**Update - Brewery tour trip to Denver 3/16/12***

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Inthewater
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2011/01/18 11:40:50 (permalink)

**Update - Brewery tour trip to Denver 3/16/12***

Lots of stuff when searching about the Denver area, but looking for some more specific stuff.
 
Trip will be from Osceola, IA to Union Station in Denver, CO. 
 
3/12/11 Renting a car and driving to Ft. Collins, (possible stop at Left Hand Brewing in Longmont on the way) to tour breweries and stay in a local motel.
 
3/13/11 Drive from Ft. Collins to Golden to tour the Coors brewery. We will hopefully stay in Golden over night.  Any ideas for a cool hotel and maybe a local bar / restaurant area around there?
 
3/14/11 Drive back to Denver or sight see, drop off the rental car and get back to the train by 7pm. Another day where we will need things to do, places to hang out...etc.
 
Never really been to Denver or much of Colorado, so any and all advice is much appreciated.
 
We like low key, roadfoodish type places.  We were turned on to Grinder's in KC, MO from people here.  That is the sort of thing we are looking for.  Some drinks, some good food, and some friendly people.  I would prefer to totally avoid any high-falootin fine dining places.
 
Local and affordable would be great.  All meals for each day will more than likely be at some sort of restaurant. 
 
Would like to stay close to the area we are in each day and night, so we don't spend all day driving.  That was the point of taking the California Zephyr!
 

post edited by Inthewater - 2012/02/21 13:02:01
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    sailawayklm
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    Re:Brewery tour trip to Denver 3/11/11 2011/01/18 11:53:47 (permalink)
    As far as Ft Collins goes, try the Cafe Mexicali.  It's located on College just north of Swallow.
    If you're staying in Golden, try the Table Mountain Inn.  It's a great little hotel and they have a good restaurant there too.
    #2
    wanderingjew
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    Re:Brewery tour trip to Denver 3/11/11 2011/01/18 11:56:25 (permalink)
    If there are two must stop roadfood spots in the Denver area The Buckhorn Exchange and The Fort are it.
     
    Now For great Street Food - Biker Jim's game sausage stand located right in downtown Denver is a must stop.

    Besides buffalo, green chili is also a unique local specialty
    The Buffalo Rose near the Coor's Brewery in Golden does both- a buffalo burger and green chili well and for great southwestern food in the same area, Table Mountain Grill and Cantina was fantastic.
    Other great stops for Green Chili are Brewery Bar and Santiago's located right near each other about 2 miles outside of downtown Denver. For great burritos also in  the same neighborhood including tongue and beef cheeks, El Taco De Mexico is a great stop
     
    If your're going to be near Ft Collins, a stop at Bruces Bar aka "Bruce's Nut Hut" is a must if you dare to try their specialty- Rocky Mountain Oysters.
     
    Lastly if you make it to Idaho Springs CO-  (about 30 miles west of Denver), check out the Buffalo Chili at Tommyknockers Brewpub and icecream at Hopscotch
    post edited by wanderingjew - 2011/01/18 12:17:17
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    wanderingjew
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    Re:Brewery tour trip to Denver 3/11/11 2011/01/18 11:58:05 (permalink)
    sailawayklm

    As far as Ft Collins goes, try the Cafe Mexicali.  It's located on College just north of Swallow.
    If you're staying in Golden, try the Table Mountain Inn.  It's a great little hotel and they have a good restaurant there too.

     
    You just took the words right out of my mouth.

    #4
    zippypinhead
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    Re:Brewery tour trip to Denver 3/11/11 2011/01/18 22:25:40 (permalink)
    I've spent a lot of time in the Golden area... (I have projects in the Brewery regularly)
    Capital Grill is one of my favorites. It's located between Table Mountain Inn and The Golden Hotel. Both very nice hotels. But, their restaurants try too hard to be "trendy" in my opinion.... Who truely needs a "plum reduction barbeque sauce" on their buffalo?
    Woody's Wood Fired Pizza is good for lunch. 
    Abruscis is a good choice if you want Italian food... It's located in Wheat Ridge just up the hill from Golden.
    As far as the Buffalo Rose goes, with all the accountants on Harley's that show up, I'm half expecting to find ferns hangin from the ceiling next time I stop there.
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    Inthewater
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    Re:Brewery tour trip to Denver 3/11/11 2011/01/19 12:03:32 (permalink)
    Thanks for the tips so far, folks.  I have added Table Mountain Inn as our Golden stay hotel.
     
    Any other ideas?  Anywhere that is a bar/grill kind of atmosphere? 
    #6
    wanderingjew
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    Re:Brewery tour trip to Denver 3/11/11 2011/01/19 12:41:05 (permalink)
    Inthewater

    Thanks for the tips so far, folks.  I have added Table Mountain Inn as our Golden stay hotel.

    Any other ideas?  Anywhere that is a bar/grill kind of atmosphere? 

