Search Castle Rock Magazine September 2022

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CASTLE ROCK NO. 225

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SEPTEMBER 2022

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CONTENT ISSUE NO. 225 | SEPTEMBER 2022

FEATURES BEST BURGER IN TOWN Every town should have a "best" burger. We put our bibs on and our taste buds in gear to find the best burger in Parker!

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8 THE DONUT HOUSE The local favorite is more than just a doughy treat; it is a "rising" example for small businesses everywhere.

12 | HISTORY HASHTAG - Local Agriculture 13 | CUISINE - The Guide

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10 | CUISINE - Picture Perfect

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CASTLE the ROCK Town PA R K E R

Search Castle C ORock isOpublished by LO R A D Tueller Publishing, LLC STLE ROCK CA

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IDEAS & SUBMISSIONS contribute@tuellers.com

Search Castle Rock ©2021 is published by Tueller Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any form without prior written permission is strictly prohibited. Search Castle Rock is mailed monthly to households and businesses in the greater Castle Rock area free of charge. Mail inquiries to Search Castle Rock 13009 S. Parker Road #120, Parker, CO 80134, or call 303-805-9455.


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The Best Burger In Town This town aint big enough for two "best burgers" ... actually, we rated our top 5. If you haven't tried these offerings, you're missing out.

West Main Taproom

Hilltop Taphouse

Colorado 7x Wagyu Burger

The Hilltop

Colorado Wagyu, roasted green chiles, asadero cheese, and chipotle aioli on toasted briche bun.

All beef patty topped with melted American cheese, fried egg, lettuce, tomato, bacon, and mayo. Served on a toasted bun.

There is a little kick to our favorite burger in town. This is not your traditional burger. The meat is the star as it commands your taste buds' attention and leaves you wanting more after the burger is gone. We also loved the size (it could fit in your mouth), and the fries are great too!

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This is the hamburger we all try to make on the backyard grill. Hilltop just makes it better. Juicy, but not overpowering, the beef blends perfectly with the toppings to the enjoyment of your mouth. The fried egg is a must.


Parker Garage

Colorado Taproom

Black+Haus Tavern

Bison Burger

Taproom Burger

Black+Haus Burger

Smoked tomato-bacon aoili, burger leaf, vine tomato, confit onion, fontina cheese, smoked gouda, house-made brioche.

Nearly a 1/2 lb premium beef with lettuce, tomato, onions, & pickles on a brioche bun. Served with your choice of cheese.

Blackening spice, bacon jam, caramelized onions, cheddar cheese, arugula, garlic confit aioli, toasted brioche bun.

The Bison Burger makes you feel like you're eating a hamburger in Colorado. Even if you don't like onions, Parker Garage will make you a believer with these!

Colorado Taproom delivers a tasty burger with great service. By far the best bacon and best fries in town. This burger is a classic you won't want to miss.

The Black+Haus offering is an explosion of taste. Don't be scared off by the bacon jam. There are several flavors coming from this dish and it has a little kick.

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Know Mo, Mr. Nice Guy The Donut House is well known by local residents. But with COVID putting so many small eateries out of business, Moe refused to yield. Homer Simpson said it best, “Mmm. Donuts.” Cake donuts, old fashioned, bear claws; donuts are a sweet indulgence that bring out the kid in everyone. Mo Aladayleh, owner of The Donut House and “donut maker extraordinaire” would definitely agree. His family has been serving fresh, delicious donuts locally since 2009. “We decided to open The Donut House to provide customers with our own delicious doughnut recipe. Each scrumptious bite is sweetened to perfection and because our doughnuts are handmade fresh every day, our customers come from miles around for the divine taste of a glazed, old-fashioned, cake, or cronut from us." Just like everyone else during the pandemic, The Donut House took its licks (no pun intended). The struggles of mandated closures, inflated vendor prices, and supply chain 8 SEARCHCASTLEROCK

issues caused Mo to shut down five of his ten stores. Faced with the harsh reality of trying to survive, Mo was determined to help his employees through this tough situation. Although the businesses were struggling, Mo refused to lay any employees off – not one. Not a single employee was laid off due to financial shortages. Employees from closed stores were moved to other locations, given new positions, and even promoted in order to help them keep a paycheck. Mo even hired the manager from a competitor when they couldn't afford to stay open. As the world got turned on its head, there came a glimmer of hope from the denizen of dough. He stood up to the pandemic and the chaos it caused. When I asked Mo if he ever considered closing the Parker location amid his scale back he just said "No, Parker is my home."


