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ayana

colorado-arizona-utah trip

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Hi everyone,

Husband & I doing a roadtrip from LA to Colorado and back. We're going to drive on the 70 via Arches National Park to Rocky Mountain National Park, and then drive back via Black Canyon of the Gunnison, the San Juan Skyway, Durango, Mesa Verde, and Monument Valley.

Any good places to eat that you can think of along the way?

Also, any food festivals that are worth a stop? This will be late July - mid August.

Thanks!! :biggrin:

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Last time I was out around Mesa Verde (about ten years ago), we ate at this awesome German restaurant (which exists in a converted house) in Dolores, Colorado (NW of MV). I don't remember the name, but Dolores is a small town so I'm sure it'd be easy to find (assuming, of course, that it still exists). The food was sooo good, and they crammed the plates full.

I googled a bit and think this must be it:

Old Germany Restaurant 200 S 8th, Dolores, CO 970.882.7549

I had the opportunity to dine at an exceptional German Restaurant in Dolores, Colorado this summer. It has been there since 1986. This authentic, family-owned and operated establishment has a full biergarten as well, in which I enjoyed one of their many imported German beers on tap, accompanied by an excellent pair of bratwurst and sauerkraut. The menu is authentic Bavarian cuisine, including a variety of schnitzels, bratwurst, knackwurst, etc. and the portions are enormous. The owner and chef is Rita Bergstrom. (2004)

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I agree with the German restaurant, and also:

JOSÉ DE MANCOS WORLD CAFE

145 Grand Ave. - 533-1338

My memory is failing me, but I remember a fantastic little Italian place in Mancos or Dolores.

The other place with I haven't had luck finding was a superb wild game restaurant north of the Great Sand Dunes closer to Crestone. They were part of a buffalo ranch and had wonderful meats. Maybe its the Zapata Ranch facility, but I can't guarantee it.

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Hi everyone,

Husband & I doing a roadtrip from LA to Colorado and back.  We're going to drive on the 70 via Arches National Park to Rocky Mountain National Park, and then drive back via Black Canyon of the Gunnison, the San Juan Skyway, Durango, Mesa Verde, and Monument Valley.

Any good places to eat that you can think of along the way?

Also, any food festivals that are worth a stop?  This will be late July - mid August.

Thanks!! :biggrin:

Hi Ayana:

If you're going to Arches Nat'l Park, you'll be off of I-70 about 30 miles and will be wanting to stay in Moab............maybe take in a little of Canyonlands Nat's Park and Dead Horse Point State Park, then continue up Hyw. 128 following the Colorado River .....a beautiful drive........ to join I-70 again near the Colorado border. In Moab I strongly recommend dining at the Desert Bistro.......excellent nouvelle Southwestern cuisine...........the best in the area, if not the state. I dine there at least once a week :wub:

For breakfast in Moab I suggest the Jailhouse Cafe, The Moab Diner, or Eclectica Cafe. For great coffee and/or a good read try Arches Book Company. Its companion bookstore, Back of Beyond Books, across the street is the best place for books on the area.

No food festivals in the Moab area that come to mind, but the Farmers Market every Saturday morning is great, though small. Fabulous vegetables, fruits, and breads plus a very good folk jam session all morning :cool: .

On the way back, I suggest the restaurant at the Far View Lodge in Mesa Verde Nat'l Park. Very good game and other dishes. It is also a great place to stay.............no TVs or phones...............fantastic views.......You would need reservations, but pretty reasonable.

There are many good restaurants in Durango of every type.

If you have any further questios about restaurants or accomodations in the Moab or 4-corners region, just ask or PM me.

Have a great trip to paradise :biggrin: !!

Bill


Bill Benge

Moab, Utah

"I like eggs", Leon Spinks

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Funny thing, we are taking the family on a camping vacation in much the same area this summer. Definately Definately go to Dead Horse Point. The most spectacular view I have ever seen. For my money, it even more spectacular than the Grand Canyon. From the point you look down into the canyon where the Green and Colorado rivers (if I'm not mistaken) merge. Far more spectacular than the Black Canyon, although it is worth the trip as well. The Black Canyon is notable for being quite narrow and having very steep sided walls which are metamorphic rock and quite interesting. Dead Horse Point is sedimentary rock by contrast, and is a rich red color. Canyonlands is incredibly spectacular as well, as is Arches. Try the Needles section. If you have 4wd, there are some r not very demanding roads that take you into some beautiful scenerey. Did I say incredible and spectacular enough. Have fun. Charlie

