Hot!BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga

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ChiTownDiner
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RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/08 13:29:10 (permalink)
Getting tired holding my breath...
The Travelin Man
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RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/09 10:51:39 (permalink)
UGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!! I just spent the last two hours typing editing this post and typing up the entire last day only to have everything I wrote disappear because of this stupid F#$%#$%ing blue button in the middle of my new laptop that I am still not comfortable with!!!!

There is no way that I am going back and typing this all again tonight. I know that I am a dumbass for not typing and editing in another window and then cutting and pasting....but, I am about ready to put this machine through a window right now.
buffetbuster
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RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/10 08:16:38 (permalink)
TTM-
I have had similar incidents in the past and I know how frustrating that can be. Hang in there buddy! Don't let anyone put any pressure on you and just finish it up when you can. I know the photos and commentary will be well worth it.
i95
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RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/10 08:18:10 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by The Travelin Man

I know that I am a dumbass...




That answer is.....true.
wanderingjew
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RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/10 08:26:23 (permalink)
I've done that too a couple of times too- it's really frustrating.

I will probably start the Denver/Albuquerque portion of the trip sometime over the weekend, not to rush TTM as he can always finish the final day in Omaha when he is ready but because I want to complete my portion before I forget some of the finer details- In fact I may have forgotten some already
The Travelin Man
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RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/11 18:35:44 (permalink)
Final day of Omaha Trip Report…Take II


This is the city. Omaha, Nebraska. We were working day watch out of the “Burgers and BBQ” division. My partner (no, not that kind of partner) is wanderingjew. My name’s The Travelin’ Man. I carry a fork.
I don't know what my latest fascination is with the campy[url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0zgIzqgxFU']Dragnet[/url] of the late sixties??

Wednesday, June 18 - Omaha, NE

As I had done previously, I opted for a few extra sleep minutes as opposed to going to the coffeehouse. Upon checking out of the hotel, we started towards lunch, which would be at a burger on the outskirts of town (actually, it is in Bellevue, which is the next town over) called Stella’s. This was the one time (I think) that we deviated from the pre-planned course on the entire trip. We found an ad for Stella’s in one of the newspapers that were given away near Rosenblatt – and it looked good, so we went for it. Sometimes, allowing a little flexibility to the plan allows for happy discoveries.


It’s not real easy to find Stella’s. The restaurant is set back from the main road, and is undergoing a bit of a face-lift, leaving them with no clear signage. Fortunately, sometimes, the nose knows.


You’ve gotta like a place where the only visible permanent sign is on a back door, with a ‘NOT AN ENTRANCE” sign above. Add in the ambiance of one of the Mohawk-clad cooks smoking a cigarette, and how could you go wrong?


One of my rules of thumb: If a place only does a handful of menu items, they probably do those few things really well.


I desperately wanted to order the fried shrimp just to tweak Dale, but opted for the bacon cheeseburger instead. Note the aforementioned Mohawk-sporting dude.


This was one fine burger. My only real complaints were the lack of availability of cheddar, which is my go-to cheese for a cheeseburger, and the penchant for the cooks to aim for the darker side of medium. Still, even with a lack of visible pink in the middle, this was a really good, juicy, flavorful burger.


Facing what could only be described as some pretty stiff competition, these may have been the best French fries of the entire trip. Note the golden color; they were also well-seasoned before they brought to the table. These fries actually tasted like potato – a less and less common occurrence, as many shopkeepers shift to pre-packaged, frozen fries.

In baseball parlance, Stella’s was nothing short of a home run. Since we couldn’t possibly have a meal without dessert, we made our way to Omaha’s Old Market area for their famed locally-produced, small-batch purveyors of ice cream, Ted and Wally’s.


Pay close attention to all of the “Best of Omaha” awards that this place displays in their windows. Another good tip for travelers seeking out their own haunts – if a place wins a local “Best of…” award, it is probably a good sign that the locals frequent this establishment, as tourists generally do not vote in these polls, often conducted by the local newspaper.


When they say “hand-made,” they mean it. I was going to ask what flavor he was working on, but in addition to the ice cream, he was also busy working on some of the local talent who had stopped by, and I didn’t want to be the guy who blocked.


I would figure that I would have to come to this place an awful lot before I made it to try their chocolate or vanilla offerings. There is just too much other good stuff. Mr Plan Ahead had already made up his mind that he was going to have the cinnamon graham cracker and placed his order. I figured I would get a few samples before making my decision, and I am pretty glad that I did.


