each of them.

Starting with traditional drinks, the whiskey sour's mix of bourbon, lemon, sugar and egg white gets shaken into a rich sipper, delicately creamy from the egg white, finished with bitters for aroma and garnish. The sidecar, a mix of brandy, lemon and orange liqueur, lands clean and refreshing, especially thanks to a sugared rim that cuts the tart lemon. Similarly, the negroni's to style, nicely sweet and bitter, with plenty of orange essence that keeps the drink fairly friendly.
The Negroni's a classic, and Currier's gin-Campari-sweet vermouth drink bears stand-out orange zest on the nose. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • The Negroni's a classic, and Currier's gin-Campari-sweet vermouth drink bears stand-out orange zest on the nose.

Currier, it seems, has no fear of putting two-ingredient drinks on the menu, as evidenced by both his gimlet and dark & stormy. The former's a simple combination of gin and house lime cordial, nice and clean with a small lime wedge as garnish being the only deviation from tradition. Currier's also sourced a mighty gingery ginger beer for his dark & stormy, which stands up to dark rum and makes a spirit-and-soda drink seem at home alongside more complex classics.

Moving on to more recent recipes, Currier's Singapore sling sips fruity with a mellow rum flavor, friendly but with complexity from Bénédictine and cherry brandy. A Bonded Vieux Carré, the French name for New Orleans' French Quarter, uses rye and brandy bottled in bond, a particular US government regulation that, among purity and authenticity concerns, requires spirits be bottled at 100 proof. Mixed with sweet vermouth, Bénédictine and bitters, it's a strong, bitter, complex drink. A Blood and Sand combines Monkey Shoulder blended Scotch with sweet vermouth, cherry brandy and orange for a mouth-filling combo of cherry and peat smoke. Last in that category, Archives bartender Luis Rodriguez compares the Adonis to a tootsie pop — three sips, and this luxurious, fruity mix of sherry, sweet vermouth and orange bitters is gone.

The Cimarron's an Archives original, grassy and fresh on the sip with a big sage nose. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • The Cimarron's an Archives original, grassy and fresh on the sip with a big sage nose.
Currier's menu has four originals. His favorite is the Cimarron, Spanish for runaway or wild. It uses sotol, a spirit from Chihuahua, Mexico, similar to tequila, but lighter in flavor. In the Cimarron, it's paired with lime, sugar and blackberries, then finished with a slapped sage leaf for a drink that's fresh and herbaceous, almost grassy and finishing very clean. The brandy-based El Pomar blends brandy and Distillery 291's Decc citrus-clove liqueur for a fruity, crisp sipper with subdued spice notes. The O.N.E.'s a revision of Currier's Old North End, developed at his former digs, Sakura Speakeasy, here made with rye, vermouth, black walnut liqueur and aromatic bitters, an intense, dark drink with big Manhattan vibes. And, lastly, the most challenging drink on the menu's the Witch's Brew, a drink of dark rum, Italian Strega liqueur, Fernet-Branca and sweet vermouth that drinks minty and mouth-filling, with a rounded feel.
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