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Portland, Oregon is one of those cities that features old town charm with a hip and vibrant culture. Nestled within the “old town” section of Portland lies a gem that for doughnut connoisseurs is the epitome of good eatin’: Voodoo Doughnuts.

We knew we had arrived at the right place when we saw people walking away with Voodoo’s famous pink boxes. We also thought we had arrived at the entrance early but were greeted with a line that literally wrapped itself around the building. This had to be a good sign and once we finally had gotten to the front door, we were launched into doughnut heaven.

Voodoo prides itself as having fans all over the world with its slogan, “The Magic is in the Hole!” In short, their slogan is right. The smell of freshly prepared doughnuts in all shapes and sizes had our palette drooling with expectations that were exceeded after taking our first bite!

The menu includes a variety of options including cake, vegan, raised, crueller, and fritter doughnuts each with a flavor and style completely unique. Their most popular version is a honey maple glazed doughnut topped with two strips of bacon. Yes, bacon. One bite and the strangeness of this combination will have you looking to fill this odd but delectable new craving until every crumb is finished!

Another favorite is the Portland Cream doughnut. This variety is glazed with chocolate and filled with a custard-style cream that encompasses the charm of Portland and puts the Boston Cream to shame. It’s probably a good thing the Portland Cream wasn’t available when Paul Revere made his famous rush through Boston warning, “The British are coming” as one bite of this doughnut and he might have been too sidetracked to finish his good deed, possibly resulting in a failed American Revolution.

Seriously though, if you’re looking to get more adventurous we saw a few doughnuts covered with some crazy stuff including Fruit Loops cereal, M&Ms, and another staple of the store in the shape of a man and covered with chocolate glaze and scribbled with various colors of icing, stuffed with a badass strawberry filling that had me asking, “Damn, are you serious?!” These doughnuts are THAT good.

The store on the corner of SW 3rd Avenue is where we were treated to some fine eatin’ but fortunately there are three locations including one in the college town of Eugene. And for those with the late night munchies, Voodoo Doughnuts is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (excluding certain holidays) and is a “can’t miss” for those visiting Portland or for those already living there.

The magic is definitely in the hole and we’re already counting down the days till our next visit to Portland’s landmark doughnut shop: Voodoo Doughnuts.

– For more information about Voodoo Doughnuts, including custom orders or other facts about their awesome doughnuts, visit them online at www.voodoodoughnuts.com.

Related – Roadside Food for Mexico Adventure Travel

* Published by JPFreek Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.

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A dairy justly named, Morning Fresh Dairy, starts before the kiss of dawn can gingerly mark it’s’ territory and before most of us have had our first sip of coffee.  Busy bees loading truckloads of freshly bottled milk and other creamy delights to doorsteps before the cereal hits the ceramic.

With soft hums of cows mooing their good mornings to one another as they themselves prepare for the days busy schedule; “Time to get to work, let’s moooove,” they seem to say to each other. (No pun intended) 400 cows are milked three times a day producing 10 gallons for each cow.

It started in Bellvue’s Pleasant Valley near the entrance to the Poudre Canyon with Williams C. Graves and his sons in 1894. The Grave’s family owns and runs this dairy still which sits on about 1,200 acres of space with deep roots that stretches out across a landscape that provides 100% natural products meaning no artificial hormones, pesticides, preservatives, or growth hormones that are carcinogenic to humans. In the next year or two they will become 100% certified organic, it’s a seven year process! And, in order for the milk to be organic, Morning Fresh provides all the feed for their cows to ensure the highest quality of milk and keeps a closed herd meaning their cows are bred and matured there on the farm.

Their crops and production are designed to be environmentally friendly reducing their carbon footprint, allowing the cows to graze and trim the pastures, and using glass bottles that are reusable, not to mention the glass preserves the taste and freshness of the milk.  There’s no cutting corners in the Graves family.  They’ve also recently teamed up with Grant Family Farms, another quickly expanding local farm in Northern Colorado, to provide organic seasonal produce with your dairy delivery.

We had the opportunity of taking a tour of the farm and it was like visiting the grandparents. Open arms and large smiles greeted us without hesitation. We walked through mud to greet the ladies cooed at the fluffy wobbling calves. Each section of growth development for these furry friends is nothing short of loving. Each process ensures their safety, comfort, and optimal development.

When they reach their equivalent teenage years they move into their own single bedroom apartments where their neighbors are a good distance apart for range of motion and meandering. We ventured into the “vault” sort-of-speak where the gold is kept. Huge full room sized tanks hold the precious liquid where it’s delivered to various parts of the factory via stainless steel piping. A door is opened and the thunder of the ladies’ hooves blares through some honky tonk jammin’ orchestrated by one cowboy. The heifers do their jig and inline themselves without supervision. They hum to the music to pass the time then off to frolic in the fields until the next round.

