Thursday, February 17, 2011

Where to Eat When on VACATION

My favorite part about traveling is the planning. I'm a research jUnKIe. When we travel on big vacations or quick trips, I find out everything I can about the area. When choosing where to stay or where to dine I like to find different places, out of our normal preferences and comfort zones. HOME should be comfort. HOME should describe and define our personalities BUT travel stops are a time to experiment with new things, to dip our toes into different styles and tastes that would otherwise not appeal to us. It's the ideal opportunity to grow in culture, broadening our vision of how we view the world. Because of that, I enjoy finding new treasures.

A Loft, an affordable swing from the W Hotel line.

Thankfully, Chris and I have passed our passion for travel onto our kids. The boys get extra excited to explore each new hotel we stay in because each place is always different!

Traveling also means no cooking for this mama! Every single meal is out and that makes me a happy girl. When on vacation I prefer to skip the box chains of Chili's and Olive Gardens. I use and other online resources to uncover special jewels in each town or city we visit.

Recently, we found a boutique lunch spot in downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado.


OPB&J sells peanut butter and jelly sandwich varieties in more ways than you could imagine creating! They take the simple comfort food of youth and transform it into gourmet masterpieces.

There are choices for sweet or savory sandwiches. I tried a sandwich with chocolate peanut butter, quadberry fruit smash, and bananas. I wanted to try one thousand more because it was SO hard to pick just one.

Some of their peanut butter choices are: cherry vanilla, dark chocolate, chocolate almond, chipotle, and Thai ginger.

This restaurant is best for a fun, quick, grab and go style dining experience.

It was worth a visit and it inspired me to get creative when slapping together two slices of bread for my kids.

Up Next....D Bar!

If you're in Denver, Colorado, this is a MUST. This is one of the best restaurants I've ever experienced.

We dined at Keegan Gerhard's D Bar Desserts restaurant in uptown Denver. Keegan Gerhard is a famous pastry chef and has been featured on the Food Network, among other places. Keegan is extremely warm and kind. It was a true pleasure meeting him and experiencing his talent.

I so enjoyed watching him style a cake. He was super friendly and very skilled!

He owns a dessert bar called D bar, where everything is artistically plated and ingeniously created. Our family was in heaven here! We ordered a large selection of appetizers and desserts to share because we wanted to try it all! This is real food. Seriously amazing.

I'm pretty sure that this was the most excited we've been as a family to eat and enjoy food!

Take a chance to explore real cuisine, find the heart of the city your are in and discover their secrets. It has absolutely no comparison to chain restaurants.

These "crue fries" were unbelievable. Keegan even came to our table and talked to us for awhile. He explained the story behind this dish. I was a held captive, listening to every word, and smiling like crazy the whole time. ;)

Saving the best for last. When you dine at D Bar, the cake and shake is essential. It's one of their signature selections and I've never tasted a better cake...or shake...the boys agree.

D Bar would be an especially fun place to visit at night with your lover. It's so different than the typical sport's grille and bar or nighttime coffee shop. They offer truly creative cuisine, styled perfectly. And they feature the best menu: appetizers and desserts!

These are just two special discoveries we've found while traveling. So, it is true. Find out where the {cool} locals eat and immerse yourself in the heart of the city. Experience the mood, tone, and rhythm of the culture you're in through your dining choices. It will take you from your robotic state of day to day living and bring you to a fresh world of energy.

Happy Traveling,

This post is linked to: LambAround, DIY Showoff, DIY Living, Seasonal Sundays, It's so Very Cheri, Strut Your Stuff at Saturday Mornings, Making the World Cuter, Motivate Me Mondays, Market Yourself Mondays, Lettered Cottage How To, Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy, Tuesdays at the Table, Topsy Turvy Tuesday, Tuesdays Unwrapped, Get Your Craft On, We're Organized Wednesday, Outdoor Wednesday, Works for Me Wednesday, Show and Tell, Whatever Goes Wednesday, Transformation Thursday, Tablescape Thursday, Show off Your Stuff, Strut Your Stuff, Friday Favorites, Show and Share Day, Foodie Friday, I'm Lovin It, Funky Junk Interiors, Fabulous Friday Finds, Tickled Pink*, Be Different Act Normal, Weekend Wrap Up


Jen said...

I really enjoyed this post. What delightful places you've found. Especially the OPB&J. How creative, fun and original!

