Sunday, May 27, 2012

Eating in Pueblo

A conversation earlier today got me thinking about all the places I love to eat in Pueblo. There are some really tasty places to eat here, so I thought I'd share some of my favorites. In alphabetical order:

Angelo's - My favorite things about Angelo's: The pizza, the atmosphere, the setting, and the lemon cucumber dressing. Oh my gosh, that stuff is so good. Everything there is good in my opinion. And because I don't like to eat outside, I love it that you can sit inside on the bottom floor but still feel almost like you're eating on the Riverwalk.

Bingo Burger - Hands down, the best burger I've had in Pueblo, and well worth the price. They use fresh, local beef and buns from the Hopscotch Bakery. The Bingo Burger has Pueblo chilies mixed in with the meat. You just can't go wrong with that! Plus, it's a cute little place and the people are always really friendly. Warning: If you eat the sweet potato fries at Bingo Burger, you will be ruined for any other sweet potato fries anywhere. Yeah, they're that good. Try them with Thai Curry Ketchup. Your tastebuds will thank you.

The Daily Grind - One of my first Pueblo favorites, The Daily Grind makes an excellent latte, in several intriguing flavors. They also have great sandwiches and really good soup. The BLT is the best sandwich by that name that I have ever had. I also like the Californian. And their potato soup is loaded with all the good stuff, particularly butter and cream. Gotta love that. It's a little pricey and the atmosphere, especially later in the evening, can get a

Do Drop Inn - I like their pizza, although Greg isn't crazy about it. I've heard several opinions on it but basically if you don't like thick, sweet crust, you won't like it. What sold me on Do Drop Inn was when a friend and I had the lunch buffet at the Pueblo West location recently. Everything was good and fresh, and the eggplant parmegiana was To. Die. For. Wow. So good.

Enclades - If you like cajun food and you haven't tried this little spot on 4th Street downtown, you are missing out. Everything there is good. The pecan pie will absolutely melt in your mouth. And if you like it hot, you must try the green chile gumbo. The combination of cajun spices and green chile is out of this world.

GG's BBQ - I ate there once when it was in a gas station on the Mesa, but now it's in a new location on the Hwy 50 frontage road just off Morris. Good barbeque is not easy to find in Pueblo but this place is good. Even their sides are really good. And they have really tasty homemade sauces. I hear the carrot cake is incredible.

Mi Ranchito - I'm ambivalent about most Mexican restaurants in Pueblo, but I do like the food at the Mi Ranchito on the Mesa. Their tamales are good, their salsa is edible, and they have these fried taco things, I can't remember what they're called exactly (Tacos Dorados, maybe?) but they are pretty tasty. The one in town is fine too, but I like the one on the Mesa better.

Paul's Great American Heroes - Pueblo has quite a few really good sandwich shops, but I'm rather fond of Paul's. It's got fun atmosphere, fun names for the sandwiches, and really good bread. I love good bread. The I Like Ike and Ben Franklin are among my favorites, but pretty much everything at Paul's is good. I've even had halfway decent posole there, and that's not an easy thing to find anywhere, especially in Pueblo. Also, if you order the daily special, Paul's can be pretty cheap.

Wireworks - Worth a mention because it's vegetarian if you're into that. They do have decent lattes, really good soup, scrumptious bagels, and hummus. I enjoy hummus.

That's all I can think of for now. Please feel free to comment with suggestions for places I didn't mention or haven't tried yet. I didn't include chain restaurants in this list because everyone knows about them, but I will say I'm quite fond of Chili's, Ruby Tuesday has a wonderful salad bar, and I think Texas Roadhouse is the best place in Pueblo for reasonably priced steak, although Applebee's steak is certainly acceptable and I've always loved their French Onion Soup. Okay, I'm done.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Some books are clever stories. Some are sad stories. Some are romantic stories. Some are strange, disturbing stories. Some are incredible flights of fancy. Some books have magic. Some have dramatic, historical settings. And some books are exquisite, remarkable works of art to be enjoyed and admired through the ages. The Night Circus is all of these.

With its shifting points of view, present-tense style, and somewhat non-linear presentation of events, The Night Circus will either pull you in or put you off from the beginning. In my opinion, the writing is brilliant. Like the circus itself, it draws you in with its unique flavors and setting. It has a rich quality to it that makes the black-and-white theme more striking than stark, the moments of color brilliant, and the characters real and alive. The descriptions of food and clothes are particularly imaginative and delightful.

The circus is a venue for a dramatic magician's duel: two opponents pitted against each other from a very young age by their instructors. The rules of the game are left somewhat vague, as is the determination of the winner. Meanwhile, those who experience the circus are completely fascinated by it and changed by the experience...while those involved with the circus remain remarkably unchanged. The opponents display their skills and work around each other and the other members of the circus as the game becomes an intricate, complicated process that eventually spirals toward a dramatic and unexpected conclusion.

If you're looking for a uniquely pleasing reading experience, try The Night Circus. I would recommend it particularly for book clubs because all the nuances invite discussion. I will say that I chose to read it in small doses because I found it overwhelming if I read too much at once. It's quite a book.