8 Foodbeast-worthy Restaurants And What To Order In Aspen, CO

Aspen, the stunning mountain town in Colorado, can be quiet at times. This doesn’t mean the restaurant scene cannot boast a formidable roar when it comes to mouthwatering eats.

Java Monster fueled us up as we took a culinary tour through some of the best eats Aspen Colorado had to offer. Whether you’re visiting to get a lung-full of the fresh mountain air or eager to see the world famous Winter X-Games, you have to keep yourself charged. You just have to know where to look.

Check out this list below of MUST-TRY spots in the stunning mountain destination. This list is powered by our earnest recommendations of places that are delicious, in a beautiful backdrop, that won’t break the bank.

Butcher’s Block

There’s nothing that will warm you up like a hearty sandwich, and Butcher’s Block’s famous meatloaf sandwich doesn’t get any heartier in Aspen. It features your choice of bread (I strongly recommend the French Roll) and is loaded with mayo, mustard, lettuce, and tomato. The meatloaf itself combines juicy pork and beef along with a medley of spices coming together to form a unity of flavor in your mouth.

CP Burger

Anyone looking for a bit of casual recreation in the city can stop into CP Burger. The fast-casual burger shop serves up not only mouthwatering gourmet burgers, but also hot dogs, fries, and Spiked Shakes that will warm you up in the middle of winter.
The restaurant also features Aspen’s only outdoor skating rink. When the season heats up, the rink transforms into a mini-golf park. Activities galore!

Home Team BBQ

Home Team is a local spot on Buttermilk Range with a cozy interior and some legit barbecue. The habanero jelly and creamy white Alabama sauce with their wings are a winner. They also fuse together barbecue and brunch or breakfast, with items like a brunch burger, BBQ breakfast burritos and enchiladas, and more on the menu.

Hops Culture

You don’t have to go camping to enjoy s’mores. In fact, Hops Culture bar serves up a tableside s’mores platter that takes the camping experience straight to the bar, letting you enjoy some craft brews all while getting your childhood fix of graham crackers, chocolate, and roasted marshmallows in a casual setting.

Meat & Cheese Restaurant

Rich artisanal cheeses, savory meats, and bread so fresh you can smell it from a block away. Meat & Cheese specializes in a variety of boards, and one of their most popular ones draws its name from the restaurant itself: The Meat and Cheese Platter. Great for small groups to share, once you crush the entire platter, you can walk it off inside the farm shop and peruse through their selection of speciality charcuterie, cheeses, seafood, soups, and sauces.

Paradise Bakery & Cafe


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by foodbeast (@foodbeast) on

Paradise bakery makes a ton of baked goods, from stuffed croissants to freshly made cookies. If you’re looking for some frozen treats on the mountain, the affogatos are a must! They can be made with any of Paradise’s ice cream flavors, such as birthday cake, acting as a creamy companion for your coffee.

Su Casa Mexican Restaurant

For anyone trying to find shelter from the icy weather, Su Casa Mexican Restaurant specializes in a pretty fiery dish. Called the “Crazy Pig,” this seafood dish is served inside a whimsical pig-shaped molcajete and filled with a red tomatillo sauce, scallops, mussels, cheese, and garnished with fried shrimp. A little latin heat to this chilly hamlet.

The Red Onion

One of the oldest bars and restaurants in Aspen, The Red Onion has been around since 1892. A stunning establishment, the building boasts a gorgeous Victorian aesthetic that’s been gradually updated through the ages.

On the menu you’ll find American classics like the Colorado Burger, as well as The Red Onion’s popular customizable Mac and Cheese. Seriously guys, you can load this plate of mac up with all your favorite meats: bacon, shrimp, or even pulled pork and top them with roasted jalapenos.

According to owner Brad Smith, The Red Onion serves more Coors Banquet than any other single outlet in the country.

Created in partnership with Java Monster. 

Fast Food Restaurants What's New

Double Bread Bowls Are Coming To Panera Bread Locations Nationwide For A Limited Time

Last year, Panera Bread tested a Double Bread Bowl that had folks buzzing with excitement. Featuring an oblong sourdough loaf with two “bowls” in the middle, it gave people the ability to get double the soup or pasta with the same amount of bread.

Panera is now ready to unleash that concept to the rest of the country with a nationwide launch of the Double Bread Bowl.

double bread bowlPhoto courtesy of Panera Bread

Like last time, you can get any combination of Panera’s soups or pastas, including mac & cheese, inside of either of the bowls. Panera has also added some new items to their menu since the test last August, including custom-built mac & cheeses that will also be available options to further personalize your double offering.

