Four Days in Durango Part Two

Four Days in Durango, Colorado

My next two days in Durango were filled with beauty and fun. On Sunday morning, I wanted to try a breakfast place that served gluten-free pancakes. You’ll have to read my review below, but I’m already planning my next trip to Durango so I can go back to this place. After breakfast, I went for a Fall foliage drive from Durango to Silverton on highway 550. It was another beautiful day. Sunny, warm with hardly any clouds in the sky. It was a pretty drive, not many people out and about especially for a Sunday. Honestly, not a lot happened on my drive. Said hello to a few people, but was mostly in the car all day. I reached Silverton and decided to continue on a little bit further. I went over Red Mountain Pass and then decided to turn around and head back to Durango. On my way back, I stopped at Haviland Lake to do a little fishing. For about three and half hours I watched trout chase, nibble and skirt by my lure. Still, it was exciting. Trying to figure out what they wanted and I actually could see them, so I knew that they were there. A duck hunter passed me and suggested PowerBait, which I didn’t have and never used. It was fun just casting and watching the trout swim around. I had completely lost track of time and thought I should be heading back to Durango. Now to decide…dinner in at the fabulous Super 8 or dine out. Decisions, decisions! My dad convinced me to eat out since there were a bunch of gluten-free options and it was definitely more appealing than the motel dinner I had planned.

Monday was my absolute fun day! I decided to take my first fly fishing lesson. I hired a guide, Charlie Noone, through the Animas Valley Anglers located in Durango for a full day of floating six miles down the San Juan River in New Mexico. It was such an amazing day. Sunny, warm and the best teacher a girl could ask for. Charlie patiently taught me the basics, three different casts and how to tie a couple knots and I even caught a few fish. Woo-hoo! I only hooked myself once. Not too bad right? I’m still amazed that the tiny little hook can get such a big fish. I’m definitely hooked. (no pun intended) I even purchased my very first fly rod and reel, waders and boots. I can’t wait to get out there again!

Here are a few picture from Sunday and Monday:

 

It was a great much needed trip. Durango is a beautiful place and has a lot to offer. I didn’t even scratch the surface. Which is good, since now have a reason to go back. With winter closing in, road trips tend to take a back burner. I’m off to Salt Lake City in a couple weeks, then Jersey bound to see my family over Thanksgiving. I can’t wait to visit my family — especially the munchkins (almost 5 and 7)!! They are so fun and growing up so fast!

 

Where did I eat?

College-Drive-Cafe-title

College Drive Cafe

Website: CafeDurango.com
Dine-In, Take-Out

Locations:
66 E. College Drive
Durango, CO 81301
Phone: (970) 247-5322

Hours:
Seven days a week
6:30am-2:00pm

Menu:
Breakfast & Lunch

Love this place! It’s a tiny little place with about 8 parking spots, if that. When I arrived about 10am on Sunday morning, there was about a 30 minute wait. They keep a pad of paper hung up on the wall for you to put your name on the list and how many. I saw there was another party of one, Bob. I wished I made friends with Bob – I could have moved up the list quite a bit, I was getting a little hungry. But no clue who Bob was and it really wasn’t a bad wait, free coffee and a nice place to sit.  This really nice couple with a super cute six month old offered to let me shared their huge table for breakfast.  They lived in Durango and told me that the Fall drive to Silverton was still beautiful and worth it. I asked the girl who sat me at the table about the gluten-free pancake and it so happens she was also gluten-free and give it a rave review. Once again, my eyes were bigger than my stomach and I ordered the biggest meal. One gluten-free pancake with two eggs and two sausage patties.

The pancake. The pancake was the BEST gluten-free pancake ever! I should have ordered one or two to go. I’m still dreaming about it. It was huge (the size of the plate, just like the gluten version), it was fluffy, no gritty texture and it had the diner/griddle flavor. OH! I’m drooling as I write this. If you are ever in Durango, this is a must! The service was great! While I was waiting to be seated, a few customers made a point to thank the cooks in the back for their delicious meal. It was a great experience and I can’t wait to go back.

College Drive Cafe Gluten-Free Pancake

Best Gluten-Free Pancake with Two Eggs Over Easy and Sausage Patties

 

6512-title

6512

Update: CLOSED

 

After my long day of leaf peeping and fishing, I decided to go out to dinner with a little push from my dad. Canned chicken and crackers didn’t seem that great. I found 6512 the day before while walking through the historic downtown. They offered several gluten-free dinner options as well as brunch items. (Way too many breakfast choices for four days.) When I walked into the restaurant, it was completely empty and I had to ask if they were open. I re-checked the time and it was after 6pm, so I wasn’t too early for dinner. With that being said, service was great! I think even if they had a full house, the service would still be great. The servers were really nice and knowledgeable about the gluten-free items.

The Bloody Mary was excellent! I could have a few more, but I was driving. It was really spicy, which I love and delicious. It’s a definite must try, especially if you are there for brunch. I ordered way too much food, I just get so excited with gluten-free options.

6512 Bloody Mary Drink

One of the best Gluten-Free Spicy Bloody Mary’s I’ve ever had!

 

The Surf and Turf Kabobs were just different, I had to get them. Grilled beef, shrimp, green and red peppers with cherry tomatoes drizzled with a spicy chile sauce on a bed of greens all topped with fried leeks. The fried leeks were heavenly! I need to figure out how to make these at home and put them on a burger. That would be delicious! This starter was tasty. The grilled shrimp dipped in the spicy green chile sauce was amazing. All the ingredients tasted fresh and done to perfection.

6512 Surf and Turf Kabobs

SURF & TURF KABOB —grilled bistro steak & shrimp on a skewer with tomato & bell pepper on top of a bed of greens, green chile drizzle and fried leeks

 

While in Maui early this year, we found this little place that served Grilled Mahi Tacos for  super cheap. They were delicious. I think I had them for lunch on three separate occasions. So Good! I love mahi and saw these on the menu, I had to order. Simply delicious. The fresh avocado and mango gave the dish a California feel and I almost forgot I was land locked. This dish was light and filling. The mahi was tasty and didn’t taste fishy or over cooked. I love using red onions and these pickled red onions were a nice touch to the tacos.

6512 Mahi Tacos

MAHI TACO — three corn tortillas filled with mahi-mahi, cilantro avocado sauce, lettuce, pickled jalapeño, pickled red onion, mango

 

Reminder | As with any restaurant, cross contamination can always be an issue. Check with the restaurant to see what their practices are, if you have concerns. It never hurts to ask. This is just my experience and how it affected me.

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