Jay Fox's Dining Guide

Republicans land in Loveland

BOSS JODY SEZ it’s time for the state assemblies of both the Democrats and the Republicans, and with so many burning issues, I thought I’d list some you might find suitable to your dining needs. While I have eaten at some of them, the rest of the list was furnished by former friends and enemies alike.

The Budweiser Events Center is located at The Ranch, a 7,200 seat venue, and is part of the Larimer County Fairgrounds and Events Complex. The address is 5290 Arena Circle, Loveland.

There is the Executive Club Restaurant at the events center, located on the top floor. It offers a rotating variety of buffets that are “priced to please.” The restaurant also offers snacks and a full service bar for those less hungry. At press time the powers that be had not decided if the restaurant would be open during the convention. But there are lots to choose from in the area. You can go off site where it’s not near as convenient. There are two basic locations.

First is the Promenade Shops at Centerra Mall (shopping mall) on the east side of I-25 at the US 34 exit, where all the chain heavies are. It’s just south of the event center, tho you gotta do a bit of zigging and sagging. Or you can go into town, find a local mom and pop eatery and try something new and different. It’s about 4 miles and change into town, due west of the convention center. I’ve noted with an * the restaurants that are at
the mall.

4TH STREET CHOP HOUSE
125 E. 4th St – 970-622-0688
www.4thstchophouse.com

This is a casual 1930’s seafood and steakhouse serving an upscale menu. Open for dinner only. Lotsa munchies, soup and salads and modest prices. The peach-pablano pork tenderloin ($15.95) dinner sounds yummy as does the pan-roasted lamb tenderloin ($20.95). I think this place is on 4th Street.

ADELITA’S FINE MEXICAN FOOD
414 E. 6th St – 970-669-9577

Having never been to a restaurant whose name was “not so fine food,” I’m always curious how businesses get named. There’s a BBQ eatery in Albuquerque where the side of the building is painted something like “Worst BBQ in town.” Of course it isn’t, and folks flock to it. As did G and I and it was perty darn good. The reputation of Adelita’s is quite good. A neat little place off the main street in downtown, folks wait a long time to get a table at this expanded eatery serving traditional Mexican fare.

BENT FORK GRILL*
5971 Sky Pond Drive – 970-613-9333
www.bentforkgrill.com

A popular American grill, serving
buggers, pasta, sangies and seafood. Rave reviews from the locals for an unusual menu, with such items as strawberry, brie & chicken salad, or lobster mac and cheese or the popular baby-back ribs. Located in the Promenade Shops at Centerra, with a second location in Aurora. Their fairly elaborate wine list will hit the spot. The menu calls the place “fresh, casual, sophisticated.” Sounds like a plan to me.

BIAGGI’S RISTAURANTE ITALIANO*
5929 Sky Pond Drive – 970-663-0100
www.biaggis.com

Even tho it’s a chain, it’s a darn good one. G and I have eaten several times at the store in North Colorado Springs and found the food and service very good. Similar in concept to the Brio restaurants that opened recently at Park Ghetto and in Cherry Creek, altho I think the latter are more upscale. Try one of the well done seafood dishes.

BOHEMIAN COTTAGE
8039 West US Hwy 34 – 970-667-3718

Serving Austrian, Czech, German, Slovak & Hungarian fresh, house-made grub. Dinner only. Closed Monday. Unfortunately they serve margarine instead of butter. I can’t imagine. I am told that the food and service are both terrific. A whole messa five star reviews on the web. Small and cozy. If you’re dieting this isn’t the place for you.

CHARLEY’S GRILLED SUBS*
6055 Sky Pond Drive – 970-663-1500
970-663-1500
www.charleys.com

A long time international sub franchisor based in Columbus, Ohio, they do a perty good job. The original store started on muh alma mater campus, The Ohio State University. They specialize in Philly cheesesteak and other grilled sangies. The fries are yummy. Interesting that I never heard of the company since today and they have over 400 stores. But then I think Philly cheesesteaks oughta stay in South Philly where they started.

