Soon the line outside the door of El Taco Rey, 330 E. Colorado Ave., waiting to order a pork and avocado burrito, smothered in green chili, may disappear.
A transformation of the tiny, counter-service eatery into a large, possibly sit-down place is under way, and the hope is to have 68 to 70 more seats available by spring or summer. According to Jana Aguilar, the owner’s daughter, the additional dining room will be constructed in the parking lot behind the building.
Weigh in about the expansion on our Dining Blog: gazettedining.free domblogging.com.
Monet up the pass
Victor Matthews, owner of Black Bear Restaurant, 10375 Ute Pass Ave. in Green Mountain Falls, will again pay homage to Claude Monet, founder of impressionism, on the painter’s birthday weekend, Nov. 13 and 14, with a lavish seven-course menu paired with four French wines. Cost is $99. Call 684-9648.
He will also teach a Monet turn-of-the-century classic French cooking class at Lauren Stuart’s “Cooking Naturally” school from 3 to 6 p.m. Nov. 15. Cost is $60. Call 527-9356 or 963-8679.
Matthews has had a few sour moments recently. As he said in a recent newsletter e-mail: “Are we having fun yet? LOL. The last year we have been on Mr. Toad’s wild ride, but, then again, who hasn’t?”
As we reported in early September, his Black Bear restaurant is in foreclosure, and he has until mid-November to get things on a fresh course.
“We have filed the cure,” he said. “All is well in hand, and this will be finished off within the month.”
Then a couple of weeks ago, the eatery had its doors locked and plastered with a notice about unpaid sales taxes.
This happened on a Friday, and by midmorning on Monday he had settled that issue and was open for business again.
Joseph Freyre, owner of Joseph’s Fine Dining, 1606 S. Eighth St., will continue his “Stimulus Dinner Deals” through the winter. For $14.49 you get a choice of five dinner entrees from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. Each entree comes with homemade mashed potatoes and fresh garden veggies.
This menu is not valid with any coupons, discounts or certificates. Call 630-3631 for reservations.
Jim Trujuillo of Cheers Liquor Mart and I saddled up to be judges for the One-Pot Cook-Off at the recent American Culinary Federation Pikes Peak Chapter’s Colorado Cowboy Culinary Cuisine at the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. Four teams of students competed. Here are the winners, first place to fourth:
• Scott Ehret for his “4 Corner Elk Loin Stew.” He works at The Broadmoor.
• Naomi Hild for her “Steve’s Beef & Beans.” She is a student at Pikes Peak Community College.
• Emily Flyn for her “Tom’s Chili.” She is a student at Pikes Peak Community College.
• Deann Pujol for his “Citrus Red Chili.” He is a student at Pikes Peak Community College.
Speak like an Italian
Thinking about traveling to Italy but wondering how to negotiate an Italian menu? Fratelli Ristorante Italiano and Bill Stanfill are here to help. The classes start Oct. 19 and will continue for six weeks. Stanfill teaches conversational-Italian classes at the eatery, 124 N. Nevada Ave., 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The round-table discussions cover basic Italian that will help students learn dining and travel terms. Cost is $5. Call 575-9571 for reservations.
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