Explore Blog

Explore Coffee: Tucan Espresso Sexy Seven

By December 9, 2016 Coffee, Colorado, Grand Valley
Tucan Espresso Sexy Seven

Looking for a bag of coffee beans that will make a great cup of coffee every morning?  After searching for years, I’ve found one.  I recommend Tucan Espresso Sexy Seven by Mountain Air Roasters in Palisade, Colorado.

My Everyday Cup of Coffee...Brought to me by Tucan (aka Mountain Air Roasters)

My Everyday Cup of Coffee…Brought to me by Tucan (aka Mountain Air Roasters)

I feel like I’ve been searching for years for a great cup of coffee that won’t break the bank.  Already a fan of Tucan Coffee, I saw a display of Tucan Coffees at my local Sam’s Club.  (If your local Sam’s Club doesn’t carry Tucan Coffee and you want to give it a try, just check out mountainairroasters.com, give them a call, and order some direct.)

****NOTE:  Even though the bag calls Sexy Seven an “Espresso” roast, I don’t use an espresso machine; I just make it the same way I would make any cup of coffee, and the results are great!****

Here’s why I recommend Tucan Sexy Seven:

Bold, Rich Flavor.  One of the things I require in a cup of coffee is flavor.  I don’t care for the weak stuff.  That said, I don’t want the flavor to be off-puttng in its boldness.  Tucan’s Espresso Sexy Seven has two advantages over so many other coffees I’ve tried:

Advantage #1.  Tucan’s Espresso Sexy Seven is a blend of beans that seems to take advantage of the best qualities of each bean while minimizing the deficiencies of each bean.  The result is a bold and tasty cup of coffee.  Flavors trend toward cocoa nibs with a little nuttiness while staying away from some of the sour and vinegary flavors that don’t like in some coffees.

Advantage #2.  All of Tucan’s coffees are air roasted.  Why does that matter?  No burnt or bitter flavors that can result from conventional roasting.  Check out air-roasted-coffee.com for a complete explanation.  So far in my experience, air roasting equals more consistently good coffee!

Great Taste Every Time.  After about a month drinking the coffee every single day (usually 2 cups), every cup has been great.

Dark Roast/Low Acid.  I’m not a big fan of acid in my coffee.  I’ve got enough reflux problems without having to worry about coffee making it worse.  I don’t have any problems with Tucan’s Espresso Sexy Seven.

Perfectly dark roasted Tucan Espresso Sexy Seven Beans

Perfectly dark roasted Tucan Espresso Sexy Seven Beans

The Price is Right.  I’ll gladly pay $17 for a two pound bag of great coffee.  In order to get a price this good, I typically have to scour the supermarket’s shelves for sales.  More often than not, the great $6-7 for 12oz. deal I find ends up producing lousy coffee…and costs about the same per pound as a bag of Tucan Espresso Sexy Seven.

Overall

If you enjoy bold, dark, low-acid coffee for a great price, get yourself some Tucan Espresso Sexy Seven.

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Explore Hard Cider: ACE Pineapple

By December 5, 2016 Hard Cider
ace-pineapple-cider

Over the past few years, as I have increasingly become a hard cider enthusiast, I’ve been very interested in trying a hard cider made from fruit other than apples.  Being a big fan of pineapples and pineapple juice, and having recently taken a trip to Hawaii, when I saw California Cider Company’s ACE Pineapple on the shelf at the liquor store, I knew I had to try it.

The company’s website declares ACE Pineapple “the first pineapple cider developed in the world.”  Based on my experience of ACE Pineapple, I would imagine others will be quick to follow.  This stuff is almost too good.

Nose

My first impression upon smelling ACE Pineapple is that it smelled like pineapple and vanilla; for me, that’s about as good as it gets.

Taste

ACE Pineapple tastes almost exactly like it smells.  Imagine a pineapple cream soda…with alcohol in it!  It’s not particularly complex, but it tastes great and is very easy drinking, maybe too easy drinking.

Overall

ACE Pineapple tastes great!  It’s not something with the complexity to sip slowly and contemplate; rather, it’s like a refreshing and easy drinking adult soda.

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Explore Hard Cider: Wild Cider Spiced Apple Pie Hard Cider

By November 28, 2016 Colorado, Hard Cider
Wild Cider Spiced Apple Pie Hard Cider

While at the Cedaredge Apple Festival in October, we found a booth featuring hard cider offerings from Firestone, Colorado based Wild Cider.  We were intrigued enough by the uniqueness of their Spiced Apple Pie Hard Cider to purchase some and bring it home for a review.