What Additional Funding Would Mean for Parker Schools By Erin Kane, Superintendent, Douglas County School District

You’ve likely heard about the funding challenges our school district is facing. But what does that mean for our schools here in Castle Rock? It’s easy to assume that when home prices are high, and many new homes are being built, that property taxes for our schools would go up. Unfortunately, that’s now how the School Finance Act works in Colorado. Think of school funding like a bucket – first, the bucket gets filled with local funding, then the state fills in the rest (when local funding goes up - the state contributes less to fill that bucket). However, we can change the size of our bucket with a Mill Levy Override (MLO) and Bond, which would provide more local funding to our schools. More Competitive Pay for Our Teachers and Staff DCSD’s MLO is currently significantly less than other school districts. For example, DCSD receives nearly $2,000 less per student compared to Cherry Creek School District. This greatly impacts our ability to pay our teachers and staff competitively. Additional funding via an MLO would make it possible for us to pay our amazing teachers and staff more competitively – that includes teachers, bus drivers, custodians, educational assistants and more right here in our Castle Rock schools. One of our neighboring school districts is paying teachers, on average, upwards of $18,000 more per year. As you can imagine, that pay increase is difficult to ignore, especially during tough economic times. A New School for The Canyons / An Expansion for Sierra Middle School It seems anywhere you look around Castle Rock new homes are being built. And that means more students are attending our schools in the area. However, this can lead to crowding - and some of our schools are already near or at capacity. Additional funding through a Bond would enable DCSD to construct a new school in Crystal Valley Ranch – and also add an expansion to Mesa Middle School. That would help alleviate crowding in our other schools. Cost to Residents If DCSD were to pass a $60 Million Mill Levy Override and a $450 Million Bond, it would cost homeowners $1 per week per $100,000 of home value (assessed actual value). For a home with an assessed actual value of $500,000 that would be $5 per week. For a home with an assessed actual value of $1,000,000, that would be $10 per week. The MLO and Bond would be fixed dollar amounts, meaning the cost per homeowner would not increase as home valuations rise. In fact, the cost would diminish over time as more homes and businesses are created (more people would ultimately be sharing the cost). I hope we can count on you to learn more about how our schools are funded. Visit our website at www.dcsdk12.org/ funding.

SEPTEMBER 2022 9


PICTUREPERFECT Why is photography for your business so important? A customer’s first impression of your business is usually based off visual content, as well as the vibe of that content. What’s your VIBE? Your first impression matters. It is often a photograph that will determine whether the client will want to buy your product. Whether it is your head shot, or photos of the food you serve If you own a restaurant, photos convey a specific mood and influence emotions. It might not surprise you to learn that about 75% of customers say that a quality image is essential to confirming their purchasing decision. This applies to both physical products as well as services. Yet so many businesses cut out this crucial aspect of marketing and don’t realize the impact. When you see a bad photo of a product, how long do you stay looking at it? Probably not long, which means you aren’t likely to buy what you just saw. Stop using your phone! Your visuals make or break potential customers interested in your business and taking this approach could seriously hinder your business. Poor quality images can cheapen your brand, or can be associated in the consumer’s mind with poor quality food and this, in turn, can affect how many people walk through your door to try you out. Photography brings connection to your product, and when we feel connected, we spend more money. How do you want the world to see what you do? The pictures you use are a reflection of the way you run your business. Using high quality photography communicates to the public you care about the details and creates confidence in your buyers. Most businesses under-appreciate the importance of professional photography and the impact it has on traffic and sales. Even your headshot is important. Having a professional image of yourself creates a connection between you and your customer with a first impression. And people buy when they feel connected. Especially now. I’m Raemi, a Colorado native and professional photographer. Over the last 10 years I have helped transform the visual presence of dozens of small and large businesses. The profit from investing in photography can be exponential. The lobster image you see here was taken by my mother, Dee, on a 1965 Hasselblad film camera on transparency. She taught me a lot about the art of photography as a whole. Photography is my full time business and passion. Thanks mom! You can find me in my studio on Mainstreet above Fika Coffee. By appointment only. 10 SEARCHCASTLEROCK


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Food tells the story of us: our history, industry, and culture. Take a look at how the food industry began here in Douglas County.

