Karen and I stopped Il Vicino for beer and dinner tonight. The staff was great. Karen had the amber and was given a free oatmeal stout for us helping clear the outside table because the raining coming down on their condiments.
Karen enjoyed both beers. She thinks the stout was a well-balanced beer with coffee over tones that didn’t overwhelm the style of the beer. I had the IPA, which was not as hopped as most IPAs in the Colorado Springs area, but hopped well for IPA. (Colorado Springs breweries over hop most beers.)
By the way, the pizza was great, too.
Karen and I started hiking the Edna Mae Bennet Nature Trail from the North Canyon trailhead. This trail is considered advanced, because it has a steep grade. We took this trail, because it put you on top of the Yucca Flats which have a great view as you can for these pictures.
We switched to the Templeton Trail after getting to the top of the hills. This trail runs around most of the park’s west side. After hiking on top of the hills, we returned to our car by hooking up with the Edna Mae Bennet Nature Trail, again.
You will need sun screen on this hike. Karen was pink and you can almost tell in this picture.
Karen and I started our evening out at the The WareHouse. It is one of the best restaurants in Colorado Springs. It is a converted warehouse. The owner actually lives on the third floor, the restaurant and art gallery are on the first floor, and the brewery is in the basement.
Karen and I both had the General Palmer’s Amber Lager. It should be first noted that this is not an ale. They describe the beer as “a Bavarian-style bock beer, deep amber in color and slightly higher in alcohol. Lagered for quite some time.” It is truly a dark amber with a heavy malt taste. The staff can fool you by calling it an amber, which would lead you think it is an amber ale. The key word is “bock”. If we had known that it was a bock, I think that we would have enjoyed the beer for what it was.
Karen followed the General Palmer’s Amber Lager with the SP Belgian Ale. She truely enjoyed this beer. The server behind the bar had to have new. Normally, the SP Belgian Ale is served in smaller brandy style glass, but he provided a full pint. Karen didn’t mind.
For my second beer, I had the Trolley Car, which is Northern English Brown Ale in style. We both enjoyed this beer as we walked through the gallery. The flavor was well rounded and very satisfying.
By the way, we had the Battered English Pub Chips without the topping. They were very good. I would suggest that you ask for the chipotle mayonnaise as dipping sause. You will thank me.
Karen and I went hiking along the Wildflower Path and Upper Meadows Loop as he worked our way to the South Suburban Reservoir. The reservoir looked very black due to overcast. We walked the Chamberlain Ridgeway Spur back to our car. This open space is a great area for mountain biking as the trails are wide and smooth. Many people walk their dogs in the open area, too. (So watch your step.)
After walking in Stratton Open Space, we drove over to the Helen Hunt Falls Visitor Center so that we could hike up to see Silver Cascade Fall. This hike is very short, but it raises quickly. Karen did well on the hike, but it was a hot day for a hike.
To end our evening, Karen and I headed over to Phantom Canyon Brewing Co to try an ale or two.
First, Phantom Canyon Brewing Co is situated in the center of downtown across the street from the Antlers. The building is the historic Cheyenne Building which had housed the Chicago Rock Island and Pacific Railroad in 1901.
Karen had the Hefeweizen while I had their Ginger Ale Beer. Karen's beer was very little in body and taste. My beer had little hint of ginger compared to what I had expected. The Ginger Ale beer is seasonal so get while you can.
Karen and I have headed into Judge Baldwin's to try some more of their brews.
Karen had the Champion Wheat and Belgian Biere de Garde. Karen thinks the Champion Wheat was very good. She said it would be a good summer beer with dinner. It was not over powering. Karen enjoyed the Belgian, too. She indicated it is similar to many other types of red ale.
I had the Cascade Amber Lager and Flanders Oud Bruin. The Cascade had a very good hop finish. It would please most anyone. The Flanders Oud Bruin is wild with flavors. It starts off with a malty fruit flavor, but transitions into an oak flavor similar to a fine whiskey's oak barrel taste.
Karen and I hiked part of the Waldo Canyon trail in the Colorado Spring area. It is located along Highway 24.
The trail is made up of two parts. The trail head and a 3 1/2 mile loop. We hiked the trail head for a total of 3.6 miles. We completed the hike around 4:07 PM today.
Karen and I started our hiking with an easy beautiful walk around the Garden of the Gods along the Perkins Central Garden trail. The trail wanders around the central area of the Garden of the Gods. It is a paved trail with the only issue being sun exposer. At the right time of the year, flowers will be in bloom. We experienced rich green vegetation due to all of the rain in the area for the pst weeks.
If you are interested in hiking at Garden of the Gods, you can see the trail is here.
The work part of my trip has come to a close. I think it went well. Karen is coming in earlier than scheduled. She will be arriving tonight.
I was able to change our hotel from the Holiday Inn Airport to the Antlers. For a couple on vacation, the Antlers is the best. It is situated in downtown Colorado Springs and is within walking distance to many great restaurants and attractions.
Dr. Nightingale: Seeks Greener Pastures is my second book in the A Deirdre Quinn Nightingale Mystery series. These books are short reads so I hope provide a quick review in the day or two.