     
    I still say Buffalo Rose and Saloon in Golden is what you're looking for- great food and a really cool atmosphere
     
    Check out pages 1 and 4 of my previous trip report from 2009. The Buffalo Rose and Saloon is mentioned along with photos on page one for The Saturday after my trip began.
     
    http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/tm.aspx?Rocky-Mountain-Highs-and-Big-Skies-2009-Part-8-finale-updated-824&m=533954&high=rocky+mountain+highs&mpage=1
     
    I may not be perfect,  but ask just about everyone on the forum I've never steered them wrong from good Roadfood
     
    #7
    Inthewater
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    Re:Brewery tour trip to Denver 3/11/11 2011/01/19 13:22:56 (permalink)
    I was just checking that out, per your rec, and it does look like our speed.
     
    Thanks for the tip, WJ. :)
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    Inthewater
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    Re:Brewery tour trip to Denver 3/11/11 2011/03/09 13:23:15 (permalink)
    Heading out this Friday night for this trip.  I still don't really have much planned for Denver on Monday.  Any ideas for cool places to go, that could keep us near Union Station?
     
    Thanks again!
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    chillcincy
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    Re: Brewery tour trip to Denver 3/11/11 2011/03/09 14:04:16 (permalink)
    You might be interested in seeing another alcoholic beverage operation, namely Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey (200 South Kalamath Street, Denver, Colorado 80223, (303) 296-7440). It was featured as a boutique, small batch distiller on last night's show on the History Channel called Modern Marvels: Whiskey. It could be an interesting side trip while in Denver. 
     
    If you're interested in some seriously pretty scenery while out there, take a drive down the 470, to 85 south, and at Sedalia, jog over to 105 southbound (Perry Park Drive) towards Colorado Springs. You can swing back out towards I25 at Larkspur (105 parallels I25) after some miles, and then can head back to Denver, or on to Colorado Springs. In Douglas County, or much of Denver metro, it is about the only area along the foothills that has green space protections against the rampant development that has otherwise engulfed the area (aka "the LA of the Rockies"). On a beautiful day (many out there), it is drop-dead stunning front range beauty of large expanses of open land up into the foothills. I kept my horse a few miles from the Coors plant when I lived in the area a decade ago.
    Have fun!
     
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    chillcincy
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    Re:Brewery tour trip to Denver 3/11/11 2011/03/09 14:55:28 (permalink)
    I got sidetracked on scenery, and forgot to mention our favorite restaurants/spots:
    • 240 Union, which is very convenient to Golden, off of 6th on Simms. A special occasion place for us; a bit pricey, but the food was great!
    • Our favorite hole in the wall Thai restaurant: T V Cuisine Thai & Vietnamese Restaurant, Wheat Ridge on Kipling. Tucked away in a small strip mall behind other stand alone restaurants, my Mother's German boyfriend, who lived/worked in Saigon for the German gov't for several years up to the US pulling out in '75, stated that this was the real deal, authentic food. But that was a decade ago, who knows?
    • Check out the Tattered Cover bookstore, which is close to Union Station. Really cool, set up in an old warehouse. {Location: 1628 16th Street at Wynkoop in Denver, in the restored Morey Mercantile Building, directly across Wynkoop Street from the new EPA building next to Union Station just blocks from Coors Field.}
    • The BEST Mexican food in Denver: El Noa Noa. You'll be there too early for their great outdoor dining…on weekends complete with strolling mariachi musicians. Very authentic food. And extremely busy at peak hours.
    • The Buckhorn, we never ate at, but I went to a meeting there once, nice Western-themed interior; might be a touristy kind of place, though I can't really say for sure.
    • We went to Table Mountain Inn a few times, but generally it was a bit too trendy for our taste. 
    • Don't limit yourself to just Union Station area as Denver has a good light rail set up and a free mall shuttle down 16th street. {}
     
    Note: if you plan to drive around metro Denver during the work week, try to head out and be done & back by 2pm. I learned the hard way what a pain the traffic can be. Avoid being on the main thoroughfares (hmm, what isn't?) at rush hour if you can.
     
    #11
    Inthewater
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    Re:Brewery tour trip to Denver 3/11/11 2011/03/09 16:05:35 (permalink)
    Thanks for the ideas, Chillcincy.
     
    We will only be in town during one work week day (Monday) and will probably have the rental car for only a portion of that.  Looking for an area to chill out and just wander/eat/drink.
     
    Is there a "bar district" or anything like that down there?  I have used the light rail system in the Twin Cities, so that sounds like a good set up to me.
     
    Basically, we want to be done with the car and have dinner, then we are back on the train at 7pm.
     
    Thanks again.
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    wanderingjew
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    Re:Brewery tour trip to Denver 3/11/11 2011/03/09 16:24:59 (permalink)
    Inthewater

    Thanks for the ideas, Chillcincy.

    We will only be in town during one work week day (Monday) and will probably have the rental car for only a portion of that.  Looking for an area to chill out and just wander/eat/drink.

