If you’re ever in the neighborhood…

We took a mini-break this weekend and headed towards Snowmass Village, CO for some skiing.  While we love our little Powderhorn Ski Resort, getting away is always nice! Because we’re cheap (or thrifty as I prefer to say), we usually stay in Glenwood Springs on Friday nights.  We can leave town right around 5 and be in Glenwood before 7, so it works well for us.  Then we can get up Saturday morning and be at Snowmass within about half an hour.  In Glenwood we usually stay at the Frontier Lodge.It’s a small Mom and Pop hotel owned by Wes and his wife BJ.  It’s quiet, warm and convenient for us.  Bonus:  It’sWhat’s even better is that right past it in a little strip mall (literally a 2 minute walk away) is the Taqueira El Nopal.  It may not look like much on the outside, but once you’re inside you won’t want to leave!  Fabulous carnitas tacos, beef tortas, chicken burritos…it’s all good!  They have great margaritas, an excellent salsa/condiment bar and great service.

If we’re staying a whole weekend skiing and not just going over for one day, we usually stay in Basalt on Saturdays.  There we stay at the Aspenalt Lodge. It’s worth it to ask for an upstairs riverside room.  Granted in the winter you probably won’t see this guy fishing, but you will have a nice view of the snowy Frying Pan river for a lower price than you’d pay in Aspen or Snowmass Village.What’s right next door to the hotel?  Besides a great little grocery store, there’s also the Riverside Grille.  We’ve walked past this restaurant more than once and honestly, I don’t know why we never stopped.  We’ve eaten at little places on Midland Avenue (their Main Street) that were ok, but nothing spectacular. Saturday, though, I stopped at the liquor store to grab some beer and asked the guy there where we should eat dinner.  Hey, who knows a town better than the guys at the liquor store, right?  He first suggested, Ha! Taqueria El Nopal!  His next suggestion was the Riverside Grille and I’m so glad we listened!  Winter is Basalt’s off season, so don’t expect this place to be crowded.  But don’t let the lack of a crowd fool you – this is a great place to eat.  Not as cheap as a pizza, but worth the price.

We started with the hummus appetizer – it came with grilled pita bread, carrots, celery and some broccoli as well.  Then we split a caesar salad with a homemade dressing (you could taste the anchovy).  The BF got the fish and chips – cod battered in a Fat Tire beer batter.  I got a trio of sliders – one Mahi Mahi with fruit salsa, one burger and one brisket.  All were great!  They had a nice wine selection too.  I’m sure dessert would have been awesome but we were too full to order any 😦

Ok, my final suggestion:  Unless you’re just desperate, don’t bother heading to the breakfast room at the Aspenalt in the mornings.  You’d be better off buying some Jimmy Dean biscuits from the grocery store and heating them in the microwave in your room OR heading across the street to the Midland Baking Company.  Along with the great muffins, bagels and croissants that you can see in the display case, the baking company also has a breakfast and lunch menu (sometimes you have to ask for it).  This is a hastily taken photo of my egg sandwich:


See that crispy piece of bacon poking out? All that drippy cheese melted on the egg? Mmmmm. I also had a giant cup of coffee (free refills!). Great way to start the morning. Ok, enjoy the recommendations and the scenery if you ever make it out this way!

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