Tag Archives: Roma Restaurant

10 Things I Will Miss About Greeley, Colorado


Posted by Cassie

Greeley, Colorado has, for a long time, struggled with its identity. Where other Front Range cities have a good idea who they are and what they stand for, Greeley seems to flounder a bit. It has been the butt of jokes that usually end with “the smell of money” or, more recently, “the exact opposite of Hawaii“. But there is so much good stuff going on in Greeley that it is a shame that we Greeleyites don’t share it more. All this good stuff is a bit of a secret that is finally starting to get out.

That is exactly the aim of the new PR marketing campaign Greeley Unexpected: to start a new conversation about what Greeley is and who and what makes it unique. It got me thinking about how much I really do love Greeley and how much I will miss my hometown when we move to Puerto Rico.

Britton-and-Cassie-at-Greeley-Parade
Britton and me at the Greeley Stampede 4th of July Parade one year

We know what it is like to live in Greeley. Both Britton and I were born and raised in Greeley (though I moved to a small rural town 20 miles away for about 10 years before moving back). We both went to public school here, got our first jobs here, went to college here at both Aims and the University of Northern Colorado, and we bought our house here, as well as a number of rental properties. Our families are here. Our friends. Our memories. Our life! Greeley has in so many ways large and small made us who we are, and so we are so thankful for it and will miss it greatly! Let me count the ways!

(Feel free to click around on the links provided to read more about each one. All photos in this post are taken by us from or for this very site, LifeTransPlanet.)

Kress-Outside Kress Beer and Popcorn
Magical Land of Great Movies, Beer and Popcorn: the Kress Movie Theater in Greeley!

1) Indie Options
I know I will miss our favorite Greeley indie hangouts. Some of these include the Kress Cinema and Lounge, or Margie’s Java Joint (now the Blue Mug at Margie’s). At the Kress you can have a beer with your popcorn or food and watch a free cult classic on late Friday or Sunday nights, or watch a new indie film at other times. At Margie’s you can have a coffee and check out art and it even has a weird doll in the floor! We haven’t yet tried the Moxi Theatre, but that sounds cool too. We even have a local, independent brewery called Crabtree and a new one is slated to open up soon! The downtown Roma restaurant has a totally hippie/indie vibe to it with a loud, rowdy college crowd in a long-ago converted church. And Cafe Panache brings a touch of funky French sophistication. We will also miss all our favorite, local and inexpensive restaurants.

Walking-around-Sandborn-Lake
Westlake/Sandborn Park

2) Beautiful Parks
Greeley really is blessed with some of the most gorgeous and abundant parks in any city I have visited. It has over 30 parks in the city limits from skate parks, to open space parks. All of them are beautifully landscaped and filled with many varieties of trees. We love Josephine B. Jones Park for its natural wandering trails, Bittersweet for its long path, memorial monuments and huge lake, Sandborn for its perched view around the lake and sand volleyball pit, Ramseier Farm Park with its farm animal footprints in the cement, sundial and access to the ditch trail and I have mentioned it before but Glenmere Park just has something magical and alluring about it that is hard to describe. And on and on. Greeley really has it going on with its parks and I will miss them treemendously! :-)

 Awesome sunset
Greeley gets awesome mountain views and sunsets -picture taken from our Greeley backyard!

3) Small Town Charm with Big City Amenities
Greeley is pretty cool because you can get nearly anything you would in a big city (nearly every chain and corporate store you can name), but it just doesn’t feel like a big city. There are nearly 100,000 people, but it still feels like Mayberry a little. We just know each other: our neighbors, our mechanic, our hairdresser, our grocery store clerk, etc. Maybe it’s because I have lived here so long, but it’s a rare occasion that I leave the house and don’t see someone I know. You can be a big fish here pretty easily or you can remain relatively anonymous if you want to as well. And being just on the edge where the prairie meets the front range, we get the most gorgeous 180 full view of the Rocky Mountains of any of the Colorado cities.

