Colfax & Downing

Everything you need to know about the Mile High City

Tag: lodo (Page 1 of 2)

Beer steins at Denver Christkindl Market

The Denver Christkindl Market

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…

Nothing says Christmas like a tent full of older people getting faded on glühwein to the lovely sounds of a live polka band. German gatherings are my thing. Denver’s Christkindl Market opens every year on the pedestrian mall at Arapahoe and 16th Street. Clare and I make a point of visiting at least twice each year to peruse the handmade ornaments, contemporary gifts (nesting doll of Beyoncé, anyone?) and stock up on Danish pastries.

Denver Christkindl Market

Every year, Clare has to talk me out of buying a stein. I already have six taking up real estate in our kitchen cupboards, procured during my days as a college kid in Europe. When do I drink out of them? Never. If you fancy yourself an ice skater, cross the street to find the public ice rink behind the clocktower.

Holiday Tent at Denver Christkindl Market

Step inside. The best thing about the market is the dancing, hands down. Strangers lock arms at the long picnic tables and sway back and forth to banjos and trumpets. The braver set takes to the small dance area in front of the stage to do-si-do with their kiddos and wives. It is downright merry.

Holiday Tent Denver Christkindl Market

Pro-tip: if glühwein is your beverage of choice, it’s worth shilling out the $6 to purchase your first portion in the commemorative mug. Bring the mug back with you to the market for less expensive refills. I was feeling smug the second night we went as I sat with my steaming mug, surrounded by folks drinking out of styrofoam cups (they’d run out of the mugs).

D&F Tower at Denver Christkindl Market

As you’re reading this, we’re holed up in the mountains where Clare is from with family and an obscene amount of food. From our family to yours, we wish you the happiest and safest of holidays and hope you’re somewhere cozy with the ones you love too.

Colfax and Downing Bye For Now

Poinsettias on Brown Palace staircase

The Brown Palace Hotel

Brown Palace Denver Logo

It doesn’t really matter what time of year you visit The Brown Palace but their decorations in December are a green and red feast for the senses. This year will be our third Christmas as Denver residents and one of the traditions we’ve established is a celebratory drink and appetizer at the Shipyard Tavern after perusing the holiday baubles and beauty of the Brown Palace’s lobby and stairwells.

Brown Palace Main Entrance

Hello, beautiful. We meet again.

Christmas Decorations Brown Palace Denver

Photos don’t really do justice to the Christmas tree. I should have posed next to it for scale. It towers. This is where Ariana hosted my bachelorette party late last summer. Tea, cake, crumpets and fancy hats! Because of that special day, the lobby and high tea at the Palace will always have a special place in my little gray heart.

Christmas Chandelier at Brown Palace Denver

No strung light is spared; each archway and column is positively wrapped in glowing white. The tours at the Brown Palace are worth every penny and it’s thanks to their history-focused tour that Drew and I guide our own expert information sessions when friends and family visit us from out of town.

Christmas Tree Brown Palace Denver

Stay awhile.

Mural at Brown Palace Denver

Above the elevators, observe a preserved mural of Colorado’s early travelers. If this is your view, turn around 180 degrees to see an updated interpretation of how Coloradans get around– car and air travel.

Christmas Lights Brown Palace Denver

Ship Tavern Entrance

Old Map Ship Tavern Denver

The Ship Tavern was inspired by Claude Boettcher’s extensive model ship collection. His wife, Edna, was very particular about the aesthetic of their various homes in Colorado and demanded that the ships be worked into the hotel somehow, as she didn’t want them in her parlors. Edna, I get it.
Colorado Sidecar Ship Tavern

Follow the Brown Palace on Twitter and Facebook. Better yet, shuffle your snow boots to view the stunning lobby in person.

Raising a glass to you, dear readers. Happy holidays!

Colfax and Downing Bye For Now

Christmas at Denver Union Station

Denver Parade of Lights

It’s! The! Most! Wonderful! Time! Of! The! Year!

Denver Parade of Lights Marching Band

Thanks. I had to get that out there. Tonight and tomorrow night, December 4 and 5 respectively, find your way to downtown Denver to enjoy one of the best events 9News hosts all year: Parade of Lights. Since 1975, this free holiday spectacular has been delighting the Mile High masses.

Denver Parade of Lights American Furniture Warehouse

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my. We attended for the first time last year and it was fuh-reezing. Tonight promises to be a balmy 37 degrees and tomorrow is unseasonably warm as well. (Thanks, global warming.)

Denver Parade of Lights Gingerbread House

Because I am basically Buddy the Elf in another life and have an unflinching love of Christmas, you can expect more festive cheer ’round these parts for the rest of the month.

Denver Parade of Lights Penguin

Denver Parade of Lights Float

Denver Parade of Lights Christmas Floats

Tonight the parade begins at 8 p.m. and tomorrow the fun begins at 6 p.m. Want to support this time-honored tradition? There are several ways to do this: (1) donate online, (2) attend a featured event or (3) give a donation at the event to the Parade mascot Major Waddles (hint: the gigantic inflatable penguin) and his volunteers.

We’re going to go ice skating and eat sugar plums! We can make gingerbread houses and maybe even hold hands! Merry Christmas.