FATSO’S DINER
1606 W. Eisenhower Blvd
970-776-9660

Yeah, right. I want to eat at a place called Fatso’s. Almost as bad as a fine dinery I’ve been to in New Jersey called, Rats. I never met a skinny chef who knew how to cook. Very friendly staff contributes to the popularity of this local 1950’s style diner that opened just a few years back. Breakfast seems to be more popular with the largest portion of the menu. Great onion rings. Their menu is based off old-style Coney Island (New York). The buggers are popular. Sorry, no Nathan’s hotdogs.

JOHNSON’S CORNER
TRUCK STOP & CAFÉ
I-25 and Exit 254 –
970-667-2069
www.johnsonscorner.com

This locally famous truck stop is noted for their oversize cinnamon rolls. Which in my erstwhile opinion are boring? Of course I don’t particularly like cinnamon rolls, but these allegedly world famous (the whole world?) are just boring. Big and Boring. But the rest of the grub is mighty fine if you like truck stop food. I do really enjoy truck stop food. The tuna melt is quite yummy. Quite. Was in a local 7-11 last nite, and there on the counter were Johnson’s Corner cinnamon rolls, looking a bit peaked and rather average size in comparison to what I remember. Didn’t turn me on.

NORDY’S BAR-B-QUE & GRILL
4360 St. Cloud
www.nordysbbq.com

Offering everything from wings to skins to cheese bites with diced chilis, to the signature BBQ Cobb salad and everything in between… or did I forgit the reeebs? Carolina hickory-smoked pork or chicken or turkey? Howsabout some St. Louis style ribs? They even got catfish. Yo, mama! Best part of all, other than the house-made desserts? Why, it’s the Diet Pepsi, of course. Nordy’s peddles Hormel products, and how can you go wrong with Hormel? Had your Spam today? Love that stuff, pan-fried with slobbers of mayo on soft white bread, yo!

PACIUGO ITALIAN GELATO*
5971 Sky Pond Drive – 970-567-0038
www.paciugo.com

Serving hand-crafted gelato, almost any flavor to delite your palate. But be careful cuz they do have some strange stuff. They got something called maple bacon gelato. Sounds disgusting. This store is currently closed for renovation but is expected to re-open May 17. The Dallas-based founders are from Turin, Italy.

P.F. CHANG’S
5915 Sky Pond Drive
970-622-9313
www.pfchangs.com

The décor never fails to impress, no matter what location you visit, everything is huge. The lettuce wraps are interesting, if lettuce could actually hold food, let alone chopsticks. My favorite is the Mongolian Beef with a scrumptious brown sauce and green onions. Don’t miss their crab or crispy wontons or their mini desserts, either, otherwise there’s almost no point. They even have a patio and valet parking if you don’t feel like walking off your dinner. Maybe they’ll even pick you up at your table if you ask in Chinese!

POURHOUSE BAR AND GRILL
124 E. 4th St, – 970-669-1699
www.pourhousebarandgrill.com

Creative and delicious grub. Sweet corn & portobello rangoons, mini crab cakes. Loaded sweet potato fries, cordon bleu pops, grill and chill shrimp 2die4.There’s also pasta dishes, sizzling Pourhouse Fajitas and of course daaa beers, local and microbrew drafts and a fine samplin’ of delish desserts. Try the Gimme S’more, vanilla custard in layers of graham crackers topped with hot fudge and roasted marshmallows. You gotta go to their Web site to see what these sumptuous dishes are all about, or stop by. Try the bugger on a pretzel bun. Stick around for the jazz, cuz it’s the only such venue in town and the place to gather for live entertainment on weekends.

SCHMIDT’S BAKERY & DELI
808 14th St, SW – 970-667-9811
www.schmidtsbakery.com

This is one of muh fav places to eat anywhere. Not so much the restaurant, altho the German style fare is good, but the bakery will blow your mind. Not only are there 47,003 cases filled with every baked delite you can imagine, but it’s all fantastically delish. Their reputation for wedding cakes is unmatched in the region. They also provide breads and pastries to many restaurants in the area. If they don’t make your favorite pastry, it ain’t being made.

AND MORE!
There are other chains located in or near the mall, among them Red Robin, Charbucks, Rock Bottom Brewery and On The Border Mexican — altho I’m not sure who’s side of the border they’re on. Remember to follow my wife’s motto: “Stop and Shop wherever you may be.”

Jay Fox covers the Republican food beat for The Colorado Statesman.