Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Endorsement: Say Something Nice

I saw this, loved it, and thought it needed to be shared on a Tuesday. I need one of these in the park by my place, and if there were one there, I'm pretty sure I'd just set up camp for the day and just listen. Saying something nice isn't difficult, and it usually results in a smile.

By the way, did I tell you that you look nice today?

Monday, August 15, 2011

What's Good: Panzano Brunch

The quest to find the perfect brunch is a constant one…mainly because the research is so much fun. I love weekend brunch. No, seriously, I LOVE brunch. It’s the perfect mix of sleeping in (typically), coffee drinks, breakfast meats, danishes and pancakes, eggs, sandwiches, steak, large plates and fruit juice mixed with booze. You can grab a table at 8:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m. You can order a side of French fries with your scramble, a milkshake to go with your blueberry pancakes, or a screwdriver to compliment your reuben. Bacon and a beer? That’s brunch. Pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream with a glass of champagne? That’s brunch too. It’s a veritable no-holds-barred meal - there are no rules, and anything goes.

My latest find and new favorite is the brunch at Panzano. Consistently recognized for its delicious Northern Italian cuisine, gluten-free menu, fresh baked breads and wine list – and known for weekday power lunches and higher-end dinners, I never thought about Panzano having brunch until it came up in my Eat Denver Dining Deck.

Located in a 30s/40s era building and sharing space with the lobby of Hotel Monaco, the atmosphere is best described as “refined awesomeness.” It’s a quiet space, but if you want to liven things up a little, ask for a seat with a view of the kitchen and then watch the chefs do their work.

I expected a tasty menu filled with some of my favorite Italian standbys, but there were three things that moved Panzano’s brunch menu from “really good brunch” to “who wants to go back next weekend?”

1) The way they seamlessly mixed Italian ingredients with American brunch. Pancetta and fontina cheese omelet? Salumi scramble? An Italian layered casserole with puliese bread, eggs, prosciutto, spinach, basil, feta, provolone, scallion and chilli flake? Yes, to all of the above, please.

2) The price point was really reasonable. For a restaurant that serves $20-$30 plates for dinner I was expecting to pay more than $7-$12 for the plates listed above. Thankfully, I was able to sample the ridiculously delicious Italian omelet for the same price as lunch at Biker Jim’s or a burrito from Illegal Pete’s.

3) $9 bottomless Bellinis. I don’t think I need to say much more about this. Amazing. Go, get yourself an Italian inspired brunch, and sip on a Bellini that will never be empty…

The wait staff was professional and personable, the surroundings are appealing, the restaurant smells like fresh baked bread and pancetta, the food is delicious and the Bellinis are bottomless. Meet me at Panzano on Saturday mornings…

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Endorsement: Random Compliments

Walking home from work one day this past week, a woman was leaving my building with a friend as I was entering. It happened to be one of the not-so-frequent days when I was dressed up a little more than normal. The woman (who I've never met) stopped, looked at me and said, "You look really put together today. That shirt looks great on you." And then she continued the conversation with her friend and went on her way.

I don't think I'm a person who needs positive reinforcement all of the time, but I'm also not immune to walking a little taller and smiling a little wider after someone provides a random compliment. It doesn't take much to compliment someone - their shirt, hair, shoes, watch, or even their smile - and the result is that you've probably made someone feel a little better, and a little more confident.

My goal this week is to find one person to compliment each day - something little, something nice, and something that will hopefully make someone's day. If you're reading this, give it a shot this week and let me know what type of reaction you receive. It feels good to be genuinely nice to people...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

1000 Words: Cascade Lakes

There are a lot of things that make Oregon great. The Cascade Lakes are several of them.

Monday, August 1, 2011

1000 Words: Happy Birthday, Colorado

Happy 135th, Centennial State. Thank you for being you.

Telluride, June 2011.

Vail, February 2011.

Denver, December 2010.