Sunday, June 22, 2008

Eating Local on Vacation

I haven't posted for a bit because I was on vacation in Estes Park, Colorado with my hubby. I was hoping to return with stories of my adventures in Colorado cuisine, but alas, most of what I have to report is a large consumption of locally brewed beer (Poudre Ale and Fat Tire).  I did purposely order pork on my way through Iowa, but after smelling the pig farms/factories, I regretted that decision. We do try to stop at ma and pa restaurants while on the road, which I know has more to do with supporting local economies than locally grown food but is more fun than skipping from one fast food chain to the next. Plus eating what the locals eat is part of experiencing an area in my opinion. A few finds that we did stumble across:

1. Kind Coffee each morning. Just down the street from Starbucks but featured organic, fair trade coffee in mugs or biodegradable corn cups. They also composted their grounds. 

2. We ate a romantic dinner on a private balcony at The View (ok, every place has a view in Estes Park). The menu did report that they use locally grown produce when available. Our veggies were yummy, but I am guessing we were there a bit before the peak of harvest season. We went there though to have some local trout and that was delicious. Next time we'll try our hand at fly fishing. 

3. Our first hotel had a rain barrel and the second was a registered as a "green hotel".  Not sure what that means beyond not washing the linens daily which is a start. 

4. Fat Tire beer is made by New Belgium brewery in Fort Collins, CO.  Check out their website for cool stuff they are involved with like protecting salmon in local rivers, handcrafted wind turbines etc. Rumor has it that one of the owners has a brother who has a brewery in WI and that they have an agreement that no Fat Tire beer is sold here but that he makes the same beer under a different name. Anyone know what it is????

Any local eats on your June vacations?

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