You’d be hard-pressed to find a can of vegetables, a bag of sliced bread, or a box of instant cake mix in The Backporch Cafe kitchen. The chefs are wary of the premade foods, bottled sauces, and magic beans found in grocery stores, preferring to whip up all their dishes from scratch. So they bake fresh apple pies, bran raisin muffins, and buttermilk biscuits each morning, along with from-scratch loaves of rye, wheat, and cheddar sourdough bread. As a yawning breakfast crowd begins to wander in, the chefs turn their attention to three-egg omelets, chorizo burritos, and lightly grilled french toast. Come lunchtime, they’ll layer housemade bread with house-smoked chicken, turkey, and ham before plating the sandwiches alongside handfuls of fries and scoops of potato salad.
Complementing all of this homestyle cooking is a beverage list that includes coffee, juice, bloody marys, screwdrivers, and Manmosas—orange juice mixed with Easy Street wheat beer from the nearby Odell Brewing Company. When the weather's nice, diners can lounge beneath magenta umbrellas on the patio.
When not busy taming bucking broncos as a professional bull rider, fitness aficionado and owner of Firm Body Boot Camp Ryan Ehmann helps physiques to evict calories during boot-camp workouts and vivacious Zumba classes. Ryan helps guests to blitz unwanted flab with a series of pushups, sit-ups, and various machine and free-weight exercises, each set to the motivational exhortations of the skilled fitness instructor and his animatronic dumbbell backup singers. To help fortify the workout's results away from the gym, Ehmann equips boot-camp contestants with a bundle of exercise extras, including motivational tactics, diet tips, and workout DVDs, which unveil proper warm-up techniques before guiding muscles through a carefully calibrated step-by-step routine.
The chocolatiers behind Concertos in Chocolate hand-dip all their truffles, nut-filled bark, and other confections in European-style chocolate forged from fresh whipping cream, butter, and pure flavorings. Orb-like truffles hide unique fillings flavored with lavender and champagne, and nostalgic confections, including hefty coconut stacks, keep children from sneaking off on time-travel missions to find the treats their parents reminisce about. The confectioners also mold fresh-fruit purees into fruit gigs—gems of black currant and passionfruit that sparkle with dustings of sugar.
When John and Ulla first traveled through the Palisade countryside in 1994, it was filled with peach orchards. But after they attended a seminar on grape-growing the same year, the pair found themselves more inspired by that particular fruit. They returned to Palisade to purchase a 10-acre plot, camping in a trailer amid the trees as they transformed the land into their own vineyard. Years of planting and pruning vines yielded a rich harvest including Chardonnay, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon—and Bookcliff Vineyards.
Today, Bookcliff has expanded into 37 acres, and Ulla and John produce a dozen varietals using sustainable practices and strictly their own Colorado grapes. The grounds include a winery and tasting room, where guests peek at the Old-World-meets-New-World-meets-brewing-world lineup of oak barrels and stainless steel tanks. In addition to chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon, their award-winning selection of wines includes lesser-known varietals such as Muscat and Viognier.
Noodles & Company's cooks unite a diverse menu of Asian, Mediterranean, and American fare with the common thread of the noble noodle. The friendly cooks speedily serve each order, which deliciously bridges the gap between convenience and fine dining with casual fare and a strictly enforced dress code of flip-flops and tuxedos.
At Complete Nutrition, the staff and the store's product line work together to help clients slim down, bulk up, or improve their overall health, drawing on an arsenal of hormone balancers, nutrients, proteins, and supplements. Each store helps visitors get the most out of their metabolic processes with a staff full of personal trainers, strength coaches, and 19th-century circus strongmen who teach clients about proper nutrition, dieting goals, and effective exercise plans. Built on the principle that no miracle pill can supply instant results, Complete Nutrition stocks over 200 products that deliver dependable positive effects. They're developed in the company's own labs and include tried-and-true vitamins, detox tools, and energy formulas.