Mountain Meadow Cafe
"Downtown" Allenspark, CO
After finishing a fabulous hike on Meadow Mountain, we knew we had even more to look forward to: a delicious breakfast at the Meadow Mountain Cafe, right in town. The reviews online offered high praise, and we certainly agreed.
The cafe is in a cozy cabin, and only serves breakfast and lunch from 7-2:00pm (closed Thursdays). There is some outdoor seating, which is nice on a perfect day, but we still chose to nestle inside at a small wooden bar, between a sunny window and pot-bellied stove, which would be even more exquisite on an imperfect day of cold and snow.
There is essentially a waitstaff of two, so be prepared to wait, but the timelessness of the place makes it easy. My coffee cup was immediately filled and never empty of fresh coffee, with a signature hint of cinnamon. Now, looking around, many of the folks were much older and appeared local: the gentleman next to us certainly was, who gave us tips about foliage vantage points as well as how to score extra slices of homemade bread (the "butt" ends) to take home. The standard options of omelettes, french toast (made from home-made bread), and pancakes are available, and you can't go wrong with any of these. It's nice to be able to pair up an omelette (4-egg, by default) with giant banana or blueberry pancakes, which are deliciously more complicated than standard diner faire. All of the dessert options (cobbler, pie, and cinnamon rolls) would have been delicious, had we saved room.
We waited quietly in the corner with a view into the kitchen. The younger waitress, perhaps a daughter (this is how I am imagining them as characters, anyway), washed dishes and lightly sang some of the songs, mostly older country and rock, playing on the speakers. It was easy to feel nostalgia for a time that may or may not have existed. Then, without warning, a song which I didn't recognize, but ended up being "Good Luck Charm" by Elvis Presley.
Don't want a silver dollar
Rabbit's foot on a string
The happiness in your warm caress
No rabbit's foot can bring
I hadn't thought about it consciously earlier in the week, but my grandmother had died this same week, 7 years ago. With her being a big Elvis fan, this immediately came to mind before I could not think about it. That thought, and the smell of coffee and the diner itself, couldn't help but remind me of my grandfather also, for at every visit to Wisconsin before he died, I would meet him for breakfast somewhere. I'm happy to imagine that we had breakfast with them, in a way.
Wait, was this like a restaurant review or something, or what? Anyway, this is a magical little place.