Leadville culinary delights, we’ve missed you
With Independence Pass finally open, Aspenites have finally been freed from the isolating, iron grip of a long, cold winter.
And we all know what that means, right? Day trips to Leadville, of course.
The beautiful drive over the Pass coupled with the rarefied ether and culinary gems located in North America’s highest incorporated city is simply a fine way to pass a warm summer afternoon in the Colorado high country. Ask pretty much any tenured Aspenite and they’ll tell you.
I was heading back to Aspen last week after a week’s vacation, but my flight didn’t land in Denver until 12:45 a.m. By 3:30 a.m. I was just south of Copper Mountain and could drive no more, so I pulled over and slept for a few hours.
I have to admit that part of my motivation to stop was that I could drive a half-hour in the morning and get a decent cup of coffee and a decadent baked treat at City on a Hill Coffee and Espresso on Leadville’s main drag. I got to Leadville about 7:30, parked my car and was walking along the main street in my own little world when I heard, “Get your ass back to Aspen!”
I looked over and saw an off-duty Pitkin County sheriff’s deputy stopped in her big ol’ Toyota Tundra grinning at me.
“What the hell are you doing?” I said, noting the early morning hour.
“Going to the Golden Burro,” she said. “Duh!”
“Duh!” I said as she drove off to the classic Leadville diner down the street.
On Saturday I texted a friend about dinner plans.
“Just stuffed my face with High Mountain Pies in Leadville,” she texted back. “It’s amazing!”
The thought made my stomach grumble. For all the great pizza available here in Aspen, High Mountain Pies in Leadville offers its own unique version that is well worth the trip over the Continental Divide. It’s just off the main drag on Fourth Street.
Finally, I’m from Southern Arizona and continually crave decent Mexican food in this arid desert of gringoized south of the border fare. To that end, The Leadville Grill Bar and Café, located in a neighborhood a few blocks from the town’s main street, satisfies my craving every time. It’s good, simple Northern Mexican food that tastes exactly the way it should.
So here’s to Leadville. We’ve missed you these past six months.
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