Moose Creek Cafe dishes out feasts of classic Americana to droves of loyal customers, whether they're locals sharing friendly conversation over cups of coffee, or tourists looking for a hearty breakfast before exploring the mountain scenery of nearby North Park. Art from local artists decorates the walls inside, while an open-air patio hosts lunches and dinners of chargrilled burgers, fajitas, and pepper steak.
The Smiling Moose Deli has been a Colorado tradition since 2003. Born in Edwards, CO nestled in the Vail Valley, the Smiling Moose has grown into 13 restaurants in the state and 1 in Wisconsin. We are extremely excited to announce that we will be expanding into Montana, Texas, Indiana, and South Dakota in 2011!
Not much surpasses the delight of having a snow-day off from school—unless it's the sensation of zooming down a powder-covered cliff face. At Copper Mountain, visitors of all ages recreate snow-day elation on slopes seemingly made to be skied. Naturally divided into terrain of varying difficulty, the 2,645 acres of mountainous landscape were identified as "the most outstanding potential ski area in the Arapaho National Forest" by an early US Forest Service survey team.
Resort planners took their cues from these natural features, mapping out distinct ski areas that keep beginner, intermediate, and expert slopes largely separate from each other, helping skiers of disparate experience levels stay out of each other's way. Each area corresponds to a village, where shops and restaurants amuse visitors relaxing between rides and snowmen relaxing between top-hat fittings while 22 lifts whisk skiers up to the mountain's 126 uncrowded trails and vaunted back bowls. Experts craving access to hard-to-reach crags can hop on a snowcat for a ride up the mountain free of charge. And for those looking to boost their skills, lessons range from children's classes to quickie refreshers that reinforce advanced skills.
But skis aren't the only tools that afford thrilling trips. Pipes and parks let boarders practice mid-air tricks, and a four-lane tubing hill sends families through banked curves. Critterland charms younger visitors with friendly characters, forts, and rides, and complimentary snowshoe tours acquaint groups with the pine- and spruce-tree-dotted countryside. Away from the snow, a bevy of year-round bars and restaurants complement the amenities of the local spa and gym.
Thanks to a highly efficient snowmaking system, powder dusts Copper Mountain for one of the region's longest ski seasons—November through early April. But enthusiasts needn't pack up their gear in the off-season. Woodward at Copper hosts year-round programming for snowboarding, skateboarding, skiing, and cheer disciplines. A 19,400-square-foot playground known as the Barn houses bowls and artificial jumps, which deposit airborne athletes safely into foam pits, much the way young penguins learn to fly.
Smashburger isn't just the name?it's the way chefs, otherwise known as Burger Smashers, cook every burger. First, they form never-frozen, 100% Certified Angus Beef into a giant meatball. Then they season it, place it on a butter-glazed grill, and smash it into a patty. The process caramelizes the beef, locking in flavor while keeping the meat juicy and tender. Each slab is then sandwiched in an artisan bun and is turned into one of an array of standard burgers or locally inspired specialties unique to each market.
This handcrafting approach typifies everything else the restaurant does, from blending handspun shakes to hand painting Smashburger's logo onto every beverage cup. Letting its food stand for itself and relying mostly on word of mouth for advertising, the Smashburger franchise expanded from one restaurant in 2007 to 220 today, with its swift growth from zero to 100 stores making it one of the nation's fastest-growing restaurant companies. This rapid development even caught the attention of Forbes and Inc. along the way.
When asked how he?a Barataria, Louisiana native?found himself all the way up in the Colorado Rockies, Raymond Griffin blames alcohol. Although the jokingly tells people he got lost while drinking one night, the real reason was a bit more intentional. Raymond and his late wife, Belinda, spent 15 years operating a Louisiana fishing lodge before agreeing they endured one hurricane too many and moved west. Once there, they opened a gumbo shop amidst the snow-capped mountains. The rest is history.
The Lost Cajun, however, hasn't managed to settle back in Barataria just yet, mostly because Raymond keeps busy opening new restaurant locations across the country. That's no problem, though?he's used to waiting. In fact, patience remains a crucial ingredient in almost all of the homespun southern dishes. The menu's four gumbos, which feature everything from Gulf shrimp and crabmeat to chicken and hot Louisiana sausage, must spend 4?6 hours simmering before being ladled into a bowl. Cooks pay just as much attention to other Cajun classics, such as Oyster po-boy sandwiches, crawfish etouffe?, and fried catfish. And for dessert, they prepare New Orleans-style beignets, which emerge from the kitchen with a liberal dusting of powdered sugar.
Though The Minturn Saloon has gone by several different names since it was established in 1901, it has always kept sports close to its heart. Years after being owned by Jeff Taylor—who used to feed knuckle sandwiches to his boxing-champion sparring partner Jack Dempsey—the saloon now serves as a tasty reward for out-of-bounds skiers brave enough to complete the Minturn Mile. A “quirky riverside joint” lauded as one of the Best Bars in America by Esquire magazine in 2007, The Minturn Saloon and its bartenders live by the motto, “If John Wayne didn’t drink it, we don’t make it,” according to the New York Times. Tall glasses of beer and tangy margaritas wash down hearty bites of fajitas, enchiladas, ribs, and nachos while diners admire a taxidermied buffalo and signed photographs of celebrities who once sat in their seats, such as Yogi Berra, John Wayne, and basketball legend King James VI.