Ft. Collins/Loveland, CO Recs?
- ddavis May 21, 2007 05:39 PM
Looking for recommendations for fine dining and more casual but great food places in the Loveland and Ft. Collins area? Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
OK, Dick, here's what I remember from 4 years ago. For as nice a town as Ft Collins is, they should have more good dining. Jay's was pretty good, Cafe Nicole was a real find (mostly catering but very good french country food), Lucille's for breakfast and lunch and Fuji for Japanese (not fancy, but good). Berthod, south of Loveland had a really good high end place, I'm not sure if its still there? And think about going up to Estes Park for a meal.
Fort Collins - Pulcinella has good Italian.
Loveland/Berthoud - dddavis, are you perhaps thinking of the Savoy? If so, I believe that it's gone.
Estes Park - We always go to Ed's Cantina after hiking, skiing, snowshoeing. Fine, casual, Mexican -- but not really Chowish. Avoid the brew pub at all costs. Just dreadful food.
When I traveled the area I frequented Charco Broiler more than any place else. Total retro steakhouse place that is open for breakfast. Food is good, prices are fair, service is old school solid. You're in beef country...do as the Romans do.
IMHO, no one knows (or cares) about the Rio's food, because the margs are so potent. There's one in Boulder too -- fortunately w/in walking distance of our house. Tortilla Marisa in Fort Collins has good Mexican fare, as do a couple of little hole-in-the-wall spots whose names I don't know.
I compare every dish of chile rellenos to the ones I used to enjoy at the Rio. With black beans and rice? Can't get any better! One of my favourite memories is sitting outside by the fountain in the back, eating the rellenos, sipping a fabulous strawberry margarita (also the best I've ever had) and looking at the stars.
Caveat: this was a few years ago, but I really hope things haven't changed that much there!
Another Old Town rec from the recesses of my memory: Coopersmiths. Have a Horsetooth Stout and the artichoke dip. In fact, if you have time and like beer, definitely sample other microbrews from nearby microbreweries (O'Dells, New Belgium, etc).
Breakfast rec: Silver Grill (if it's still there). Outstanding waffles (again, IIRC). Or, if you have time and want to travel out to the Bellevue/LaPorte area, Verns has the BEST cinnamon rolls ever.
Man, I miss Ft. Fun!
Second the rec's for Coopersmiths (good Jalapeño beer), and Silver Grille for breakfast (love the Cinamon Roll Toast).
Very chow-worthy, and not to be missed is the Pickle Barrel for unbelievable sandwiches. It is a Ft. Collins Institution, and really great. It is on Mulberry just west of College.
I remember Nico's Catacombs was a very nice meal. I didn't eat there many times, as I was a poor college student, and couldn't afford it.
If you like bevs, take a tour of the New Belgium brewery. It's not big but the people are passionate, the place is unique and they built it on passion. It's also very green and the employees have some great benefits.
I went to school there as well, when the taste buds were happy with anything, so it's tough to make some good recs. Loved Potts, Rio, Pickle Barrell. I worked as a line cook at the Armadillo, but again it's hard to give props since I wore more food home than I ever ate - plus we got to build our own meals every day from all the different ingredients.
Try the chicken/cream cheese/spinach relleno's at Tortilla Marissa's. Steer clear of Canino's Italian in Old Town- more like Chef Boyardee than real Italian, regardless of it's claims. Grab a donut from Lamar's (2 or 3 stores in FTC). The best burger I've had here is the Chipotle Bleu Cheese Bacon Burger at Chili's on College and Horsetooth.It's sometimes the simplest foods that taste the best.
Annapurna is supposed to be good for Nepalese/Indian in Loveland. For a great chicken fried steak, go to Sanford's in FTC- although they just moved so I don't know if they are keeping their old menu or not.
1) "El Burrioto" in Ft. Collins. I recommend their pork chimichanga...YUM. Any pork dish there will be great. A funky place but worth the visit.
2) "Big City Burrito" Loveland/Ft. Collins. I always get the Chile Verde w/ sour cream, guac., tomitilla sauce, and one of their many salsa's. These are the BEST BURRIOTOS in the WORLD!!!