Our journey is led by steel pipes into the yogurt room where flash pasteurized milk is pumped into a tank with Australian yeast culture and honey for flavor. It’s then heated inside an old fashioned ice cream maker that churns the mixture, fully cooled, and allowed to set. From there the yogurt is pumped into smaller tanks where it’s aged for up to a week to the perfect velvet consistency and placed into containers with a variety of flavors like the new Strawberry Rhubarb, which I have had the ultimate pleasure of enjoying and highly recommend.

Morning Fresh Dairy has impressed so many like myself that they’ve had no choice but to expand and with the upcoming holidays, they’re going to need the extra space for all that Eggnog! So hats off to you Morning Fresh, thank you for upholding a delicious and moral dairy. I for one will put my vote towards keeping our dairy local and strong by purchasing their products at locations like Whole Foods or signing up for daily deliveries. Put your vote in today.

Morning Fresh Dairy
5821 West County Road 54E
Bellvue, Colorado 80512

www.morningfreshdairy.com

Special thanks to Alison Williams, 7 Bar Grille Healthy Lifestyle Correspondent for JPFreek Adventure Magazine, for her contribution of this article.

* Published by JPFreek Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.

 

One more bowl of awfully good offally goodness.

One more bowl of awfully good offally goodness.

 By Chef D

Recently I had to venture an hour north of Denver to pick up a side of beef for a distributor I deal with. I arrived in the small town of Windsor a little early and I was hungry. Passing up the fast food chain shwag I wanted something real, in the center of town I spotted The Border a Mexican/American Café. A few of the locals seemed to be wandering in and out, you can usually identify locals of smaller more rural towns by the overalls, John Deere hats and multiple pickup trucks parked out front. Any place with locals has to be good…right!?

Traveling along Colorado’s Front Range for one reason or another not many people trek far off the interstate. Often missing out on some of the finer old cafés or mom and pop restaurants that small towns have to offer, no not Micky D’s or Taco Bell’s mass produced garbage at some central warehouse, I’m talking real food, cooked by real people.

The Border is a small and quaint little place, with one waitress and two cooks in the back. I was greeted by a very friendly waitress that was quick to get me a menu and my drink order. The chips and salsa are available by request, the first basket free. I wasn’t very impressed with the salsa at all, but the chips were good, better than most I have had.

Being the aficionado that I am and staying somewhat consistent I ordered of course, you guessed it, a small cup of menudo. It was a very small cup but made up by being big on flavors and hearty. I guess I am used to the larger cup sizes when I eat at the taquerias of Denver when ordering menudo. If I were to go again I would definitely order a large bowl next time.

To follow suit with my eclectic sense of food, I ordered the plate of Rocky Mountain Oysters, which came with fries and fresh coleslaw. What else would come with RMO’s but a cup of cocktail sauce for dipping the lovely little crunchies. I will say the RMO’s were fried up golden and crisp and served hot out of the fryer.

All in all, The Border in Windsor, Colorado was good, lacking on the salsa and size of their menudo cup I was overall pleased and I would visit again.

Lastly I’ll try and make this the last menudo article for at least the 2009 year! Have fun, be safe and enjoy the summer season!

 

mexican_food0071“You’re going to Mexico, huh?  Don’t drink the water.”  Well-meaning friends have no idea, even though they think they do.

Montezuma’s Revenge: The food-based “burning ring of fire” as experienced by those of us who eat a meal or two south of the border.  Some say it’s from the water.  Some think it’s from beef you thought was sirloin that turns out to be – most certainly – not sirloin.

Though you may avoid drinking the tap water, simple foods like lettuce still get washed in it.  So do the plates you’re eating off of.  Embrace Montezuma, to hell with it – load up.  All you have to do is get through it once, and you’re good.  This means crossing over and locating a smokey carne asada stand or “Tacos de Miguel” roadside shack: and throw down with the food, including all the vegetables, fresh made salsa, hand-squeezed limes, and the who-knows-where-this-cow-came-from-or-which-part-of-it-I’m-eating meat.