This is the two-scoop waffle cone with butterscotch Oreo on the bottom and French toast – yes, French Freakin’ Toast – on top. I sampled them both and really did wonder if they made better one-bite samples than full scoops. I am glad that my trepidation was unwarranted…..because these were both smooth, creamy and flavorful. There is no other way to describe that French toast ice cream than to say that it tasted like the ice cream form of French toast. I was stunned it was so good. I would rate this ice cream as being better than my beloved Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory by a nose – and at about half the cost….view of the Brooklyn Bridge not included.


I think I’ve mentioned before that one of my favorite things about the College World Series is the way the entire city of Omaha embraces “their” event. These cookies were found at a convenience store/gas station just on the outskirts of the Old Market area called [url='http://www.cubbys.com/about.asp']Cubby’s[/url]. This has to be the coolest convenience store I’ve ever seen. In addition to C-store staples like sodas, beer and chips, they had full display cases of hot foods to go, and a small grocery market. The prices were more in line with a grocery store than a convenience store, too. My point about the cookies (and the CWS, in general) is that this is not a place that particularly caters to tourists – there didn’t seem to be a ton of hotels in the general vicinity. The people who live in this area use this market – and they are selling these CWS-themed cookies. I think that’s cool.

Our next stop was the Henry Doorly Zoo, which is located right next to Rosenblatt Stadium. Since it was still about five hours before the game, we scored the best parking spot in proximity to the stadium that we would ever get! In short, this zoo is fabulous. It is a worthy stop in its own right, and the [url='http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Doorly_Zoo']Wiki[/url], it is Nebraska’s number one paid attraction. We had a somewhat limited amount of time, given that we had a scheduled eating stop before the game, so we strategically hit some of the zoo highlights. Our first stop was the Lied Jungle, which – in case you wanted to know - is the world’s largest indoor rainforest.




Blue monkey

OK…I am not going to bore you with an endless parade of zoo pictures. All of the ones that I have edited so far are posted on my [url='http://www.flickr.com/photos/81181002@N00/sets/72157605897566054/']flickr page[/url] (and I have a few more coming that haven’t been edited yet). However, if you will allow the indulgence of just a few, I will try to hit just the highlights.


This is kind of cool. It seems that ESPN annually films one of the teams on their “down time.” Apparently, this year, they choose to film the LSU baseball team at the zoo while we were there. This really is one of the cool things about the College World Series. The teams aren’t sequestered for the big game – they are out and about, mingling with fans and locals. You just don’t have this kind of access to the participants for the Final Four for basketball or the national championship game for NCAA football.


Scarlet macaw


King penguin


Random fish that I liked….think he tastes like chicken.


Maybe my favorite picture that I took the whole trip – Loggerhead sea turtle

After we went to the aquarium, we went to the Desert Dome, which you can see from the baseball stadium over the right field fence. This is the world’s largest indoor desert. Unfortunately, by now, my camera battery was dying – yes, I committed the cardinal sin of picture-snappers. Since this was my third visit to the zoo, I wasn’t all that disappointed, but wanderingjew probably got short-changed a little bit on getting to see the big cats, the gorilla exhibit, and some of the other outdoor stuff.

As time was getting late anyway, we went back to the hotel to pick up my battery charger and then made off to dinner at The Bohemian Café. Despite my best efforts to get a charge into the camera, it appears as though I drained it pretty well – so, all the pictures from “The Bo” will be Dale’s shots.

This was my second trip to the Bohemian, and it remains my only true experience with traditional Czech food. I guess I am still on the fence as to whether or not I like it enough to seek it out.


When I returned home, I looked back through my notes to see what I ordered and what I thought of the place the last time. I noted that I was told to order the traditional roast duckling, but instead chose the jaeger schnitzel – which is a dish of veal cutlets covered in a wine and mushroom sauce. I guess I must have liked it the last time, because that was what I chose to order again.


The meal comes plated with sweet and sauer cabbage and Czech dumplings. I could have had kraut in place of the cabbage and a choice of potato instead of the dumplings. These are not your mama’s “chicken ‘n dumplings” dumplings. These are heavyweights – lead balloons, if you will. They make a nice compliment to the veal, but this was easily one of the “heaviest” meals I’d had the entire trip. The meal was also preceded by a cup of liver dumpling soup….