There is one caveat to this, however, as those that order online will only get to choose from a lineup of five different soup pairings. They are as follows:

  • Chicken Noodle and Broccoli Cheddar
  • Creamy Tomato and Broccoli Cheddar
  • Broccoli Cheddar and Broccoli Cheddar
  • Bistro French Onion and Broccoli Cheddar
  • Ten Vegetable and Creamy Tomato

If you want to customize beyond this, such as piling on the mac & cheese, you’ll have to get the Double Bread Bowls in-store.

Panera’s bread bowl will be available from February 14th to February 28th at participating restaurants nationwide starting at $9.99 each.

Fast Food Video

Panera Bread Just Launched A Build-Your-Own Mac & Cheese Menu

Panera Bread just added something to their food lineup that no major national quick-service restaurant chain has yet to play with: a custom, build-your-own mac & cheese menu.

build-your-own macPhoto courtesy of Panera Bread.

The base of Panera’s creative lineup starts with their white Vermont cheddar mac. From there, you’re able to add on a variety of toppings at no charge. You can choose two premium toppings (out of a lineup of 3), and up to 3 other accompaniments (out of a list of 4).

Your options for toppings and accompaniments are as follows:

Premium Toppings

  • Avocado
  • Bacon
  • Smoked Pulled Chicken

Other Accompaniments

  • BBQ Sauce
  • Cilantro
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Frizzled (aka fried) Onions

If you’re not sure what to top your mac with, Panera also has a few pre-set options available. These include BBQ Chicken (chicken, fried onions, and BBQ sauce), Baja (avocado and pico de gallo), and Bacon.

Panera’s build-your-own mac menu may not have the variety of other spots, like San Francisco’s MAC’D. However, no other national quick-service chain has flirted with such a concept before, meaning that access to this mac & cheese creation hub isn’t too far away from wherever you are, especially given Panera’s national reach.

You can find the custom mac lineup at participating Panera locations nationwide, and also order it via their online app and website. There’s also a catering version that’s more of a build-your-own mac bar, where all of the toppings come served on the side.

Restaurants Video

Custom Build The Mac And Cheese Of Your Dreams At This Restaurant

Mac and cheese has to be one of the United States’ ultimate comfort foods. There’s something inherently relaxing about watching a waterfall of cheese ooze from the pasta clinging to your fork, and the warmth each bite brings to you.

If you’re in San Francisco and are obsessed with cheesy mac, there’s a massive culinary playground for the beloved comfort dish that’s a must try.

mac and cheesePhoto: Foodbeast // Eloise Kim

The place is called MAC’D, and they’ve taken the ability to custom build mac and cheese to unprecedented levels. You’ve got six different sauces, three  starch bases (two pastas and a cauliflower option), and a whopping 20 mix-ins and toppings to choose from.

You’re not just choosing from standard ingredients, though. There’s options like Korean short rib, pulled pork, crab, shrimp, truffle oil, Hot Cheetos, and more to choose from. Every custom bowl is also built to order, so while it may take a while to cook, you know that you’re getting everything cooked fresh, something a fast-casual chain isn’t always able to offer.

By leveraging this unique spread of toppings, sauces, and pastas, MAC’D has become a treat yourself-style mac and cheese spot where creativity runs as wild as the cheese pulls folks are capturing on social media.

MAC’D started as a pop-up in early 2017, and gained enough traction to open up their first location in San Francisco’s Marina District that July. Since then, response to the concept has been massive, and owners Antony Bello and Chen-Chen Huo already have a second SF location up and running on Fillmore Street in the Russian Hill District.

They’re also delivering in the Portland, Oregon area, a “ghost kitchen” model that the company hopes to use to expand to another 4-6 cities in the next year. From there, they said they’ll continue to open more brick-and-mortar spots based on which locations resonate with their brand.

“In the next 5-10 years, we hope to have MAC’D locations in every metropolitan hub, while serving more broadly through delivery or even affordable packaged meals,” Huo told Foodbeast.

Cravings Video

We Can’t Take Our Eyes Off These Soothing Mac & Cheese Videos

I’ve only recently become familiar with the concept of ASMR videos. Before that, my YouTube experience mostly consisted of Mark Morrison and sneaker lacing tutorials.

Also known as Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, ASMR is essentially an experience that gives your body a sensation typically through a tandem of audio and visual stimulation — more commonly done via YouTube videos.