Appearance.  

Given the spices added (cinnamon and nutmeg, according to the label), I was expecting Spiced Apple Pie to be darker in colors than other hard ciders, but it’s not.  Spiced Apple Pie is light golden in color, looking pretty much like any other hard cider.

Wild Cider's Spiced Apple Pie Hard Cider looks pretty much like any other hard cider.

Wild Cider’s Spiced Apple Pie Hard Cider looks pretty much like any other hard cider.

Nose

  Like I was expecting Spiced Apple Pie Hard Cider to look different than a typical hard cider, I was expecting it to smell different, as well…like spiced apple pie.  However, the stuff smells pretty much like other hard ciders, like fermented apples.

Taste

It’s the taste that convinced me to give Spiced Apple Pie Hard Cider a try…because it’s not like any other hard cider.  The taste is interesting and good and different…just not particularly like apple pie.  The label suggests flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange to go along with the apple.  I definitely get hints of pie spices, but they are much more subtle than the orange.  It tastes more like apple-orange hard cider than spiced apple pie.  Also, it’s much sweeter than I anticipated, maybe the sweetest hard apple cider I’ve tried…up front, at least.  The spices come through mostly on the finish, where the flavor turns from sweet to just a little butter.

Overall

Wild Cider’s Spiced Apple Pie Hard Cider is interesting and different from other hard ciders, and I applaud Wild Cider for making something different.  We cider drinkers need the kind of experimentation that beer drinkers find from craft breweries.

I even like this stuff, quite a bit actually.  I’d market it as something other than spiced apple pie, but it’s a pleasing and different offering for those who are looking for something different.

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Explore Board and Table Games: One Night Ultimate Werewolf

By November 28, 2016 Board & Table Games
One Night Ultimate Werewolf

While searching for a new family game, I read on the box of One Night Ultimate Werewolf, “A 10 minute game that keeps you coming back for more.”  I decided to purchase the game; let’s see if it lives up to the box’s hype.

Here’s How the Game Works

The instructions provided describe the game better than I could: “In One Night Ultimate Werewolf, each player takes the role of a Villager, a Werewolf, or a special character.  It’s your job to figure out who the Werewolves are and to kill at least one of them in order to win…unless you become a Werewolf yourself.”

If you happen to be dealt the werewolf, you're likely going to have to mislead other players into believing you drew something else.

If you happen to be dealt the werewolf, you’re likely going to have to mislead other players into believing you were dealt something else.

So…the game is basically Team Werewolf vs. Team Villagers.  As each game begins, players are dealt one card each, which gives them their identities.  However, as night falls (players close their eyes), everything can change.  Werewolves are given the opportunity to discover if there are other werewolves, and certain villagers have special abilities which allow them to do things like discover the identity of another player or even switch the cards of players.

In the basic game, character cards in play are the werewolf, villagers, a seer, a troublemaker, and a robber.

In the basic game, character cards in play are the werewolf, villagers, a seer, a troublemaker, and a robber.

When daybreak arrives, players may or may not still have their original identities, but they don’t know for sure.  A conversation ensues, during which players may reveal whatever information they want to reveal (and can either lie or tell the truth.)  Players then vote on who the werewolves are; whoever receives the most votes “dies”.  If the player who died is a werewolf, the Team Villager wins.  If the player who died is not a werewolf, Team Werewolf wins.

This image shows the layout of the cards in our 4-player game.  Notice all cards are face down.  By daybreak, we don't know for sure the identities of any players.

This image shows the layout of the cards in our 4-player game. Notice all cards are face down. By daybreak, we don’t know for sure the identities of any players.

 

Here’s What We Like About One Night Ultimate Werewolf

The Game Plays Fast.  You really can complete a game in about ten minutes…which is great for our short attention spans.

The Game Encourages Conversation.  Depending on your group, this can be a blessing or a curse.  We tend to like to converse, so it’s a blessing.  Also, you tend to learn a ton about the other players during a game (like who can bluff well and who cannot.)

 

The game plays fast and results in quite a bit of conversation.

The game plays fast and results in quite a bit of lively conversation.

 

Every Game is Different.  If you don’t like being a werewolf, wait until the next game/round, and you’ll have the opportunity to be something else.