    Is there a "bar district" or anything like that down there?  I have used the light rail system in the Twin Cities, so that sounds like a good set up to me.

    Basically, we want to be done with the car and have dinner, then we are back on the train at 7pm.

    Thanks again.

     
    The Bar District would be the Union Station/Coors Field area, I believe they refer to that section as "LoDo" or Lower Downtown.
     
    I have to respectfully  disagree with Chillcincy about the Table Mountain Inn- It's far from trendy, but is about as roadfoody as you can get, not "post website diners drive in and dives roadfood" but it's classic rocky mountain regional roadfood
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    Inthewater
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    Re:Brewery tour trip to Denver 3/11/11 2011/03/09 17:01:13 (permalink)
    Yeah, LoDo, that is where we're planning to stumble around.  :)
    I believe we will stop by Table Mtn Inn to check it out.  Doubtful we will get to The Fort (seems a little fancy for us) or Buckhorn Exchange (looks awesome, but not what my wife likes).
     
    Well, I will let you all know how it goes.  :)
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    chillcincy
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    Re:Brewery tour trip to Denver 3/11/11 2011/03/10 15:51:30 (permalink)
    S'all right...my mouth still waters over the 240 Union menu a bit more than Table Mt Inn, but whatever you like, eh? 240 really couldn't be classified as road food anyway (too fancy).
    Anyway, I suppose you've already found the BeerAdvocate site? They have a Beer Guide for Denver that could be helpful to ID some locations around and accessible from LoDo. 
    May you have excellent weather and no snow dumps while in Colorado! 
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    wanderingjew
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    Re:Brewery tour trip to Denver 3/11/11 2011/03/10 17:13:31 (permalink)
    chillcincy

    S'all right...my mouth still waters over the 240 Union menu a bit more than Table Mt Inn, but whatever you like, eh? 240 really couldn't be classified as road food anyway (too fancy).
    Anyway, I suppose you've already found the BeerAdvocate site? They have a Beer Guide for Denver that could be helpful to ID some locations around and accessible from LoDo. 
    May you have excellent weather and no snow dumps while in Colorado! 


    If you thought Table Mountain Inn was "too fancy" I could take you to " some really fancy places" that would make your toe nails curl.
     
    I'm aware that the majority of folks who post on the forum are only aware of the post website "diners, drive ins and dives' theme towards roadfood. However the 20 some odd years worth of roadfood books that the Stern's wrote prewebsite was  a celebration of regional food in all it's forms.
     
    I wore a polo short and and a nice pair of shorts and felt perfectly comfotable in a very roadfoody atmosphere. To me "fancy" is "black tie" only.
    #16
    Inthewater
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    Re:Brewery tour trip to Denver 3/11/11 2011/03/11 09:05:39 (permalink)
    wanderingjew, I think they meant that 240 Union was "fancy", not Table Mountain Inn.
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    wanderingjew
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    Re:Brewery tour trip to Denver 3/11/11 2011/03/11 09:40:39 (permalink)
    Inthewater

    wanderingjew, I think they meant that 240 Union was "fancy", not Table Mountain Inn.


    And remember don't discount The  Buffalo Rose Saloon also in Golden.
    Casual mountain man/biker bar atmosphere. Beautiful Buffalo Burgers and great green chili..
     
    Although I'm not a fan of Coors they did have a couple of varieties of coors that I can't find elsewhere including a "7 minute pour"
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    Inthewater
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    Re:Brewery tour trip to Denver 3/11/11 2011/03/11 10:57:20 (permalink)
    Oh, we plan to be there for quite some time on Sunday.  That place is right up our alley.  Is that in a bar/entertianment district?
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    wanderingjew
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    Re:Brewery tour trip to Denver 3/11/11 2011/03/11 11:09:15 (permalink)
    Inthewater

    Oh, we plan to be there for quite some time on Sunday.  That place is right up our alley.  Is that in a bar/entertianment district?


    Absolutely!
     
    These photos were taken on a Saturday afternoon in August 2009. I happened to arrive on "Buffalo Bill Days" by coincidence hence the festive atmosphere
     
     

     
     

     

     

     
     

     

     

     

    #20
    Inthewater
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    Re:Brewery tour trip to Denver 3/11/11 2012/02/20 14:33:33 (permalink)
    We had so much fun last year, we are heading back again for a very similar, yet 1 day longer, trip.
     
    Two days and nights in Ft Collins, which we loved, two days and one night in the Denver area (Lakewood actually) that is near Morrison.
     
    Going to try and hit Biker Jim's in Denver this time, and we will have more time to paruse the LoDo area.  We were pressed for time last year.
     
    Looking for a breakfast idea for a Monday morning in that Lakewood area.
     
    Also, any other ideas anyone may have.
     
    Thinking of swinging by Boulder or Estes Park on the way south from Ft Collins this time, so we can see some scenery.
     
    We'll be equipped with much better cell phone cameras, so I should actually have some photos of the trip this year. :)
     
     
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