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Funny thing, we are taking the family on a camping vacation in much the same area this summer.  Definately Definately go to Dead Horse Point.  The most spectacular view I have ever seen.  For my money, it even more spectacular than the Grand Canyon.  From the point you look down into the canyon where the Green and Colorado rivers (if I'm not mistaken) merge.  Far more spectacular than the Black Canyon, although it is worth the trip as well.  The Black Canyon is notable for being quite narrow and having very steep sided walls which are metamorphic rock and quite interesting.  Dead Horse Point is sedimentary rock by contrast, and is a rich red color.  Canyonlands is incredibly spectacular as well, as is Arches.  Try the Needles section.  If you have 4wd, there are some r not very demanding roads that take you into some beautiful scenerey.  Did I say incredible and spectacular enough.  Have fun. Charlie

Charlie:

Did you go, or are you going to Grand View Point and Green River Overlook in North Canyonlands.............beyond the turnoff for Dead Horse?? I agree that Dead Horse is incredible, and also, IMHO, more spectacular than Grand Canyon......especially considering the comparatively small number of tourists...........BUT..........these other points are a religious experience to me :wub: . Grand View does look out at the confluence of the Colo and the Green, whereas Green River obviously overlooks the Green and the stunningly stark and remote White Rim with the Henry Mountains in the distance. Dead Horse is a little higher and looks down on a large bend in the Colorado. BTW, it is quite easy to access the area below Dead Horse as well, and look UP at where you have been :shock:.

I agree that Black Canyon is worth a look......and there is great trout fishing in the canyon if you have or charter a boat, but Canyonlands, Arches, Dead Horse, Natural Bridges, and the La Sal Mountains can well occupy a lifetime..............well, at least it has for me :smile:

If either you or Ayana desire any further tips or ideas re: sights to see or food to eat :wink: , please just post or P.M. me. I would be glad to help! There's even a couple of pretty good places to eat in Monticello now, which is close to the Southern part of Canyonlands.....the Needles. I'm dining at one of them tomorrow night, in fact. :biggrin:

Have a blast out here!

Bill


Bill Benge

Moab, Utah

"I like eggs", Leon Spinks

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Canyonlands - Island in the Sky - is definitely a worthwhile trip, in my opinion. All its stops and short to medium hikes I did in less than a day. But I didn't stop at Dead Horse Point State Park, unfortunately. Grand View Point Overlook is truly awesome, with its incredibly sheer and deep cliffs and views of the vast expanse of Canyonlands. Upheaval Dome is bizarre. The views from Green River Overlook are impressive too.

I also checked out the Needles District, but felt it didn't compare to Island in the Sky. I think it requires much further travel off the main roads to get to the expansive views and interesting features (like Confluence Overlook and Druid Arch). I did hike up the infamous Elephant Hill road, which is frightening to even think about four-wheeling. Also, the drive to the Needles District is looong. But camping in the Needles Outpost just outside the entrance was awesome.

Also, Dinosaur National Monument is pretty cool - some striking views, plus all the dinosaur bones.

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Canyonlands - Island in the Sky - is definitely a worthwhile trip, in my opinion. All its stops and short to medium hikes I did in less than a day. But I didn't stop at Dead Horse Point State Park, unfortunately. Grand View Point Overlook is truly awesome, with its incredibly sheer and deep cliffs and views of the vast expanse of Canyonlands. Upheaval Dome is bizarre. The views from Green River Overlook are impressive too.

I also checked out the Needles District, but felt it didn't compare to Island in the Sky. I think it requires much further travel off the main roads to get to the expansive views and interesting features (like Confluence Overlook and Druid Arch). I did hike up the infamous Elephant Hill road, which is frightening to even think about four-wheeling. Also, the drive to the Needles District is looong. But camping in the Needles Outpost just outside the entrance was awesome.

Also, Dinosaur National Monument is pretty cool - some striking views, plus all the dinosaur bones.

Hi John:

Yeah, the Needles area is a lot harder to explore unless you are willing to hike looooong miles or are an experienced, intrepid 4-wheel driver. A number of the jeep roads that used to be open, like up Salt Creek to Druid and Angel Arch and All American Man petroglyph are now closed, so it can be a 12 mile hike, each way.

I worked at Needles Outpost (then it was called Canyonlands Resort) in the summer and fall of 1970.................big fun!! I had worked the previous two summers running the Colorado River through Cataract Canyon and needed a change. I took people on jeep tours over Elephant Hill to Chesler Park and Confluence Overlook, and to Angel Arch.......Also served beer and "Stewart Sandwiches"...........frozen jobs that you microwaved.....................It was the only food in a 60 mile radius, so we had a captive clientele :wink: . The sandwichs sucked, but the view was great.......and with enough beer???? :rolleyes:

The view from Needles Overlook.................off Hwy 191 about 15 miles north of the turnoff for the needles...........is stunning................and rarely is another person there. It's administered by the BLM and is an undiscovered gem!!

