Tag Archives: outside outposts

TWW Cool Places: Kinfolks

Kinfolks_logo_lgKinfolks is a bar, disguised as a gear store, fronting as a music venue. Originally starting as a outdoor store that focused on climbing and hiking, Kinfolks has shed most of its gear store identity and has morphed into one of Manitou’s most popular bars. Close to some of Manitou’s best trails, including the Intemann Trail and the Incline, Kinfolks is one of our favorite spots to recharge with a great beer. Long and cozy, the bar area is surprisingly spacious, especially considering the fact that the front part of the store/bar is still dominated by gear racks. Kinfolks has the best microbrew tap in the town; providing a revolving selection of micros from around Colorado and the West Coast.

Kinfolk’s small stage, which hosts small shows throughout the year, fits cozily near the back of the bar and provides enough space to host about 30 to 40 seats with additional standing room. The shows here are generally small bands and solo acts which tend to focus on folk music. Not exactly rockin’, but still a fun place to see some good local acts.

Each bar in town has its own little following. Kinfolks is the Patagonia/Columbia/up scale mountain hippie crew, which provides for an interesting mix and a good respite from some of the more drinker intensive watering holes in town. The best part about this bar, besides the beer, is that dogs are definitely welcome.

Kinfolks

Location: 950 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, CO 80829

Hours: Sunday 12PM to 8PM, Monday and Tuesday 3PM to 1oPM, Wednesday and Thursday 11AM to 10PM, Friday and Saturday 11AM to 11PM

Contact: 719-685-4433, theshop@kinfolksmanitou.com

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Filed under Cities and Towns, Colorado, Manitou Springs, reviews, TWW's Cool Places

TWW Daily Feed for October 14th

I’m back in Manitou after trapzing around the mountains since Friday. It was a great long weekend, full of food, fun, drinking, more food, great friends and incredibly hot waitresses. Generally I appreciate a place more when the waitstaff is attractive, but last night I noticed how easily a hot waitress can separate men from their money. Check out Japango on Boulder’s Pearl Street to see what I’m talking about. Wow. The Feed: Continue reading

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TWW Daily Feed for September 30th

I’m trying to motivate again after blasting apart my legs this weekend. Yesterday was a failure on the workout front, with my after work hours turned into a mix of napping and eating. Oh well. Maybe I’ll concentrate on adding some extra layers before ski season arrives. It makes layering easier. The Feed: Continue reading

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Lake Drive Loop

The Wisconsin State Fair is so known for its “food on a stick” stands that local newspapers publish lists of what, and where, you can find, among others, burgers on a stick, fried bananas on a stick, meatballs on a stick, deep fried Snickers bars on a stick and cheesecake on a stick. And let’s not forget our favorite; bacon dipped in chocolate. On a stick. If you’ve ever wanted to eat more than 4000 calories in less then 10 minutes or shock yourself into getting motivated to workout the Wisconsin State Fair is the place for you.

Unfortunately the Fair is not the place to advance your conditioning, so to counteract the effects of the chocolate bacon we suggest a run along the the Lake Drive Loop; a scenic and fast route on Milwaukee’s Eastside that spends most of its time winding along the shore of Lake Michigan and through some of the most architecturally stunning neighborhoods in Milwaukee.

Lake Drive is where old Milwaukee money moved to escape the urban center; building huge and gorgeous homes on the bluffs that overlook the Lake. This setting forms the backbone of the run; which starts at Alterra at the Lake and heads South toward the Milwaukee Art Museum and downtown before turning north into Milwaukee’s hip Eastside and the Lake Drive neighborhoods. The run then turns back south and down to the lakeshore for a couple of miles before returning to the coffee house.

Although this run is relatively flat it stands out for a number of reasons; there are an abundance of long stair cases that can provide some cross-training options, among them the Atwater Stairs which can be reached via a 2 mile out and back. The architecture along the route is truly some of the most stunning of any city we’ve run in, and the Lake Michigan setting provides cooler temperatures and draws some of Milwaukee’s fit and active pretty young things, further enhancing the scenery. The route is also good for interval work, as the long and flat stretches provide an ideal environment for speed work. And best of all, the run starts and ends at Alterra at the Lake, our favorite Milwaukee coffee shop/recovery zone. Perfect for recovering from chocolate bacon on a stick.

