Denver, CO & Pacific Grove, CA
I was generously given two tickets for the Flavors of Pacific Grove, a Celebration of Great Chefs event put on by the Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce this past Saturday at Asilomar. I already had plans to attend a friend’s wedding in Denver, CO so I deputized my brother and sister-in-law to attend in my absence. They were happy to make the sacrifice and reported back to me. Some of their favorite dishes were Jeninni’s pork belly and candied pumpkin. My brother said, “Normally pork belly is chewy but this just melted in your mouth and the flavor was amazing.”The Beach House’s seared ahi tuna on wonton chips was another favorite of the pair and I heard all about International Cuisine’s hummus topped with seasoned ground beef. Other dishes that they loved included a pumpkin soup from Canterbury Woods, Vivolo’s clam chowder, venison meatballs from Passionfish, and Lula’s chocolates. Samantha, my sister-in-law, had the dark chocolate from Lula’s and, “Loved every second of it,” she also noted that, “You can always count on Trader Joe’s for great wine at an affordable price.” Beer was generously poured from Peter B’s and Alvarado Brewing Co. as well as wine from J. McFarland, Classic Wines of Columbia, and m2 wines. The overall consensus was that the event was awesome; well worth it and an incredibly rich and generous evening; I look forward to attending next year!
Meanwhile…I was in the mile-high city of Denver! Prior to leaving, I mentioned to a colleague that I would be visiting Denver and she suggested I visit her aunt’s ice cream shop in Bonnie Brae. They make all of their amazing ice cream themselves. So on my last day in town, after attending the post-wedding brunch where I recruited an adventure partner, we decided to walk the four miles to Bonnie Brae from downtown Denver. We walked along the Cherry Creek Trail that runs along the South Platte River, enjoying the crisp air and occasional cascades. I smiled at the “trail may be icy or covered in water” caution sign. After about a mile of walking, we realized our pace wouldn’t suffice as I had a flight to catch that evening. As fortune would have it, there was a bike rental station not far from where we had stopped on the creek-side trail and so we went and inserted our credit cards, agreed to the terms and conditions, and two bikes were electronically released from their parking stations. We hopped on the bikes and rode the remaining 3 miles to Bonnie Brae, where we found a bike return station and made our way to the iconic ice cream shop. As we opened the door to the old-timey looking ice cream parlor, we were overcome with the sweet smell of waffle cones and we learned that they make their own waffle cones, as well as their ice cream. The sweet young girl behind the counter gave us as many samples as we wanted. Some of the flavors they served were lemon custard, baklava, and of course, your traditional favorites such as mint chip, chocolate, pecan praline, etc. I had a cappuccino crunch ice cream on a waffle cone dipped in chocolate and it was excellent! Especially after biking and walking for a couple hours. If you ever find yourself in Denver, be sure to stop by this adorable ice cream shop and indulge in a good old-fashioned scoop or two on a homemade cone.