Ted’s Montana Grill

Ted’s is a national franchise, with many locations in Colorado and throughout the east (and one in Montana). But it has a fairly interesting story and the food was good—which is why I decided to post it on my blog.

Ted Turner decided he wanted to help conserve the American bison. To give farmers an incentive to raise them, he gave them a market—Ted’s Montana Grill, which features bison meat. I think this is a superb idea.

The men from my work got together on a Thursday for a social lunch. There were seven of us (of the nine who work in the office among 21 women). We had a small room in the back all to our own.

My daytime photo didn’t turn out, so I took another that evening when we took Karen and Nate to Bird Dog BBQ next door for Karen’s birthday.

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James, Carl and Jason

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Ron, Austin and Steven

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I ordered a basic bacon cheese(bison)burger. Some bison I’ve had in the past has been dry, but this was a tasty burger and the fries were fresh-cut and excellent.

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Duca’s Neapolitan Pizza

Lindy’s last evening in Colorado Springs was also Nate and Karen’s first. They came out for five days to visit and explore. We all went to Duca’s, which is close to where we will be living.

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Sally and Karen had the Pizza Margherita, with crushed tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella,
pecorino, olive oil, and fresh basil. They said it was good, but not great. The rest of us had the Quattro Formaggi, with fresh mozzarella, provolone, gorgonzola, ricotta, and fresh-chopped tomato. I added pepperoni and mushrooms to mine. It was very tasty, and when Sally tried a piece, she said she liked it much better. The pizzas are plenty big enough to split between two people.

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We listened to Lindy tell stories about living in Germany, and then we went out for frozen yoghurt.

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The Fortune Club Diner

I ate at the Fortune Club Diner back in 2012 when I happened upon Victor during a day of wandering. I enjoyed my cheeseburger so much that I wanted to take Sally and Lindy. Unfortunately, the server told us as we entered that they only offer breakfast on Sundays. We decided to go for it. The food was good, but it wasn’t a cheeseburger.

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The couple that was running the place on my last visit made my time there even more enjoyable. The woman who served us this time was friendly, but it wasn’t the same. I read online that it’s under new management, and the reviews are spotty. I’d like to go back and try the cheeseburger sometime.

After we ate, we walked and drove around town a little bit. We went in a couple stores. I bought a cheap book. Lindy bought a ring.

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The Victor Trading Co.

We left the bustle of Cripple Creek and drove to the almost-empty Victor. Our first stop was The Victor Trading Company, known for hand-made brooms, an old hand-operated printing press and various other crafts and goods.

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The inside was packed with more stuff than one could possible take in during a single visit.

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Sally bought a couple packs of Christmas note cards. I bought a prairie dog. Lindy bought a bottle of gold ore.

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Cripple Creek Ice Festival

Lindy came for a visit from Germany. She landed at the Denver airport at 9:10 on Saturday night. After a lazy start to Sunday, we took off into the mountains in search of adventure.

A couple weeks ago, a coworker told me about the Cripple Creek Ice Festival, but I didn’t think we’d make it this year. We were halfway to Cripple Creek when I saw a sign advertising the event. It worked out perfectly. We arrived after the vendors set up their booths, but before the big crowds arrived.

There was one block of carvings. Many of them were designed to be “interactive,” with slides and steps and photo ops. 

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This was our favorite.

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A close-up of the orange sticker on the Jeep.

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I bought a corn dog. Sally bought a box of thin mints from the Girl Scouts. The Jehovah’s Witnesses had a booth. We didn’t buy anything from them.

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We stopped in this store .. .

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… where Sally bought this old magazine page …

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… and where none of us bought this.

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In another old store, I took a red chair photo.

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And a picture of Lindy with her friend.

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It was about 55° and felt warmer. There was snow on the fields, but the roads and sidewalks were clear. A guy in one of the stores told me the ice sculptures were all melting on the first weekend of the festival.

