Happy Friday you beautiful human! Hope you had an awesome, short, week! I am still recovering from my whirlwind trip to Denver last weekend, and NOW I know why everyone is living in Denver, and is a foodie in Denver too! Beyond being able to get all 4 seasons in, literally, a few days – seriously, a high of 98 on the weekend, to snow and high of 35 the day we left – the food life, fitness life, and the laid back vibe remind me so much of my love for SoCal.
My family and I went to visit my sister and brother-in-law for a quick 3-day getaway! They have lived in Denver for a little over a year but this was the 1st time I had the chance to make it out there. My Mom kept sharing that I would LOVE it, and it would remind me so much of Santa Monica. When they say your Mother’s always right…;)
Although our trip was QUICK, we packed a lot in, and my sister & bro-in-law did a great job of putting together an itinerary while we were there, which helped with packing (more on this in a future post) and a chance to check out some of the local hot spots and some bougie “Fit4Janine” restaurants! Needless to say, I am looking forward to heading back in a month for a longer stay and, hopefully, a lot more sightseeing!
While I got my shop on, today’s post is sharing some of the fabulous places we went to yummy eats, cocktails, and beer (yes, I took one for the team). Yes, I did not go hungry while I was there…and it was SO DAMN GOOD. See, I quickly deemed myself a foodie in Denver too. Next time, though, I would like to take part in more of the fitness offerings; this bum ankle has been, well, a pain in the ankle! Grr…
Enough about that! Let’s start chatting about FOOD!
Why Everyone Is a Foodie in Denver!
After arriving on Saturday, we headed back to my sister & brother-in-laws for champagne and brunch! Needless to say, we were starving! Travel day is, always, hard when it comes to eating! Post brunch and chill, we walked down the street to a local brewery called “Denver Beer Co.” I know, you are reading this going “WAIT, Janine, you were drinking beer?” When in “Rome,” and I was being a good sport and taking one for the team. Ha! Since my adorable niece, Gully, who is French Bulldog, came with us, we sat outside. Yes, 98 degrees AND ALL. NOT GOOD for my day old Keratin hair treatment.
If I am going to drink beer, I tend to air on the side of wheat. I do dig a good Blue Moon or an IPA that is along those lines. Geez, Blue Moon seems so 10+ years ago, and SO NOT TRENDY. I really need to up my beer game. I want to be able to hang with the best of them. After sampling many, I ended up with a yummy Pilsner. Unfortunately, I do not know the name but some I did try included “Juicy Freak” and “Princess Yum Yum.” Doesn’t that sound like something out of Star Trek?
After we passed out for about an hour at the hotel – TIRED and LOTS of libations – we got a little bougie to head out to a fabulous tapas restaurant called “El 5 Denver.” Omgosh, I am pretty sure this is THE place in town for city views and dates. LOL. And, yes, BOUGIE as all get out! Located on the 5th floor of a well know building in the LoHi district, the unobstructed views of the Denver skyline are like nothing I have seen in a LONG time! I could, definitely, see myself as a regular foodie in Denver at this establishment.
I so wish I was able to grab some pictures of the food! Unfortunately, the lights over our table – the BEST table in the place – were not working so, when it got dark, it got dark! One thing I could capture was this sparkling rose that was recommended. Because I did not have enough for the day! While everyone else did cocktails and wine, I thought I better stick to this since me and mixing are not a great combo.
Even though there are no pictures to prove it – just happy belly’s – here is what we got! Since there were 6 of us, and we did want to get the larger portion of paella, we were recommended 4-6 tapas while we were waiting. We had a lovely cheese & charcuterie board at my sister’s prior to our reservation but we were all still ready to dive into the yumminess! Btw, a new concept in Denver at their restaurants is that you scan a bar code to view a menu. Kind of cool!
– Mediterranean Sea Bass
– Burrata Di Puglia
– Shrimp & Calamari A La Plancha
– Moroccan Lamb Sausage
– Sea Scallops (special)
– “Coliflor” – a fabulous “cauliflower rice” spin on this classic with turmeric chicken and a plethora of veggies, cheese, almonds, and jam!
So many other awesome choices; I would go back here in a heartbeat! Cheers to being bougie and finally getting my ass to Denver (and being a foodie in Denver too).
After an “okay” night of sleep, and being up EARLY (although my body felt it was later), it was time to get geared up and ready for another day! We met up with the “kids” and had an awesome breakfast at a local spot called “The Pig & Sprout,” before they went for a day of hiking, and I did some work, shopping, and checking out the sites (well, as much as I could). P.S. Wait until you see these shoes I purchased!