Longhorns-in-Parade
Longhorn Cows on Parade

4) Greeley is easy and safe to live in  
There are many pluses to living in Greeley for health, finances, employment and schooling. Greeley passed a smokefree law a full 3 years before the rest of Colorado. There have been huge strides in smart growth. The city has maintained a high standard of living with overall clean water, land and air, honest and effective police, fire and rescue teams, and many medical providers including a large hospital. The job market is shifting from primarily blue collar into a few more white collar, higher paying positions. Gang issues have been overall addressed appropriately and are no bigger a problem than in other large cities. Housing and cost of living in Greeley is dramatically lower than other places. The grid driving system is easy to navigate and parking is FREE nearly everywhere.

There are two Recreation Centers (the Rec Center and the Fun Plex), swimming pools and splash parks, and even an ice skating rink. We have a top of the line library system that we use extensively! There are many learning options including Aims, the beautiful campus of UNC and the vocational schools. Overall, you have everything you need to succeed in Greeley!

Cassie-and-Einstein
Cool Mural next to Lincoln Library

5) Progressive City in a Traditional/Conservative County
This is another rare combination that is hard to find in other places. While most of Weld County is very rural, conservative and very ok with things remaining as they had 50 or 100 years ago, Greeley, the county seat, is, by comparison, remarkably progressive and forward thinking. This combination makes for an interestingly diverse political and social dialogue. I think it has resulted in a city that is rooted in and values its history and what was good about the past, but ready and able to leap into the future as well.


Connie Willis and Me
I met Connie Willis at a book event

6) Its People
What is a city without its people? Truly Greeley has some of the nicest and most interesting people who have lived here or are currently living here. Most are not flashy about living here, because Greeley is not about flashiness. Most are good, friendly, helpful and hardworking people. Some are extraordinary like the people highlighted by Greeley Unexpected: Connie Willis, the sci-fi writer, Amando Silva, the performance artist, or Ryan Mayeda the philanthropist chiropractor, but many are just honest, decent and living good lives. It’s hard not to like people from Greeley and I will miss them dearly!

Quince
A Private Quinceanera Party at Island Grove
 
7) Mexican Influence
Greeley has a large immigrant population, primarily Latinos and specifically mainly from Mexico. Some are second or third generation, but all have brought a distinct and awesome Latino flavor to Greeley. With this cultural influx we have authentic Mexican food, tiendas (shops), events and more. Often I think the general population doesn’t fully take advantage of this great opportunity!

Because of this influence I have been able to become fluent in Spanish and use it in my daily life. Britton and I cannot stand store-bought old Mission tortillas when you can have local tortillas fresh from the comal or made-that-day tamales or barbacoa from Los Comales or La Espiga Dorada. By simply getting to know our neighbors we have been invited to fun Mexican parties including quinceañeras. Because of this Mexican influence, we have also met a curandero (traditional folk healer), and our frozen confection of choice during the summer are those paletas sold from one of the men walking behind the ringing carts throughout Greeley.

Greeley is becoming more and more diverse as well with immigrants from all over the world. I will miss getting to know all of these cultures as well.

ferris-wheel
The Carnival Comes to Town at the Stampede every year around the 4th of July

8) Cultural/Community Events
Greeley has such a plethora of community and cultural events it’s hard to know where to start. Most events occur in the summer like the Arts Picnic, the Blues Jam, Friday Fests, Cinco de Mayo events, and, of course, the Greeley Stampede, but there are also nationally recognized shows, performances and events at the Union Colony Civic Center like the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra and sometimes at the University like the Canvas and Chocolate event I went to or the Gasland event there or at the libraries.

Cassie-at-train-museum
At the Train Station Museum in Greeley

Other cultural hot spots include the Greeley Freight Station Museum, one of the world’s largest miniature model train set museums in Greeley as well as Centennial Village, a village museum of the late 1800s where kids can even have a summer experience as a child of 100 or more years ago, the City of Greeley’s main museum downtown and Nathan Meeker’s home/museum. We also have a summer farmers’ market and a few festivals and charity events like the huge Relay for Life.

