Despite the fact that I am usually a health nut (Me, every time someone asks where I want to eat: “Somewhere healthy”), I love a good cheat meal. It doesn’t get much better than A Taste of Colorado, where there are over 50 food vendors from around the state to cater to your every desire.
And by desire, I mean the want to feel fat and happy.
A Taste of Colorado occurs every Labor Day Weekend. So if you feel bloated after eating cheesecake on a stick (just me?) you’ll have an extra day to recover.
This past Sunday, the fam and I ventured down to Civic Center Park, just west of the golden dome of the state capitol, with our gluttonous ambitions set high.
Here are a few of my favorites treats from the day. Boy, oh boy, was it delicious!
It’s hard to go wrong with the classic turkey leg. I felt like a Renaissance queen while enjoying its juicy, succulent, fatty meat, which screamed, “THIS ISN’T THAT HEALTHY BUT YOU WILL EAT ME ANYWAY!”
And I did.
My little sister [the vegetarian] was not so impressed.
Pro Tip: Share a turkey leg. It is an easy fair food to eat, but take baby wipes for the cleanup! A couple with whom we shared a picnic table saw our struggle and graciously offered their wipes. Thanks, random couple 🙂
One of the best meals I ate all day was the Paella from Los Dos Paelleros. This Fort Collins Paella catering company stewed a giant (literally enormous) cast iron bowl of chicken, beans, rice, and happiness. Leaving the skin on the chicken lent a smooth fattiness to their paella. That’s probably the reason it was so delicious…
*Cue light bulb moment. Fat = deliciousness.
Pro Tip: This booth offered only wooden utensils and plates. I dug it. But if you’re weird about silverware like my mom, you might want to search for different utensils or bring your own. (Can you tell my mother suggested this?)
Unfortunately for my veggie-loving little sis, these dishes just would not do. Instead she selected a fried option. How do fried cheese curds sound?
Honestly, the word “curd” doesn’t sound very delectable.
But then I tasted this small, fried piece of paradise. Crunch on the outside, smooth mozzarella cheese on the inside.
Let’s be honest, it’s hard to mess up fried cheese. But this was solid. Especially dipped in ranch dressing.
All the ranch dressing fanatics are screaming, YESSSS.
And yes, it was far superior to the cheese sticks you get at Sonic.
Thanks to the Chicken and Tater Stop (yep, that’s their name) for making the little vegetarian’s dreams come true.
Pro Tip: The Taste of Colorado is super accommodating to vegetarians, vegans, and gluten free folk. The menu at each booth shows whether their food falls into these categories. Kudos to you, Taste of Colorado–they list all of these on their website as well! Before you spend a ton of money, plan ahead and select which booths you are willing to stand in line for.
As we started running low on food tickets, I saw my opportunity for a small bite. What better to try than a baby empanada?
The line was pretty darn long for Lazo Empanadas. Then I tasted their spinach and cheese Argentine delight and understood why. This little empanada’s flaky crust served as the perfect vehicle for the authentic goodness inside.
Lazo Empanadas, located on 22nd Street in Denver, knows what they are doing.
You can actually purchase frozen empanadas at the Lazo Empanadas restaurant and enjoy them anytime!
This knowledge could be dangerous for me during the next strict diet phase.
Last, but certainly not least, was dessert! This is an annual delight that keeps us coming back year after year–frozen cheesecake on a stick from The Original Berrie Kabobs.
My mom, little sister, and I each got sticks of our very own. #oops
Drizzled in white and milk chocolate, this frozen delight was refreshing and fun! The taste and texture are perfect for cheesecake served right on its own convenient utensil!
In fact, as we walked around the grounds, we were stopped several times and asked, “WHERE DID YOU GET THAT?” People were ogling our dessert; drooling onto the hot pavement while they stumbled their way to the Berrie Kabob line.
I’m not sure if they were stumbling because they had visited the beer tents or because of the large quantities of food consumed.
Pro Tip: Get the cheesecake.
As we sat on the grass to eat the cheesecake, I couldn’t help but take a look around.
A beautiful day in downtown Denver. Our stomachs full of heavenly manna (or turkey meat). How blessed and fortunate are we?
You won’t want to miss the other fun moments at A Taste of Colorado. Musical guests on several stages, over 275 arts and crafts booths, cooking demonstrations (we even got free ice cream), food trucks, and carnival rides.
Although I don’t recommend riding anything that spins or twirls after a day of stuffing yourself.
A Taste of Colorado–bravo! You made for a fun, family-friendly activity.
If you weren’t able to make it this year, I recommend looking ahead to next September. Maybe work out a little harder the day before. (That’s what hiking is for, right?) But also remember that life is too short to always be restricted by a diet.
This coming from Health Freak over here who goes to the gym twice a day.
Food is meant to be enjoyed! So, find balance and enjoy!