Weekend Trip in Denver, Colorado – Day 3: Parks and Prairies

Sunday, October 20, 2014 – Day 1 in Colorado was all about the big red rocks. Day 2 was about the white mountains. Finally, day 3 was more grounded and all about the parks and the prairies.

But of course, everyday is about food. I went for a walk first thing in the morning and stumbled into the City Park Esplanade Fresh Market. There were lots of food to sample and eat, but the big brown Sweet Cow Ice Cream MooMobile showcased dead center of the market was what caught my eye. Everyone knows I have a weakness for ice cream. I opted for a scoop of Ozo Coffee ice cream. Coffee makes it okay to have ice cream in the morning, right?

Sweet Cow Ice Cream: Ozo Coffee ice cream in front of the MooMobile at the City Park Esplanade Fresh Market

Sweet Cow Ice Cream: Ozo Coffee ice cream in front of the MooMobile at the City Park Esplanade Fresh Market

Next stop was brunch at Steuben’s Food Service. I went for their fried chicken and waffles since it was a popular choice there. I also tried their deviled eggs and cast iron French toast. I can’t say that what I ate was the best but everything was definitely good.

Steuben's Food Service: Deviled eggs

Steuben’s Food Service: Deviled eggs

Steuben's Food Service: Chicken and waffles and cast iron French toast

Steuben’s Food Service: Chicken and waffles and cast iron French toast

Steuben's Food Service: Fried chicken and waffle

Steuben’s Food Service: Fried chicken and waffle

We knew we were late in the game but we wanted to hunt down a wide array of colorful Aspen trees. We started out at Cheesman Park and it’s surrounding streets.

Cheesman Park

Cheesman Park

Aspen trees along 7th St

Aspen trees along 7th St

Then we took a short break to buy baumkuchen (baum cake) at Glaze since we were nearby.

Glaze: Baumkuchen

Glaze: Baumkuchen

Then we went straight to Cherry Creek State Park ($9 vehicle admission) in hopes of finding beautiful, colorful trees; unfortunately it happened to not be so pretty this time of the year.

Cherry Creek State Park

Cherry Creek State Park

Cherry Creek State Park

Cherry Creek State Park

Cherry Creek State Park

Cherry Creek State Park

Our hunt for colorful trees was a fail. We gave up and just went to eat our sorrows away at Work & Class. I’m really liking the salads in Denver. This time we had a kale and beets salad. I really liked their braised short ribs – they were fork tender.

Work & Class: Kale and beet salad

Work & Class: Kale and beet salad

Work & Class: Chickpea croquettes, brussels sprouts, and citrust-mustard braised short rib

Work & Class: Chickpea croquettes, brussels sprouts, and citrust-mustard braised short rib

Work & Class: Butterscotch pudding with almond toffee

Work & Class: Butterscotch pudding with almond toffee

Our last stop before heading back to the airport was the Rocky Mountains Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. It offered a self guided safari tour. We were able to see bison, deer, and a cute little prairie dog digging into the ground. Other than that, the plains were very dull. Again, this was probably not the best time to visit.

Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge: A herd of American bison

Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge: A herd of American bison

Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge: Derby Lake

Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge: Derby Lake

Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge: A deer

Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge: A deer

We pretty much saw everything we wanted to see and more during this trip. We felt accomplished. We even got to the airport super early, and I treated myself to some TCBY soft serve.

TCBY: Pink lemonade sorbet + Silk vanilla almond soft serve swirl

TCBY: Pink lemonade sorbet + Silk vanilla almond soft serve swirl

I will miss the trees. I will miss the mountains. I will miss being a minority. But more importantly, I miss eating good Asian food and can’t wait to go back to my normal eating habits in SF.

Weekend recap:

Must eat: Vert Kitchen for lunch and Acorn for dinner, both from day 1 of my trip.

Must visit: Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, also from day 1 of my trip, and the Red Rocks Amphitheater and the Rocky Mountain National Park, both from day 2 of my trip.

Oct 20 2014 Category: Colorado Denver Earth

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