Kelly Miller said...

That dessert restaurant looks fabulous! They need to publish a cookbook.

Anonymous said...

Me too!, I love to travel but i think the planning and research is right up there and just as much and exciting, I love to see "what to do" when I get there, And "FOOD" is tops on my list.
Your boys are the cutest.

caveman said...

d-bar. MMMMM. Best resturant I've ever experienced. Bar none. The food was on par with anything my tongue has experienced and the atmosphere was un-recreatable.

You are right about our love of travel. So where are you planning on taking us next?

Stacey said...

What a yummy post. Now not only do I want to travel I want dessert. Love the tips and the adventure. The photos are wonderful too! Makes me feel like I am right there.

Anonymous said...

I think the anticipation of the trip is as important or as enjoyable as the actual trip. It sure lasts longer!
I'm a planner too, and your ideas are terrific! The D bar sounds right up my alley.

Jane said...

We love to explore new cities and restaurants, too. These 2 stops will be on our list when we next visit Denver. (Did you hear that, MacDaddy?)

Marty and I usually try to find places with local flavors. There are so many great places to try. I'm so ready to travel again...

Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage said...

I am just like you! I love to do tons of research before we travel and find really fun unique places to visit and dine at. Unfortunately my hubby likes to plan trips at the last minute so I don't always get to do my research! (I still adore him when he takes me places :)
My older son is always asking if we can eat at Mc Donalds (yuck) and I'm always saying NO, we don't eat at chain restauarants on vacation!

Blondie's Journal said...

To me, the best part of traveling is trying new restaurants and food!! Your post made me hungry!!


Crossing My Fingers said...

I LOVE peanut butter!!! I totally am going to take a trip there JUST for that!

Candace said...

I'm a planner and a researcher too! It's great to find others out there like me. Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip with us! I really enjoyed it.

Anna said...

We LOVE Colorado Springs! This post just makes me want to go back.


KellyMellyBoBellyBananaFanna said...

That cake and shake sounds delicious!


Becca said...

I love the vase story. That was a really sweet thing for Chris to do. Now what I really want to know are the names of the five boys that gave you flowers?

Kitty Deschanel said...

We're in Albuquerque so we visit Denver and Colorado Springs all the time, but we mostly stick to McDonalds and Taco Bell - such a shame after seeing all these yummy options! I've bookmarked this post for our next trip :)

Kelli W said...

This is such a yummy post! The PB&J place sounds like so much fun!

Lyndsey said...

Wow, the food looks and sounds amazing! Thanks for the tips, I'm going to try yelp for our next trip. :)

Rachel {} said...

I love traveling and finding fun little spots... great ideas you have- I need to try yelp! we are having a link party if you would like to come join!

Ladybird Ln said...

WOw, that peanut butter bar looked amazing, I am one grown up who still loves her PB&J! I have never gone to fancy, maybe I will have to try!

annies home said...

looks so fun and the eats look delicious thanks for sharing

Simone @ Doberman's by the Sea said...

Enjoyed this post. Thanks for sharing.

Victoria said...

I'm with you on staying away from the chain restaurants on vacation, it is so fun to find new places and really experience the culture of the city. The OPB&J restaurant looks wonderful!

Laurel @ Ducks in a Row said...

I just went to d-bar last week for my birthday with friends! Super fun and yummy!!!!

Amelia@SavoryandSweet said...

Everything looks beautiful! I'm going to be in Denver, CO this summer, I might have to check out the D-bar...thanks. :)

Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

I love the idea of a restaurant focusing on appetizers and desserts!! And I agree that eating local (instead of chains) is one of the most fun parts of any trip! said...

Fun post! For time time being, I'll have to be a deskchair traveler and live vicariously through you and your post! What neat spots!


Kirstin said...

How yummy all those pics looked!!!

Miss G said...

I came over from Be Different Act Normal. My extended family has just recently moved to Colorado so these will be some great places to check out when we visit. Thank you! Kelly

Shannan Martin said...

Fu-u-un post!

Kristen Andrews said...

wow great shots looks like a lot of fun!

Brianna! said...

This is a SUPER fantastic POST.
We have one of those LOFT hotels here in Homewood, AL.
I want to stay there hahaaaa even if it is just a few miles from my house.
It looks SO neat.
and the little area that it is located is SOOOOo adroable

I just randomly stumbled across your blog
and I LOVE it.

Stop by and say hi!