Cassie-Ponytail-on-Bike bike-bw
Biking in Greeley

9) Walkablity/Bikeability: This is sort of in the same vein as Parks and Community Events, but I think it merits its own point. Greeley is a very flat city that makes it very easy to ride bikes. Its bicycle infrastructure has improved dramatically as of late with the City of Greeley recently being awarded the Bronze Level as a Bicycle Friendly Community with its 85 miles of bike lanes. There is always a great Bike-to-Work Day event each June as well as the Moonlight Bike Ride  in July put on by the Greeley PD. We are so thankful to have and will miss greatly the Poudre Trail that connects Island Grove in Greeley to Windsor and Fort Collins via a walking/biking trail and other trails like the recent ditch trail by our house. They are also adding more sidewalks and bus stops to encourage alternate forms of transportation than just by car.

Outdoor-Grill

BBQing in our backyard

10) The Summers
In Greeley, the summers are fabulous! There is so much to do. The evenings are cool and it’s sunlight until what feels like 10pm. It is never humid or muggy. People are out in the neighborhoods, going to events, parties, growing gardens, hanging out in their yards, BBQing, swimming, walking, biking. It is such a vibrant community that you really see in its full glory of the summers. For me, summertime in Greeley is the best and I am sure I will miss it a lot, even living in a tropical environment.

PlumsCold-over-the-lake
Plums on a tree in summer and a snowy winter day in our backyard

Many people enjoy the other seasons of the year in Greeley as well with changing leaves and crisper evenings of fall, the cozy indoor lives of warm foods, puffing chimneys and glistening snow of winter, and the new growth and excitement that comes with blooming flowers and trees throughout town in the spring, Some people say that the seasons help them appreciate each one more and they look forward to the (sometimes daily) change in the weather.

Kitty-and-Colors
Our cat Kitty and the changing leaves of a Greeley autum 

Overall, while Greeley has its share of problems that cannot and should not be just brushed aside, there is so much more good about it. I hope you enjoyed hearing about this wonderful place I will always call home.

What do you think? What do you feel are the best parts of Greeley? Do you ever miss your home town?

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Best Greeley Restaurants


Posted by Cassie

This is a list of the best restaurants in Greeley, or at least they are our favorites. A lot of these you have probably seen mentioned in some of the posts before, but I thought I’d focus on them this time. Living in Greeley, Britton and I go out to dinner about once a week, so these are the top picks in our opinion. There are a lot of restaurants out there, and there may be new favorites in Greeley that we just haven’t been turned on to yet, but this is the list so far.


At Old Chicago in Greeley on Valentine’s Day

We try to frequent the non-chain, mom and pop diners and restaurants more than the big franchises. The big franchises don’t need any extra help with marketing, so here’s our pitch for the best, non-national , non-chain local restaurants in Greeley, Colorado. I’ll also include the price and my and Britton’s favorite picks off the menu (we don’t usually order drinks besides water, nor any appetizers or desserts except on rare occasion, so if you do, factor that into the cost).

El Charro -This Mexican restaurant has been around for many, many years. It was only about a block from the house in Greeley that I grew up in, so we would often walk there for a meal. It is still probably the closest restaurant to our current home, so we like to ride our bikes there in the summer. The larger meals can be in the $10 range, but we usually don’t eat that much. I like the chicken chimichanga a la carte and Britton likes two beef soft tacos. This meal usually costs us about $12. When we do splurge on a dessert it is here with their fried ice cream that we share!

Roma -Although the name is Roma, most people around here call it Roma’s. It started out as a small restaurant down by the college on 8th Ave where they played loud reggae music and served up pizzas and calzones or caroli as they call them. Now there is another restaurant on west 10th as well. It is a bit nicer and cleaner, but doesn’t have quite the same vibe as the original. I like the taco caroli and Britton likes the supreme known as The Caroli. I also like the Nutty Idea -it has cashews and cream cheese on it! You can also build your own caroli or pizza from a long list of ingredients.  Ask for honey to eat any remaining crust for a sweet ending! And make sure you bring in the 1/2 price coupons too and you can get a meal for two with tip for less than $10!

Cattlemen’s Steakhouse -My family, and especially my dad, really always liked Cattlemen’s. That’s why it was so neat to have his memorial poker party there. When they took away the salad bar for a while, it took a good part of the fun away. So many people complained that they finally brought it back. It is a little more expensive than some of our other favorite restaurants, but it is a steakhouse after all. I like the shish-kabobs or the pepper steak with the salad bar. Britton usually goes for the the cowboy steak. Total cost for the two of us without a coupon: $30-$35.