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By the time we left, there were no parking spaces left in town and the crowds were huge.

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Black Forest Regional Park

We spent an hour or so exploring the regional park nearest to our new home (or, to be more precise, to where our new home will be. We expected a pleasant walk through the Ponderosa Woods, and that’s what we got—for about a quarter mile.

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We then entered an area burned by the 2013 Black Forest fire, the most destructive forest fire in Colorado history. Almost 500 homes were destroyed and two people were killed in the disaster that spread over 14,000 acres.

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The area cleared by the fire did give us a view of Pikes Peak we wouldn’t otherwise have had.

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When we got to the “hut,” we studied the informative trail map and decided to turn around. We basically explored the entire white trail.

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It was a pleasant-enough hike, and better than walking sidewalks through a housing development. But the woods have been cleared to reduce the risk of future fires that it didn’t really feel like a natural setting.

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Poor Richard’s

Poor Richard’s, in downtown Colorado Springs, is a bookstore, coffee shop, toy store and sandwich/pizza shop all in one.

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There’s a lot of like about the place, and a lot that made me roll my eyes. We started in the sandwich shop.

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They had no ham and cheese (!), so I ordered an avocado and Swiss cheese on rye. It was tasty, but it would have been better with ham.

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The wall next to our table was covered with flyers about pot, yoga, and local mindfulness seminars. One of the servers was a guy wearing a skirt.

We wandered the aisles of the toy shop, but we didn’t buy anything. I took a photo to show what type of place it was. This bin of cheap toys included cats, dogs, tigers, bears, dinosaurs, octopuses, lobsters … and buddhas. 

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The bookstore had some odd stuff too, including a lot of new age books.

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But the history and fiction sections had a wide selection, and I bought a book of western short stories. 

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Colorado Springs Fine Art Center

This museum wasn’t high on our to-do list, but we were given free passes by a friend so we gave it a try. We were pleasantly surprised—not that we found the art moving, but we did find it entertaining.

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For example, there were 2 (two!) sculptures on the front lawn of women playing disc golf!

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We had the galleries almost to ourselves. There were five or six rooms that exhibited the permanent collection.

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This beaded papoose is from the 1870s.

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Each of the canvases in this piece were covered with the sediment from a different Colorado river.

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There were six or eight original Audubon prints. This one is of Passenger Pigeons. 

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And a lot of religious artwork from Hispanic missions in New Mexico.

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One room was lined with sculptures that we were allowed to touch …

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… so I had one of them hold our gift-shop bag.

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There were three special exhibits upstairs that I wasn’t allowed to photograph—huge paintings of migrant farm workers, photos of rock-and-roll musicians, and collages. 

And while we probably won’t make a second visit anytime soon, we weren’t sorry we went, which is high praise coming from us.

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Edelweiss German Restaurant

I took Sally out for a late Valentine’s dinner. I knew she’d like this place. 

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It reminded me of a Wisconsin supper club.

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Sal ordered sauerbraten, beef in sweet-and-sour sauce with red cabbage and dumplings, and loved it. I ordered rahmschnitzel, breaded pork with mushroom gravy and spätzle, and enjoyed it. I also had a strange salad made of soggy cucumbers, coleslaw, potato salad, green beans, pickled beets and a tomato.

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I probably wouldn’t go back on my own, but Sally loved it, so I’m sure we’ll visit again. We had cherry strudel for supper, which would have been tasty if it wasn’t filled with almond paste.

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Massey’s Pizza

Dinner on a Sunday night. We had to. 

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But we were the only ones. A couple people, including two police officers, came in for pick-up, but there was nobody else in the dining room.

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They brag a lot about being voted best pizza in Columbus, but it hasn’t happened anytime recently — or they quit updating their posters.

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Their thing is pepperoni.

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It was pretty good. It may even have been the best pizza in Columbus. But it was far from the best pizza we’ve had.

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