Toni and Joe’s at Abriendo and Broadway closed in the fall. The location reopened On Super Bowl Sunday as the Colorado Taproom. Mark and I, with our neighbor Jessi, ate there today. I hope I don’t offend them by saying it is a nice upgrade of Toni and Joe’s, while maintaining the essence of the old place. The windows let in more light, the pizza varieties are more interesting, the salad bar has a selection of greens, and the dessert menu makes it hard to choose just one. The mushrooms stuffed with spicy salmon and covered in cheese are excellent. Jessi and I drank Arnold Palmers (half lemonade, half iced tea) and Mark had a draft beer (“nice pour,” he commented). It is still a good neighborhood bar/restaurant, but nicer.
I have led a sheltered life. I did not know that Hawaiian BBQ was a thing. Turns out it is a thing and a very good thing. The Aloha Hawaiian BBQ on Prairie Blvd near Northern (behind the Applebee’s) serves BBQ beef, chicken, and salmon – and more. Not a fancy place at all; just good food.
I thought we were in Boston when we walked in. The old fashioned dark wood interior with comfortable booths and cafe tables was nicely decorated for the holidays. We each had the patty melt, plus a bowl of chile. Excellent food, with chile that reached my sinuses and the back of my throat quite nicely, thank you; that’s not Boston, of course, that’s Pueblo. We shared a mint brownie for dessert; my only complaint is that they were out of ice cream, a concept I cannot understand. The service was good. Get there early for lunch because it filled up on a Monday.
We took time out from our plan to visit Pueblo restaurants and spent four days in Taos. Breakfast at Casa Benavides includes the choice of an “egg bake dish.” Here it is with Christmas chile: red and green. It is wonderful!
Pueblo, Colorado, is at least 800 miles from the nearest ocean but has an amazing number of sushi restaurants. That probably doesn’t bear too much thought. Mark and I had sushi today at Sushi Gardens and really liked the food, the ambience, and the service. The sushi portions are very generous. The spicy roll is very spicy. The beer is very cold. The prices are reasonable. All good.
After over 21 years living in Pueblo, we finally ate at Pass Key (the one on the north side) and we have been missing out on a good thing. No wonder it is classic Pueblo. I had the famous special, a spicy Italian sausage patty on a bun, with cheese and lettuce. Fries too. Purists will say I missed out on the full effect because I am not a fan of mustard and skipped that, but the sausage had plenty of spice to it. Mark had the grilled turkey and swiss sandwich and we finished by sharing a chocolate covered frozen banana. And in true Pueblo fashion, I know one of the Paganos who is an engineering student at CSU-Pueblo. Pueblo’s tag line: I know your cousin. Or, better tag line: I AM your cousin.
A few weeks ago, Mark and I were in Trinidad and ended up eating in a tiny Mexican restaurant called Habaneros, I mean tiny. The food was great! It turns out they have a bigger place – at least three times as big – near Cactus Flower on the north side of Pueblo. The food was equally great. I had chicken tacos, really spicy. I liked the colorful furniture too. The menu is huge, so we will have to back often to try it all. And, of course, I forgot to take a picture of the food.
Rocco’s Riverside Deli (1300 W 4th St ) has fresh food made-to-order. It’s clean and friendly – Coco took our order and made sure it was correct. I had a panini and Mark had a salad; both delicious. It’s a busy place. Mark said: another visit soon.
I am still working on how to do a restaurant blog. I forget to take a photo of our food until I have eaten some, and that’s just not a good picture to post. Trust me: it looked great!
What choices! We had Tivoli pasta salad, Pueblo stuffed baby bell peppers, ground lamb, and Tivoli chicken bocadillo. Mark gave the food the best compliment: “This is worth a revisit really soon.” Bistoro, 109 Central Plaza.
Mark and I have now had lunch at El Nopal (1435 East Evans), Momo (716 N Santa Fe), and Rockee’s (123 N Main). Since both El Nopal and Rockee’s are Mexican, we had the same items to compare. I had Mexican pizza and Mark had chile rellenos. Same name, very different, all good! How do they keep the tacos so crisp under all the meat, chile, cheese, beans, and rice? Both places seem very successful, with regular customers. “Medium” hot chile (actually half hot and half mild)? I drank a lot of water at Rockee’s.
We have eaten at Momo many times, but not recently. It is still very good. The three of us (our neighbor Jessi joined us) had a variety of food and it was all good.
Remember that I don’t intend to do detailed reviews here. I also should state that Mark and I have polo shirts with the logo “easily amused” so we aren’t fussy people. We like food and we love Pueblo.