Monday, July 17, 2006
I was out-of-town last weekend visiting a friend in the Aspen area. So, although I was unable to eat Denver, I was able to eat some delicious mountainy goodness. My first night in town, we didn't want to go into Aspen proper for dinner, so we headed into the closer El Jebel for sushi. One wouldn't expect much for a sushi joint in a strip mall in El Jebel, and one would be correct. I think my friend has been in the mountains too long as she actually thought that Sushi Ya Go-Go (the name really says it all, doesn't it?) was good stuff. I personally thought it was pretty nasty. One roll was decent, but only because they covered the poor quality fish with a spicy Sriracha sauce. Blech. But the El Jebowl Bowling Alley did serve a mean Flying Dog Ale.
The next day proved better for eating. After sleeping and waiting for the rain to stop (it didn't), I finally ventured into Aspen on the bus ($3.00!). I had been wanting to try The Big Wrap since I first saw it on Rachael Ray's $40 A Day in Aspen. It's in the bottom level of a little shopping center in the middle of town, and there's really no seating to speak of (a couple of chairs at a bar). I waited in the long line (after grabbing some cash from the ATM, as they don't take credit cards), and ordered a Pesto Wrap. It was a tasty burrito-like concoction with black beans, chicken, pesto and lots of other stuff. I enjoyed it on a bench overlooking the ice skating rink, which is a surprisingly boring locale in July.
We wanted to go to a decent restaurant for dinner, but neither of us could afford crazy Aspen prices. So, we checked out the bar menus at a couple of places and ended up at Jimmy's. They're supposed to have the best crab cakes ever, but they were outrageously priced even in the bar. I settled for a big old cheeseburger (a steal at $9.50 in that town) and a totally unnecessary side of mac n cheese. It was rainy and I was in need of comfort food. It was good stuff (burger was a bit overcooked), and I washed it down with a knock-you-on-your-butt Capirhina.
We later indulged in a martini at 39 degrees at the Sky Hotel. I had the Botox Martini, which I would have preferred much colder, but it still hit the spot. The atmosphere made up for it, as we lounged by a fireplace and watched people play board games.
The next morning before I left, we made a breakfast stop at Cafe Bernard on the cute little main street of Basalt. The food was just decent and the service was miserable. Probably wouldn't head back there again anytime soon (although I did score an awesome build-your-own pinhole camera at a nearby stationery store).