A cheerful, satisfying and nutritious dining experience is important to all of us. Whatever one desires, dining at The Gardens at Columbine is exceptional in every way.
We offer a variety of light, healthy options, flavorful gourmet dishes and traditional comfort foods. Menus change daily and all dishes are prepared to order from scratch. Breakfast selections allow for residents to start the day with a hearty selection of eggs, sausage and bacon cooked to order, hot and cold cereals, fresh fruit and a featured daily breakfast special. Each lunch or dinner menu offers a choice of three homemade soups, five entrees and a variety of delicious desserts including sugar free options.
Our servers are dedicated to quality, friendly service in our casual dining atmosphere. Guests are always welcome and encouraged to join us.
Q & A with our Executive Chef,
How long have you been with The Gardens at Columbine?
I've been with The Gardens since 2011.
How long have you been in the food industry?
I helped my mother make salads at a very early age and when I was 17 I began working at Applebee's in Sugarland, TX. I was on a team that was named "the horseman cooks" because we could bang out 1500 orders a night.
I wanted to move onto something better and decided to go to Houston, TX to be the lead cook at TGI Fridays. One important thing I learned there was "speed of service." That was important because the best customer service is to get hot food out ASAP.
Did any special recognition come from that experience?
Yes, I was asked to work at multiple Houston locations.
What is the best aspect of your position at The Gardens?
I love being able to show a new twist on food that the residents were not brought up on and see how well my ideas go over. I am bringing a bit of fine dining to The Gardens; the residents are thrilled. I think it is all about the presentation and the fresh quality. We don't use canned or frozen. I have a passion for creating the best dining experience. They deserve it.
Where do your ideas for the menus come from?
I base my ideas on ‘restaurant style dining’ and many ideas come from the restaurants where I worked. I search the internet for new and easy ideas.
How do you know what the residents like to eat?
Our residents are very verbal about what they like! Most will say they just like meat and potatoes. I have promoted to have a food committee which meets once a week. I love it when we get a real “foodie” to join the group.
What do they say in these meeting?
Their comments range from what soups they like to that we serve sweet potatoes every day. I try to honor any recipes they share.
What do you think stretches their taste pallets?
Many of my offerings have tested them like crab cakes and pan seared duck. I was pleasantly surprised by the reactions of “make it again”.
I also do monthly demos as an afternoon activity. I show them how certain foods are prepared and walk them through the entire recipe. I have never had a poor response even when I demoed sushi. It was fully cooked and they all tasted it.
What could you say makes the dining experience unique at The Gardens at Columbine?
Everything is prepared from scratch, plated fresh and brought to the table ASAP. I may repeat recipes but the total menu of 5 entrees every day is not duplicated.
It is important to have seasonal items, Colorado grown and peak of the season. Variety is important.
Our servers need to know the ingredients and have tasted items before service begins so they can offer their impressions of the food.
What do you think the residents enjoy the most of their dining experience?
We have a relaxed and casual atmosphere. Residents are greeted with a smile and very friendly and attentive staff.
We get to know our residents personally and show them that we truly enjoy serving them.