Category Archives: Restaurant Reviews

Vinny’s Frisco Restaurant

Our time in Frisco was delightful. It’s a beautiful little mountain town and according to their website they have something for everyone. As clean as can be; neat as a pin, with flowers planted in boxes everywhere! We even found a restaurant with a substantial number of organic and locally sourced entrees on their menu. Vinny’s was our choice for dinner.

My tummy was not feeling very well from the questionable choices I made during the Cider Circus. So I wanted only hot tea, soup, and salad for dinner. The butternut coconut curry soup was outstanding! It soothed my weary belly and got my blood flowin’ good! Manfred was delighted by one of his favorite meals with an original twist~ linguini in clam sauce with cream and spicy cherry peppers. He loved it!

The dining room was very comfortable with a blend of “old world” and Colorado mountain styles. We were seated near a window which was nice for the breeze, and our server was super friendly & knowledgeable. You must understand that this is not a fast food experience. You will thoroughly enjoy your dining adventure here if you are a connoisseur of the slow meal. You can take that meal in the dining room as we did, or in their pub for TV and a bar vibe. They sometimes also open the garden for service, but it was closed while we were there.

We were so pleased with our dinner that we decided to eat at Vinny’s again for lunch the next day before leaving town. No party weekend is complete without Sunday Morning Bloody Mary’s!! And they do make a fine one. I had TWO! We sat on the balcony outside of the bar where the air was cool and we could watch the people on the street. I ordered rigatoni with fennel pork sausage in a rose’ sauce and Manfred thoroughly enjoyed the mushroom strudel. We had no room for dessert so we topped the meal off with some espresso instead. If you are in the Copper Mountain/Frisco, Colorado area, please stop in and try this hidden treasure!

Fantastic Aegean cuisine in small town Bavaria!

Zorba’s Greek Restaurant, Vilshofen an der Donau, Bavaria     reviewed by Makara

My first meal at Zorba’s was solo. I was invited to a “group” meeting by our host but decided not to sit in the little back room with a bunch of bickering Bavarians. Instead I decided to sit in the restaurant and order a fine meal. The ambiance of this establishment was exactly what I pictured an actual restaurant in Greece would look like; decorated with nets, shells, artistic representations of gods & goddesses, and the bold blue and white colors of the Greek flag. What a beautiful room! And the menu was quite extensive with 15 pages of very moderately priced Greek, Bavarian, & Mediterranean dishes and beverages. What shall I choose? For the first of what I knew would be several meals I chose their musaka. Ah, but I am getting ahead of myself. I started with a grand drink! Chilled Ouzo floating a fresh fig marinated with Ouzo, in a frosty martini glass. This was the perfect aperitif. I have never had an Ouzo steeped fresh fig. It was quite a treat and I look forward to a few more in the coming months. Ok, back to the musaka. Slices of potatoes, zucchini and eggplant layered with ground beef and béchamel sauce baked in a small casserole dish which was brought to me on a wooden board so as not to burn the table. A freshly made personal-sized casserole! And this was the best musaka I had ever eaten! Absolutely divine comfort food. I followed this with an espresso and a “small” chocolate ice cream sundae. I put the word small in quotation marks because when it arrived at my table I delighted the other restaurant guests with the surprised exclamation, “Es ist grosse!!” which means “It’s huge!” There were chuckles all around as I dove into my luscious dessert. Whew! Stuffed and happy, I was treated to a complimentary shot of Ouzo by the proprietor. I love it when a restaurant gifts a digestive after a big meal. It makes me feel appreciated and welcomed to return.  I knew that on my next visit I would bring Manfred and that he would love it!

Sure enough, Manfred likes it too! Since we didn’t make a reservation on a Friday night, we were seated in the secondary dining room. I think we were lucky to get a seat at all! Whereas the side room was in keeping with the Greek theme, it was not as charming as the main dining room so, lesson learned. Next time we want to eat there on a Friday, we will make a reservation. We enjoyed Ouzo mit Feigen again while perusing the menu. We had difficulty choosing from so many selections. Manfred finally decided on the mixed grill which consisted of 2 pork cutlets, shaved lamb & beef mixed, a tzatziki which had a clean crisp flavor unlike any Manfred had eaten before, and spicy rice; while I chose to repeat the divine musaka experience. Let me make a note here that all of the food was cooked to order which made this a relaxing slow food experience. We both thoroughly enjoyed our meals, and because the servings are so large we opted to share a single scoop of ice cream for dessert. Once again the owner came out with complimentary Ouzo for his guests, offering the tray of little glasses from table to table.