We started with, what else, cocktails; I wish I had a picture of my sister’s “Bourbon Bloody Mary.” Omgosh, gorgeous – like a work of art in a pedestal fish bowl. I, of course, thought a Prosecco seemed like the best “hair of the dog” choice. Kidding, I was fine that morning.
We started with their famous “Crispy Brussel Sprouts;” yes, fried, and I ate some and moved on! Please, I eat what I want but there is something about fried foods that just do not sit well with me. Regardless, They were pretty freaking good. From there, I ordered the “Avocado Bowl,” and added pulled pork. The idea behind their restaurant concept is one part of their menu is for the meat eaters, and the other for vegans.
The “Avocado Bowl” was fabulous and I ate every last drop. It was comprised of quinoa, poached eggs, avocado, carrot bacon, roasted tomatoes, sunflower seeds, and a petite salad.
After the credit card was maxed out, I headed back to the hotel to freshen up just as the crew came back from their hike! Before we all went and grabbed cocktails, I headed to “Corridor 44” – a champagne bar! My Sister took my Mom there back in January, and she just raved about it! So gorgeous inside and, although it was ridiculously HOT, I could so envision cold, cozy nights among the velvet banquets and chandeliers. Oh, and you could get any cocktail/array of beers there too!
I started with the “Prestige Flight” of champagne, then ordered a bottle of sparkling brut for the table when my Mom and Dad arrived. We had a a little cheese & charcuterie before meeting up with the rest of the crew at a SUPER FUN bar called ‘Happy Camper.”
Seriously, we were on a turf lawn among 1950’s striped awnings, retro metal painted chairs, and a slew of plastic pink flamingos, string lights, and a lot of laughter. Little did I know it was a pizza place, although you could get other items as well! I stuck to one of my favorites – Deep Eddy Lemon – and sipped amongst a sunset, fun convo, and a lot of ashes from the nearby fires. That was crazy!
Post cocktails, we grabbed carryout from the restaurant where my sister works – Protos. Napoletana-style pizza that is thin crust, piping hot, and comes with some extremely unique topics. Did you ever think to put sauerkraut on a pizza? We grabbed a few different varieties and I, of course, tried out their mediterranean tuna salad. I may have, possibly, scraped the toppings off a few to try! Sorry not sorry for the lack of pictures.
On our last day, we had a late breakfast at my sister’s and then we went exploring in the fabulous Cherry Creek district. Yeah, talk about my kind of jam! My Mom, Sister, and I snagged some gorgeous pieces at a local boutique – wait until you see these beauties – and then we met up with my Dad & Brother-In-Law for some cocktails and a light snack at a swanky French bistro – Le Bilboquet.
The girls had sparkling brut while the guys stuck to their IPA’s. We split a delicious infused melon and prosciutto salad appetizer – uh huh, infused with brandy and moscato – and lobster claw with an amazing spaghetti squash. I will, definitely, be recreating BOTH, SOON!
After more shopping, cocktails, and some more cheese & charcuterie at my sis’s, we rounded out the trip with a reservation at the Farm House at Breckenridge Brewery. I enjoyed my last beer – “Buddha’s Hand”- for a while and dined on a cajun salmon dish with risotto. So freaking delicious, and I was so freaking filled and satisfied.
Travel day – Boo! My last chance to be that foodie in Denver until next month. I had heard nothing but great things about Root Down, and what was really great is that they have one in the Denver airport! Nothing like eating crappy airport food! This place is AMAZING; the food is delicious and “fresh from the earth.” From what I can tell, I don’t think it would EVER disappoint. While there are 2 different menus between the actual Denver based location and the airport, the airport had a fabulous selection and blend of both their brunch and dinner menus.
I went a little unconventional and ordered the Cobb Salad with grilled chicken, alongside a glass (or two – who am I kidding) of Prosecco. It was so yummy, satisfying, and probably the BEST airport food I have had in a really long time, if ever! Side Note: This is the sister restaurant to where we went on our first night – El Five!
As you can see I, definitely, did NOT go hungry while I was in town! I feel like I can, officially, call myself a foodie in Denver. So many cool places; hard to even scratch the surface on all the yumminess! If you have been to the area, I would love to know all of your favorite spots!
Here’s to a fabulous weekend!
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