For you Jews, this dumpling was what would have come out of the soup pot if Grandma used twice the matzo meal to make the matzo balls. I am pretty sure that I have used an item of less density when swinging away at the driving range. Personally, I thought that the soup was overly salty – and, again, a very heavy accompaniment to an already lead-weighted meal. I tried to get a salad instead, but was mocked by Dale for even suggesting a salad in a Czech restaurant. Fortunately, I was able to bring my core temperature down with this…


A nice, frosty ceramic mug of Pilsner Urquell, an excellent Czech-brewed beer.


All in all, a fine final meal in Omaha. We plowed back down towards the Stadium for the final night of baseball and scored reserved seats from a couple who had purchased a set of four, but were only able to use two. $15, instead of the $10 for the general admission, and we didn’t have to spend our time getting bumped out of our seats in the fourth inning. In addition, we got some quality bonding time to spend with the locals, who were interested in our trip and what we were doing – and even offered some suggestions as to new places to hit on the way to Denver. Dale quickly put an end to that talk by firmly explaining that our schedule was already planned months in advance, and we would have no room for deviation. [#61514;]


Miami battled a tough Stanford team in an elimination game. Seems to me that all of the Nebraska fans/Miami haters went home happy, as Stanford held on to beat the ‘Canes.


This gets to serve as my final image of the 2008 College World Series. I am going to do everything in my power to make it back next year again!

Stella’s
106 Galvin Rd S
Bellevue, NE 68005-2119

Ted and Wally’s Ice Cream
12th and Market
Omaha, NE 68102

[url='http://www.omahazoo.com/']Henry Doorly Zoo[/url]
3701 S 10th St
Omaha, NE 68107

[url='http://www.bohemiancafe.net/']Bohemian Cafe[/url]
1406 South 13th Street
Omaha, NE 68108
post edited by The Travelin Man - 2009/06/23 09:44:17
Poverty Pete
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RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/11 21:19:30 (permalink)
Steve, NC may have stumbled, but surely you can take solace in the fact that Fresno State stepped it up when it counted?!
The Travelin Man
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RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/11 21:39:47 (permalink)
Omaha – EpilogueA Quinn Martin Production

If you couldn’t tell from any of the previous writings, I love the College World Series. It is – still – the best single sporting event I’ve attended. I know that a couple of you have expressed interest in attending this event (paging mr chips and buffetbuster – please pick up the white courtesy phone!). If you are planning on doing it – you need to take action. The plan is to move the CWS from Rosenblatt Stadium to a new planned downtown ballpark – and it is apparently a[url='http://www.collegebaseballdigest.com/news/index.html?article_id=30']done deal[/url]. Rosenblatt is part of what makes this event unique – vendors line the streets hawking t-shirts and other souvenirs – but, they do it on people’s lawns. Zesto’s, located right next to the stadium, is part of CWS culture. There is a nearby baseball card store, which one local reporter referred to as a museum for the CWS. None of this will be a part of the NEW College World Series – which will likely be referred to by attendees as pre- and post-2010. I could go on and on, but [url='http://espn.go.com/ncaa/s/2003/0620/1570809.html']this guy[/url] says it a lot better than I can. So, if you are planning this pilgrimage, you need to do it soon. The CWS, if you are to believe the locals, is headed for becoming another corporate-run, cookie-cutter, and gentrified event – one where you won’t be able to purchase anything within a six-block radius of the stadium that is not approved by the NCAA. As it is, I spoke to no one from Omaha who seemed in favor of this move. But, we all know what talks and what walks…and the NCAA seems to have bullied their way into a new downtown stadium with all the amenities that one would want….fans be darned.

As for the food….

Top 3 Meals
Johnny’s
Stella’s
Ted and Wally’s – OK, so it’s not a meal…sue me.

Only True Boner of this Segment
Petrow’s – could have easily been replaced with a fabulous meal at my Italian joint.

The side trip through Iowa, both for food and sight-seeing was well worthwhile. I would encourage anyone to stop by The Farmer’s Kitchen if you’re passing through or near Atlantic. Say hi to Lynae for me! I gushed about the zoo enough previously that I will spare you from that.

With that, I pass the baton for the Denver and points west portion.
Nancypalooza
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RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/11 22:13:48 (permalink)
Oh, that burger and fries are giving me the shivers--lovely. And good pick with the ice cream flavors! If you ever make it to the Botanical Garden of Wales, you'd like their rainforest too. No animals though.
NebGuy
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RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/12 09:13:15 (permalink)
Did you guys see the new owner of Stella's?