Do it because: the great scenery, the cross-training options, the coffee and the fast route

Distance: 6.25 miles round trip.

Directions: from Alterra at the Lake (corner of Park Road and North Lincoln Memorial Drive) and head South (toward downtown Milwaukee) along the sidewalk. The sidewalk will end, but there is a short dirt path that heads up to paved trail. Continue to head south on the trail which will bring you to the Art Museum and North Prospect Ave. Head North (away from downtown) on Prospect which will wind past upscale condo highrises and into Milwaukee’s East Side.

At East Lafayette Place take a right and head toward the Lake. East Lafayette turns into North Terrace Ave, which heads North past the Watertower. At the Watertower, cross Park and continue to head North on North Wahl Ave., which intersects with Lake Drive. Continue North on Lake Drive until it intersects with North Lincoln Memorial Drive. From there head down the hill, toward the Lake and take North Lincoln back to the coffee shop.

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Filed under Cities and Towns, Milwaukee, routes, runs, urban features, Wisconsin

Alterra at the Lake

Remedy for jet lag after arriving in Milawaukee, WI:

1. Wake up early, drive to 1701 N Lincoln Memorial Drive, park in the public parking area behind one of the largest and strangest coffee shop buildings you’ve ever seen.

2. Change into your running clothes. A light jacket may be necessary.

3. Run the Lakefront Park Loop; enjoy the incredible views of downtown Milwaukee, Lake Michigan, and multitudes of nubile co-eds who frequent the area.

4. Return to the parking lot, towel off, stretch, head inside.

5. Partake in some of the best coffee and espresso you will ever have. Continue to enjoy views of Lake Michigan and Milwaukee’s pretty young things. Eat a Cowboy Cookie.

6. Repeat as necessary.

Filling the nooks and crannies of the former Milwaukee River Flushing Station (we have no idea what a river flushing station is or does. Or why it exists in an area of Milwaukee that is riverless), Alterra at the Lake is the most unique of Alterra Coffee‘s numerous cafes located throughout Milwaukee. Spanning numerous levels and rooms, with tables looking out on to Lake Michigan, this lakefront location epitomizes everything we love about local coffee shops; amazing coffee located within an architectural revival that forms a community centerpiece. Alterra is local and proud of it, spreading its great coffee and espresso throughout the Milwaukee area. The Americano here is the second best we have ever tried.

In addition to its wonderfully unique location, Alterra at the Lake is located in the middle of the best running area in downtown Milwaukee. Pretty young things aside, the runs near the cafe bring you past some of Milwaukee’s oldest, and richest, neighborhoods, packed with architecturally stunning homes and landscapes as well as numerous stair cases that are great for a side diversion and beaches to round out the mix. The ample parking behind and near the cafe make it a great spot to start and end a run.

Price-wise, Alterra skews toward the more expensive side of things, but the quality of their products make it worth the slightly higher cost, as do the highly attractive, overly hipster baristas that handle the crush of customers with smiles and efficient drink slinging. The attractive coolness of the staff might make you feel like a high school dork all over again, but better than starting your day looking into the eyes of the dark side.

Beyond the baristas, the coffee and the location, Alterra at the Lake, and Alterra in general, is one of the most community centric coffee shops we have come across. Involved in numerous partnerships with Milwaukee area cultural, environmental and community building groups, including Second Harvest of Wisconsin, the Urban Ecology Center, and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Alterra is committed to community building, making enjoying their coffee and locations more enjoyable overall. This is a coffee chain that we would be happy to see become a bit more ubiquitous in the community. Alterra coffee, and especially Alterra at the Lake, has become one of our favorite bean dealers; check it out for the runs, stay for the coffee.

