Posts Tagged ‘Gluten free’

Colorado; much more than just Denver

Monday, July 9th, 2018

On a recent visit back to the Colorado, we were able to enjoy a variety of restaurants, not just in Denver.

 

First stop was over at The Post Brewing Co. in Lafayette – this is a North Carolina/Southern themed brewery and menu that has found a home in this Boulder suburb. We started with the Fried Chicken Skins with Pinto Bean & Green Chile Hummus which was a novel use of the chicken skin and play on the appetizer plate. Next, we enjoyed their amazing 1/2 Roast Chicken that had been brined over night and served with an Arugula Salad, Pickled Cauliflower & Red Onions – very tasty and a perfect pairing with a Stem Hibiscus Cider – made locally in Colorado.

 

Next stop was up to the mountains for a visit to Vail, usually known for its Winter pleasures of skiing, but plenty enjoyable during the Summer Season.

 

We had found DeliZioso Deli, which is a casual spot to drop in and pick up specialty items, goods and snacks. They’re known for their variety of sandwiches, including being extremely friendly to those with allergies, especially gluten.

 

Later in the evening, we had to make a pilgrimage to The Red Lion which is a true Vail Classic that serves as the defacto ‘clubhouse’ of town and a gathering place for all ages. Serving Mountain fare and local favorites, the Lion is nothing fancy but plenty tasty.

 

The next day, in search of a late lunch with a patio right on the river, we headed to the Mountain Standard which serves Upscale cuisine in a modern setting. There we enjoyed their Crispy Cheesy Polenta Rotisserie Chicken with Yucca Frita and Caramelized Banana Mole.

 

For dinner in the evening, we weren’t after a full meal but needed a nice place for a glass of wine in a relaxing setting, which we found at Lancelot Steakhouse right in Vail Village. They are known for their Prime Rib, but since we didn’t need a huge meal, we settled on their Blackened Prime Rib Caesar Salad which was an extremely pleasant surprise and so much better than expected for a simple meal.

 

Prior to departing Vail, we stopped into Bully Ranch at the Sonenalp for some patio dining. Bully Ranch is known for their burger selection, however healthy cuisine was on the menu for the day, choosing a delicious healthy salad of Power Greens, Quinoa, Strawberries, Blueberries and Seared Chicken.

 

Heading back down from the mountains, dinner that night was back in Lafayette, checking out another one of the recent additions to their dining scene, Community. These guys are doing a lot right in terms of decor, design, beverage program and more, but the food didn’t fully match up to the sizzle. However, their Roasted Spicy Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan Cheese were a very tasty appetizer to share and start the meal.

 

Prior to departing Colorado, we had to stop back in Denver for a visit to Root Down in the Highlands, a personal favorite meal, always uber local on ingredients and extremely aware of allergies. They continue to do a great job overall, even with their growth of adding other restaurants in the area and success. We had a variety of items, including Avocado Toast with Sunflower Seeds and Sesame Seeds with Beet Salad, Gluten Free Pancakes with Yogurt Parfait and a Shrimp & Sweet Potato Hash with a sunny side up local Egg, all paired with Bottomless Blood Orange Mimosas. Yet another delicious meal there!

 

Once again, Colorado as a whole, proved that their dining scene is on fire currently and not just in Denver; you can find outstanding culinary experiences throughout the Centennial State.

 

 

A chance to give back…

Monday, April 30th, 2012

On Wednesday, April 25th I had the pleasure to speak with the Restaurant/Bar Concept Development & Entrepreneurship class at my alma mater, the University of Denver, Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management. I am fortunate that I also sit on the Executive Advisory Board at the school and I take an extreme amount of pride in doing so. I try to take every opportunity to return to the school and share my expertise and when the invitation came to visit, I immediately jumped at the chance.

Assistant Professor, Dr. Cheri Young and Director, Operations Eric Lane are teaching a class on developing business plans and concept development, while working with a local entrepreneur to help him develop his gluten-free beer concept/brew pub. They asked me to give the students a consultant’s perspective, while helping to lead them in the right direction. What made this class special was that it only contained 8 students and all are seniors graduating in the next few months.

The professors let me know I would have the full 1 hour and 50 minutes of class to speak, conduct a question-and-answer session and true back & forth to engage the students, which I was extremely flattered by and definitely appreciated.

I tried to give the class a varied perspective overall, while guiding them through the process.  To start I shared with them my personal background and industry experience, including how important that the University of Denver was and remains to me.  Then, I had to give them a ‘reality check’ by driving home the point that passion will only get you so far, but focusing on ROI is a key with any concept and operation.  We then talked about the overall methodology of a business plan/concept statement, in broad terms and what was needed in this report.
The life of a consultant and what it means to be a consultant – this was an interesting conversation to have with 20-22 year old students soon to enter our industry.  This can sometimes be tough for people overall to grasp, since everyone believes that they can be a consultant.  On the value of experience – too many people call themselves consultants, however, few have the true time, knowledge and awareness of the industry to provide clients with an appropriate perspective and valued analysis.  Finally, I shared a case study by The Nyman Group of a former client of ours that showed the students the positives and negatives of the hospitality industry, along with a comprehension of how we do our job.
I finished speaking, talking about moving forward and their role in the hospitality industry upon graduation.  I let the students know that they could feel free to contact me directly and I would happily remain available to them should they have any questions that I could assist with.

I can’t wait to return to campus to visit with the students and more classes soon. Next trip will before our Spring EAB meeting, held the day before graduation and I will then have a chance to meet the graduating seniors and their families at the going away celebration. I’m thrilled I continue to have the chance to give back to the university and program that I love and care so deeply about. Don’t ever forget about the value your experience in your chosen industry has, especially for those who are just starting in the business – you have something to teach! Give back and share…