I'll give you a hint, she doesn't have a Mohawk.

http://www.omaha.com/index.php?u_page=2620&u_sid=10340552
Nancypalooza
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RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/12 09:39:02 (permalink)
She's cute!
blizzardstormus
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RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/12 09:50:50 (permalink)
TTM, great report! I made it to Stella's last week for the first time and I also highly recommend it. I asked the young lady if I could talk to the owner and she replied, "I AM!" It's good to know that the younger generation cares about tradition.

I'll say "hi" to Lynae for you; she really enjoyed your company. By the way, she just announced she's pregnant!
Sundancer7
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RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/12 09:56:56 (permalink)
Great story on Stella or now the Franscois.

Steve the burger looked really good.

Paul E. Smith
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wanderingjew
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RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/12 10:55:33 (permalink)
Omaha- Epilogue and Footnotes

Returning to Omaha after 10 year absence was quite an experience. My last two visits to Omaha in 1990 and 1998 were somewhat brief and I only managed to Check out the Bohemian Cafe on the 1st visit and Runza on the 2nd.

Johnny's was by far my favorite roadfood restaurant in Omaha if not on the entire trip. The meal started with a blue cheese salad with homemade dressing loaded with chunks of blue cheese.
The Strip Steak was perfect- well marbled, seared on the outside and slightly pink on the inside. The Hashbrowns were an excellent accompanyment although I like mine just a tad crispier.
I didn't care that the apple pie sucked





Dinkers and Stella's I've been to many large cities, NYC, LA, Chicago, etc, however Omaha and to a slightly lesser degree, Kansas City are first cities I've visited that I can truly say has a definitive Burger Culture.
Both Burgers were amazing, however Stella's definetely had an edge over Dinkers. It is beyond a doubt that I now know where I can find the best burgers in the country.

Ted and Wally's- After my horrific experience at Petrow's the night before, I was craving Cinnamon Ice Cream, in fact I may have dreamt about it overnight. The bar we went to in Warren Buffet's neighborhood had a sign on their front door that no outside food or drink was allowed inside their bar, not even bottled water, however the one exception to their rule was Ted and Wally's Ice Cream. I've read about Ted and Wally's previously either in the Let's Go USA or USA The Rough Guide. The Cinnamon Graham Cracker Ice Cream was by far the best Ice Cream of the trip. I tried some of TTM's French Toast Ice Cream and I can say the same thing about that as well.



The Farmer's Kitchen pleasantly surprised me, I wasn't sure what to expect before I arrived but I'm glad I had the chance to visit. Mark and his Mom were great hosts and Lynae was probably one of my favorite servers on the trip (I know she was TTM's)
They made a very worthy Breaded Pork Tenderloin and The Sour Cream Raisin Pie was absolute Heaven.. I also tried the fried cheese appetizer which truthfully was just ok, but I think that's because I'm simply a bigger fan of fried cheese curds.







The Bohemian Cafe- I liked the Bohemian Cafe, although I would not recommend engaging in a quick game of Tennis or Pick Up Basketball after eating a meal there. The meal was quite heavy and filling, perfect for those of "peasant stock" and although I enjoyed the golfball sized dumpling in the liver Dumpling Soup, the broth was somewhat salty.


Petrow's- Mediocre Food with service that was beyond horrible. The service there was by far the worst of the trip. A Hot Beef Sandwich according to the Sterns is a regional meal popular in the Northern and Central Midwest. I understand it is primarly found in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and the Dakota's. The Hot Beef served at Petrow's I found to be ordinary, I think the gravy makes the meal and I found it to be too thick and gloppy for my taste. The Rhubarb Pie was nothing special, it tasted "store bought" versus "homemade, I couldn't tell you anything about their cinammon ice cream because it never arrived despite asking for it twice.





I know TTM feels that his Italian Restaurant would have been a better choice, honestly it probably was, however where I live in Rhode Island I could wander outside blindfolded and will bump into 20 different independently owned Italian Restaurants within a 2 mile radius all ranging from good to unbelievably outstanding. Bad or Mediocre Italian restaurants simply don't exist in Rhode Island. The best way I could describe the plethora of of Italian Restaurants in Rhode Island is to compare it to Forrest Gump's friend, Bubba and the zillion different ways he would serve shrimp
If I had the hindsight about Petrow's despite the recommendation, I would have considered the Cheese Frenchies at Don and Millies, or another Burger at Louis M's, one of the potato casserole dishes at The Summer Kitchen (or any of it's offshoots and copycats) or perhaps a steak at Warren Buffet's favorite joint, Gorat's.