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arly Colorado natives ate fish preserved with salt, as well as rabbits, deer, and birds. With horses, the Utes were able to hunt for bison to expand their meat options. They maintained a wide hunting and gathering economy. They ate seeds, berries, pine sap, and roots that they gathered, also drying fruits and meats for the winter. When new settlers came to Colorado, their diet and economy looked very different. Unlike the nomadic natives, the pioneers chose to settle in one place to develop agriculture. Over 150 years ago, many came to our area when miners began searching for gold. When gold was not found, farming became the primary industry in early Douglas County, which was officially created with 17 other counties in 1861. The previous year’s census showed 1,388 residents in the county. “Early Douglas County homesteaders primarily raised cattle because hilly geography is not highly tenable to farming. A few chose to farm wheat, like the Lowell family along East Plum Creek, and potato crops were profitable for a time in Larkspur and Greenland. The Cherry Creek Valley focused on dairying ventures, and German immigrants there ran the successful Cherry Creamery for decades. The Carlson-Frink Creamery in Larkspur also ran well into the 20th century. Some ranches, like the Diamond K near Highlands Ranch, raised poultry and small sheep herds. Beef has always been king in Douglas County, especially along West Plum Creek. Douglas County ranchers remain avid participants in Denver’s Western Stock Show, and popular 4-H Clubs thrived in the mid-20th century. This passion for (and proximity to) cattle is clear in the recipes of pioneers and ranchers, which often include variations on beef and dairy.” (DCL Achives, Food Culture in Douglas County) Individuals involved in agriculture helped to establish the area. An early farmer to the Highlands Ranch area, Dad Rufus Clark was a big potato farmer. Samuel Long began his homestead in 1880 and later practiced dryland farming on 2,000 acres. The house, sold to John Springer, later became the Highlands Ranch Mission. John continued to enlarge his ranch and soon raised horses and cattle on 12,000 acres. An Englishman, Charles Allis, set up a ranch in the 1880s on over 1,700 acres near Castle Rock, known as Greenland, where he raised sheep. While the agricultural industry remained important, many changes have taken place over the years. The Denver Union Stockyard, with 4,400 seats, was established in 1886 on 130 acres. It was the largest receiving market with facilities for 70,000 sheep, 33,000 cattle, 10,000 hogs, 2000 horses or mules, and 4500 cattle chutes. In 1890, the Castlewood Dam was commissioned to provide irrigation for farmers and ranchers. In the early 20th century, tractors replaced horses and turned thousands of acres of grassland into wheat fields. Dust storms of the 1930’s put many farmers out of business, caused by periods of drought and high winds. Many Japanese Americans were forced to leave California and moved to Colorado during World War II, becoming good farmers and harvesting spinach. The Douglas County area remained largely farms and ranches for nearly a century after its creation. After World War II, Colorado’s population began to grow significantly. The suburbs began to change from open land to subdivisions. After I-25 was completed in 1963, the connection from Denver to Colorado Springs made this change more convenient. Agriculture has remained in Douglas County in the southern part of the county, even with huge growth in the northern part of the county. Production has changed from wheat, corn, and cattle to hay, cattle, and horses. The cowboy and agricultural influence is still in tact in Douglas County. Even with a huge history in farming and ranching, the county has shifted much of its food industry in recent decades. Restaurants, cafes, and fast-food establishments dot the county in force and have combined food with service to create a new era of eating and social experiences to fit our modern schedules and culture.

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THE GUIDE THE BEST PLACES TO DINE IN DOUGLAS COUNTY

In the interest of providing the 50 best dining options in Douglas County, we must be able to personally recommend each listing. The guide is subject to change. If you have a suggestion for inclusion on the list, email us at contribute@tuellers.com.

KEY

Based on a typical dinner for one person, excluding drinks, tax or tip.

$ ............................. Under $10 $$ ............................... $10-$20 $$$ ......................... Over $20 (EC) Editors Choice (N) New

HICKORY HOUSE

Asian fusion

With the claim, “Best Ribs in Colorado,” Hickory House is a must-try. Delicious, traditional BBQ is served in a mountain lodge surrounding. You’ll go home full and happy. To bring the BBQ to you, Hickory House offers take-out, catering, and even on-site pig roasts!

CHERRY VILLAGE ASIAN GRILL

JUNZ

Offering a Chinese and Vietnamese-centric menu in a relaxed atmosphere. 17001 Lincoln Ave, #A, Parker 303-840-7338 $$

DANCING NOODLE

A small, family owned, dinein and take-out restaurant that serves authentic homestyle Thai food. 10841 S. Crossroads Dr., Suite 10, Parker 303-805-3880 $$

INDOCHINE

A local go-to for quality home-style cuisine. This Parker fixture is known for a fresh, creative menu. 19751 E Mainstreet, Parker 720-851-8559 $$

JOHN HOLLY’S

Chinese and Thai dishes that are nothing less than the culinary equivalent of an exotic adventure. 9232 Park Meadows Dr, Lone Tree 303-768-9088 $$

A favorite sushi place in town with a unique blend of Japanese and French at its very best. 11211 S. Dransfeldt Rd., Parker 720-851-1005 $$

