Monument has nice scenery, but the local options for dining run from hideous to barely acceptable. Today I had lunch with two guys from our missions team at our newest little restaurant, The Herb Garden. If you live here, it's next to the Pankratz Pottery place on the old Denver Highway.
What a great experience. Perhaps because it was so unexpected, I can't remember a time I've had such an enjoyable meal. It took forever for me to order because I wanted one of everything.
Since I'm trying to shed some excess baggage before I head up this summer's 14ers, it was with steely resolve that I chose a simple salad with spring greens, corn, julienned green chile and fajita-style beef. I couldn't decide among the handcrafted dressings, so Patrick brought two--a chipotle ranch and a lemon vinagarette. Tom had their version of a burger, two small but plump patties on homemade rolls. Plus, homeade potato chips with sea salt. Bruce had the best looking Greek salad I've ever seen. It was all I could do to not say, "Hey, look!" then steal a bite while he looked out the window. The bread was homeade, the coffee was a great blend, and the dessert...excuse me while I wipe the drool off my shirt.
I had a bread pudding with a warm sauce that tasted of honey, lemon and...something exotic. Was it maybe cardamom? Tom and Bruce split a chocolate Pot de Creme that made heaven seem that much closer.
If you are so inclined, the wine list seems interesting and deep for a small place. Patrick, our server, was as pleasant, efficient, and professional as any I've ever known, and Nita, the owner/chef personally came by to chat. I am anxiously awaiting the first free night on the calendar (after pay day) so I can take Susan there for dinner.
I wish Nita all the best and will do my part to become her favorite customer. And if she ever wants to reward me for all the referrals, another chocolate Pot de Creme will be greatly appreciated. Wolfgang Puck's version here