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Thursday, May 5, 2016

The good, the bad and the disappointing

Friday, August 17, 2012

Will got in late last Thursday night and, after we talked for a bit, he tried connecting his laptop to my PC because he had to work the next day. After trying several different connections with none of them working, he decided he would have to go check into a hotel with wireless accommodations so that's what he did. He only had to work a half day on Friday, so he came back home at noon and after visiting a few eating and drinking establishments in McCook, we called it a night at 7:30 and went to bed because of the early train we had to catch the next morning.

To my great surprise, Amtrak was only 15 minutes late and Will thought his first trip on a passenger train was pretty cool. We pulled into Amtrak's temporary station a little before seven, Denver time, hailed a cab and went to our first destination, Snooze, at 22nd and Latimer.

I read many reviews of Snooze on Yelp before I decided that's where we would have breakfast and I think there was only one that said they were seated without a wait so I was amazed when we pulled up to the restaurant and there was no line. We paid the cab, went inside and were immediately seated. We both had coffee, which was imported, and it was very flavorful. The rest of breakfast was a letdown though, especially since our expectations were so high based on the reviews. I had a ham and cheese omelet that was good but not great, hashbrowns that were better than most and white buttered toast. Will had two plate-sized sweet potato pancakes that were so rich he couldn't eat them all, despite the old college try. Our waitress was friendly and accommodating but the place filled up pretty fast after we were seated, so we didn't see her very often. We topped off our meals with a morning margarita and a John Daly and they were just OK, too

This is the thing about reviews. If I had read no reviews, it would have been a pleasant dining experience. But because the reviews were so over the top in their praise for Snooze, anything less than out-of-this-world was going to be a let down and that's what Snooze was. The next time I'm in Denver for breakfast, I'll most likely go back to The Delectable Egg.

We decided to walk down to Coors Field and on the way, we ran into construction workers building a huge stage on the street between the Tavern Bar and Lodo's. Will looked Denver entertainment up on his smart phone and discovered that they were having a big outdoor concert from four until midnight so we decided to park ourselves on the outside deck at the Tavern. They were running a special from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m. on bottomless Mimosa's for 10 bucks, so that was our drink of choice. I'm not much of a champagne fan but I have to admit that champagne and orange juice hit the spot for a price that couldn't be beaten. By 11 a.m., the place was packed and it turned out being a very pleasant way to spend a few hours. Because we were having so much fun and were still full from breakfast, we didn't make our lunch reservation at Elway's Steak House in the Ritz Carlton hotel so I'll have to save that review for some other time. A little after four, we left for our dinner reservations at Fogo De Chao, a Brazilian steak house at 15th and Wynkoop Street in downtown Denver.

We got there just as they were opening and were seated right away. Even though we had reservations, they weren't needed as the place was only about a quarter full during the time we were there. On top of being careful about getting carried away with fantastic reviews, you should also take the recommendations of friends with a grain of salt, because everyone has different tastes and what's good for them may not be good for you. Unfortunately, that was our experience at Fogo's. It was recommended by a friend of mine who loves all-you-can-eat restaurants and I had forgotten that I always feel cheated when I dine at one of those because I never eat a lot at one sitting. As I mentioned in last week's column, instead of getting a steak, you get skewers of all kinds of different meat and after you've tasted them all, they keep bringing you skewers of the one you liked the best until you can't eat anymore. Will and I both were disappointed in the taste and texture of most of the meats and even after finding one I liked more than the others, I couldn't eat very much of it. It came with mashed potatoes that were a little too porous for my taste and bread that I really didn't care for either.

But before the meat entrees started showing up, the wait staff convinced me to try a Brazilian margarita which came in a glass with 15 lime slices. FIFTEEN lime slices and the lime taste literally overwhelmed the taste of the drink. In fact, it was so overpowering it almost made me sick, and that's before the food came.

The bill came to $150 and with a 20 percent tip, the cost of eating maybe 10 dollars worth of food came to $180. I'm glad I tried it, though, because I know I won't try it again.

Our train was due to leave at 7:15, so we went directly to the station after dinner, only to find out the train was two hours late. Anyone who's ever ridden Amtrak knows this is the norm rather than the exception and the two hour delay eventually became four. We finally pulled out of the station five minutes before we were supposed to be in McCook and finally got home at 4:30 in the morning.

So although our dining experiences sure weren't anything to write home about, the quality time we were able to share with each other more than made up for that. It's the first time Will and I have had quality time to spend with no one else around in a long time and that was worth everything.

One of the real pleasures in life is watching your children go from being little kids to full-grown responsible adults and becoming your best friends in the process.

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I take my office to Fogo De Chao twice a year for parties. They love it!! I do agree with Mike that if you have never been you sample a lot of cuts before settling in what you like best. I like the Rib Eye and the Top Sirloin and the Chicken.

My wife normally passes on the parties as she isn't in the buffet style either. I will say that some of my friends think Fogo is the "best ever". I like it for what it is - a very expensive all you can eat meat buffet.

-- Posted by wmarsh on Tue, Aug 28, 2012, at 6:04 AM

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Mike Hendricks
Mike at Night