Deanna Johnson knows her way around a restaurant, especially in the kitchen.

“I grew up in the restaurant business,” said Johnson, who was doing some last-minute finishing touches in the dining room of her new eatery, the Black Forest Bistro, 6750 Shoup Road. “My dad owned French bistros in Sacramento (Calif.) when I was growing up. I learned to do everything from peeling potatoes to making entrees.”

Not surprisingly, Johnson has made a name for herself as the owner of the award-winning Black Forest Chew-Chew Gastrotruck, which hit the road March 2016. She and her crew were the champions of the Food Network’s “Food Truck Fan Fight” in 2018, one of many awards they have garnered for the unique international street food served from the mobile business.

With all her food truck success, she bought the log cabin on Shoup last fall and started a major renovation. Though her attention is focused on the new branch of her business, the truck will continue to roll.

Have a picnic with that wine in Cañon City

“We pulled out some really ugly carpeting and stained the concrete floor with shiny paint,” she said of the cabin that was built, she thinks, “around 1949 or 1950. It has been several restaurants and bars over the years.”

She hosted a soft opening the last weekend of June. The menu is small, featuring her international street food like pot stickers and ceviche, chef’s special of slow-roasted Spanish lamb shanks, coq au vin ala Italian and, of course, her showstopper, Korean sticky street noodles with award-winning bulgogi steak. The food is handcrafted and the menu will change frequently. Desserts and breads are made by in-house pastry chef Lauren Rhoadarmer.

Hours are 4 to 8 p.m. Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays. Hours will increase. There’s a patio and spacious parking on the side and back of the eatery. Details: 459-7884, facebook.com/blackforestbistro.

Drink up

On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina has introduced $5 Liberita in celebration of the Fourth of July. The cocktail is layered, starting with strawberry puree, then house lime margarita and topped with blue Curacao. It’s offered as a frozen drink for dine-in guests only through July 19. Visit ontheborder.com.

Dine out in downtown Colorado Springs with expanded patio seating

Rise and shine

Buttermilk – A Breakfast Eatery, 13141 Bass Pro Drive, has opened. You’ll find it next door to Boot Barn Hall. You can enjoy all the breakfast classics with a Southern twist, such as bread pudding French toast. There are salads, sandwiches, burgers, burritos and tacos too. Give the Mile-High Stack a try for $50. Polish off a heaping stack of 25 buttermilk pancakes, a bowl of smoked bourbon maple syrup, and a jug of orange juice in under an hour by yourself and it’s free. Burp! Hours are 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Details: 309-9840, buttermilkeatery.com.

Street patios

Dine out Downtown had expanded with a second block on Tejon Street, which allows more eateries to enjoy additional seating with social distancing. In addition to the block on South Tejon Street between Pikes Peak and Colorado avenues, the 200 block of North Tejon between Platte Avenue and Bijou Street is closed to vehicle traffic from 4 to 10 p.m. Fridays and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays, too. Visit downtowncs.com/dineout for a list of restaurants participating with their phone numbers. Reservations required.

Food tours restarted

Rocky Mountain Food Tours is offering the Original Colorado Springs Food Tour 2 to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. For $58.99, enjoy eight to 10 food tastings from five local restaurants, holes-in-the-wall and artisan food shops in downtown Colorado Springs. Learn about downtown Springs history during the 1-mile walk. Visit rockymountainfoodtours.com for tickets.

Contact the writer: 636-0271.

contact the writer: 636-0271.

Food editor

Food writer for features life section and columnist for Go! Entertainment - Table Talk column

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