Wednesday, June 22, 2011
CO: The Food! The Beer! Part 1!
Welcome to post #3 in a series featuring some of the sights and sounds from a recent vacation in Fort Collins and Boulder, CO!
I don't know about you, but all that strolling and biking and gawking and photographing has worked up a hearty appetite (and a pretty good thirst, too!), so I think it's time for some nosh! Fortunately, delicious vegan eats and treats abound in Fort Collins (and Boulder, too). So much so that this is just the first of two food-and beer-posts! :-)
Let's start at our favorite eatery...
The only downsides to Tasty Harmony are that it's very difficult to choose from their creative and extensive menu, and they're too far from home! Everything is delicious, the wait staff is wonderful, and we love dining al fresco on their patio. We arrived in Fort Collins at about 5pm, and after checking into The Armstrong our first priority was dinner at Tasty Harmony!
You may recognize this entree from our dinner there last summer after returning from Maine, when it was what I ordered. This time BW got to enjoy it (I've swiped the entree descriptions from their online menu. Try not to drool on your keyboard!)...
"Heart of Provence"
Cornmeal, almond and lavender crusted tempeh triangles
over garlicky grilled polenta cakes
and smothered in a Provence inspired tomato sauce.
I decided to try something new: Jackfruit Tacos! I'd never had jackfruit before, and really enjoyed these...
Two taco shells filled with jackfruit & tempeh
cooked in Mexican spices, topped with guacamole,
salsa fresca, vegan sour cream & shredded lettuce
Here's a recipe for jackfruit tacos I found in case you'd like to try making your own.
Of course, when in Fort Collins (home to so many craft brewers, microbreweries and brewpubs that it's known as "The Napa Valley of Craft Beer"), especially on a hot day, one simply must imbibe some local suds...
BW's choice du jour: New Belgium's Abbey Grand Cru
And then there's Tasty Harmony's vegan desserts. Mmmmm! Some you can always count on being on the menu, others are special and only last while they last. On this evening, we shared a slice of that day's "special cake," and AdventureJo, I sure thought of you while we enjoyed it with eyes closed and contented "nom-nom-nom" noises! For that day's special cake was Earl Grey Cake, a spice cake with coarsely ground Earl Grey tea in both the cake batter and its delicious vegan "cream cheese" frosting...
Earl Grey Cake
Now I don't know about any of you, but it's never occurred to me to put loose leaf tea in a cake, other than maybe lavender. But according to our waiter, their dessert chef decided she wanted to make cake with tea in it, spied the Earl Grey and went for it. With heavenly results!
Unlike the many offerings for vegan lunches, dinners and desserts, we found Fort Collins to be sparse when it comes to places that serve vegan breakfasts. So we ate at the mostly vegetarian Rainbow which offers a few vegan options, and ate it out on their pretty patio, enjoying the gorgeous morning. BW had their Tempeh Sauté with Earl Grey tea (maybe he thought it would taste like last night's cake! lol), and I had their "Broccofu," a nicely seasoned broccoli and tofu scramble, with peppermint tea. I forgot to take photos, perhaps feeling rather uninspired by our comparatively blasé breakfasts in a non-veg establishment after the wonders of Tasty Harmony the night before. But I took a photo of the front of the restaurant instead, since it's in a cute old house...
It was a hot day and by lunchtime we weren't very hungry, so we opted for some delicious beer at Coopersmith's Pub & Brewing instead...
BW's Bourbon Barrel Stout & my Wayfarer Copper Ale.
BW wants all you beer aficionados to know that
Bourbon Barrel Stout is Coopersmith's Horsetooth Stout
aged in freshly emptied bourbon casks.
And so now you do. :-)
Since we'd spent most of the day walking around Old Town, by dinner we were hungry and definitely ready for some Tasty Harmony indulgence again! BW ordered their Nachos this time, which were delicious (I snagged some, of course!) as well as photogenic. In fact, I uploaded this photo to Happy Cow's Tasty Harmony listing, and they used it on their "Top 6 Places to Take Dad for Father's Day" blog post...
"Nachos de Ynez"
Layers of our homemade cashew cheese, black beans,
guacamole, vegan sour cream & salsa piled on corn chips.
I wasn't able to snag too many of BW's nachos, since I had my hands full with my burrito. Another repeat meal from last summer that BW had ordered and I got to sample, I'd been looking forward to having their exquisite Sabrosa Burrito all to myself ever since! Oh, yummmm...
"La Sabrosa Burrito"
Black beans, Spanish Rice, cashew cheese,
grilled onion & peppers, roasted corn, guacamole,
romaine lettuce and salsa fresca,
wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla and topped with
Ranchero sauce and vegan sour “cream.”
The hot day and our spicy meals just cried out for a cold and creamy dessert. So we headed over to Gelazzi, where we'd already scoped out their vegan chocolate gelato and fruity sorbettos earlier in the day...
We enjoyed the festive interior of Gelazzi, whose retro style and fun colors reminded us of our room at The Armstrong!
But what we REALLY enjoyed about Gelazzi was, of course, the product! We had dessert there twice, enjoying Tahitian Lime and Southern Mango sorbetto as well as the lemon flavor pictured here, but I mostly zeroed in on their robustly rich and deliciously decadent chocolate soy-based gelato. I had a serving of it all by itself on my first visit, but it also went nicely (and prettily) with the lemon sorbetto in a satisfying sweet-tart medley...
Chocolate soy-based gelato and lemon sorbetto
Now amply fortified and refreshed, we'll be ready for more exploring in the next Colorado post! :-)
- INFERNO ~ Dan Brown
- MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD & EVIL ~ John Berendt
- MY NOTORIOUS LIFE: A NOVEL ~ Kate Manning
- ONE SUMMER: AMERICA, 1927 ~ Bill Bryson
- QUIET: THE POWER OF INTROVERTS IN A WORLD THAT CAN'T STOP TALKING ~ Susan Cain
- THE BEAUTIFUL CIGAR GIRL ~ Daniel Stashower
- THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY ~ Erik Larson
- THE SHADOWS, KITH AND KIN ~ Joe R. Lansdale
- THE TIPPING POINT ~ Malcolm Gladwell
There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.
~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"