Sirvo Says: The 6 Most Unique Things To Do In Denver

Sirvo Says: The 6 Most Unique Things To Do In Denver

With its gorgeous landscape, wonderful mix of cultures, and unique attractions, Denver, Colorado is one of the most popular destinations for adventure-seekers and those just looking for a break from the norm. Not only does Denver have plenty to offer in the way of good food, scenery, and fun things to do, it’s also a haven for sports fanatics due to all the big-league teams in and around the city. For outdoorsy travelers and those who seek a bit of beauty and refreshing change, Denver is the perfect destination. Read on to find out more about the best ways to have a unique trip to the Centennial State.

1. See the town on a bike

Many people in Denver forgo a car in favor of the much more efficient bicycle, and if you don’t happen to have one with you, the city provideth. There are Denver B-Cycle stations everywhere, and you can rent a bike for a minimal fee (30 minutes or less is free!). There are also several options for guided bike tours, some of which include brewery stops! Check out some of the best here.

2. Take in some oddities

A visit to the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls, and Toys will be fun for the whole family, but make sure you check out the permanent displays, like Chuck’s Circus, which features 4,000 tiny painted figurines, animals, and a complete freak show.

2. Eat some sopapillas

It wouldn’t be a visit to Denver without going to the motherland, Casa Bonita. This Denver favorite made famous by South Park is one of the most nostalgic locations for locals. The 40-year old establishment boasts cliff divers, an arcade, and world famous sopapillas that people of all ages can enjoy.

3. Live like Scrooge McDuck

Ever wanted to see a pile of money so big you could swim in it? Head to the Denver Money Museum, where you’ll find that and more.

4. Snooze, an A.M. Eatery

If you’re a morning person–or decidedly not a morning person but love breakfast foods–head to Snooze, where you can get a giant stack of sweet potato pancakes complete with caramel, pecans, and ginger butter. If you’re looking for something more savory, try the chilaquiles benedict, tortillas filled with ranchero sauce, cheese, barbacoa beef, and poached eggs. This restaurant is more than your average breakfast diner and will leave you full and satisfied.

5. Experience the Alfred Packer Memorial

In Littleton Cemetery lies the body of Alfred Packer, who made the trip from Utah with fifteen friends during the gold rush and ended up stranded in a snowstorm so intense he had to eat his traveling companions to stay alive. He made it, only to be sentenced to forty years for manslaughter.

6. Visit Stephen King’s inspiration for The Shining

Horror lover? You’re in luck, because just a short drive out of the city will take you to Estes Park, where the Stanley Hotel stands. The gorgeous site is the very same where Stephen King stayed many years ago and was inspired to write The Shining, and, like the setting in the book, the hotel is known for a bevy of ghostly goings on.

Come to Denver with a sense of adventure and leave your stresses behind. This beautiful, mountainous area will leave you feeling well-rested and fulfilled–at least until the next trip.

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Sirvo Says: How to Spend Less and Make More in Denver

Sirvo Says: How to Spend Less and Make More in Denver

Denver is one of the best cities in the country to live right now. With a great restaurant scene and numerous events every week, there is a reason why we are #1! All that being said, the city is getting more and more expensive to live in. The rising cost of living can often stand in the way of truly enjoying everything this great city has to offer. With that in mind, we thought we’d offer a few suggestions on how to do Denver right. Let us present, Sirvo Says: How to Spend Less and Make More in Denver.

Drink cheaper

Alright, this is a no-brainer but we suggest taking advantage of all the great happy hours across town. The population boom has been both a curse and a blessing for many restaurants and bars in the area, with some seeing a rise or decline in sales due to more options. One thing is for sure though, they are all competing for your attention. Which means, some of the best value deals this city has ever seen! A lot of places have even extended their happy hour to start as early as 2pm or 3pm. Denverites like to do two things for sure, get out of the house and drink. So, if you’re gonna do it anyway, don’t break the bank.

Do things alone…

It’s great having a large group of friends, there is always something to do and someone to do it with. Sometimes this comes at a cost. For example, how many times have you gone to split the check and someone doesn’t even cover what they owe? Or that one roommate who always says “I’ll Venmo you”, but doesn’t even have the app downloaded on their phone? If you are truly looking to save money when enjoying this great city, do it alone. It will save you a lot in the long run and is the perfect way to show your true independence.

…Or with a friend

Okay, so not all of us are great by ourselves and it is kind of nice to have a partner in crime. But like just one! Having a roommate or someone to split a meal with makes things soooo much cheaper. This means that you can afford more things to do together like, concerts/festivals, events, going out to eat/drink, trips to the mountains etc. Unless you happen to choose a person who can never afford to do anything because then that’s on you. Literally.

