Sunday, September 29, 2013

September Travels

I have been traveling around a lot lately, as well as enjoying the rest of our lovely Colorado summer. I just wanted to share some of my favorite food experiences from the places I've been:

We started our trip in Madison, WI. We flew into Chicago, and then immediately drove to Madison to join our friend from Peace Corps, Peru in her home state. This was my first time to Wisconsin, it was beautiful. Not to mention that Madison is awesome in the way that every hipster college town aspires to be. AND the food fest was the best I'd tasted. Bacon and pickled eggs on a stick, lots of fried cheese curd, craft brew, ice cream, and Jamaican food - YAAY!

yummy beer at the Taste of Madison

Then, we went back to Chicago, where we spent all day at museums and ate heartily at night. Here I am, in all my beauty, daintily eating a Chicago polish dog:

Polish dog from Kim & Carlo's hot dog stand outside the field museum.

Also, right next to the youth hostel we were staying at in The Loop, there was this great Cuban cafe called Cafecito. Their cubano was quite delicious, it was as good as any in Miami. 

random Inca Kola we found at Cafecito. Brought back Peru memories of pollo a la brasa...

We took a day to just walk around Chicago and see all the different neighborhoods. First, we went to the University Village/Little Italy neighborhood and had espresso and fig cookies at Scafuri bakery. If I lived in Chicago, I would be here ALL THE TIME

way better than a Fig Newton

 Then we found our way to Greek Town, where I got Greek coffee and a delicious phyllo, nut, honey, and chocolate pastry that I forgot the name of at the Pan Hellenic Pastry Shop. Another place that I would frequent constantly if I were to live in Chicago. Also - the lady sitting next to me as I took pictures of my food kept commenting on how girls with cameras are hot, so good Pavlovian memories are linked to this place for me now. Heh.

We also bought an italian beef sandwich and a polish dog at Al's #1 Italian Beef just outside of Greek Town (it has multiple locations). The italian beef was soggy and tasteless, but the Chicago dog was blow-your-mind-eat-until-you-explode tasty. If you come to Chicago. Eat here. Please.

Good dog. Tasty, tasty dog. 

And then we ate deep dish and stuffed pizza. Like, three times. Our German friends that were travelling with us thus decided that this is why America is unhealthy. Because when so much cheese and bread is put in front of you, you must eat it ALL of it, because it's just too gooey and cheesy and bready. We went to Giordano's and Lou Malnati's. They were okay, it was too bland and cookie cutter for me.

my boyfriend contemplating the meaning of pizza.

Then, dear friends, we returned home to Denver, and promptly took off for New Mexico with our friend from Hamburg, Tim. We started off in Santa Fe, where we filled ourselves full of spicy green chile over home fries at The Pantry Restaurant (not pictured) - now one of my favorite New Mexican eateries next to Michael's Kitchen in Taos. Then we went to the Marble Brewery downtown, and had exceptional IPAs with blue-corn crust pizza.


Then we went to Albuqerque. It took us a while to find where we wanted to go there, but thankfully we stumbled upon a salsa-tasting festival while there, then found our way to the university district. We didn't try the salsa festival since we were stuffed from the huevos rancheros we had that morning, but we did find some amazing dinner, beer, and dancing that evening near the University of New Mexico. If you go to Albuquerque, go to the University. I could have definitely spent a few more days in that area alone. Unfortunately, it was dark and the pictures of food did not turn out well. But the beer pictures did! Hooray! Our favorite food in New Mexico was at The Last Call taco stand, you must try their fries if you go to Albuquerque.

ristras - chili wreaths - at the salsa festival in Albuquerque

The Last Call taco stand - we had fries covered with chipotle sauce, crema, and carne asada that was easily the best meal of the whole New Mexico trip. If you go to Albuquerque, make this your first (and last) stop

Tractor Brewing - excellent Belgian and pale ales

We then came back through Western Colorado where we stayed in Ouray, went through Grand Junction to eat baked potato pizza with BBQ sauce at Pablo's Pizza (Katie's favorite pizza EVER), stopped in Vail to see how pretty it is, and came back home. I just came back from volunteering with Public Coffee (a pay-it-forward pop-up coffee shop here in Denver) at a harvest dinner at the house of one of our donors. It was a beautiful evening at a beautiful house with delicious dinner (home-smoked ribs and homebrew porter, anyone?)



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