I had the opportunity to check out two coffee houses, The local chain, Crane Coffee, which offered a medium roast that I found to be somewhat weak and ordinary and Blue Line Coffee in Warren Buffet's Dundee neighborhood which provided a very worthy dark roast in a somewhat dumpy (even for a coffeehouse) atmosphere.

I agree with TTM's take on Brew Pubs- they are all geared toward's yuppies, there's no denying that. With the exception of Upstream and to a lesser degree, Wynkoop in Denver which served a mixture of locals and out of towners I disagree that all the brewpubs we went to catered to out of towners.
Coincidentally brewpubs sprouted up right around the time that it became trendy to renovate old Warehouse Districts on the outskirts of the central downtown core hence TTM's assessment that the brewpubs appear to be cookie cutter establishments.

The College World Series was a fantastic experience, I wish I could say I share TTM's enthusiasm, but I certainly don't regret going, I had a great time, would even consider going again if I ever had the time to make my way to Omaha, and was both surprised and amazed at the locals' enthusiasm for the event. I will say that it is a shame that Rosenblatt will be torn down in favor of a new stadium and more corporate college world series in the downtown area.

I will leave you with a couple of more photos from









I will start uploading the Denver and Albuquerque Photos and should have the first chapter posted by tommorow at the latest.
ann peeples
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RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/12 11:03:28 (permalink)
To all-wonderful pics and report.WJ-the last pics you posted were marvelous.Love the blue cheese salad!!Thanks to all for sharing.
Sundancer7
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RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/12 11:18:32 (permalink)
There must have been $5.00 worth of bleu cheese on that salad. It looked very good to me.

Paul E. Smith
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RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/12 12:39:31 (permalink)
Now that was an excellent chapter. Good job guys! Now TTM get to work on your final to add to Dale's denver section (Hint- do it in Word before adding it to the thread !!)
catosaurus
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RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/12 12:52:52 (permalink)
Fabulous trip report. I really enjoy reading about your adventures and tastings! Please keep them coming. (Also, if you're ever planning something like this in southern California, give us SoCal-ites a chance to join the fun!)
Baah Ben
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RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/12 14:33:33 (permalink)
Thanks for the heads up on AB's vs LC...

From the pictures, there is no question AB was at least having one bad day..If not many? Well, a lot of the KC locals have been saying LC's is better for several years now. Whenever there is a comment aobut AAB's someone is posting that LC's is better!

If you look back at some old pictures of AB's food, everything looked a lot better then what these new pictures show us. Especially those fries! No question that LC's food looks fantastic.

Great great pictures for Stroud's, too.
lleechef
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RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/13 08:02:52 (permalink)
Fantastic trip report and pictures! Thank you!
mr chips
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RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/13 09:13:05 (permalink)
More interesting with each addition. TTM, you've convinced me to go next year. Let's start the planning now.
wanderingjew
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RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/13 09:34:07 (permalink)
Thursday June 19- On the road to Denver

I guess this could have been an "On the Road" movie, just use your imagination and replace Bob Hope and Bing Crosby with TTM and I.

After a quick bite at Blue Line Coffee in Omaha we headed out along the open prairie for what was going to be pretty much a travel day. We were leaving the proverbial midwest behind and heading into the mountain west, the land of outdoor enthusiasts, politically correct left wing liberals and religious zealots.

Our first stop was lunch at Homemade Heaven Sandwich Shop in Ogallala NE. The review and photos posted on Roadfood looked promising and I was looking forward to this meal for quite some time.
On a quiet mains treet in downtown Ogallala the place appeared to be
somewhat unassuming from the outside.



Inside, there was a small line of people for the lunch crowd and we engaged in conversation with a transplant from Texas in front of us. Apparently she and her husband owned a bed and breakfast nearby.

We perused the menu board and oogled the dessert display case and of course I, "Mr Plan Ahead" already knew what I was getting.









Yes, that is a pretzel you see on the lower left side of the dessert display case.

An Asian lady who I'm assuming is the proprietor took our order and then we sat down at our table.

Both TTM and I ordered the Cabbage Pocket (aka Cabbage Burger, Bierock, Runza etc) I also ordered a side of the Sweet Potato Fries and I believe TTM ordered the Onion Rings.





Frankly, I believe both TTM and I were somewhat dissapointed in our meals. The sweet potato fries which are most likely homemade, were not fresh out of the fryer and therefore did not taste "homemade".
And where's the beef? or the onions? for that matter, the Cabbage Pocket was literally a "cabbage pocket" the consistency was probably 75% cabbage and 25% meat and I'm probably being generous. The pocket was also rather bland and therefore had to dip it in mustard to give it flavor.