Alterra Coffee: 9 locations

Alterra at the Lake

1701 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53202

Hours: M-F: 6:30am-10pm, Sat and Sun: 7am-10pm

View Milwaukee Food and Drink Map in a larger map

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Trinity Brewery


The Trinity Brewing Company stands out simply because it does not belong in Colorado Springs. A brewery that is built around environmental consciousness, artisan beer, progressive ideas, indy rock shows, the largest micro-brew tap in the city and food that skews toward vegetarian is decidedly the weird kid on the playground, existing in a town that is known more for mega-churches and unhinged religious leaders than for beer called “Chi.” As it’s tagline sums up well, Trinity is the home of “artisanal beer, slow food, conscious people.” Trinity is James Dobson‘s dining nightmare come to fruition; “the long hairs are everywhere!! It’s the Apocalypse!”

Oddly located in a new strip mall development, within convenient biking/running distance of Garden of the Gods Park, Trinity has carved a thriving little niche in the Colorado Springs bar scene by creating a selection of great beers, in a very unique setting, and hosting a great selection of microbrews from throughout Colorado and the West Coast. The bar draws a decidedly left leaning crowd who have an affinity for good beer and the granola-centric setting. Long and narrow, the brewery has a number of tables for dining, along with an open area at the back that hosts large, comfy couches and provides space for the live music. Additionally, there is a patio out front that gets plenty of sun during the warmer months.

Trinity houses the best beer tap in the Colorado Springs/Manitou Springs area, rivaling some of the bigger bars in Denver. You won’t find Pabst or Bud Light anywhere near this place, but you will find some favorites like Dogfish Head, Flying Dog, New Belgium and Stone Brewing, along with Trinity’s selection of house made beers. The bar prides itself on presentation; with each beer coming in its own “custom” glass and served by one of the numerous, attractive, bartenders. The set up is conducive to serving large crowds, and the service while sitting at the bar is excellent. The actual bar is one of the most unique features of the brewery; running almost half the length of the brewery, the bar is made of beer bottles that have been broken down and lacquered, creating a semi-opaque, mulit-colored platform that fits nicely with Trinity’s progressive, eco-friendly image.

While Trinity excels at its beer and bar service the food has managed to suffer from misstep after misstep, making it one of the biggest restaurant misfires in town. The menu Revolving around vegetarian friendly fare (ie; Vegetarian Buffalo Wings), soups and sandwiches (no burgers in sight), the food at Trinity suffers from a poorly planned menu, schizophrenic execution (on one visit, the cheese plate looked like a piece of art, and on the next like someone threw the bread and cheese on the plate while dancing a jig, while wasted on PCP) and incredibly slow service. This is a place that makes you get your own silverware, bus your own table and get your own water; You would think they could manage to at least be on top of the food. No luck. On top of the poor food execution, the wait service is horrendous. Waiters disappear for long periods of time, you’re never sure which one is yours and it takes active participation to make sure everything you order comes out right, if at all; “excuse me ma’am, I’m pretty sure I ordered that sandwhich that’s been sitting under the heat lamp for about thirty minutes now. Thanks.” Overall, a consistently horrendous dining experience (apart from that one cheese plate, that one time).

We have some friends that have worked at Trinity, and from what we hear, many of the kitchen and waitstaff issues can be chalked up to one of the owner’s over confidence in his restaurant running capabilities. Nothing kills a kitchen like an owner with crappy ideas. Here’s to hoping that something or someone will turn the restaurant side of Trinity around. Until then, Trinity is a great place to enjoy great beer. If you get hungry, we recommend a stop at the nearby Chipotle.

Menu (in PDF form)

Location: 1466 Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, CO 80907

Hours: Sunday thru Wednesday: 11am to 10pm, Thursday thru Saturday: 11am to midnight

Pricing: beers range from $4 to $6 and beyond, with Trinity’s beers generally being the cheapest. Food ranges from $5 for the soups and salads, $6 to $7 for the appetizers and $8 for most of the sandwiches and “stuffers”.

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