Usually when we're on the road, we search for quirky small town cafes or curious roadside diners. But last June, we gave ourselves a lunch treat at the lovely Broadmoor Hotel.
A man named Doug, popped his head out and welcomed us. He encouraged us more, when he mentioned free valet parking. I asked him if we could pull over before heading to valet parking... to tidy up and change shoes. He thought that was funny.
Quite the Valet Area
There were 8 valets in full uniform when we pulled up. I climbed out and grinned at all the loveliness surrounding us. Just in the carport area (which of course would never be called that) I spotted brass cherubs and God-like faces, two mounted buffalo heads...
...and a lovely green, Broadmoor Rolls-Royce, sitting out by the fountain.
Lunch at La Taverne
There are something like 18 restaurants, in the sprawling resort complex. We were just interested in the original hotel from 1918. We entered the the glamorous, pink stucco building and found our way to La Taverne.
The legendary Tavern steakhouse (originally no "e" after Tavern) was added in 1930, to celebrate the end of prohibition. The decor included lots of wine bottles... in chandeliers and sconces. I failed to get a photo of the original Toulouse Lautrec posters, that decorated the walls. Not sure when they were added.
We passed the curving bar in the main room and then a dining counter, with a chef at work. All looked wonderful, but a little too quiet and empty. Where was everyone?
It seemed that most of the people were dining outside in the atrium, surrounded by lush growth, with a 16-foot chandelier hanging above.
I didn't spot any live flamingos wandering about, but there were some, back in the day.
Mid-Century Modern Lingers
We were seated at a table between the main dining room and Le Jardin. Evidently this area was added in 1939 and called Tavern Lanai. They likely served tiki cocktails, while Hawaiian music played. In 1953, there was a new theme and the space became the Mayan Room.
There was a lot of geometric fun with all the wall angles and squares of light wood. I wonder if these little faces and designs were part of the Mayan theme?
The service was excellent. In fact our server, Matthew was so quick to whip my napkin into my lap, I was jolted. When he wasn't looking I put it back and snapped my pic.
Oh my, the bread was heavenly! I was so happy with warm bread and soft Tavern butter.
The food was fabulous and not overly priced! Don had chicken salad, on retro Tavern china. The salad had a little zip and zing to the flavor, that made the cool melon and zucchini bread, taste extra nice.
Matthew was so pleased when I ordered the chicken pot pie. He said it would be the best I ever tasted... but to not tell my grandmother! It was delicious and it looked like a sweet little boat. The hole in the top let out a blast of yummy steam. The piping hot chicken, pearl onions and peas looked like they were trying to escape!
A trip to the restroom was extra fun. First of all, I loved the door with its title, "Retiring Rooms". On the way to the very elegant Ladies Room, I enjoyed glancing at about 1,000 dusty bottles of wine and liquor.
I heard that Spencer Penrose, who built The Broadmoor in 1918, was not too pleased about prohibition. He hoarded and collected and hid massive amounts of liquor in preparation. He also drank what he'd collected. I read that most of these empty bottles were enjoyed, during prohibition.
I love nothing better than going on a walk, after a huge feast or just a tasty lunch. We did just that, inside the beautiful 101 year old building.
While peering out of a few upper windows, we realized we were really missing the best walk of all. We headed out to enjoy the gorgeous weather and the grounds, that were designed by the same man who created Central Park!
We barely scratched the surface, of experiencing this historic hotel! I took in what I could as we wandered across the bridge for a rear view of the hotel. I pretended I was a hotel guest, not a lunch guest. I don't think I fooled anyone.
They're going to have to drop their hotel prices before we can stay a night and add Broadmoor to my 90-Notable Nights Blog!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.