The only saving grace (for me at least) was dessert, I ordered the Strawberry Rhubarb Pie and I'm willing to say that I'd put it up against Moody's in Waldoboro Maine in competition.



TTM ordered the Chocolate Pie, he thought it wasn't sweet enough comparing it to "semisweet chocolate" I tried a piece and thought it was very good, but then again as most of you know I've never been a fan of desserts that are too sweet.

Overall, Homemade Heaven wasn't a terrible meal, it just didn't live up to our expectations based on the Roadfood review.

After lunch we had a short drive through the remainder of Nebraska and before we knew it...



As we were approaching the outskirts of suburban Denver from the east, TTM was surprised that he was not able to see the Rocky Mountains from a distance, however I explained that the foot hills begin approximately 20 miles west of Denver and the somewhat hazy skies weren't helping.

We arrived in Denver just at the start of evening rush hour and checked into our hotel just over a mile west of the downtown periphery.

We drove about 20 miles west for our Dinner Stop at The Fort in Morrison CO.



Nestled 6100 feet above sea level in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, The Fort, an adobe style "fortress" is a true
definitive ColoradoROADFOOD establishment previously written about and reviewed in the Stern's Roadfood books PRIOR to the Roadfood website.





Note the sign "beware of rattlesnakes" this could be a forewarning of what is to become- however you'll have to stick around for the Albuquerque segment of the trip to find out more.



Apparently back in the day you could eat at The Fort in exchange for
skins and furs in lieu of $$- here's the trading post aka gift shop.

It is also to my knowledge, the only roadfood establishment to have hosted Bill Clinton's "Summit of the 8" which consisted of several foreign heads of state including Boris Yeltsin.



The interior of The Fort definetely has the feel of Old West to it.





Luckily we called in advance and made a reservation.



The meal began with an assorted bread basket, since it's been well over 3 weeks I forgot specifically what the basket consisted of but perhaps TTM might remember, but I do remember that the rolls and muffins were exceptionally good.



I started with the Peanut Butter stuffed Jalapeno appetizer. I am truly convinced that I am a masochist, the best way to describe this amazingly addictive appetizer would be the ultimate sensation of pleasure and pain. The tongue searing whole jalapeno peppers combined with the creamy peanut butter interior left me craving even more.



I asked the server (who was probably one of the best on our trip)
about the Washtunkala Cast Iron Kettle (basically a buffalo campfire stew) as I was torn between that and the Buffalo Smokehouse Ribs. He recommended it and I went for it. I believe TTM ordered a Buffalo Steak of some type which I know he enjoyed and I'm sure he'll elaborate about later.



The Buffalo Stew (actually served in a mini cast iron kettle!) consists of a demiglace, green chiles, corn, pearl onions and sunflower seeds, the rich demiglace complimented the generous strips of buffalo meat, however I thought it was one shade below excellent and that was my fault- I'm not a huge fan of pearl onions, besides that I would not hesitate to say that this was also one of the best meals of the trip



I think TTM's only dissapointment about his experience at The Fort was that he didn't get to wear this.



This is a photo I got off of the Fort's website ( I don't know who the guy is that's wearing it)

After Dinner, we walked around the Fort's property, we observed an amazing lightening storm take place some distance away, we were wondering if it was affecting the Rockies game that night, but as it turns out the storm was actually about 20 miles east of Denver and did not approach downtown.

I know TTM took some great nightime photos around the The Fort's property after dinner, I took some photos too, but I still don't have those nighttime shots figured out on my digital camera because I never read the directions, I'm hoping TTM posts some of those photos.

After our long day, we headed back to the hotel and called it a night

Much more later...

Homemade Heaven Sandwich Shop
12 Spruce Street
Ogallala NE 69153


The Fort
19192 Highway 8
Morrison CO 80465

Poverty Pete
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RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/13 10:05:15 (permalink)
When I saw the menu, I thought...I don't know what a haystack is, but I'll bet WJ orders a cabbage pocket.
catosaurus
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RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/13 11:59:34 (permalink)
I'm also curious about what the #18 "Haystack" sandwich consisted of (on the Homemade Heaven menu). I tried to google "haystack", but ended up with a wikipedia recipe for a Hawaiian haystack that didn't sound very good at all (chicken, rice, pineapple, cream-of-mushroom-soup, and chow mein noodles).