The character tokens show which characters are in play in a given game.  There are many to choose from.

The character tokens show which characters are in play in a given game. There are many to choose from (even more than what we used in the game above.)

Teams Switch Every Game.  In some games, you play with the same partner(s) for long periods of time.  In One Night Werewolf, your team changes every game.  Most of the time, you don’t know for sure who’s on your team (or who you can trust.)

The Game Keeps Everyone Engaged.  Even if you draw a villager (the card identity with the least to do in the game), you can insert yourself into the conversation and have a huge influence on the outcome of the game.  Except for the nighttime phase (when players’ eyes are closed), all players should remain engaged all the time.

There’s Flexibility to Change the Game.  The instructions offer a basic set-up to help players learn the game.  The basic set-up involves only a small part of total available characters.  Adding new characters and abilities keeps things fun and allows you to customize the experience for your group.

There Are Some Things That Frustrate Us About One Night Ultimate Werewolf

There’s a Learning Curve.  It’s not difficult to learn the rules, but it takes some time before you might start having fun.  The game gets much better when you move past the basic setup and can add characters with new abilities.

Some People Just Don’t Get It.  At least one person in our family wasn’t happy with the whole point of the game – trying to figure out who the werewolves are in a situation in which no one knows for sure and anyone could be misleading others during the conversation.

What’s With the Three Cards in the Middle?  There are always three more cards than there are numbers of players, which means it’s possible none of the players is a werewolf AND you don’t know for sure which characters and special abilities are actually in play.  Some of us think this is a good thing; others don’t like it.  We’re going to work to figure this out (playing without the three extra cards); we just haven’t had time yet. We’ll let you know.

 

Notice the three cards in the middle.  Until the game is over, no one knows what these three cards are.  It's possible the werewolves are among these cards.  We were divided about whether or not this is a good idea.

Notice the three cards in the middle. Until the game is over, no one knows what these three cards are. It’s possible the werewolves are among these cards. We were divided about whether or not this is a good idea.

 

Overall

With the right group of players, One Night Ultimate Werewolf could be a very entertaining game.  Be sure you know what you’re getting into, and if it sounds like you would enjoy it, give it a try.  I personally love this game (and other “conversation games” like it), but others in the family don’t like the idea of a conversation based on potentially misleading information.

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Explore Hard Cider: Big B’s Lazy Daze Organic Hard lemonade

By November 28, 2016 Colorado, Hard Cider
Big B's Lazy Daze Hard Cider

Hard Lemonade?  YES, hard lemonade!

Susan and I enjoy trips to Delicious Orchards outside Paonia.  Every time we stop by, we pick up some Big B’s Lazy Daze Organic Hard Lemonade; I’d call it my go-to beverage for a warm afternoon in the sun.

Susan stated well what’s so great about this stuff when she declared it tastes like “adult Country Time”.  Imagine a lemonade that manages to blend both sweet and tart lemon flavors with an undercurrent of hard cider.

I remember when I went to summer camp as a child and had to decide how I would spend my snack money each day.  By the end of a long, hot day int he north Texas heat, there was really no decision at all; I craved a can of Country Time Lemonade.  I’ve long since grown past Country Time and even thought I had grown past lemonade…until now.

Yep, lemonade has grown up, and it’s called Big B’s Lazy Daze Organic Hard Lemonade.

It’s not complex by any stretch of the imagination, but it sure tastes good!

 

 

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Explore Hard Cider: Ace Pumpkin

By November 28, 2016 Hard Cider
ACE Pumpkin Hard Cider

Over the summer, I was waiting with great anticipation for the crop of seasonal autumn ciders.  Already a fan of California Cider Company’s ACE Blackjack 21, I made ACE Pumpkin my first seasonal autumn cider purchase of 2016, and I’m glad I did!

The company’s website declares ACE Pumpkin “tastes like pumpkin pie.”  Read on to see if the product lives up to the claim.

Appearance

In keeping with the theme, ACE Pumpkin has a more orange color than a golden one.  I assume no pumpkins were harmed in the making of this beverage, so there’s probably some food coloring involved to help enhance the experience.

Nose

I was expecting a bit more “pumpkin pie” to the nose than I experienced.  The pumpkin pie spices are there, for sure, but they’re more subtle than I expected.  The nose reminds me a bit of what cider would taste like if steeped in pumpkin pie spices instead of traditional mulling spices.

