Two hearts are better than one
A sign advertising the new Heart of Jerusalem Caf Authentic Middle Eastern Cuisine at 4587 Austin Bluffs Pkwy. reads "opening our third location" according to owner Hussein Abu-Khdeir. "That's because [a location in] Manitou Springs isn't dead yet," he says.
For newbies to the HOJ saga: Abu-Khdeir was evicted from his bustling launch location on Manitou Avenue earlier this year after allegedly violating his lease agreement. He opened a shop downtown, which paired with the new north-side venture (tentatively opening Dec. 22) will make two current locations. The "third" hints at Abu-Khdeir's resolution to get back into the Manitou market, which he says could happen as early as spring.
A new ray of sun
Pueblo's Solar Roast Coffee just became 100 percent USDA-certified organic this month, according to co-owner David Hartkop. To achieve the certification, Solar Roast had to (and must continue to) track the path of its coffee beans from the point of sale (from green brokers in the U.S.) back to plantations to verify they're grown without fertilizers, pesticides or other artificial chemicals. Visit solarroast.com to learn how David and his brother Mike roast the organic beans using solar energy.
Adam Bedard, younger brother of Pueblo's Rio Bistro chef Ben Bedard, says that bottled water has its downsides, but "it's part of life."
Hence the 36-year-old environmental engineer's desire to launch an eco-friendly bottled water company: Xero Footprint. The "grand plan" says Bedard is to build a bottling plant running off solar and wind energy for artesian well water, coming from the same source as Deep Rock Water. In the interim, Denver-based Bedard will direct a portion of early profits toward carbon offsets.
Xero Footprint will initially bottle in recyclable, #1 plastic bottles ($1.30 suggested retail for 500 ml.), but Bedard has an eye on up-and-coming technologies, such as an algae-based bottle. The water should hit select stores and eateries along the Front Range soon; call 877/Sip-Xero (747-9376) or visit xerofootprint.com for more.
The name game
At least one local restaurateur is having fun with his food: Corner Cafe (7 E. Vermijo Ave.) owner Bob Smoot. First he had the chutzpah to name a breakfast special the Hot Garbage Burrito. Now he's created the Big Smok'n Doobie Burrito and The Mess. The first brings eggs, bacon, pepperjack, chorizo, hashbrowns, garlic, jalapeo, onions, tomato, lettuce and green chile together in a massive flour tortilla. The aptly named second creation hits plates as a large mound of sausage, ham cubes, bacon, chorizo, eggs, onions and cheese under either country gravy or green chile.