Longtime Colorado Springs Mexican Restaurant Closing | Culture & Leisure

Lydia Martinez, owner of Mexican restaurant Vallejo, 111 S. Corona St., will fry her last relleno peppers and hang up her apron on Friday.

Although she initially wanted to sell the restaurant and retire, she decided to continue. At 87, she still loved coming to cook and wanted to keep the restaurant open until March 17 for the family restaurant’s 60th anniversary celebration. With that goal achieved, she came to the conclusion that it was time to retire and prepare for a trip to visit her family in Mexico.

“It didn’t make good business sense to keep the restaurant open. We will put the building back on the market later,” said Phill Vallejo, Martinez’s son.

Column from Ramsey Vallejo's 2

Vallejo’s Restaurant, introduced in 2019, is tucked away down an alley on Corona St. in downtown Colorado Springs. (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

“She didn’t get an offer for the price she wanted for the property and decided to wait until the flats being built around us were completed and see if there was any interest then. ”

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We stopped in to enjoy one of his latest Friday dishes: a plate of relleno peppers smothered in spicy green chili. It was as good as ever, and we got a chance to hear more about his plans.

“I have a lot to do in my house,” she said. “Fix a bathroom and add a little addition. Then I’ll be ready for my trip to Mexico.

Upcoming train crash

Mitch Yellen, CEO and Founder of Altitude Hospitality Group, hosts a grand opening for the newest addition to his restaurant collection: Trainwreck Colorado, a sports bar at 812 S. Sierra Madre St., with the grand opening at 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. (21 and over after 10 p.m.) Sept. 10

Longtime Colorado Springs Mexican Restaurant Closing

A block diagram of Trainwreck Colorado, a downtown sports bar, slated to open September 10.

Other Yellen venues include Garden of the Gods Market & Café, Garden of the Gods Catering and Events, Till Kitchen, The Pinery at the Hill, Vine & Wheel and The Pinery North.

The sports bar will get 30% off food and drink during the opening event, and you can experience the wide range of entertainment on offer in the spacious building, which was once an automotive supply business. Trainwreck has a stadium-sized TV on the main level, where there’s a large bar in the center of the room, and a bank of golf simulators in the basement.

Outside, front and back, there will be sand volleyball, pétanque, garden games and a nine-hole putting green. Of course, there will also be music and food to enjoy.

Evan Wagstaff is the executive chef who, along with his 10-person kitchen team, prepares a menu of “spicy dishes using local ingredients,” Wagstaff said.

The menu includes chicken wings, dips, mac and cheese, sliders, salads, pizzas, sandwiches, burgers, tacos, barbecue ribs, steaks, and fish and chips. The Trainwreck Twinkie ($15) caught our eye with shrimp and bacon tossed in cream cheese and stuffed in a jalapeno, then wrapped in wonton wrap and fried, served with a side of green chili.

Trainwreck hours of operation are 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday, 4 p.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday. Visit trainwreckco.com.

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Harvest festival

Harvest Fest at The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey kicks off with a wine dinner at Royal Gorge Bridge and Park’s Cafe 1230 on September 23 at 6 p.m.

For $150 per guest, you get a step-by-step food and wine tour with nine courses at tasting stations where diners can graze around the selections. There is free transport to the park from Canon City and back. Call 877-422-9463 or email [email protected] for tickets.

The Harvest Festival continues from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. September 24 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. September 25 on the winery at 3011 E. Colorado 50. The festival is free to the public with ample parking and offers wine, live music, food, chili roasting, freshly harvested produce, and arts and crafts vendors.

Wine connoisseurs can sample limited versions of Harvest Fest’s Riesling along with other wines produced at the winery. The tasting room offers more for sale than wine. You will find sheets of Provence there; pottery from Spain, Tunisia, Portugal and France; and a huge range of food, wine and travel books. Pets are not allowed. Details: 719-276-5191, abbeywinery.com.

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Tasting of progressive desserts

The Popsicle Promenade Dessert Tasting takes place on Fridays with summer-themed candies from 13 participating restaurants and galleries downtown, from 5-8 p.m. Popsicle Passports are $10. Visit centre-villecs.com/popsicle.

Contact the author: 636-0271.

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