Taste

I very much enjoy the added complexity of the pumpkin pie spices.  One of the greatest weaknesses of so many hard ciders is the lack of complexity compared with other alcoholic beverages.  The addition of the spices makes a world of difference.

Even though ACE Pumpkin smells of sweet apples, the taste leans more toward sour apple, which pairs quite nicely with the spices.  The sour apple flavors are stronger up front, followed by a blend of apple and spice, with the spices lingering on the finish.  In a normal sip, the spice flavors are subtle, but you can enhance the “pumpkin pie” flavor by letting the liquid linger in your mouth a while and even swishing it around a bit.  With just a little work, it really does taste something like drinking a pumpkin pie.  Who wouldn’t want that?

Overall

ACE Pumpkin more than met my expectations.  I was hoping for something with a little more complexity than a typical hard cider, and I got it.  If you enjoy the flavors of pumpkin pie and enjoy drinking hard cider, give ACE Pumpkin a try!

 

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Explore Board and Table Games: Anomia (Party Edition)

By November 21, 2016 Board & Table Games
Anomia Party Edition

We played Anomia for the first time last night, and we laughed together as a family more than we have in quite a while.

Here’s How the Game Works

Anomia is about winning cards, but it’s the way players try to win cards that proves interesting and fun.  The basic game play is very simple.  Players take turns flipping cards face up in a stack front of them.  Each card has two things on its face: a symbol and a word or phrase naming a category of people, places, or things (like “boot brand” and “famous battle.”).

Here are some examples of Anomia card faces.  Each card has a symbol and some words denoting a category of things.

Here are some examples of Anomia card faces. Each card has a symbol and some words denoting a category of things.

Players continue taking turns flipping cards face up until two players happen to have face-up cards with the same symbol on it, at which point they each try to be the first player to think of and say something associated with the category on the other player’s card.  (This is where the riotous laughter begins.)

This is what the table looks like in a 4-player game of Anomia.  Notice that two players have cards with yellow diamonds on them; that means one player must name...

This is what the table looks like in a 4-player game of Anomia. Notice that two players have cards with yellow diamonds on them; that means one player must name an African City and the other must name a Madonna Song.  The first to do so wins the other player’s card.

The first player to say something that the rest of the players deem appropriate for that category wins the other player’s card.  When an entire deck of cards has been turned face-up, the game ends, and the player who won the most cards wins.

There are a few extra wrinkles in the game-play, like wild cards and something called “cascades”, but the game-play is very easy to pick up.

Here’s What We Love About Anomia

It’s Easy to Learn.  Our family places a premium on games that are easy to learn.  With Anomia, we started having fun less than five minutes after we opened the box.

The Game Plays Fast.  Once players get the hang of the game (which only takes a few minutes), the game moves fast.  Players turn over cards in fairly rapid succession until there’s a match.  Each deck has 81 cards, so the speed with which players turn over cards will determine the length of a game.  For our family, games were running about 15 minutes (well under the 25 minutes advertised.)

Players Are Constantly Engaged.  Every time a player turns a card over, the move could have serious repercussions for every other player.  If you’ve got a fairly competitive group (like we do), players will be constantly engaged and will regret any momentary lapses in focus.

It’s FUN!  Hearing what other players blurt out when they’re trying to think of a “car sound”, a “gland”, or even a “type of wood” as fast as they can is truly entertaining.  We’ll be playing Anomia often in the weeks to come.

It’s Surprisingly Educational.  If you don’t know the names of human bones or glands or African cities or even female tennis players before you start playing Anomia, you’ll likely know at least one by the time you finish with the game.

What Sets the Party Edition Apart

The only gaming implements in Anomia are the cards.  The basic game comes with two decks of cards, but the Party Edition comes with six decks of cards.

There are six decks in the Party Edition versus two in the basic edition.

There are six decks in the Party Edition versus two in the basic edition.

More cards makes for better game-play because it minimizes the repetition of categories.  Once players have seen the categories, they can prepare for their answers, which lessens the fun of spontaneous and wacky outbursts.  With the party edition, our family can play 6 games in one night without ever repeating a category twice.

The One Thing I would Change

The game is awesome, and I wouldn’t change a thing about the game play.  I would, however, make a modification to the packaging.  I find it very difficult to remove the bottom third of the decks of cards from the box without making an enormous mess (which usually means having cards from other stacks go flying everywhere.)

