Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Trinity Brewing, Colorado Springs CO

Again forgot to grab a pic on the way out, this is from Yelp:  http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/trinity-brewing-company-colorado-springs?select=TQP8Osw830Gue5VNYygMxw

I swear I don't only eat at breweries.  I've been to quite a few good places in Colorado.  It just seems that I only remember to take pictures at breweries.  I think beer makes me picture happy.  So my wife and I were wondering how to spend our pre-Valentine's day and I remembered that she had been telling me about a nice littler brewery on the west side of town that some co-workers had taken her to earlier in the year.  As it is Lent, and I've given up, well most of the things I really enjoy eating and drinking I thought I would give this a try.  Because when you give up drinking almost every beverage outside of water and fruit juice you get a strong desire for beverages with flavor, which is how I found myself at Trinity Brewing.

Located in what appeared to be a warehouse district turned strip mall, which makes sense as most of the little breweries around here started off in a warehouse, the place has been spruced up nicely.  A large outdoor sitting area was already filled, as it was a warm winter day an all people in the Springs will flock to any outdoor seating in the winter when the sun is out.  Large windows opened up into a busy indoor area, where my wife and I found a cool spot not too far from the kitchen.

After less than five minutes a server showed up and handed over some menus, of which the first five pages were filled with different types of beer, but also showing a decent sized food section.  As this was our first time here we had to order a beer, maybe two.  We finally settled on getting a flight of the breweries finest, 8 of their beers, and a small thing of cheese, not a bad deal for $20.  I ordered a Tuscan Chicken Melt, with a salad as I'd also given up french fries for the next 40 days, and my wife ordered a Brie BLT, also with a salad to show her solidarity for my suffering.  For an appetizer we got an order of Country Fried Bacon, not that we needed it, but I don't pass up bacon appetizers.

The beer came out first and we spent a fair amount of time deciding on our favorites.  My wife and I have similar taste in beer, light and fruity.  Our favorite was the Sunna, a Belgian Wit.  Our least favorite with the two IPA's and one double IPA's, which is why I was thrown out of San Diego. j/k  Out of the eight beers provided I like five of them, my second favorite being the Farmhouse Walloon, a Harvest Saison, whatever that means.  All I know is that I liked it.  Strangely enough I also really enjoyed the Awaken, a coffee flavored stout.  Strange because I can't stand coffee, but I like the taste of it in beer.  I had mixed feelings about Saison Man, as it started off good but finished up with a bit of a funky aftertaste.  Besides that everything, even the IPA's were pretty good.

After getting nice and inebriated the appetizer came out.  Five thick slices of bacon, "double dipped in buttermilk and seasoned flour, fried to a golden brown."  They were quite good, and I found myself dipping them in both the spicy blue, even though I'm not a big fan of blue cheese, and blueberry maple dipping sauce.  They even made the IPAs taste better.

As we were finishing up the flight our food came out.  Even tipsy as I was it wasn't the most amazing food ever, but it was damn good.  Definitely up there when compared to the overly greasy fare that is served at most breweries.  My chicken melt was the usual roasted chicken, cooked just right, crispy bacon, roasted tomatoes and melty smoked fontina cheese on a toasted rosemary-garlic bread and mixed greens.  I enjoyed it, and finished it off pretty quickly.  The side salad was also pretty good.  I stole a bit of my wife's Brie BLT, and found it good as well, though not quite as good as my food chicken.

I think the favorite part of my time at Trinity was the people.  Easy going and nice, the servers were able to answer any and all questions about the beer served.  There was no hint of beer snob in their tone, then again it wasn't like I asked them for a Miller Light, no telling how they would have responded to that.  It was my favorite type of beer drinking atmosphere, cool and relaxed.

I stumbled out of there with a smile on my face and a renewed appreciation for beer.  I'd definitely come back to Trinity, maybe on a busy Friday night, or after Lent to try the Golden Belgian Fries which my wife says is amazing, and maybe another order of Country Fried Bacon.

