Catch up! Part 1
Early the next day, after a breakfast of bagels and scallion cream cheese, TL and I drove two hours to Colorado Springs to board the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, which takes passengers up to the Pikes Peak summit and back in three and a half hours. At fourteen thousand feet, the air at the top of the mountain was extremely thin, and frigid even while it was 80 degrees at its base.
Inside the lodge, people were lining up for donuts. And no wonder—maybe it was just an effect of the altitude high, but they were some of the best I'd ever had. Still hot from the fryer, the edges were crispy and the innards sweet and soft, and they were all the more miraculous for being fluffy and well-risen at such high altitude. Immediately after scarfing down two each, TL and I fantasized about more. The train was about to head back down, though, so we didn't have time to get back in line, which is probably a good thing.
After our train ride, we drove to the nearby Garden of the Gods, a gorgeous park filled with striking red rock formations. I loved it, and found the area actually more scenic than being at the top of Pikes Peak. The photos don't really do the place much justice.
For dinner, we drove into downtown Colorado Springs and ended up at Phantom Canyon Brewing Company. It looked like a typical restaurant/brewery, but once we looked over the menu we noticed some unusual touches to the dishes. For instance, we started with the artichoke dip, which arrived not as the usual molten vat of cheese and artichoke with chips, but as a thicker spread with delicious garlic beer bread and fresh vegetables (including a few surprising pieces of jicama) for dipping.
TL ordered the "Rocky Mountain Rainbow Trout" entree, which came in a honey chive butter sauce with a sweet potato hash. I took a bite and was surprised by how fresh and well-prepared the trout was, and the hash made a good accompaniment for the delicate fish.
I opted for the "Mile High Pork Chops," a pair of thick, juicy, smoky pork chops glazed with barbecue sauce and topped with fried jalapeno peppers. It also came with a pile of bacon and cheddar mashed potatoes beneath, buttery sauteed vegetables to the side, and a pair of tiny cornbread muffins perched on the rim, a good deal for $13.95.
Unfortunately, I discovered after a few bites that the pork chops were raw in the middle, so I had to wait while they took them back to the kitchen to cook them to proper done-ness, which they did graciously but which really put a kink in the timing of the meal. TL had to endure me staring at him while he ate, and then once my plate came back I had to endure him staring at me while I ate. I hate when that happens!
We were pretty tired after that, so we drove the two hours back to Fort Collins and spent the rest of the evening just vegging out. We did have some chocolate cake, though!
Spring Break Shenanigans
Part 1: Braving the Road for Seoul BBQ
Part 2: Pikes Peak donuts, Phantom Canyon Brewing Company
Part 3: Rodizio Grill, Suehiro
Part 4: Dim sum at Star Kitchen, Red Robin redux
Part 5: Farmer's Table, Han Kang Korean Restaurant
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Catch up! Part 1