Los Angeles to Denver Road Trip
i wish i saw this earlier. i'm assuming you got to Denver already not unless you got side tracked by some crazy Moab experience. we did this trip last year and everything between Vegas and Colorado was a bit of a wasteland. not much for good eats but we were with our 3 yr old so we didn't have time to explore too much either. We did stay at a Holiday Inn Express in Ritchfield, UT and the tap water tasted like bottled water. We ate at Chipotle in Grand Junction to keep it safe.
In Glenwood Springs, right off the 70 there is a street called 7th and a restaurant called the Pullman. Really terrific food and great atmosphere. The plus to this place is that you don't have to drive all the way in to Aspen to get decent food. On the same street there are some other restaurants that we didn't eat at that were supposedly ok as well.
Then along to Denver, there's a little natural market called Alpine Natural Foods in Frisco, another hop off the interstate. they make great natural type of sandwiches.
There's always a next time...
well, if i think of anything else i'll let you know. i know we didn't stop in St. George bc it felt too soon for a long stop. it's about 2 hrs from vegas to St. George and we wanted to keep going and still felt full from lunch. we were also traveling in winter and road conditions were a concern so that affected the time and amount we traveled. there are two summits to climb going thru Utah and after we did the first one with icy conditions we didn't feel like we needed a second challenge and stopped in Ritchfield. The Holiday Inn Express there is great. very clean and very nice people. Breakfast there is standard fare but it's free. there is a restaurant next to it which we didn't venture into and don't remember the name. but it served standard steak dinners and american breakfasts.
as far as food goes we went to Maggiano's in Vegas. I know, i know very far from a culinary sensation. i had visions of us eating at scarpetta or Fleur but with a 3 yr old with food allergies it just wasn't in the picture. with or without food allergies i wouldn't bring a 3 yr old to those places anyway. my point was that we had so much leftovers we were really thankful bc it's really desolate. there are point where you don't have phone reception or a stop for 100 miles or so. yes, that desolate so you may want to plan for those times.
I do have to tell you some don'ts. whatever you do, don't eat at the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs, unless you want memories or college dorm food. it was that bad and pricey. however, i did want to take a dip in the hot springs in town. looked fun.
oh, and when you get to Glenwood and want to take a trek into Carbondale which isn't that far there is a restaurant called six89 which my friend loves. if i can think of anything great i'll let you know.
That route is pretty much a wasteland outside of Vegas. A few spots come to mind:
St. George - Painted Pony would be the place for an upscale, foodie dinner. I like the Fairway Grill for breakfast. If you have not had a Smashburger yet, there is a location in Washington just north of town and close to the interstate.
Salina, UT - Mom's Cafe: Not great, but solid diner fare. Closest thing to home cooking you will find for miles.
Grand Junction - used to travel there on business. I frequented Rock Bottom Brewery and Old Chicago. The latter is a CO chain, but the pizzas are way above average and the beer selection is excellent.
Edwards, CO - Larkburger: Upscale burgers and truffled fries. YUM!
Since you're driving. . .try Lotus of Siam while you're passing through Las Vega and I'd suggest going for dinner. I just know of it because Las Vegas is on my list of cities I travel to for work and it's DEFINITELY not a restaurant that you'd just happen across or walk to if you were visiting Vegas. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I know nada about Grand Junction or St. George.
Good luck with your trip!