3) "Mexican Inn" Loveland - Great food and their green chile is great! Casual place.
1) "Charco Broiler" Ft. Collins - Great food all away around. I recommend sitting in the back by the bar area. It is nice and dark and very cozy. Dress causal. It's that kind of place. Great side salad...best I have ever had
2) "The Black Steer" Loveland - Has great steaks! Go with the signature peppered steak (I prefer the filet Mignion).
3) "The Chophouse" - Loveland - Awesome place. Great food! Very romantic atmosphere. Love it there!
1) Schlotski's Deli (sp?) Ft. Collins - Not sure of how big their chain restaurant is but they sure have great sandwiches!
2) "Chicago Times" - Loveland - One of the best Gyros I have ever had as well as their pizza's rock too. Place is not really good for sitting down and eating though.
3) "Asian Grill" - Great setting and their food is terrific! They serve Chinese and Japanese food. Love the low lighting...service is great too!
There are so many places I have yet to explore but these places above will get you eating in the right direction.
When I was in Ft Collins last month I ate a the Moot House (English Pub/Steakhouse) and Taj Mahal (Indian). I enjoyed both. At the Moot house I ate at the bar and the bartender was really friendly, and served me some great drinks. Taj Mahal was what you expect from a hole in the wall indian joint... really good traditional indian food with no frills.
Good to hear the Moot house is still around. I worked there during college as a dish washer (whatever it took to get some beer money).
If you are there for lunch, they offer a Blackened Prime Rib sandwich, which isn't on the menu (but available if you ask), that is really wonderful. I also remember that their French onion soup is great (but I cursed whenever it was ordered, since I had to clean the crusty cheese off the bowl).
I have lived in this area for 10 years (from NYC area) and here are my suggestions:
For expensive, but worth it: Jays in downtown FTC
Skip the moot house, skip Nicos (horrid) and skip the other italian place downtown FTC. Never trust the fish - all frozen and rarely good.
If you have to have asian, only 1 good place: Canton Palace in Loveland - excellent.
This is a steak and potatoes area but many old steak places are dirty and run down.
Some amazingly bad Mexican here! a surprise to me. Like cream cheese used in cheese enchellatas. Best would be Inca in FTC. Rio for margs only, food is mediocre. Tortilla Marissa is good Tex-Mex or white-Mexican
Lucilles is fun for breakfast. McCoys is good as are the 2 Breakfast Clubs - FTC and Loveland.
French restaurant is back in Berthod and I hear better than ever.
Best idea for Estes is to picnic in the park. The town is great fun for shopping, but I prefer to be in RMNP with a picnic from safeway
Fpr vegitarian, Rainbow in FTC good breakfast and lunch
In loveland, I love 4th st chophouse, but pricey for the area.
Monaco is good too. Actually, anyone on 4th st in that area is decent.
Every chain in the world is here now too.
Now what would make you say that? It's a balmy 2 degrees there right now and the wind chill is only -13.
I agree that Lucilles is fun for breakfast, cajun style. And any place that spells enchiladas "enchellatas" should be avoided, whether or not they use cream cheese. And while I'm not specifically familiar with fish in Fort Collins I have had some fantastic fish meals in Colorado so don't automatically count it out. (And I've lived in some of the top seafood locations in the world so I know of what I speak.)
Good restaurants serve good, fresh fish and know how to prepare it (and fresh fish is now readily available a thousand miles from the nearest seacoast). The best seafood restaurants on the Front Range that I've eaten at are Jax (Denver, Boulder), McCormick's (LoDo) and Oceanaire (downtown Denver, gargantuan portions). I have only been to the Fresh Fish Co. (Denver, Hampden Ave) once and was underwhelmed. Other people I know love it. Fish in Fort Collins has a rep for good days, less good days. It was fine when I ate there, but it was only once and some years ago.
FYI, I don't think the Savoy (French restaurant) is in Berthoud anymore. They opened the Savoy in Fort Collins on Harmony Road. I used to live in Berthoud, and they closed a couple of years ago.
Their new location in Fort Collins is a little more casual than I remember the original to be - it is now called Savoy Brasserie. I haven't eaten there yet, so I can't give a personal recommendation.