For our third dinner at Zorba’s, Manfred chose to repeat the divine mixed grill experience and I selected that night’s special, which was 2 grilled skewers of lamb with onions next to a pile of oven roasted potatoes. I loved the combined flavors of savory and grill. We were so stuffed that we couldn’t even think of eating a dessert but were very happy for the finishing shot of Ouzo.

As we were seated for our fourth and final dinner, I knew I would repeat the lamb kabobs; however, Manfred tried a new dish. He had the fried calamari which was cooked to perfection. I do believe the cones could have been stuffed with something amazing before being battered and fried. But hey, I’m not a chef. We were completely happy with all of our meals here and with the excellent service & hospitality. I know we will eat here again when we return to this region. Please check out their website:

Charming wine bar in Vilshofen an der Donau, Bavaria!

Chez Jacques Weinbar, Vilshofen an der Donau, Bavaria         Review by Makara

An inviting pedestrian tunnel off of the main drag in Vilshofen an der Donau had been calling out to us for many weeks. Finally we succumbed to the urge and trundled up the stairs to find a delightful little wine bar! It wasn’t open but we peeked in the windows and it looked like a distinct possibility for a fun evening in the near future. So we planned to spend our next Friday night mining the secrets of this little “cave bar” who’s classic atmosphere was both intimate and cozy. We arrived just as they opened and were greeted and seated by the lovely Lisa, an experienced wine steward if there ever was one. We were slightly intimidated by the extensive wine list and very unfamiliar with the local wine culture. Lisa asked us a few key questions which gave her insight into our palates then brought two possibilities to our table. After sampling both, we decided upon a bottle of the full bodied and spicy Asio Otus, an Italian blend of Merlot, Cabernet, and Shiraz/Syrah. After a second glass the happy warmth of this wine inspired us to try their house specialty, which is Flammenkuchen, pizza’s French-German cousin. Flammenkuchen is a flat bread topped with a cream sauce and usually onions and ham. Ours was served piping hot, salty and crispy, which was a perfect complement to the wine. This is the only food available there on regular nights. If you are lucky enough, you might get to attend a 4 course gourmet meal paired with wines from various countries, hosted by Chez Jacques himself. We were this lucky….more on that later.

We personally met Chez Jacques as a result of Lisa’s invitation to his Weinimport’s Grand Opening Wine Tasting that weekend in Albersdorf, a small village outside of Vilshofen.  He and Lisa greeted us warmly then directed us to help ourselves to the dozens of sparkling, red, white, and rose wines on display from Spain, France, and Italy. I realized then how much I don’t know about wine! There were over 50 wines for the tasting with sparkling water and hors d’oeuvres on hand to cleanse the palate. Unlike the tastings we had previously experienced in our travels, we were given a glass and a booklet guide containing the descriptions and prices per bottle. It was up to each of us to pour our own samples, as much and as many as we wanted. We had so much fun and learned a great deal about wine. In the end, four hours later and quite buzzed, we purchased a mixed case of our favorites which Lisa kindly delivered to our apartment the next day.

At the wine tasting we signed up for Chez Jacques’ weekly newsletter, which we received the very next day. It contained the announcement of an upcoming gourmet meal with paired wines. I immediately emailed back to reserve our seats, but alas, there were none be had. The evening was completely booked before we could even send in our request! Jacques informed us that if any seats became available he would let us know. Sigh. So you can just imagine our glee when we received his email 4 days later stating he had just two seats waiting for us! We immediately confirmed and soon found ourselves amongst the happy guests poised to enjoy an outstanding culinary experience. The menu featured a matched wine with each course. Once seated, we were all treated to Champagne as an aperitif. The first course was a delicious ginger pumpkin soup paired with Andante, a fruity Spanish white wine. The second course was a duo of fish filet atop a mound of wild rice bathed in a creamy mustard sauce. This was paired with the delightful Italian Custoza, a dry white Venetian wine that balanced perfectly with the mustard. The third course was barbequed duck breast in a Port wine sauce with potatoes and was accompanied by a deep red Tempranillo from the T-Sanzo winery in Spain. Our fourth and final course was a dessert of cheese and fruit paired with a lusty Malbec. We finished with espresso and flamee, a little extra cost but worth the perfect ending. This 4 hour gastro-extravaganza for two, all extras and tip included, came to 95euros. Our only sadness is we will no longer be in Germany for his next one in January. While conversing with other guests we were informed that this is a very top secret event and we were lucky to have found out about it. Again, thank you Lisa!