Colfax and Downing Bye For Now

Denver Oktoberfest Bavarian Flag

Denver Oktoberfest 2015

Denver Oktoberfest Crowd

Eins, zwei, drei, g’suffa! I can get behind the festive nature of Denver Oktoberfest: stein hoisting contests (this year’s prize is a paid trip to Munich), Bavarian beer and happy people in lederhosen. It’s become a family tradition to find our way to Oktoberfest and 2015 marks our third year. In 2013, we entered Boris von Snicklefritz into the Long Dog Derby, a dachshund race. His age group was called “little links” and he took second, losing only to a weenie who had a fanatical family with team T-shirts. Chill out, guys! We didn’t race him again after that year because he had massive diarrhea in the doorway of a breakfast cafe afterward. Clearly he was trying to tell us that he didn’t want to be a professional athlete.

Denver Oktoberfest Merchandise

Clare has to talk me out of buying souvenir steins every year, especially the ones with glistening pewter tops. I have six at home from my days as an exchange student drinking my way through the shadowy streets of Luxembourg. They’re currently gathering dust in an upper cupboard and whenever I start to pat my wallet to buy a new one, the wife (*cough*judgmentally*cough*) reminds me that I don’t use them.

Denver Oktoberfest Hat

We pried no less than six turkey leg bones out of our tiny dog’s mouth during our walk through Larimer this year. You can identify non-dog owners by their inability to utilize a trash can. On a finer note, here is the before picture– the fine offerings of Das Turkey Leg, one of my favorite booths. I trust a guy a with tattoo sleeve to know his way around a grill.

Denver Oktoberfest Turkey Legs

Today and tomorrow (September 26 and 27) are the final days of Oktoberfest. If you’re reading this in time, go! It’s a dream of mine to attend the real deal Oktoberfest in Munich. Every year, I’ve been settling for the tradition of a cold, recently tapped Spaten as a small comfort.

Denver Oktoberfest Spaten Oktoberfest Beer

Denver Oktoberfest is on Facebook and Twitter. Follow them to watch keg bowling, dachshund racing and beer cheers-ing unfold in real time.

Auf Wiedersehen.

Colfax and Downing Bye For Now

Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox

Menu cover at Ophelia's Electric Soapbox

In the city of Las Vegas in 2011, Drew and I met a guy named Nate at a marketing conference. It helps that this fellow is one of the most charming men in history, but we got on like a house on fire. Over the next few years, we traveled to other conferences together and then convinced Nate to bring his wife to visit us in Denver in early 2014. We were convinced that the catch to Nathan’s greatness would be that his wife would be the worst. We were wrong. She was even better.

So began our love affair with these two San Diego beauties. They returned to spend the long Labor Day weekend with us in Denver and Drew and I dutifully put on our tour guide hats and fanny packs. When friends visit, we eat. When we eat, we try new places that we know will not disappoint.

Nate and Christine at Ophelia's Electric Soapbox

In that vein, it was only natural that we landed at Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox for dinner. Ophelia’s is Justin Cucci’s newest venture, a “huge, multilevel ‘gastro-brothel’ with live music and a restaurant offering eclectic American food.” Justin Cucci is the mastermind behind Root Down (in Highlands and Denver International Airport) and Linger. He is also my spirit animal. The man is an undisputed food genius and I would follow him off a cliff. Is that enough of an endorsement?

Cocktail menu at Ophelia's Electric Soapbox

The house cocktail names are a word nerd’s dream. Nate requested a Moral Turpitude and Drew had one of his favorite standbys, a classic Negroni. Christine had a glass of white vino and I ordered a prickly pear soda. Cheers.

Naughty water bottle at Ophelia's Electric Soapbox

With water bottles like this one on the table, this isn’t a place I will be bringing my parents or in-laws to dine. Blushing!

Hummus appetizer at Ophelia's Electric Soapbox

We started our feast with one of the Brothel Boards, the Gigante Bean Hummus option. Shishito peppers, roasted carrots, watermelon radish, pine nuts, flat bread, dates, roasted beets, cucumbers and the silkiest hummus on this side of the Continental Divide.

Mussels at Ophelia's Electric Soapbox

Nate ordered the Belgian Mussels, a pile of which arrived in a Saison beer curry broth with lentils, blood orange and jalapeno cheddar bread. Drew was drewling (see what I did there?) over his Brothel Burger, which usually consists of a yak patty but on the night we dined was ostrich meat. I ordered the Super Seed Veggie Burger, which had an actual crunch to it. Havarti cheese, ponzu onions and a sweet potato bun made it soft and savory. Christine had the Chilled Spring Pea and Mint Soup and a roasted baby carrot salad.

Ophelia's Electric Soapbox Mood Lighting

All of this was topped off with flattering mood lighting, 1970s funk decor, Harlequin romance novel covers, the thrum and hum of jazz music (not live, the band had not set up for the night yet) and really friendly, attentive service. Denver hurts in the hospitality department. I can say this as a card-carrying former waitress of 10 years. It shouldn’t be a special treat to receive good service with your dinner but it’s the exception and not the rule in the Mile High City. At Justin’s establishments, however, good service is a given.

Catch up with Ophelia’s on Facebook and Twitter. Get your buns there in person! Check out the video below to see how they paid homage to the building’s racy past. Justin, if you’re reading this and want someone to write things or manage marketing or social for your various restaurants, I was ready yesterday.

Colfax and Downing Bye For Now

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén