No shortage of help celebrating birthday

If you like being the center of attention, or if you just like something for nothing, I’ve got a couple of places for you.

I had the occasion recently to mark another year on the planet. I was hoping the day would pass with little notice, but several well-placed blabbermouths changed those plans.

On a trip to Cold Stone Creamery, the entire staff of the ice cream parlor sang a little birthday ditty that started out with the traditional “Happy Birthday to You” but morphed into something that included, “I don’t know, but I’ve been told.”

And guess what rhymes with “told?”

Yeah. “Old.”

Cold Stone does have a birthday club. If you register at http://www.coldstonecreamery.com, you can get a free ice cream on your birthday.

My next surprise was a late lunch on the patio of Blue Moon Bar & Grill.

Since moving to a land-locked state, I rarely order raw oysters, but my friend insisted on getting a dozen Blue Points.

Loaded with horseradish and lemon, they were a moment of divinity, right before slipping down the gullet. Pleasure is fleeting.

Our server overheard the b-day word and volunteered, “You get a free shot of ouzo on your birthday, you know?”

Visions of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” swirled in the head, and soon we were sipping ouzo and ordering a platter of flaming Greek saganaki cheese. Black licorice liqueur is more seducing than it sounds.

Only when I saw the cowboy at the next table winking at me did I snap back to reality and grasp that I was in western Colorado, not in the Aegean.

This set me to thinking about what other birthday opportunities are out there in the Grand Valley. Here’s what I found.

The End Zone in Fruita offers a free lunch for the birthday boy or birthday girl.

Kannah Creek Brewing Co. gives you a choice of a free shot or free dessert.

At Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, there’s an ice cream sundae and a song.

At Rib City Grill, get free pie of these varieties: key lime, pecan, coconut cream or chocolate cream.

At Applebee’s, get dessert shooters (desserts in a shot glass), your choice of chocolate cake, chocolate turtle or tiramisu.

At Hooter’s, if you register at hooterscolorado.com, your tab is reduced in proportion to your age. For example, if you’re 90 years old, you get 90 percent off.

At Old Chicago, enjoy a free chocolate chip cookie for two.

Banana’s Fun Park: This one isn’t free, but it sounds like a pretty good deal. For $18 a person, (minimum of eight children or adults) you get a decorated table, balloons, birthday hostess, pizza, soft drinks and three hours in the fun park. Amusements include miniature golf, lazer tag, go karts, bumper boat and inflatable jump and romp.

The birthday kid gets 200 coupons for redemption at the gift counter.

STEPPING UP TO THE PLATE: Pantuso’s Ristorante will give a percentage of sales every Tuesday in April to Hilltop Community Resources’ Latimer House, which helps people affected by domestic violence or sexual assault.

Pantuso’s reopened last year at the Clarion Inn, 755 Horizon Drive.

THIS TAKES THE CAKE: The culinary arts program at the Western Colorado Community College held a competition last month. The assignment was to prepare a $10 dessert that their grandma would like.

No tapioca, though, the dessert had to be an original.

My colleague Penny Stine was one of the judges, and here’s what she reported:

Desserts were judged on their taste, which was heavily weighted, as well as technique, plate composition, skill, temperature, edibility, visual appeal and texture.

Jacob Shaw won the event with a crepe creation; one crepe was filled with a chocolate cream and the other with caramel. The dessert was drizzled with strawberry sauce and was the hands-down eye-catcher of the night.

Jill Thompson took second place with a dark chocolate cake and homemade ice cream, and Shannon Pilcher and Stephanie Wagner tied for third with a gorgeous layer cake and a bittersweet chocolate mousse with sour cherry sauce, respectively.

QUOTE: “Fish, to taste right, must swim three times — in water, in butter and in wine.” — Polish proverb

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Send tips and ideas to Tess.Furey@ gjsentinel.com.



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