Overall

Anomia Party Edition as a fantastic family (party) game.  Play it; you’ll have fun!

 

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Explore Board and Table Games: Tenzi

By November 19, 2016 Board & Table Games
Tenzi

If you’re looking for a family game that can be played as a quick time-filler, Tenzi is as good as it gets!

Here’s How the Game Works

Tenzi comes with a four sets of ten dice, each set having a different color.

In Tenzi, each player gets ten dice (and players each have their own color of dice.)

In Tenzi, each player gets ten dice (and players each have their own color of dice.)

Each player takes one set of ten dice and tries to get all of her or his dice to show the same number.  This is accomplished by rolling all ten dice, selecting dice the show the same number and saving them, and re-rolling the remaining dice.  The first player to have all of hers or his dice to show the same number wins.

Winning the basic game of Tenzi requires rolling all ten dice to show the same number. In this photo, the winner's dice all showed "three".

Winning the basic game of Tenzi requires rolling all ten dice to show the same number. In this photo, the winner’s dice all showed “three”.

Here’s What We Like About Tenzi

The rules are simple and easy to read.  When you open a game of Tenzi, one person can read and explain the rules to everyone else in a minute or two.  We love games with simple rules.

Games move quickly.  To date, I’m not sure we’ve had a game of Tenzi take more than a few minutes, which makes Tenzi the perfect game to play when you don’t have much time.  It’s also a great game for people with short attention spans.

All players are involved all the time.  If your family is like ours, turn-based games can create some problems; waiting for their turn leads several of our family members to lose interest.  In Tenzi, all players play at the same time, racing to be the first to accomplish the objective.

Tenzi is truly multi-generational.  Almost every age range can  play this game.  There’s a choking hazard warning for children under the age of three; other than that, I could see very young children being able to play this as a first game to play with the whole family.

If you can roll dice and count to six, you can probably play Tenzi.

If you can roll dice and count to six, you can probably play Tenzi.

Expandable.  There’s absolutely no reason to limit Tenzi to four players.  In fact, you can play with as many people as your table (or room full of tables) can accommodate, as long as you have a set of ten dice for each player.  In fact, Carma Games (the makers of Tenzi), now sells party packs to accommodate 6 players.

More Ways to Play.  Since Tenzi is both a game and a box of dice, you can use the large quantity of dice for much more than playing the basic game of Tenzi.  The instructions in the box even include other ways to play (our favorite is Tenzi Tower because stacking the dice requires an element of skill and dexterity.)  There’s also a rules expansion pack available called “77 Ways to Play Tenzi.”  If you’re creative, I’m sure you can discover even more than 77 ways to play games with all those dice.

Trying to stack the dice according tot he rules of Tenzi Tower makes for a much more entertaining game...and requires some serious dexterity.

Trying to stack the dice according tot he rules of Tenzi Tower makes for a much more entertaining game…and requires some serious dexterity.

A Great Escape.  In general, I’m a fan of strategic games that require some level of skill to win.  Typically, luck-based games infuriate me, especially when luck allows a seemingly inferior player to defeat more skilled players.  However, I enjoy games based solely on luck, like Tenzi, when I want a complete escape from thinking.

It’s a Rush.  Tenzi has a fast and furious pace that gets the adrenaline flowing.

Summary  

If you’re looking for fast-paced, brainless fun, and especially if you want to fill a short period of time with a family game, Tenzi is a great option!

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Explore the Grand Valley: Whiskey Flights at Bin 707 Foodbar

By November 11, 2016 Grand Valley, Whiskey Reviews
The bar at Bin 707 is well-stocked with whiskey.  The second row of bottles is not the same as the front row.  There are many offerings!

In my effort to taste as many different varieties of whiskey as I can, I’ve been looking for a bar that offers whiskey “flights” – small samplings of multiple whiskeys side-by-side.

I tried this when I visited Woody Creek Distiller’s Tasting Room in Basalt, and in the process I also discovered the joy of trying multiple whiskeys side-by-side.  It helped me gain an appreciation of the nuances of flavors found in whiskey.

Here's the menu of whiskey flights at Bin 707 Foodbar.  There are offerings at multiple price points.

Here’s the menu of whiskey flights at Bin 707 Foodbar. There are offerings at multiple price points.

Fortunately, I recently discovered that Bin 707 Foodbar, right here in Grand Junction, offers a variety of whiskey flights for very reasonable prices.  Susan and I wandered over there to give it a try, and Bin 707 will likely become our new Friday night date place over the winter, so we can try the different flights.