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By Mark M. DeNittis (Chef D)

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Four generations of Mauro’s from my grandfather to my own boys have had the opportunity to work on the farm. We raise Durocs, Hampshire, Yorkshire and Crossbred swine. We run a 125 sow operation in Pueblo, Colorado. Nick “Hog Whisperer” Mauro

This month rather than feature a restaurant or hot spot I wanted to pay homage to the people truly behind great food. This month I wanted to highlight the Mauro Family and their outstanding Torpedo Farms pork. Nick “Hog Whisperer” Mauro is really passionate about what he does and is teaching his sons to carry that on as well. image_172

The farm just east of I-25 on Highway 50, has been in the Mauro family since the late 1800’s. I went to visit this great little place just south of Colorado Springs a mere one and a half hour south of Denver. Nick is one of the premier pig/hog breeders as well in the mid western region. Well known for the Love Shack, a quality breeding area, their handsome award winning stud boars such as One Time, Big Time or X-Rated, are sure to continue to create quality pork and 4-H show hogs.

 

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Hey did you see the hams on that little Hampshire hottie at the feed trough last night!?! Whooo Hooo I took her back to the shack and let me tell you!

 

No junk, no antibiotics, no hormones is the “modus operendi” of Torpedo Farms opposed to what plagues the factory farmed commodities pork that the masses have come to settle for. All the pigs and hogs have adequate access to the outdoors and indoors, each age group is rotated every so often through a series of living pens to maximize a low stress environment as well. Low stress, ability to stretch and get outdoors, as well great breeding practices are instrumental to raising and providing high quality pork.

Torpedo Farms pork is rich in flavor and is how pork should taste.   Whether from a “Luau” size pig under 120 lbs or chops from an average 280lb Hog, the taste is awesome, clean and fresh. I am sorry but you won’t find any pork nearly as good in any big box supermarket or grocery store. Where to find Colorado’s Finest Pork, they are in a variety of locales throughout Colorado from All Natural grocers in Colorado Springs to some of the finest resorts and freestanding restaurants in Colorado. They can most often be found in the summer time at Farmers Markets such as the one in the Cherry Creek in Denver. 

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As Nick described the standards of life for hogs on the farms I became friends with One Time, a friendly, breeding hog and quite large fellow, who let me pet him for a while. I mentioned to Nick that the snout was one of my favorite parts, eaten as a taco of course, One Time chimed in with a disapproving snort/grunt.    

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How did Torpedo Farms get their name, well I thought it had something to do with the “Love Shack” but it actually has to do with a real military torpedo/bomb being found on the land. Probably one of the test “bombs” during WWII I would imagine. At the time of the visit I didn’t inquire about it.

Not only did I get the tour of the farm itself we stopped by the Mauro Brothers Meat packing facility just around the corner from the farm on Highway 50. Here he has the ability to make some of the other fine items such as Apple-wood Smoked Bacon and the Fresh Pueblo Chile Pepper Sausage. I also understand that Nick is offering a great deal on 5lb bags of chopped Pueblo Roasted Chilies. We made some Pork Green Chile with the bag of Chiles and pork he gave to me as well a sausage and egg frittata with the sausage.  

Call or Email them for more information and tell ‘em Chef D sent ya!

Torpedo Farms Meat Co, 28571 E Us Highway 50 Pueblo, CO 81006-9673

P: 719.821.6002 email: torpedofarms@earthlink.net

Eat well, wheel well and responsibly we’ll see you on the trail!

www.RosaLindasMexicanCafe.com

2005 W 33rd Denver, CO (corner of 33rd and Zuni)

Oscar pouring up the tequilla.

Oscar pouring up the tequilla.

Nestled off the beaten path and situated in a quaint little neighborhood just west of downtown Denver is a gem of a traditional family Mexican Restaurant. The Aguirre Family has been serving up traditional foods of their native Mexico in this spot since 1985 in the Highlands neighborhood. A close knit community and close knit family is what they are about.

Rosa Linda’s has many local and national accolades for their contributions to the community as well as food awards, recently recognized in the Wall Street Journal as top 15 Nachos to Hispanic Magazine in 1991 as Top 50 Hispanic Restaurants. They are most notably known in the Denver community for their service of feeding over 2000 homeless people during their Annual Free Thanksgiving Feast. With help from local community friends and business’ this is an unparallel event of substantial giving and show of volunteerism.

Oscar Aguirre, a former student and graduate of Johnson & Wales University (2001) went to culinary school to assist in making his family’s business stronger and more diverse. The fruits of his labor have brought tremendous benefit to the restaurant as a whole with little physical aesthetic upgrades to the location as well as menu diversity. One of the only Mexican restaurants I know of that can claim a full service traditional Mexican Vegetarian menu as well as having a Certified Healthy section too. …ah dios mios…que bueno por todos!

Rosa Linda’s tequila menu is hard to be rivaled with only two locations that I know of in the Denver area even remotely having equal diversity. I just might have to check this out more in depth over the next few weeks and get back to you. I will also say that Oscar is quite the tequila aficionado and can talk you through a tasting like a master sommelier talking about wine. 