Pho Duy -This is new to Greeley, but already one of our favorite restaurants (and we tell anyone who’ll listen about it, like our niece and nephew). For those of you who don’t know what pho is, it is a traditional Vietnamese beef broth soup. They bring out a plate of bean sprouts, limes, thai basil, culantro, and jalapeño peppers. We usually order a medium bowl of pho each. I get the rare steak and Britton often get the brisket cut. When it arrives it is piping hot and filled with rice noodles, a few onions, cilantro and the meat. We load it up with all the fixings from the plate and enjoy a healthy meal for about $6 each. Make sure to get your card punched to get a free meal after 10 punches.

Canton Garden, Hunan and Wonderful Inn- Usually when we are thinking Chinese food these restaurants come to the top of the list. Both Canton Garden and Hunan have excellent lunch specials where for about $6 a plate you get rice, the main meal, soup and at Canton (but not Hunan) you get an egg roll too! We go to Wonderful Inn for take-out and sometimes an evening meal because it’s close to our house. I like the spicy meals at both Hunan and Canton Garden (Szechuan chicken) or sometimes the chow mein. Britton likes mu shu chicken at Hunan and hasn’t settled on a favorite at Canton Garden. At Wonderful Inn, I like the #1 or the veggie lo mein for take-out.

Los Comales or La Espiga Dorada -These aren’t exactly restaurants per se, (they are tortillerias) but we love going to them for real authenic Mexican food. At Los Comales we get our fresh made local tortillas. They have even started making whole grain tortillas! They cost about $2 a package. We also like the tamales and always pick up a pack of 6 (for $6) when they are available. At La Espiga Dorada we like their weekend special of barbacoa. It is a package of tortillas, a container of shredded and seasoned beef, cilantro, onions and limes with a side of salsa. It costs about $11 and lasts us days. We like to grab it in the summers and eat it in the parks around Greeley.

Fat Albert’s - We don’t go to Fat Albert’s too often, but it is a Greeley classic. Their most famous meal, and our favorite, is the Monte Cristo served with honey. They also have excellent homemade pies and an Irish motif. Total cost: $15-$20.

For restaurants that have chains outside of Greeley, but are not national in scope, here are a few we enjoy:

Rio Grande - This is the gathering place for working professionals and fun-loving young people alike. The courthouse is right diagonal from it, and there are a variety of bars down from it. It has a nice big outdoor patio and it is at the epi-center for summer musical events that we ride our bikes to. They are probably the most famous for their super strong margaritas. Britton and I both usually pick the chicken burrito. I also like their homemade salsa and chips. The margaritas are pretty expensive at about $5-$6 each and the chicken burritos are about $7-$8 each.

Old Chicago- This is another hang-out place where you go with friends to watch a game, shoot pool or just hang out. The food is not fantastic, but rather pretty decent bar food. We like the mini-pizzas with artichoke hearts at happy hour. I get one mini-pizza and a salad. Britton gets two mini-pizzas and a salad. Total without any beer is about $15.

Coyotes Grill- This is another fun place to go with friends. It has a nice outdoor patio and boasts southwestern cuisine. I really like the tortilla soup and Britton goes for a burrito or enchiladas. It’s a lot farther than the Rio or El Charro, but we can ride our bikes there on 10th Street too. Cost for two people is $15-20.

And that just about covers most of the places we eat out at in Greeley. You may have noticed that Farmer’s Inn is missing, but that is because it is La Salle, a town about 5 miles south of Greeley (at Farmer’s I recommend the Mexican Hamburger at about $6). For chains, we like Qdoba, Chipotle, Subway and TCBY before they closed. We’ll occasionally go to a chain like Chili’s or Noodles but for the most part this list showcases the best Greeley restaurants, at least in our minds!

For those of you from the Greeley/northern Colorado area, what are your favorites? If you recommend it, we’ll most likely try it out!  We’re always up for new places. Thanks and Buen Provecho!

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