Pay less rent

Finding a way to pay less in rent is the key to being able to experience Denver to it’s fullest. There are only a few issues with this though, one you don’t want to live in a slum and two you want to be IN THE CITY! Nothing wrong with the outer burbs (closer to the mountains), but many of us moved here to be around where it’s all happening. Plus it’s a cheaper Uber to the RiNo area than it is to Arvada.

Lucky for us, local groups like Cornerstone Apartments have income restricted units available at The Wheatley. The rent caps at $1202 (including all utilities) and the income is also capped at $44,900 for residents to qualify. Plus all new residents receive a Cornerstone Card that gives you discounts to local businesses. Check out their availability!

Work in the hospitality industry

Working in the hospitality industry allows for a work/life balance with a steady income and a non-conventional schedule. Plus, when you work for a lot of the hotel or restaurant groups that post on Sirvo you automatically get tapped into some of the best events this town has to offer. This is one of the fastest growing industries in the state/country and is quickly becoming a great place to start your career. Sirvo has a ton of great jobs across all professional spectrums. We love our city and we love having the time and the means at which to experience it.

Seriously though, Sirvo is the premier job board for the Colorado hospitality industry. We have the jobs and companies you are looking to work for. The hospitality industry is no longer just a temporary stop along the way to your “real” job, more often than not it is your “real” job and is the type of industry to take pride working in. We work hard, but we play hard too. Check out our job board and start applying today!

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How to Find the Best Local Restaurants When Traveling

How to Find the Best Local Restaurants When Traveling

Do you want a chance to step outside of your comfort zone? Hit the road and go somewhere that is on your bucket list. Travel is the best way to challenge yourself to try new things. One of the most important factors to consider when going to a new location is where are you going to eat. Don’t stay with your fellow tourists, rather eat with the locals. Use these tips for how to find local restaurants when traveling.

Use Personal Connections

Before you travel to a new destination, check with friends, family, and coworkers who have been to the same destination. Ask them what the local food scene is like and if they have any suggestions.

Try and get insider tips.

Try and get insider tips. For instance, how is the street food? What are the prices like in restaurants that are down side streets? What are some of the most popular restaurants for locals?

Do Your Research

The internet is your best friend when you are traveling. Check different travel websites before you leave. Do the same on the internet at your hotel. If a restaurant sounds interesting, check the reviews for it. Do not be afraid to try places that don’t have any reviews listed.

Do not be afraid to try places that don’t have any reviews listed.

Look for local deals and see if you qualify for the offer. Sometimes these offers are available to travelers especially if the location is new and trying to grow their customer base.

Walk around the non-tourist parts of town when you arrive. If a restaurant seems appealing, walk in and try it.

Brush up on the Local Language

When traveling outside of the country, it is important to understand the local customs and culture. One of the most important parts of the local culture is understanding the language.

Make sure you know how to read and speak key phrases. Some food related ones to know are: excuse me, what do you recommend? Where do you like to eat? What is in this dish?

These phrases along with basic manners will help you blend in a bit more.

These phrases along with basic manners will help you blend in a bit more. Making an attempt at a new language will get you in the good graces of locals, once you make the attempt many will switch to English if they know it.

Be Prepared to Expand Your Palette

Travel is an exciting escape from the everyday grind. It is the perfect time to try new dishes. Experiment as often as you can because you probably won’t be able to taste these dishes when you’re are back at home.

Take a risk and try something new.

Don’t be afraid. The worst that could happen when trying new flavors is that you don’t like it! So take a risk and try something new. However, if you know you have an allergy or sensitivity use caution.

Chat People Up

Ask the people at the hotel where they eat. Let them know you do not want to eat where typical travelers eat. If you are looking for a specific type of food let them know so they can narrow their choices down.

If you are traveling overseas, this includes talking to the flight attendants when you get the chance. There is a good chance they will have some recommendations especially if you are flying on one of their regular routes.

Do not be afraid to talk with people on the street. If something smells good and a local is walking by the location, ask them about it.

Ask the people at the hotel where they eat.

Ask the servers where they eat if you want future meal ideas. Talk to the people in tour centers as you pick up your tickets. Ask them where they eat for all meals.

While the primary goal is to find positive food experiences, take to heart any local opinions on places to avoid.

No matter if you are traveling for business or pleasure, use these tips to expand your food knowledge. Know your limits though and if you have any allergies or sensitivities, make sure you inquire what is in with the dishes that you want to try. Happy eating!

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Experience Sirvo for yourself

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How to Travel on a Budget

How to Travel on a Budget

Now that it’s almost spring and the weather is getting warmer, it’s the perfect time to travel. Don’t worry though, going on your next vacation doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank. There are ways to travel on a budget and still have a great time. That’s why we’re sharing the tips to make your dream vacation happen without emptying your bank account.

