Drifters Hamburgers expands by adding new Chapel Hills location
The original Drifters, 4455 Mark Dabling, has a new sister location at 1485 Jamboree Drive near the Chapel Hills Mall. Owner Richard Beaven spent months refurbishing the former taco joint
CLAIM TO FAME: Locals love Drifters' award-winning California-style burgers and shakes along with breakfast burritos made with real eggs - food that's affordable and fast and features quality ingredients like Callicrate Beef. "Our motto is 'restoring the reputation of the fast food hamburger'," says owner Richard Beaven.
THE SCOOP: It's been four years since Richard Beaven opened his first Drifters location, and he's been interested in expanding to the Chapel Hills Mall area ever since. He also has his eye on the city's south side. And he's offering franchise opportunities nationwide.
THE BACK-STORY: No novice to the burger scene in the Springs, Richard ran the old Classics Hamburgers for ten years before selling it and going back to school to earn his MBA. But he couldn't resist the burger biz for long, eventually brokering a short-term lease in order to try out the Drifters concept. "I wanted to put together the best fast-food hamburger," he explains. "I started with Callicrate Beef because it was local, and I could get it delivered fresh five days a week. It was the taste that sold me originally; it brought me back to when I was a kid. My theory in business is always to give the local company the first shot, and I'm so lucky to have the best beef in the nation right here in town. If you're just gonna do hamburgers, why not do the best burger you can? I'm on board with everything Ranch Foods Direct is about; I think they're right about what's happened to our food system. "
HIGHLIGHTS: Richard uses whole leaf lettuce rather than shredded. His non-GMO buns come from Wheat Montana, a farmer-owned flour mill. There's natural boysenberry fruit in the shakes and fresh locally-made Baja salsa (also sold at Ranch Foods Direct) to go with the morning burritos. "I think it's worth it," he says. "Other than that, we keep it simple: good meat and a good sauce."
And another great place to have a burger...
The Margarita's Callicrate burgers are so popular, they remain on the seasonally adjusted menu all year long
The Margarita at Pine Creek has won many accolades, none more happily embraced than a unique distinction granted by the Colorado Springs Independent. On a framed plaque (shown off in the photo above by Executive Chef Eric Viedt, left, along with Cathy Werle and Ben Miles) the restaurant's Marcelo burger is lauded as "Best Reason to Break Your Vegetarian Stance" with a nod to the beef's conscience-soothing source: Ranch Foods Direct. (The burger is named for Cathy's son Marcelo.)
While the Margarita is known for multi-course fine-dining featuring culinary inspirations that change weekly, the restaurant also offers a casual patio and bar menu that is equally first-rate. "The burger is a top seller," Cathy says. "That's why it stays on the menu all year long." It's made-to-order with caramelized onions, gargonzola or white cheddar cheese and applewood smoked bacon.
Another staple Ranch Foods Direct menu item is the St. Louis-style pork ribs, which are - get this - smoked, roasted and braised (truly slow food) and served in a chipotle orange marinade composed of Southwestern and Asian flavors. Eric does a steak dish every night; he also offers the unexpected - the occasional roasted Callicrate Beef bone marrow or cabrito cochinita pibil, a prize-winner at the annual Chef's Gala fundraiser, made from a Ranch Foods Direct whole goat.
With its pine-shrouded, whimsical adobe structure, the Margarita offers diners an enchanting atmosphere, featuring summer movies on the patio, live music nights, cooking classes taught by Eric and Cathy, and a Saturday farmers market held on-site through mid-October (the Colorado Farm and Art Market
will end for the season on October 13; the Margarita is scheduled to host a special winter market on Sat., Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
Autumn is a fabulous time to relish nature's beauty in the woodsy sun-dappled outdoor spaces at the Margarita.
DID YOU KNOW? Back in the 1800s, the U.S. had as many as 16,000 different varieties of apples. That number is down to just 3,000 today. Many orchards, like farms, are fading away. Ranch Foods Direct supports Glenn Austin and family of Paonia, Colorado, and other small orchards, farms and ranches. Come by to shop the latest selection of seasonal items.
Coming up in October...
Chef Kevin Campbell's recipe for Risotto and Bones was featured recently in the Colorado Springs Independent!
Chef Kevin Campbell, pictured below serving Callicrate beef, will present a local foods cooking demonstration during the Colorado Sustainability Conference on Friday, Oct. 26.
for full details on the Colorado Sustainability Conference, including schedule and registration information. The two-day event, Oct. 25-26, is Southern Colorado's largest annual gathering championing sustainable practices, presented by the Catamount Institute.
NEW THIS MONTH: Experience a world of flavors in just one evening with a new wine and food tour in Old Colorado City featuring Ranch Foods Direct partner-restaurants PIZZERIA RUSTICA, TAPAteria and JAKE & TELLY'S, among others...
|IT WAS A FINE MORNING FOR LOCAL GARDENERS... View a photo album from Ranch Foods Direct's recent "Poopapalooza" manure fest at Pinello Ranch (an annual fall fertilizer giveaway that helps raise donations for utility bill relief in Colorado Springs.) JUST CLICK ON THIS PHOTO.|
"What we support prospers,
what we feed grows."
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