PLEASE tell me that a Nebraska haystack is better than that!
Nancypalooza
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RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/13 12:58:09 (permalink)
Did the Fort have meat other than buffalo? Or is that just the buffalo page?
MiamiDon
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RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/13 13:37:38 (permalink)
Nancy, the menu is on the Fort web site, and it indicates that they serve beef, pork, poultry, etc. too. I've seen The Fort on FoodTV or the Travel Channel; it looks like quite a place.

http://www.thefort.com/

I just love the idea of a place that serves Roast Bison Marrow Bones!
wanderingjew
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RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/13 19:21:23 (permalink)
Friday June 20- Denver CO

Who would have thought just a mile away from my hotel there would be a really cool urban neighborhood.. Not one, not two, but three local coffeehouses in the pedestrian friendly shopping district. I opted to try the local chain called Peaberry. I don’t recall if they had a medium or dark roast but it was certainly adequate. Despite the somewhat "corporate" atmosphere, the cool thing about this place was besides having an indoor seating area, they had an enclosed outdoor seating area too. However I got a real kick out of their biodegradable coffee cup holder with the following slogan “Buy Colorado, it really pisses of Seattle”

After my quick breakfast I walked back to the hotel. TTM was up by this time. Our first stop was The Buffalo Restaurant and Bar, in the old mountain mining town of Idaho Springs CO approximately 30 miles west of Denver. At 7500 feet above sea level this is Mountain Country. With “Old West Style” decor of a stuffed Animal Head or two, the place was hopping at lunch time.







This place truly serves just about anything and everything Buffalo as evidenced by some of the menu items.





They even have their own "Tatanka Sauce"



I perused the craft beer menu, thinking I would just get an iced tea, however TTM pointed out that they had “Dale’s Pale Ale” on the menu. I never had it before, but thought it would be a sin to turn down a brew with my “namesake”. I ordered the Buffalo Burger topped with Shredded Cheese and Buffalo Black Bean Chili with a side salad. I believe TTM ordered a regular Beef Burger. I was pleasantly surprised by the meal,although Buffalo is leaner than beef, this was still a very flavorful burger which was further complimented by the meaty somewhat spicy but very flavorful chili. I believe TTM enjoyed his burger too. Overall a very nice find .





We took a walk along Idaho Springs’ main street and soaked in the scenery. This old mining town has obviously gone upscale. I was disappointed to see that the local ice Cream shop was no longer in business with a sign that they moved “down the road” to Grand Junction about 200 miles way!
We did stop by a purveyor of chocolates called “Miner Decadence” located on Idaho Spring’s Miner Street and engaged in conversation with the proprietress who apparently had just opened up for business . She was planning to eventually sell ice cream out of her shop as well,, oh well bad timing for me I guess.






We headed back on the road towards Coors Brewery...

Here are some really cool shots of the scenery along the way....







Coors brewery is located in suburban Golden Colorado and appears to take up more than half the town. We had trouble finding the tour entrance, but when we arrived, we realized that we actually have to take a shuttle bus to the entrance of the plant. We were surprised to see a fairly long line for the Shuttle Bus, but the buses do come frequently,therfore the line moved quickly. The bus driver took a detour through Golden’s “downtown” prior to arriving at the Brewery.



I regret that we didn’t have more time to explore Golden proper. The tour was interesting enough and informative (and free). They do provide samples, one in the middle of the tour and three after the tour.

When we entered the "sample room" after the tour, I noticed TTM immediately heading over in the direction of these



and I "gently" had to prod him in the right direction.

We tried the Blue Moon Honey Brown which oddly enough tasted a lot like JW Dundee’s Honey Brown made by the Genesee Brewing Company out of Rochester NY. This tour only supported my position that other than Blue Moon, I don’t like Coors Beer no matter how “fresh” it is.


Here are some photos of the tour.





After the tour we were conversing with a a transplant from Seattle and his visiting friend at the Coors gift shop, ironically we bumped into them at Coors Field later on in the evening.

On the way back to Denver, we gave Biker Jim a call, we had plans to meet him for dinner at the Buckhorn Exchange in Denver. We drove directly to the restaurant which was conveniently located across from the rapid transit rail stop. Perfect for our venture downtown after the meal to catch the Rockies at Coors Field.

The Buckhorn is Denver’s oldest restaurant and from the outside it certainly shows.



The interior is something like I’ve never quite seen before. A plethora of mounted game heads, everywhere and anywhere, you name it they’ve got it. There were numerous photos of celebrities as well, both long dead, recently dead, dying or almost dying.







No surprise for a restaurant that’s been around since 1893.



