September 27, 2014
Price: $49-$69, Groupon half-price
Not going to the mountains, want to explore a neighborhood, and try some food, on a nice day, http://www.denvergourmettours.com might be something different to try.
Now for the caveats…get the groupon as I found “gourmet” to be a bit of a stretch. Gourmet applied to the portion size more than the type of places that we visited.
There are a variety of tours available. We picked the Highlands expecting to go to some of the popular, fancy restaurants, though for $25 we had our suspicions. While we didn’t make it to any place fancy, we did stop by a few places I didn’t know about and the day was glorious, so overall we found the tour to be worth it once.
We started out at Savory Spice on Platte Street which is a shop, not a restaurant. We were provided a bowl of popcorn and got to taste several spices that they grow and grind themselves. It is a very nice spice shop, and I have been to the one in Littleton. Any cook would love this place. http://www.savoryspiceshop.com/
From the spice shop, we walked next door to Eat+Drink, a popular Vail Valley artisan cheese boutique. While it feels more like a fancy cheese shop to me, Eat+Drink includes a small indoor dining area and patio. The menu offers paninis, cheese plates, olives, charcuterie plates, salads, and even chocolate flights and wine. We tried three different cheeses on tasty bread which we quite good. http://eatdrinkinc.com/
From Platte Street, we crossed the bridge and walked up to Boulder Street where the Highlands Farmers Market is held. It was just ending around 1 p.m. when we visited Shangri-La Cafe. Again, I wouldn’t consider a coffee shop gourmet, but I will say the Artufo panini (turkey, pesto, swiss and arugala) was fantastic! If I lived in this neighborhood, I’d probably come here for breakfast sandwiches. I bet they are good. http://shangrilacafe.com/
We moved on from savory to sweet and tried out the ice cream at Little Man which offers a handful of flavors from its freestanding building. For every scoop it serves, it donates a scoop of rice or beans to underdeveloped countries. The scoops are large and filling. I see why we came here next, due to the location, but it was weird to have ice cream and then visit a Jamaican Food Truck. http://www.littlemanicecream.com/
We returned close to our starting location and enjoyed a pulled pork taco and fried banana from the food truck by the Denver Beer Company. I was positively full by then, but I stuffed down the tasty dish with a beer before we ended our afternoon. http://denverbeerco.com/
We were surprised by the warmth of the late September day, but enjoyed the sun while we could. We were also surprised by the average age on the tour which was a bit older than expected, but didn’t affect us. While we didn’t try any fancy restaurants, it was nice to spend a nice, relaxing weekend day in Denver. It doesn’t seem like I do that very often. ETB