Here’s my review of Bin 707’s Craft Whiskey Sampler Flight:

Presentation

I really enjoy Bin 707’s presentation of a whiskey flight.

A whiskey flight at Bin 707 Food Bar.

The presentation of a whiskey flight at Bin 707.

The tasting glasses are excellent for getting the most out of a small sample.  The addition of a glass with ice chips allows for experimenting to bring out the flavors in each glass.  The wooden stand not only looks good, but it helps me keep each glass in order, so I know which glass contains which spirit.  The whole presentation also looks great on the coppery bar.  Well done!

Reviewing the Whiskeys of the Craft Whiskey Sampler

The Craft Whiskey Sampler offers three whiskeys: Highspire Rye, Westland Sherry Cask, and Corsair Triple Smoke.  I’ll review each whiskey individually and then review the pairing of these three.

Highspire Rye.  This rye is aged in red wine barrels, and the first thing I noticed when both smelling and tasting the spirit was the presence of raisin and prune flavors.  Also, it smells and tastes a bit like a grappa, which in my experience is unusual for a whiskey.  As I got past the initial grape notes in the nose, the grains started to show through more strongly; whereas, the taste is more balanced between fruit and grain.  A piece of ice helped open up the sweet fruit/raisin flavors even more.  Overall, its a very smooth, easy-drinking rye with interesting hints of being aged in wine barrels.

Westland Sherry Cask.  When I lifted this to my nose, I was greeted with scents of butterscotch and caramel.  The taste added to the caramel hints of raisins and prunes, helping it pair nicely with the Highspire.  It’s got more powerful flavors than the Highspire, which I like.  Unfortunately, when I added a piece of ice to help it open up, I was “rewarded” with something earthy and funky that was not pleasant.

Corsair Triple Smoke.  As I lifted this to my nose, I was greeted by scents of oak and butterscotch.  Similar, the taste opened with butterscotch and finished with smoke.  Eventually, I picked up some apricot brandy flavors, as well.  A piece of ice helped magnify the smokiness.

The Pairing.  The pairing of these three, and in this particular order, was quite good.  I’m not sure the Highspire Rye and Corsair Triple Smoke would have paired together had it not been for the Westland Sherry Cask in between.  The Westland featured fruity notes similar to the Highspire and butterscoth notes similar to the Corsair to form the perfect bridge between the two.  It was a fascinating experience moving from one to the next.

 

 

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Explore the Grand Valley: Bin 707 Foodbar (Grand Junction)

By November 11, 2016 General, Grand Valley
img_6899-1

Looking for a great place to go on a date in Grand Junction?  Bin 707 is our favorite place!  It’s not a bad place for families either, but it rates number 1 as our date spot.   Read more to find out why.

What’s with That Name?

Before I review the place, I want to write a few words about the name, in case it sends your mind in the same place it sent mine before my first visit.  With the word “foodbar” in the name, I was envisioning some kind of generic buffet-type place.  Nothing could be further from the reality of Bin 707 Foodbar.  Everything is prepared fresh from local ingredients; there’s no “food bar” (buffet).  I’m assuming the word “foodbar” originated from the dual emphasis placed on offering great experiences in both food and drink (the bar offers a great variety of options for Grand Junction, including “flights” to allow patrons to explore.)

Bin 707 Foodbar emphasizes great food and a great bar!

Bin 707 Foodbar emphasizes great food and a great bar!

Bin 707’s Location

The physical address is 225 N. 5th Street, #105, in downtown Grand Junction.  It’s pretty much at the corner of 5th and White.

There’s plenty of parking along 5th street (in the evenings).  Since 5th Street is a one-way street flowing north, I typically take Rood to 5th, turn north on 5th, and park in the first parking lot I see.  Traveling on 5th street, Bin 707 Foodbar will be on your left.

If you reach a place that looks like this, you've found Bin 707.

If you reach a place that looks like this, you’ve found Bin 707.

What We Love About Bin 707 Foodbar

The Unique Atmosphere.  When I take Susan out for a date, I’m interested in an experience that’s different from what’s offered by the chain restaurants.  Bin 707 offers an atmosphere that is both casual (I’ve eaten there in jeans and a hoodie without feeling uncomfortable) and somehow upscale.  The place is quaint (it’s not a big place); yet, it feels bigger than it is due to the absence of walls (in places where other restaurants might have them) and the high ceilings.  Also, there are many smaller tables for 2, giving Susan and I an intimate setting for conversation without feeling like we’re being swallowed by a booth.  For me, Bin 707 offers a great date atmosphere.