Here’s an example:

Not being one with a sweet tooth, cakes really don’t do it for me. However, I discovered something else equally effective.

Being lactose intolerant, I find the macaroni and cheese making process incredibly appealing. Though my body rejects dairy like a half-hearted prom proposal, my eyes and ears are drawn to the process of combining noodle to cheese and the sensation that comes from hearing them slow dance in a stainless steel gymnasium.

YouTube, however, can be a mixed bag when I’m searching for recipes. Some days, I don’t want to hear someone talking — just the soothing sounds of mac and cheese creation.

Below are some of the best mac and cheese recipes and interactions that feature limited to ZERO dialogue. All you pretty much hear is the tranquil soundtrack of macaroni and cheese coming to be.

God, look at all that cheese.

Soft whispers are cool too, just as long as you’re not shouting your recipe. Why is everybody shouting on the Internet these days?

Now, I can actually take or leave the eating parts of these videos. Seeing someone eat food that I can’t taste myself doesn’t appeal to me whether you’re male or female. Probably why I’ll never get into mukbang. Still, I can respect someone crushing an entire tray of macaroni and cheese for video content.

Finally, you can’t go wrong with Kraft Mac. A lifetime ago, before the intolerance kicked in, Kraft Mac and Cheese was a third of my college diet. How I miss it.

Next time you have a stressful day, I highly recommend looking up some ASMR videos of your favorite foods. Macaroni and cheese isn’t for everyone, but there are literally hundreds of other ASMR recipe videos on the Internet that will send tingles down your spine.

#foodbeast Brand Cravings Features FOODBEAST Restaurants SPONSORED Video

Lucille’s Brisket Mac Melt Is A Magnificent Marvel Of Barbecue

A post shared by foodbeast (@foodbeast) on

Since the art of barbecue has been around, smoked brisket and mac ‘n cheese have always existed in complete harmony. In homage of this perfect culinary marriage, Chris Ferrell, Executive Chef at Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que at MainPlace Mall in Santa Ana, California, created a new Lucille’s BBQ Brisket Mac Melt Sandwich, a beautifully stacked masterpiece of barbecued goodness.

brisket mac melt

For barbecue fans, there might not be anything more delicious than this combination of soft and juicy, perfectly smoked brisket, paired with the smooth creaminess of velvety soft mac ‘n cheese.

This item features a few thick slices of Lucille’s perfectly smoked brisket, a steamy helping of melty, creamy mac ‘n cheese, strips of savory applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, and crispy onion straws.

brisket mac melt

To top off this behemoth of brisket sandwiches, it’s drenched in Lucille’s famous BBQ sauce and served on two thick slices of crispy Texas toast. 

Think you can conquer this beastly creation of barbecue sandwiches? There’s only one way to find out—you better grab a napkin. 

Created in partnership with MainPlace Mall

Packaged Food Video

These Kids Eat 100 Years Of Instant Food [WATCH]

Instant foods have become a pillar in every day diets. When you’re running behind and can’t find the time to cook a meal, simply throwing something pre-made in the microwave can make all the world of difference for you and your family.

Bon Appetit created a new 100 year video showcasing the rich history behind instant foods dating all the way back to the 1920s. In the video, a panel of kids try a variety of quick and microwavable foods you don’t need to spend much time cooking up.

Notable dishes include popcorn, microwave dinners, astronaut foods, instant pancake mix, Hamburger Helper, and Velveeta cheese. Essentially all the food groups you need for a balanced on-the-go lifestyle.

Man, it really makes us feel old when these kids say they don’t recognize some of the foods they’re trying.

Humor Video

Watch Kraft’s Charmingly Vulgar Mother’s Day Commercial

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and this year, Kraft is giving moms a little extra love. In honor of the National Holiday, the mac and cheese brand teamed up with swearing expert Melissa Mohr, Ph.D., in a hilarious commercial short: Swear Like a Mother.

The idea is that moms aren’t perfect, they’ll mess up just like everyone else because they’re human. This includes swearing like a sailor upon occasion. Statistically, 74 percent of moms have admitted to swearing in front of their own children.

Mohr is the author of Holy Sh*T: A Brief History of Swearing, a book on alternative swear words moms can use around their kids.

Check out the short in the video above. This officially serves as your first reminder to get your mom something for Mother’s Day.

Kraft is also developing adorable mac and cheese ear plugs for children, in case swearing alternatives cannot be found in the heat of the moment.