Bill


Bill Benge

Moab, Utah

"I like eggs", Leon Spinks

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It may not be on the way but I read about an inetresting place in San Luis, Co., called Emma's hacienda. It sounds very authentic. The article, by Georgina Gustin, appeared in the nytimes and the description was as follows:

"If there's a reigning matriarch in San Luis, Colorado's oldest town it's Emma Espinoza, the tiny 87-year-old proprietor of a restaurant that sits on a dusty edge of Main Street in what was once the far reach of Mexico.

Wrapped in head-to-toe widow's black - her husband of 67 years died in January - and with a fist-sized silver cross dangling around her neck, she walks into her place, Emma's Hacienda. Moving slowly past the stove that was given her by a onetime rider in Buffalo Bill's Wild West show decades ago, she warbles, "Who's cooking?" as if she were in her kitchen at home.

In the six decades that Emma's has been in business not much has changed in San Luis, at least on paper, and the town, with its 739 residents, is still a place many people just pass through. Sometimes they stop, maybe at Emma's, for a bowl of stew with big strips of green chilies, Mexican bread puffs called sopapillas and a bottle of cold Negra Modelo, but then they keep going to more elegant, tourist-swarmed destinations like Taos or Santa Fe - even though the old Southwest they're expecting when they get there could be what they just left behind."

For a place to stay the article mentioned:

El Convento Bed and Breakfast, 512 Church Place, (719) 672-4223, fax (719) 672-0300, a former Catholic school and convent, has four large rooms (two have fireplaces), with basic private bath and heavy Mexican-style furniture. The rate, $50 to $60 a night for two, and $10 for every additional person, includes a hearty breakfast.

Here is a website for the oldest town in Colorado, San Luis. Check out the pictures of the church.

The San Luis Valley is really quite beautiful and quite desolate, which adds to its charm. As a bonus, the Great sand Dunes National Park is there as well. ch


Edited by saturnbar (log)

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It may not be on the way but I read about an inetresting place in San Luis, Co., called Emma's hacienda. It sounds very authentic.  The article, by Georgina Gustin, appeared in the nytimes and the description was as follows:

"If there's a reigning matriarch in San Luis, Colorado's oldest town it's Emma Espinoza, the tiny 87-year-old proprietor of a restaurant that sits on a dusty edge of Main Street in what was once the far reach of Mexico.

Wrapped in head-to-toe widow's black - her husband of 67 years died in January - and with a fist-sized silver cross dangling around her neck, she walks into her place, Emma's Hacienda. Moving slowly past the stove that was given her by a onetime rider in Buffalo Bill's Wild West show decades ago, she warbles, "Who's cooking?" as if she were in her kitchen at home.

In the six decades that Emma's has been in business not much has changed in San Luis, at least on paper, and the town, with its 739 residents, is still a place many people just pass through. Sometimes they stop, maybe at Emma's, for a bowl of stew with big strips of green chilies, Mexican bread puffs called sopapillas and a bottle of cold Negra Modelo, but then they keep going to more elegant, tourist-swarmed destinations like Taos or Santa Fe - even though the old Southwest they're expecting when they get there could be what they just left behind." 

For a place to stay the article mentioned:

El Convento Bed and Breakfast, 512 Church Place, (719) 672-4223, fax (719) 672-0300, a former Catholic school and convent, has four large rooms (two have fireplaces), with basic private bath and heavy Mexican-style furniture. The rate, $50 to $60 a night for two, and $10 for every additional person, includes a hearty breakfast.

Here is a website for the oldest town in Colorado, San Luis.  Check out the pictures of the church. 

The San Luis Valley is really quite beautiful and quite desolate, which adds to its charm.  As a bonus, the Great sand Dunes National Park is there as well.  ch

Hi Charlie:

Thanks for the tip. I rarely get over to that part of Colorado, east of Pagosa Springs, but I have an old buddy moving to the San Luis Valley soon. I'll be sure to give Emma's a try. If I do I'll post my thoughts.

Bill


Bill Benge

Moab, Utah

"I like eggs", Leon Spinks

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Bill, I may stop by this summer as well. Heck its only 15 miles from hwy 160, and it looks like the kind of place where time stands still. It would be neat to take in a mass as well. ch

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Bill, I may stop by this summer as well.  Heck its only 15 miles from hwy 160, and it looks like the kind of place where time stands still.  It would be neat to take in a mass as well.  ch

Charlie:

Have you gone to mass at the little church in Chimayo, between Taos and Santa Fe? Have you eaten at Rancho de Chimayo. If not, DO BOTH!!!

The church is wonderful. Pilgrims crawl many miles to get the holy, healing earth there. I can attest to its properties. The restaurant down the road is worth a trip all by itself. There is also a kiler taco/enchilada stand next to the church which is also great......and easier to get into than Rancho de Chimayo.