Notice the casual dress of diners, the half-wall between the dining room and kitchen, and the high ceilings.

Notice the casual dress of diners, the half-wall between the dining room and kitchen, and the high ceilings.

The Attention to Detail.  There are so many little things that Bin 707 gets right.

There are butcher paper “tablecloths” that offer an opportunity to express your inner-artist.

Susan loves to doodle on the paper tablecloths while we wait for our food.

Susan loves to doodle on the paper tablecloths while we wait for our food.

The lighting fixtures are just plain cool.

These aren't generic big box light fixtures.

These aren’t generic big box light fixtures.

There’s a bookshelf full of cookbooks that add to the ambiance.

The restaurant’s logo is unlike any I’ve seen (and rather appealing) and can be found in unlikely places.

 

I love the Bin 707 Foodbar Logo.

I love the Bin 707 Foodbar Logo.

 

If you look in the pavement outside the restaurant, you can find this.

If you look in the pavement outside the restaurant, you can find this.

If you like to pay attention to the little things, you can have some fun at Bin 707.

The Menu.  I find things at Bin 707 that I don’t find anyplace else.  That’s a good thing!  I’m not always in the mood for a burger (bun-less, of course) and fries, but, when I am, I want to to be unique.  Bin 707 offers the fries cooked in truffle oil, along with a truffle aioli.

This is not your typical burger and fries, but it's awesome!

This is not your typical burger and fries, but it’s awesome!

It’s awesome!  I am particularly fond of charcuterie and cheese boards.  Bin 707 offers the opportunity to try dried meats and cheeses that I’ve never tried (or heard of).  You can even build your own from a generous list of options.

Josh and I shared this charcuterie and cheese board on one visit to Bin 707.  It was wonderful.

Josh and I shared this charcuterie and cheese board on one visit to Bin 707. It was wonderful.

The Berkshire Pork Tacos are a tasty spin on the traditional taco, as well.

The Bar.  I like a glass of whiskey from time to time.  And when I drink a glass of whiskey, I’d prefer trying something I’ve never tried before.  (I am an explorer, after all.)  Bin 707 Foodbar’s whiskey list is long and covers a wide variety of price points.

The bar at Bin 707 is well-stocked with whiskey.  The second row of bottles is not the same as the front row.  There are many offerings!

The bar at Bin 707 is well-stocked with whiskey. The second row of bottles is not the same as the front row. There are many offerings!

On top of that, the bar offers a list of whiskey flights, so I can try a smaller amount of 3 different whiskeys at a time.  Typically, Susan and I share one flight, and it’s just about the perfect amount.

A whiskey flight at Bin 707 Food Bar.

A whiskey flight at Bin 707 Food Bar.

 

The Prices.  The prices at Bin 707 Foodbar are surprisingly reasonable.  So many of our “date places” feature prices well above those of our typical “family places”.  That’s not true of Bin 707 Foodbar.  I find that a date with Susan costs me little more at Bin 707 than it would at a place like Chili’s…and Bin 707 is so much more date-worthy.

Locally Sourced Food Made from Scratch.  I’m a big fan of local sourcing.  In my opinion, it also tastes better.  Same for food made from scratch on-site.

Four to Five PM

Bin 707 Foodbar serves both lunch and dinner; however, if you arrive between four and five PM, you can only order off the Happy Hour menu, so the kitchen can switch from lunch to dinner.  The Happy Hour menu is smaller than the lunch and dinner menus, so it’s worth knowing this if you plan to arrive early to beat the crowd (like we often do.)

If you arrive between 4 and 5 p.m., the food options on this menu are your only options.

If you arrive between 4 and 5 p.m., the food options on this menu are your only options.

As you can see from the menu above, it’s limited but still worthy.  Charcuterie boards are also available.

Reservations?

Bin 707 doesn’t take reservations, and it’s not a terribly large restaurant, so…plan on getting there early or plan on waiting a while.  Fortunately, you can stroll around beautiful downtown Grand Junction while you wait.

Overall

There’s a reason – actually there are a bunch of reasons – why Bin 707 Foodbar is our favorite date place.  I encourage you to give it a try!

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