Trinity Brewing
1466 Garden of the Gods Road
Colorado Springs, CO 80907
(719) 634-0029

Taste of Korea, Colorado Springs, CO

Taken from a Yelp review as I forgot to take a pciture os the place on the place on the  way out: http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/taste-of-korea-colorado-springs?select=0Qyl5Jq84OqxX0KQSyAotw

Though happily surprised by the variety and quality of food in Colorado Springs there have been a few let downs.  I will not discuss Mexican food because that is a subject sacred to all Californians, let's just say that when I find one I love I will write about it.  No, instead I shall touch upon the myriad of Asian delicacies that I have come upon in my new home.

It was after both highs (Ai Sushi) and lows (almost every Chinese restaurant I've been to here) that I happened upon a little Korean place on the East side of town named Taste of Korea.  Found within a strip mall a few doors down from what appeared to be a dive bar, on first appearance I did not have high hopes for the food there.  Walking in my expectations rose a little bit.  First off it was clean, and while I don't immediately equate cleanliness with good food (even McDonalds has to clean their bathrooms once in a while) it did give me a glint of hope.  There was nice lady behind a counter that directed us to any two seat table.  Unsure of where to sit we choose a table that had the least amount of blinding sunlight coming in from a covered window.

Slowly the experience got better and better.  After sitting down at the table the nice lady moved us to another table farther back out of the sunlight.  She quickly got us water and we ordered a plate of Yakimandu, which were your basic fried dumplings.  These came out rather quickly and I would rate them as your average fried dumplings.  They had good flavor to them, and were cooked nicely, but I felt I could have got them at almost any Asian themed restaurant in the city.  Still they were hot and fresh and our hostess (the only person we'd seen since entering the restaurant) delivered them with a smile.

After gobbling those up, we were both pretty hungry by then, we sat and waited for our orders to come out.  Thankfully the dumplings had filled me up enough to appreciate the fact that it was taking time for our orders to be completed.  I think I would have been a little worried if they had just shoved them out in the next five minutes.  It would have made me think that they were just warming up food they'd kept on had in the microwave (again see most of the Chinese restaurants here).  Honestly I would say it took about twenty minutes to get our food, which wasn't bad as while we sat there at least three people with very large to-go orders came in to pick up their order.

So the moment arrives and someone from the back, probably one of the two cooks, brings us out our food.  My wife's dish is by far the more complex looking of the two.  In addition to a large serving of Bulgogi (thin slices of marinated beef) served on a hot cast iron plate, she also got eight small bowels of additional food (not including a small bowl of rice), which included her most favorite dish (kimchi pancakes) and her least favorite dish (seaweed).  I, loving all things spicy, commandeered the bright red kimchi.

While not quite as impressive looking as my wife's dish I was instantly intrigued by my own food.  This was the first time I had ordered Bibimbap (rice mixed with vegetables and beef).  I was a bit put off by the fried egg, as it appeared slightly overcooked, but it didn't stop me from digging in.  I was a bit surprised by the vegetables, in a good way.  I am not normally one to enjoy beansprout, as I have had to push them aside in healthier dishes, but the seasoning and flavor of them when combined with the meat (agian Bulgogi), the egg, and the rice was the perfect balance of flavors.  My only complaints were that there should have been a bit more meat in the bowl.

My wife on other hand thoroughly enjoyed her meal but believed they had been mistaken and given her the "hot" Bulgogi.  After taking a few bites of her meat I had to agree, it was a bit spicy.  Thankfully that just made it easier to steal some of it and put it into my bowl.  So it all worked out in the end.

As we finished our meal the same cook from the back came out to see how we had enjoyed our food (the woman manning the front had since disappeared).  She looked surprised to see that I had eaten all of my food, even going so far as to pick out almost every grain of rice out of the bottom of the bowl.  This was done partly as I found myself still a bit hungry (a Bibimbap is not a whole lot of food but was probably the right amount for me) and partly because everything tasted so good.  She asked us how we'd found her and was surprised when I said Yelp.  I get the feeling Yelp isn't used a lot in Colorado Springs.

After boxing up my wife's left overs we left Taste of Korea with a mostly full stomach and a smile on our faces.  I am happy that at the very least really good Korean food can be found in Colorado Springs, and I'm looking forward to coming back.

Taste of Korea
1825 Peterson Rd.
Colorado Springs, CO
(719) 574-2060