Cook a Mayan Salad with Adam's Mountain Cafe in Manitou Springs, Colorado.
How did you get started?
I was a server for 10 years at Adam's when the previous owner asked me and three other employees to partner together for the purchase of Adam's. All dropped out but me. I couldn't qualify for a business loan on a server salary so the previous owner carried the loan for five years.
Where are you located?
We are now located in the East End of Manitou Springs. That distinction is significant because we moved here a year ago out of the very busy downtown core. In August of 2013 the Cafe was severely flooded and we were shut down for almost two months. We had the best location in town and the most dangerous. I took the risk of moving us to the desolate East End and out of the flood zone. It was a better move then I ever could have anticipated.
What are your specialities?
We specialize in Vegetarian and Vegan cuisines primarily however we offer fresh seafood, local Boulder All Natural Chicken and fresh roasted turkey as well. When Adam's opened 30 years ago, the hope was to be the first vegetarian restaurant in Carnivorous El Paso County but the owner knew that a strictly Vegetarian restaurant would never make it her so she brought on poultry and seafood. The original menu also focused on Organic, whole foods and minimal packaging. I still maintain that philosophy today however we have added locally sourced organic foods to our model.
What's your personal favorite thing on the menu?
The "Huevos Rancheros" is my favorite breakfast item although I get the "vegan version" which subs sesame crusted tofu for the eggs and no dairy. For lunch, it's the "Small Planet Burger". In the 24 years I have been at Adam's I have never tasted a vegetarian burger that could rival our Planet Burger. And for dinner it's the "Chicken Satay" with coconut jasmine rice and peanut sauce - again I sub tofu for chicken.
What's on the stereo?
Pandora. We listen to World Beat music, Frank Sinatra, Patsy Cline, Spanish guitar,no pop music - anything to not sound like the supermarket or an elevator.
Where else should we visit in your area?
You must go to Garden of the Gods park. It's less then a mile away and absolutely gorgeous. The Penny Arcade in Manitou is crazy cool with its vintage arcade games. Bristol Brewing Company in Colorado Springs is a must drink. Bristol renovated a boarded up elementary school in a Colorado Springs neighborhood and put their entire brewing operation inside along with a butcher, a bakery, a little cocktail bar called the Principals Office and an outdoor music venue. Pretty hip for CS.
Do you host any special events?
Not really. Instead we offer the Cafe as a place for locals to have meetings after hours or non profits to hold functions free of charge. We partner often with our little school district so they can host faculty functions off school grounds - again free of charge.
Is there anything else you'd like us to know?
We expanded our wine and beer menu to full bar a few months ago. We stock Colorado liquors and Colorado craft beer on tap exclusively. We do accept reservations because weekends are crazy busy but walk ins are always welcomed. We feature solo musicians on Thursday evening and Friday mornings for breakfast including a Spanish guitarist, a Dulcimer player, a Violinist and a gentleman who plays the Chapman Stick just to name a few.
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