Do a lot of research on your travel destination

  • Google the places you’re interested in going to and find which sounds the best and most affordable.
  • Check out AAA for information on destinations and accommodations.
  • When you choose a location, buy a used guidebook – it might have some good tips in it!
  • Join as many loyalty programs as possible to get discounts on hotels and accommodations.
  • Ask friends who have traveled to the same location for their thoughts.

Find ways to save on your accommodations

  • Check with your credit card company to see if you have rewards or discounts on hotels.
  • If you are traveling to a well-known city, stay outside the city limits. It’ll be cheaper, and you’ll get a more culture-rich experience.
  • If you are traveling with more than one person, consider splitting the cost of a two-room suite rather than two separate hotel rooms.
  • Book hotels at the last minute.

Save money eating delicious food

  • Look for hotels that include free breakfast. Even if it just a bagel and some fruit, it is one less meal that you have to pay for during the day and you can even snag stuff to-go (shhh!).
  • Look accommodations with kitchens. This way you can save money by cooking some of your own meals, but still experience the cuisine by using local products.
  • Pack some of your favorite on-the-go snacks that travel easily. This way you won’t splurge on something expensive because you’re starving.
  • If there’s a to-die-for, but pricey restaurant, go for lunch rather than dinner. You will get a lot of the same service, but the food will be cheaper.

Find the best deals on events and must-see sites

  • Connect with locals who are happy to show you around for free instead of booking expensive tour guides.
  • Once you get to your destination, go to the welcome or tourist centers to gather more information, and maybe discounts, on events and sightseeing.
  • Look for free events and activities in town.
  • Find out if there are discount days for local museums and sites.

Consider your transportation options

  • If you’re road-tripping, split the cost of gas and tolls with everyone going on the trip.
  • Use public transportation instead of pricey taxis.
  • Use ride-sharing websites, or message boards like Gumtree to find rides with locals and other travelers
  • Walk instead of paying for transportation. Not only will you get more exercise, but you can see a lot more locations and save money!

When done right, traveling does not have to cost a lot. With a little extra preparation and some deal hunting, you can get away without breaking the bank. So, start planning your next vacation asap, use these tips to save money, and get some of that R and R that you deserve!

 

 

This Is What Chefs Snack On (And What You Should Too!)

This Is What Chefs Snack On (And What You Should Too!)

The endless hours between lunch and dinner are painful enough as it is—made even worse when you’re traveling and away from your kitchen. Whether you’re actually hungry or just need something to munch on to pass the time, tap into the food-oriented brains of some top chefs for their best snacking practices.

Don’t pack lightly

For everything from road trips to air travel, Fung Tu’s Jonathan Wu packs his go-to breakfast sandwich: a toasted poppy seed bagel with a fried egg, avocado and pimentos.

Stella Barra chef Jeff Mahin brings individual nut butter-honey packets, citing the protein and sugar combo as the perfect pick-me-up. But remember that if you’re airport bound, you’ll have to keep liquids to a minimum, which is why he also brings snack packs of trail mix. What else will you find in his carry-on? Dried meat. “I have a soft spot for beef jerky.”

Try the DIY lifestyle

Granola bars are generally delicious, and there’s no beating the convenience, but boxes of granola bars can get expensive. So, be like Mahin and make your own. He purées a mixture of soaked oats, almond milk, almond butter, raisins, cinnamon and vanilla, then boils it before letting it set in a baking dish.

Like Mahin, chef Brian Landry of New Orleans restaurant Borgne is a fan of beef jerky on road trips, specifically, the kind that’s homemade by one of his sous chefs.

Miss Lily’s executive chef Adam Schop makes a mean Chex mix, using pick-a-pepper sauce over Worcestershire for a Jamaican twist.

Moms-Secret-Christmas-Eve-Chex-Mix-6

Find your inner junkie

Rule number one of vacation: travel calories don’t count. Schop says when he’s on the road, he craves Samoas, the classic Girl Scout cookie. And though nowadays Wu travels with KIND bars and other granola snacks, that wasn’t always the case.

“As a kid when traveling with just my Dad, we had many ‘breakfasts’ on trains consisting solely of pizza-flavored Combos!”

Mahin totes around snack-size packets of Nutella, a trick that “makes it easier to justify than eating an entire regular-size jar.”

Landry feels the same way, saying his guilty pleasure is a quality bar of chocolate. “Preferably with almonds or sea salt.”

Embrace the surroundings

While it’s tempting to try and bring all your favorite snacks from home, traveling is the perfect time to try new foods.

Though Landry always tries gulf seafood (“I love seeing what people in other parts of the country are doing with the product caught right at my back door”), he also likes to try different flavored potato chips like jamon, crab and octopus.

“I try my best to eat like the locals,” Wu says. That’s how he discovered—and fell in love with—Sino-Indian food while traveling in India.

Mahin agrees: “I like finding honest food in cities.” The roadside shack could end up being a hidden gem—maybe even your next travel destination itself.

This article originally appeared on Tasting Table.