BAKERY/DESSERTs HAVANA'S BAKERY AND CAFÉ

A family owned latin eatery who specializes in Cuban cuisine. They hand make all their flaky pasteries and try to bring a tropical escape. 19757 Pikes Peak Ave, Parker 303-660-1935 $

LA BAGUETTE DE NORMANDY

Certified master chef and chocolatier Michael Dupont serves a little piece of France right here in Colorado. 16524 Keystone Blvd, Unit C, Parker 303-805-9130 $

LA PETITE CREPERIE

HICKORY HOUSE

BARBEQUE

OLD WEST BBQ

The spot to grab madeto-order crepes. Sweet or savory, you can’t go wrong. 19751 Mainstreet, Parker 720-638-9722 $ (EC)

BIG JIMS

Don’t be fooled by this being a food truck; if you like southern BBQ, this is your place. Corner of Parker Rd and Longs Way, Parker $$$

GQUE BBQ

Award-winning roadhouse doles out wood-smoked ribs, brisket, & pork. Don’t miss the garlic mashed potatoes. 8433 Park Meadows Center Dr., Suite 143B, Lone Tree 303-729-2506 $$

HANGRY OHANA

Hawaiian BBQ with a Texas twist. A local favorite and family friendly. 10471 S. Parker Rd., Parker 720-287-2516 $

The Parker tradition. Known for their baby back ribs, but don’t miss the pulled pork and barbeque chicken. 10335 S Parker Rd, Parker 303-805-9742 $$ (EC) A hidden gem with familyfriendly pricing. Don’t miss out on their breakfast burritos. 107 Wolfensberger Rd., Castle Rock 303-660-6340 $

BREW PUB 20 MILE TAP HOUSE

Best known for their burgers and wings. Make sure to catch Trivia Tuesdays. 12543 N Hwy 83, Parker 303-841-6782 $$

ROCKYARD BREWING CO.

Douglas County’s longest running brew pub. Steaks, burgers, pizza and Cream of Jalapeño soup! 880 Castleton Road, Castle Rock 303-814-9273 $$ SEPTEMBER 2022 13


TAILGATE TAVERN & GRILL

Your neighborhood tavern for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Sports bar with live music not to miss on the weekends. 19552 E. Mainstreet, Parker 303-841-7179 $$

THE LIBRARY CO. BAR & KITCHEN

Offering great food & amazing drinks in a relaxed and warm atmosphere. Clear and simple menu options. 3911 Ambrosia St., Suite 101, Castle Rock 720-389-5986 $$

ITalian CRANELLI’S

Comfort Italian food in a rustic, cozy, casual familyoriented format. 10047 Park Meadows Dr., Lone Tree 303-799-3661 $$

DANIELLE’S SCRATCH KITCHEN

Stylish, energetic eatery offering elevated Italian fare with an emphasis on great customer service. 872 Happy Canyon Rd. Suite 100, Castle Rock 303-524-9788 $$$

PORTOFINO

Authentic Italian eatery featuring pizza, pasta, calzones and heros. The local “go-to” for fresh Italian. 10920 S Parker Rd, Parker 303-841-9900 $$

SCILEPPI’S

A modern Italian restaurant focused on family recipes and premium ingredients. 210 Third St., Castle Rock 303-688-9000 $$

VIA BACI

Neapolitan pizzas join modern Italian fare at this casual eatery featuring a full bar & patio. 10005 Commons St, Lone Tree 303-790-0828 $$

MEXICAN ADRIANNA’S

Intimate Mexican eatery for authentic cuisine in a relaxed ambiance. Great for parties. 7272 E Hwy 86, Franktown 303-663-7800 $$ 14 SEARCHCASTLEROCK

CASA MARIACHI

Unassuming local joint serving up straight-forward Mexican plates. 9771 S Parker Rd, Parker 720-842-5105 $$

LA CASITA

Vibrant, cantina-style eatery offering Mexican cuisine in a laid-back atmosphere. 18951 E Mainstreet, Parker 720-842-5181 $$

LAS DELICIAS

MANNA

WEST MAIN TAPROOM

PARKER GARAGE

PIZZA

A casual sit-down destination with a menu that reflects Colorado’s growing season. 2350 Meadows Blvd., Castle Rock 720-455-3664 $

The Parker landmark located right downtown offers a locally-sourced menu. Great service and large portions. 19420 Mainstreet, Parker 720-389-8105 $$ (EC)

Bare-bones, family-owned local Tex-Mex eats for breakfast, lunch & dinner. 19553 E Mainstreet, Parker 303-840-0325 $