Bill


Bill Benge

Moab, Utah

"I like eggs", Leon Spinks

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Bill:

That sounds like a plan. On the way up, we are going through Chama, NM where my brother lives and on the way back we should probably go through Taos, which puts it on the way. Charlie

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I took a look at their website and it looked like a really nice place to stay the night, very affordable rates and they had an adjoining rooms setup. Then I see that only children over 9 are welcome. Give me a break. I find the whole small children unwelcome thing seriously offensive. I sure wouldn't want to disturb some pathetic slob's romantic little getaway. Get a life. ch


Edited by saturnbar (log)

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Near the Estes Park side of Rocky Mountain National Park is a stellar place, the Fawn Brook Inn. Located on the southern route to Lyons from Estes, this restaurant was THE place to impress: not sumptuous, or grand, but exquisite and rare. For the sake of full disclosure, I have not eaten there in over eight years. But from what I remember of the place, the owner was the chef. Hopefully someone else on this board has eaten there more recently to either qualify or disqualify my recommendation.

The menu was quintessential French/continental using rustic/mountain ingredients. I ate moose and morels with deep-dark cherry-rosemary compote. I still dream of the flavor, though it was so long ago. I think they had a well-chosen, eclectic, wine list. It might be worth the trip if you are to be on the Estes Park side for a night.

Fawn Brook Inn Business Hwy 7, Allenspark, CO 80510 303-747-2556

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There's even a couple of pretty good places to eat in Monticello now, which is close to the Southern part of Canyonlands.....the Needles.  I'm dining at one of them tomorrow night, in fact. :biggrin:

Bill, I just have to ask about good places in Monticello! I grew up in Grand Junction and years ago worked at Lake Powell, and when I drove through Monticello and Blanding last summer I was dying for a decent restaurant!

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There's even a couple of pretty good places to eat in Monticello now, which is close to the Southern part of Canyonlands.....the Needles.  I'm dining at one of them tomorrow night, in fact. :biggrin:

Bill, I just have to ask about good places in Monticello! I grew up in Grand Junction and years ago worked at Lake Powell, and when I drove through Monticello and Blanding last summer I was dying for a decent restaurant!

Hi Aileen:

The places in Monticello that I recommend are:

MD Cookhouse; This is located in the 300 S. block of Main Street. Very good steak dinners. Standard fare, but definitely above average. Also excellent burgers and lunches.

The Line Camp; This is a great little place about 7 miles nort of Monticello on Hwy 191 heading to Moab, at the top of the hill just before you drop down into the desert and Church Rock. It is back in the trees in a funky old cabin. One needs to call for reservations. They have killer steaks, salmon, lobster. All dinners are served with salad, cowboy baked beans, and baked potato. It is excellent!!............not a place for vegans!!

The Peace Tree; This is on Main St., about 5 blocks North of the center of town. It is mainly wraps and salads for lunch; breakfast wraps and bagel stuff for breakfast; very good espresso and coffee all day; great smoothies and fresh vegetable juices. Everything at the Peace Tree is organic. They also have one on Main Street in Moab.

So, all in all, you no longer have to go hungry in Monticello. It's certainly not up to Moab's gastonomic heights :wink: , but Moab IS the "Paris of the Canyons" these days :biggrin:

Happy eating,

Bill


Bill Benge

Moab, Utah

"I like eggs", Leon Spinks

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It may be out of your way, but the La Posada Hotel in Winslow is worth a visit.

La Posada Hotel

From the menu:

Native Cassoulet with Churro Lamb, Duck and Sausage

Tohono O’odham grown tepary beans cooked with Navaho Churro Lamb, chiles, spices and duck, served with duck confit, grilled lamb, and smoked Andouille sausage.

Wild – Wild – Wild - West Sampler Platter

Grilled quail with apricot sauce, seared elk medallion with red currant sauce, and a cup of spicy wild boar, venison and buffalo chile served with sweet corn tamale and fresh vegetables.

The New York Times mentions the restaurant in the article "Native Foods Flourish Again" -- at http://www.lakotamall.com/NANF/NANF Full Article.pdf (copy and paste the URL because of the spaces).

"John Sharpe, the chef at La Posada Hotel in Winslow, Ariz., devises as much of his menu as he can from local tribal foods. About four times a year, he is lucky enough to get a delivery of Navajo Churro lambs from a small, scrappy breed that was almost extinct.... He also borrows from Hopi traditions, turning tepary beans, roasted corn, a little French mustard and some olive oil into a dip that echoes a traditional Hopi dish. He uses thin Hopi piki bread, made from ground blue corn and cooked like a crepe, for dipping."


Edited by Hombre (log)

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