Saturday June 21
I returned to the Highland Park neighborhood, but this time I decided to check out Common Grounds
, a local coffee house with only two locations, the other being in Denver’s downtown Lo Do district. I drove this time since we were meeting Biker Jim
at 10:30 am. This was a strong, full bodied cuppa joe, just like I remember the way West Coast coffee tasted. I wish I could have stayed at the coffee house and soak in the atmosphere- but we were “on a schedule” this morning.
First we drove back to Coors Field to get some exterior shots which we didn’t have time to do the evening before, we then headed over to Biker Jim’s “other concession” he runs with his wife serving up latte’s, cappucino’s and other breakfast items. We sampled some of his wares and were quite impressed.
As you can see we followed Biker Jim to El Taco De Mexico located a short distance away in the barrio. This neighborhood certainly had character and I wish I had more time to explore it.
Biker Jim’s better half also joined us as well... El Taco De Mexico
, is housed in a very simple building, basically, a taco stand, however the tacos and burritos they serve offer complex tastes and textures.
I checked out the menu display on the wall..
and ordered the El Pastor (marinated pork) Burrito - wet which means smothered in Green Chile.
Biker Jim ordered the “Cheeks Meat” Burrito
and Mrs Biker Jim ordered the Tongue Tacos.
was there, he sat out on this meal
as he is not a fan of Mexican Food.
I was surprised that the Green Chile was somewhat less spicy than what is served by it’s neighbor to the South, New Mexico, but what it lacked in spice, it made up for in flavor. I’ll admit I was somewhat hesitant to order Cheeks Meat or Tongue, but when I tried some of Biker Jim’s Burrito, all I can say is WOW- I know what I’ll be having next time.
TTM was looking for a shop to get some goodies for the Mayor and Poverty Pete. Biker Jim recommended a place in the Cherry Creek Neighborhood called Continental Deli
, so off we went. Cherry Creek is an upscale (read yuppie) urban neighborhood a few miles from Downtown Denver, similar to Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza, but with a lot less architectural charm and character. We went to the deli that Biker Jim suggested, which was a “European Style Deli”. We also passed a sign for a farmers market which we walked to. As it so happens to farmers market is held practically in the Cherry Creek Mall Parking lot. TTM picked up some more items and also got some type of Sausage for himself, I forgot what exactly it was but he said it was good.
After a short detour back at the hotel, we returned to Downtown Denver. We strolled the area near the Capital, there was a festival going on, if TTM wishes, he can elaborate more about the festival.
Here are some photos of the State Capital and The City County Building.
According to TTM
that’s “Frank Colorado”
in front of the Capital building, has anyone ever heard of him?
Unfortunately both the Capital and US Mint which were both located nearby were closed for the weekend.
We walked back towards the downtown Central Core and strolled up the 16th Street mall, which is basically a pedestrian only outdoor mall and downtown’s biggest tourist attraction. There are shuttle buses that go up and down the mall. It was so sad to see that many of the local businesses that used to be here have been replaced by national chains. We took a slight detour through Larimer Square
, a one block sidestreet off the mall housing upscale shops and restaurants in Victorian Era Buildings. This used to be Denver’s entertainment district prior to the popularity of Lo Do.
It was now approaching 4pm and we wanted to do an early dinner. TTM wanted to take a drive through of the Air force Academy in Colorado Springs prior to the triple A minor league Colorado Springs Sky Sox Game.
We walked to the Rocky Mountain Diner
. A somewhat “upscale” diner with western style motif.
Biker Jim and his wife alluded to the fact that they were somewhat disappointed the last time he went there. I’ve been dying to try this place out for the last decade and had to see for myself how good/bad or mediocre it was.
I reviewed the menu and even though I already knew what I was getting
I started out with a cup of the buffalo chili which was richly infused with cumin, however the soupy chili was lacking in buffalo meat
For my main course, I ordered the Campfire Rocky Mountain Rainbow Trout with Red Chili Rice. The meal came with a biscuit which was somewhat overdone, the Trout served grilled had a luscious clean taste, but the filet was somewhat thin, this is probably the second time I've had trout in my life, the last being ten years ago and I'm not certain if the filet is supposed to be as thin as it was.
TTM ordered the chicken fried chicken which he said was good but not great. This was definetely not a spectacular meal, but would put it in the “OK” category.
After dinner, we decided to take the 16th street shuttle bus back to our car as we were in a rush to get to Colorado Springs. There are several things you just can't make up and this is one of them While we were on the shuttle bus, there were two young ladies around age 20 or so standing near us. Some drunk guy gets on the bus, and says to one of the young ladies "you're fat" the young ladies were quite taken aback in disbelief at what this bozo blurted out, after the guy was rambling on about how fat that particular girl was he finally got off at his stop, probably to "detoxify" or return to his homeless shelter. First of all I know what you're all thinking- No that drunk guy was NOT ME! I was just an innocent bystander. The girl who had the insults flung at her was obviously upset and teary eyed, TTM did his best to console her. Truth is this girl was NOT FAT, in fact she looked like she could have been Paris Hilton's less skinny sister.
We hit the road at 5pm, but because of the "downtown Festival" I mentioned previously, Colfax street, which was supposed to get us back on to I-25 was blocked. Once we found our way back onto I-25, we hit some fairly heavy gridlock just south of the Denver Metro area. Apparently there was some construction and there was also alot of heavy truck and RV traffic which I thought was odd for a late Saturday afternoon. We arrrived at the Airforce Academy and unfortunately they closed their gates to visitors after 6pm. we arrived about 15 minutes too late..
As we were driving through Colorado Springs towards the Ballpark, we were expecting to run into this guy
There seemed to be more churches
per capita in Colorado Springs than Italian Restaurants in Rhode Island. We arrived at the corporate namsake Security Service Field
, triple A ballpark for the Colorado Springs Sky Sox
. A very non descript ballpark which faces a large development of cookie cutter homes in lieu of the majestic Rockies in the other direction. Seating only 8500 people, the Colorado Springs Skysox play at the smallest venue in Triple A baseball. They hosted the Fresno Grizzlies in a very ho-hum game, so ho-hum I ended up downing a 24 oz Fat Tire Hefeweizen in record time, probably one of the best beers of the trip. I didn't realize how quick I could get "happy" after guzzling a 24 ouncer at over 6000 feet above sea level, well....TTM had to drive back to Denver. It was a no contest game, the Skysox were beating the Grizzlies and we left at the beginning of the 8th inning and drove back to Denver and called it a night as we were both flying out early the next morning, TTM to Nashville and me to Albuquerque.
TTM will most likely provide photos of the Sky Sox game, as I didn't take any on my digital. Biker Jim's Concessions
1106 E 16th Avenue
Denver CO 80218 El Taco De Mexico
714 Santa Fe Dr
Denver CO 80204 Continental Deli
250 Steele Street
Denver CO 80206 Rocky Mountain Diner
800 18th Street
Denver CO 80202 Security Service Field
4385 Tuft Blvd
Colorado Springs CO 80922 We're almost there, I will be uploading the Albuquerque photos- that should be a two parter, with a very brief last day rant about the Airline Industry.