The tequilla we did try that day was an Clase Azul Silver as well as Tres Mujeres Anejo. A far cry from the Cuervo or Mezcal of my younger days. Wow….each had such unique attributes. Essence of apple with port wine and oak aromas. Certainly no need for the lime and salt as these aren’t for slamming down these are the types of tequillas that are meant to be sipped, enjoyed and appreciated.

I was fortunate enough that day to have dropped in just as a fresh pot of Menudo con Posole was finshed. “Mom has just finished Menudo Rojo, you want some” Oscar said….in my hearty back east manner I said “are you kiddin’ me…of course”! I just lavish the thought of enjoying a fresh bowl of menudo.  Muy bien!

Another really neat event Rosa Linda’s does is a fundraiser for local artisan, Stevon Lucero www.StevonLucero.com a visual mystic in his own right. The Metarealism and Neo-preColombian styles portrayed in his works have an eclectic insight of Mayan and Aztec influence that is just mind bending! His work is truly from pure visions of the ancients expressed in vivid display of colors, shapes and visual stories. His works can be found adorning the restaurants walls.  

I am proud to know the Aguirre family personally, as they all work at the restaurant in one capacity or another. I think that in part certainly has something to do with them being recognized as one of the best Family Friendly Restaurants in the area. 

So stop on by this quaint little place nestled minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the big ol’ cow-town’s downtown Denver. Whether alone or bringing the whole family the Aguirre family will accept you with open arms. If Oscar is around I would most definitely inquire about a tequila tasting, one that would be unforgettable…. unless of course you drink too much!

Eat well, wheel well and responsibly of course! We’ll see you on the trail.

See the recipes aqui (here):   

Hurricane Ike recently decimated the Texas coastline and left much along the Galveston coast and in land unrecognizable.  Days before landfall Ike’s path was predicted to punish a different part of the Texas coastline and devastate an area that I have grown to love over the last decade.  The devastation in Galveston and the near miss in Port Aransas and Corpus Christi has made me appreciate our “3rd Coast” so much more.  I am looking forward to an opportunity to get back to Port A but also feel a calling to visit Galveston and support the businesses that are going to be trying to restart and rewrite their history along their part of the coast.

On a recent trip to the beaches of Port Aransas we arrived on the island along our normal route, the ferry boats that come across from Aransas Pass.  As my wife and daughter anxiously scanned the channel waters for breaching dolphins, something caught my eye on the horizon of the approaching island.  For the deck of the ferry boat I could see an unfamiliar building amongst the roof tops of the residents and businesses of Port A.  It was a big red barn.  Our road from the ferry landing to the beach took us right past this oddity and it was as if it were fate.  Here I was with my family, in one of my favorite places, and there in the form of a big red metal barn was two of more of my favorite things wrapped up in a mouthwatering needless-to-say unique package.  A Big Red Barn + A 12ft Brick Pit BBQ + a Rusty Old Jeep.  I don’t have a weakness for red barns…good BBQ and Jeeps…yes commit me…sign me up for a help group…I’m weak.

The Rusty Jeep Pit BBQ houses a 12foot old fashioned pit BBQ in a BIG RED barn.  Pit BBQ is barbecue at its best, slowly smoked over hickory wood.  I used to run a small pit BBQ and smoke the briskets and pork butts overnight over hickory wood…Oh man, nothing comes close.  The menu at the Rusty Jeep is what you’d expect to see at a BBQ joint, the regular BBQ fare and the fixins, serving up plates, sandwiches, and lbs.  The owners Bill and Debbie Cook will greet you from behind a spread of their offerings with a smile, a family style atmosphere, and a story or two about the rusty Jeep that sits outside the big red barn that the restaurant is named after.  That Jeep has got some history to say the least, just check out the VIN number, it is No. 401.  That’s the four-hundred and first Jeep Willys ever made.

Mmmmmmm.  Pit smoked BBQ and Jeep history.  My trips to the beach can’t be beat.  I love our 3rd coast.  Come and visit.  Support the local businesses that make our beaches unique, and stop for a chat and a chopped BBQ sandwich at the Rusty Jeep BBQ.  Then…pick up a small feast of everything they offer, head to the beautiful Port A beaches, park your Jeep next to surf, set up the folding tables and dining fly, a nice campfire, and enjoy a pit smoked BBQ dinner and watch the sunset on the Gulf of Mexico.

The Rusty Jeep Hickory Pit BBQ

118 South Cut Off Rd

Port Aransas, Texas 78373

749-2276 (BARN)