Six89 in Carbondale, Part 1 & deux

Photobucket I refuse to travel and eat exactly the same things I can eat at home. Then frankly, why bother going anywhere at all? The more I travel, I make it my goal, to purposefully go out of my way to find rare, unusual, or even bizarre things and places to eat while travelling. Okay, maybe not quite like Anthony Bourdain, just yet. I still prefer to accidentally choke on bugs only when I'm sleeping. Perhaps I just get bored easily, but I just don't see the point of eating exactly the same thing everywhere, and expect it to be the same. I think if I really needed that kind of consistency, I would choose a particular drive-thru restaurant found the world over, and at every interstate exit and mundane shopping mall food court, and never divert to any other hidden gem I would otherwise be missing out on. Chances are good, or I'm completely a naive optimist, that in every town, there is at least one ma & pa place with something delicious to eat. Made with love. Is that such a terrible quest? Or I may just as well stay home, and stick with what I know. Which isn't half bad, but sometimes you just gotta get off your tooshie and find something else good to eat. Go ahead, I dare you. Although, this really puts me in a bit of a conundrum; I also tend to prefer foods which are authentic, but then what can I even eat most of the time? What does authentic even mean anymore? Does this mean I should exclusively eat pizza in Naples? I don't think so. Then if I lived in Naples, I would have to forego sushi, pho, and falafel, and that's just plain wrong. I think in some other universe there just must be a good pizza in Californian-style, but there is also certainly a Neapolitan-styled pizza in California which is probably good too. (although, a part of me never wants me to admit that there could even possibly be a decent pizza pie with BBQ sauce on it, but I'm sure it exists, at least somewhere. OK, probably not). Luckily, there are places like Restaurant Six89 in Carbondale, Colorado. The ingredients are pretty much local, but the dishes are well, not from anywhere. They aren't fancy or exotic dishes. But just darn good stuff. Like really good stuff. And, in some ways, therein lies the absolutely terrible thing about traveling: it makes you want to go back! OK, maybe that's not such a bad thing, but let's face it; travel can screw you. It can mess with your head, your stomach, and your soul, and make you completely confused. You are forever changed, and completely incapacitated. Let's face it: really you're #^#(&#@$!. Yep, that's right. $#%^@*&. I haven't had any kids yet, but I know that when I do (gawd, my ma better not be reading this!), poor Jeff will have to cook his arse off, and I simply don't know where he's going to get his ingredients from (please Doug, and Julie?), but I bet that as a pregnant woman I will want everything that is impossible to get or make at home. Seriously, what if I "need" Chubby Hubby Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream (which you can't get in Canada, please start writing letters on my pathetic behalf), and then I "need" biscuits 'n fried chicken, and then I "need" steak tartar (which pregnant women are recommended not to eat) and then... I get into the list of things pregnant women "aren't" supposed to eat. Let's leave that for another day. In any case, I really enjoyed the food at Six89 in Carbondale. It wasn't complicated, or fussy. And I wish I had more pictures, but it was such a beautiful night...ahem...the first night (yes, we went back the very next day, and snagged a few pictures then) that we sat outside in the summer warmth and enjoyed the meal. It was too dark for any decent pictures, and I'm not a good flash photographer, plus this is still an Aspen crowd, and it would just be well...weird. Anyways, it went like this: first we got a nice little amuse buche (both nights), which was simple and delectable; a fresh rainier cherry stuffed with essentially a corn nut (yep, like you ate in high school, but the real deal), in a little bit of basil oil and syrupy balsamic. I ordered this great farm fresh egg (literally, I think the chickens were in the back, as Jeff noticed a chicken coop near our car) with a deeply flavourful hash with bacon, and chanterelles. I discovered I love chanterelles. I mean, really, I was mmmminng, and awwwing, and just would not shut up. I'm sure everyone there thought I was nuts, but hey, it was that good. Jeff wasn't sharing his dish either, so I know it was good (don't worry I still stole some!); he had something girlie with a manly twist like agnolotti and goat. He says the goat tasted like a finer version of lamb. What a manly description. We were just devouring everything, and one of the reason's Six89 is so fantastic, is that they really do only make what is fresh and seasonal. It is only a couple days later, and the website is already different (making this more difficult to do as accurately!). Then, I enjoyed Milagro ranch meatballs with lemon ricotta ravioli. The meatballs had a roasted tomato sauce, and a walnut parsley pesto on the ravioli. The meatballs? They were tender, and huge! I know size doesn't really matter, but these were good. Three of them. Jeff was lucky, and I gave him the last one since he shared a few bites of his dish. The ravioli were good too. I know it seems kinda weird to have what seems to be a lot of different flavours going on at the same time, but I liked it. It worked. Now, I admit, I kinda had a crush on Jeff's dish (yes, of course that's why we went back the next day!) of slow roasted Berkshire pork and anson mills stone ground grits with smoked mozzarella. This is what I had the next night (and it's the picture at the top). This stuff was really great! Nothing fancy, although it might look like it, just soft and gooey, and well, fatty-tasting. Good stuff. The second night, Jeff ordered the burger. And well, now, I can say that I thought it was a mistake at the time, but I didn't say so. I mean, everything there is local, or the restaurant made it. But as if, they are going to spend the time to make a damn good hamburger bun. Jeff says, "the hamburger bun was a day old piece of WuunderBread without the preservatives, so it didn't quite survive the trip. It disintegrated with any pressure, as it seemed to be made with faux eggs". Surprisingly, the other complaint he had, was that the burger too rich. With cambozola cheese, and nearly burnt red onions, it just needed a bit of moisture from tomato apparently. Jeff thought this would be a unique burger experience given everything else we've had, but it just didn't live up to his expectations. It's got a start, just not quite right yet. Instead, Jeff thinks it would be cool to find a plate with three or four mini burgers. Each one could feature a different ingredient: one with the cheese, with the onions, another with heirloom tomatoes etc. Sounds like fun, and fits the sharing part of Six89's menu. Somehow, we also ate a combination of three side dishes; truffled parmigiano fries, feta dumplings, and fava beans. These were good too, but we didn't finish them. Desserts were a distinct favourite and great value. Nutella semifreddo for $4.50? Is the joke on me? It was great, with a dollop of not too stiff whipped cream, and sweet dark cherries. Yes, we both ordered it - it had Nutella in it! (Can you blame us?) Then, the next night, I ordered the cinnamon donut with rhubarb strawberry cream. Not my favourite, but still good. The donut was pretty heavy and more like a gingerbread cookie. Jeff had the semifreddo...again. The infamous for the wrong reasons burger:

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