Food and drink at Ivywild School is basic, my dear.
Don’t worry, though, they’re also high considering dining and drinking options. The place is a glorified food court in the best possible way. Pizza, empanadas, salads, beer, whiskey, craft cocktails, coffee, and burgers are all available.
Food orders are placed at separate windows located on the ground floor for individual meal preferences. Each has its own cooking / food preparation area.
The menu at Ivywild Kitchen, one of the dining options, is limited to pretzels, burgers, chicken sandwiches, chicken breasts and fries. With so little to choose from, you think – or hope – that all is well done. Fortunately, it is.
The appetizers are limited to the pretzel knots from Mark Anthony’s Pretzels, which are made locally. They come both to order, with spicy mustard sauces ($ 8) or topped with summer sausage, Swiss cheese and both sauces ($ 16).
The spotlight, however, is on the burgers: five possibilities plus a Beyond Meat alternative for $ 3 more. There is a basic burger, which doesn’t mean it’s simple, just that the usual accessories are part of the package. Locally sourced Colorado beef is topped with cheddar, lettuce, tomato, pickle and house sauce, served on a potato bun. The single costs $ 8; double is $ 10. It’s the sauce that enhances what would otherwise be a standard burger.
Mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise together taste much better than it looks. It’s all the condiments in one and it works surprisingly well even though you usually can’t do all three at the same time. My advice is to give it a chance. House sauce is included on the side with all burgers.
The Mushroom and Swiss Burger ($ 10) features roasted mushrooms and gooey cheese that doesn’t overwhelm the juicy meat. Still, it was messy to eat as the bun didn’t hold up as well as we would have liked. A basket of fries ($ 9 if ordered separately; $ 4 if ordered as a side dish) made it the quintessential summer meal.
Another burger comes with bacon, blue cheese, and caramelized onions ($ 10), and there’s one with bacon, barbecue sauce, and jalapeño ($ 10). Vegan cheese can be replaced with an additional $ 2.
The grilled chicken sandwich included Red Bird chicken breast brined in buttermilk served on a potato bun ($ 10). The juicy meat topped with pickled onions and lettuce was further enhanced by the chipotle lime mayonnaise, which I also enjoyed as a dip for the sweet potato fries.
Again the bun didn’t go as well, but that didn’t matter since the chicken and gravy was so tasty.
Ivywild Kitchen makes four more sauces (50 cents each): Ranch, BBQ, Spicy Aioli, and Curry Mayo. I guess you can’t go wrong with any. However, the young man who took the controls said the chipotle lime was his favorite.
Diners provide a mobile phone number and are notified by SMS when orders are ready. Food can be transported to different areas of the building, but alcohol should be consumed where it is purchased.
Several indoor and outdoor dining areas are available.
Reused over a decade ago, the complex continues to be an impressive reuse of an old school building.
Description: Casual and fun for burgers and chicken sandwiches
Location: 1604, avenue S. Cascade.
Contact: 368-6118; www.ivywildkitchen.co/
Rates: $ 8 to $ 14
Hours: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Monday to Thursday; 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Details: Credit cards accepted. Alcohol nearby. Wireless. Favorite Dishes: Chicken Sandwich with Chipotle Lime Mayo Other: Gluten free and vegan options available
Passed regular inspection by El Paso County Public Health on April 5