Biker Jim arrived. An affable and personable fellow and a great conversationalist. We talked about his concession business, his bike trip to Chicago and meet up with Chi Town Dinerand the Professor himself, Chicago Style Dog and his early days as a wayward youth in Alaska .

Biker Jim was “brave enough” to share an order of Rocky Mountain Oysters (aka Bull Nuts) with me since TTM winced at the thought, he politely declined. It’s been a decade since my first (and last)
shot at these and I enjoyed them much more this time than the last. They had a crunchy, chewy, somewhat “spongy” texture and to me tasted very similar to fried chicken gizzards.



As the bus girl was clearing the table, the most hilarious conversation that could only happen during a Roadfood meet up ensued between Biker Jim and the bus girl

Biker Jim: “I’ve seen you at my hot dog cart before”

Bus Girl: “I don’t eat hot dogs”

Biker Jim: I don’t sell hot dogs”


When Biker Jim explained that he sells “gourmet and game sausages” the bus girl realized that she was in fact a customer of his downtown concession stand.

Back to the meal, I started out with the hearty and smokey bean soup and ordered the 16 oz Buffalo Prime Rib with Saratoga Chips (Homemade Potato Chips) I believe that TTM and Biker Jim shared what appeared to be “A SIDE OF COW” I have no other way to explain what came to our table othern than expecting it to sprout legs and start “mooing”. My Buffalo Prime Rib was outstanding, the sauteed mushrooms and onions which we all shared only enhanced the flavor. TTM and Biker Jim both tried some and even TTM who is usually not a fan of Buffalo, agreed that this was one fine piece of meat.






I topped my meal off with a fine slice of apple pie with cinnamon hard sauce. My only complaint about the entire meal was that they served the pie a la mode since I didn't ask for it that way, a minor infraction which did not detract from this outstanding meal.




After the meal, we took the light rail which dropped us off in downtown’s Lo Do district, a couple of blocks from Coors Field which anchors this neighborhood of converted warehouses. We were somewhat surprised that there were no ticket scalpers immediately in the area. We were running a little late and got to the game at the beginning of the second inning. The Rockies were playing TTM’s favorite team, The Mets and this game took place shortly after the Met’s manager Willie Randolph was axed. The Rockies were up by 2 when we arrived, but the Met’s rallied early in the game and beat the Rockies.7-2.

The following photos were taken by TTM


















After the game we stopped at Wynkoop, the flagship brew pub that got this neighborhood going back in 1988 for a quick brew. It was getting late, we took the rapid rail back to our car drove back to the hotel and called it a night.


Buffalo Restaurant and Bar
1617 Miner Street
Idaho Springs CO 80452

Coors Brewing Company
311 10th Street
Golden CO 80401

Buckhorn Exchange
1000 Osage Street
Denver CO 80204

Coors Field
2001 Blake Street
Denver CO 80205

More tommorow......
billyboy
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RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/14 01:03:54 (permalink)
Steve and Dale, great, great stuff, guys!! Stellas looks totally righteous and French Toast ice cream??!! Insane!

Dale, Those stuffed jalapenos look mighty interesting. Is that minced roasted red pepper as the garnish? Was it just PB stuffed in there? It looks like two different shades of tan. Was it just a color change as some of it melted from the cooking process? Do you know what kind of PB they used? Natural? Jif, etc...?

Great ballpark photos, man! Love the one of Coors Field at dusk! Beautiful! Can't wait to see and read the rest.
post edited by billyboy - 2013/07/22 11:48:33
MiamiDon
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RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/14 07:13:43 (permalink)
That sure looks like another fun Roadfood day. I especially like the look of that chili cheeseburger.

In the photo of the Tatanka sauce, there is a plate with plastic wrap covering it. What are the little brown chunks under the wrap?
wanderingjew
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RE: BB, WJ, & TTM June 2008 Baseball & Roadfood Saga 2008/07/14 08:22:23 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by billyboy

Dale, Those stuffed jalapenos look mighty interesting. Is that minced roasted red pepper as the garnish? Was it just PB stuffed in there? It looks like two different shades of tan. Was it just a color change as sokme of it melted from the cooking process? Do you know what kind of PB they used? Natural? Jif, etc...?


Billyboy,

I believe the garnish were pimentos but I'm not completely sure. The menu describes the peanut butter as "mango whipped" it was very smooth and creamy if that helps.

quote:
Originally posted by MiamiDon

In the photo of the Tatanka sauce, there is a plate with plastic wrap covering it. What are the little brown chunks under the wrap?


Buffalo Jerky
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