We started in Denver and finished in Ouray and ate as much as we could stuff into ourselves in between. Here, then, is a perfect day of eating, Colorado-style.
Consummate Coffee Break
City on a Hill Coffee and Espresso, Leadville
Leadville has the highest elevation of any incorporated city in the United States, and it has a charming coffeeshop in the middle of downtown. We were in a hurry to get to Monarch Mountain to go skiing, but the smell once we walked inside convinced us we had made the right decision.
Lunch With A View
The Lodge at Sunspot, Winter Park
We were usually too busy to eat lunch, never mind enjoy it. But the views on the chairlift ride up and from the restaurant at the top of the mountain were worth savoring. When I see something I’ve never had on a menu, I order it. The buffalo pastrami sandwich confirmed the wisdom of that approach. Signature “warmers” — and you’ll want some warming — include roasted corn chowder and buffalo chili.
Mountain Top Cookie Shop and Crepe Stand, Copper Mountain
After a full day of snowboarding, I can’t begin to tell you how great this tasted. Full confession: To call what I was doing snowboarding is to insult actual snowboarders. I had a snowboard attached to my feet, I went to the top of a hill, and after a while, I arrived at the bottom, but the process by which I got to the bottom could not really be called snowboarding. It was more like skid for a few feet, fall, get up, skid for a few feet, fall, get up, etc. Anyway, Andy and I walked around Copper Mountain shops eating Nutella crepes like a couple of 6-year-olds skipping away from an ice cream truck.
Dinner Most Definitely
C.B. Grille, Copper Mountain
We ate great meals with great people virtually every night. I loved the energy in The Wooden Nickel in Crested Butte, the local vibe in the Ouray Brewery in Ouray, and the deep-in-the-woods setting of the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse. Like an old married couple, Andy and I shared bites from each other’s entrees most nights, and we agreed by acclamation that the grilled bison meatloaf at C.B. Grille tasted the best.
Tennessee Pass Cookhouse, Leadville
To get to Tennessee Pass Cookhouse, we cross-country skied for an hour across a snow-covered trail. Andy grew up cross-country skiing every weekend with his father in their native Russia, so this night brought his childhood rushing back to him. The surrounding woods captivated me. The hip-deep snow was untouched for as far as I could see, which, given the dense trees, was not very. The restaurant is a yurt warmed by a roaring fire. The entire meal was spectacular, and the chocolate cream pie at the end was the highlight.
More from our adventure feature
Photography: Courtesy City on a Hill, Colorado.com/Jesse Quand
From our February/March 2020 issue.