PEGASUS

LOS DOS POTRILLOS

RORY’S

Elegant family-owned eatery. There’s a combo dish to please everyone. 19340 Cottonwood Dr., Parker 303-840-6574 $$

LOS VOLCANES

Don’t miss the Carnitas! And bring your appetite for the large portions. 10471 S. Parker Rd., Parker 303-841-0160 $$ (EC)

A local favorite for breakfast or lunch. American, Greek or Mexican dishes. 313 Jerry St., Castle Rock 303-688-6746 $$ (N) Comfort food and baked goods at their finest. Don’t see it on the menu? Ask for it! 11020 S Pikes Peak Dr., Parker 720-708-2889 $$ (EC)

SIERRA

new american

High-end, wood-fired kitchen with a warm ambiance, preparing select American dishes. 10680 Cabela Dr., Lone Tree 303-662-8800 $$

CASTLE CAFE

THE CHICKEN SHACK

Set in a former 1890s hotel. Plating hearty American fare like pan-fried chicken & burgers. 403 Wilcox St, Castle Rock 303-814-2233 $$

COLORADO CORK & KEG

Uniquely fun sports bar with a creative menu of brats and dogs. 971 Park St., Castle Rock 303-660-2399 $

CRAVE

A favorite gourmet burger joint. Imaginative menu with amazing handcrafted shakes. 3982 Limelight Ave, Castle Rock 303-814-2829 $$

DOUG'S DAY DINER

American breakfast cafe where everything is made from scratch. 3982 Limelight Ave, Castle Rock 303-814-2829 $$

Chicken wings, fingers, fries, and burgers. Great owners that always make you feel welcome. 11211 S Dransfeldt Rd., Parker 720-504-5044 $

A modern and open venue that boasts thoughtful and honest cuisine. A haven for the gluten-free crowd. 18595 Mainstreet, Parker 720-826-3689 $$ (N)

ANTONIO’S

A traditional family-style Italian pizza restaurant with a Brooklyn flair. 12947 S Parker Rd., Parker 720-851-5300 $

ARTISAN

Delicious Neapolitan-style pizza that makes each dish an individual work of art! And don’t forget dessert. 12311 Pine Bluffs Way, Parker 303-840-0518 $

COLORADOUGH

A refreshing take on madefrom-scratch pizza. So fresh they don’t even have a freezer! 17860 Cottonwood Dr., Parker 303-386-3333 $$

LIL’ RICCI’S

New York pizzas & other red sauce staples in a low-key setting. Can’t miss the garlic knots. 16526 Keystone Blvd, Parker 303-220-7422 $$

PARRY’S

NY-style pizza, wings, & casual Italian eats, in kidfriendly quarters. 5650 Allen Way, Castle Rock 303-814-8686 $$


Lincensed and bonded CO DWR License #1576

PARKER OWNED AND OPERATED WATER WELL SPECIALIST SERVICES • WELL PERMIT ASSISTANCE • NEW WELL CONSTRUCTION • WELL REPLACEMENT • PUMP INSTALLATION • PUMP MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR CONTACT US FOR A NO-OBLIGATION ESTIMATE

www.winegarwell.com

720-636-0077

6 NEW REASONS TO RISE AND SHINE STEAKHOUSE DUKE’S

Rustic restaurant featuring beef & seafood dishes, plus a sports tavern with an Irish vibe. 363 Village Square Lane, Castle Pines 303-814-2487 $$$

FOGO DE CHAO

Upscale Brasilian steakhouse with all-you-can-eat meat carved tableside. Guaraná is a must, and try the Creme de Papaya. 8419 Park Meadows Center Dr., Lone Tree 303-481-4001 $$$ (EC)

PERRY’S

Chops, seafood, wine, & cocktails served in an upscale setting with a lounge & live jazz. 8433 Park Meadows Center Dr., Lone Tree 303-792-2571 $$$

TEXAS ROADHOUSE

Texas-themed steakhouse with a great menu and wonderful atmosphere. 11205 S. Parker Rd, Parker 303-805-5848 $$

TRAPPER’S CHOP HOUSE

Upscale hideaway local favorite featuring their signature Volcanic Hot Rock sear-it-yourself experience. 19308 Cottonwood Dr., Parker 303-248-2132 $$$

UNIQUE VISTAVINO MODERN

Quaint Tuscan grill made fresh from local fare. Every dish is a winner! 611 Wilcox St., Castle Rock 303-814-2487 $$

9807 S. Parker Road

thedonuthouse.com One per person Must present coupon Not valid with other offers Exp. 9.30.22

5.00

$

O F F A D OZ E N SEPTEMBER 2022 15


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