Try this week: Sausage toast, hot chicken and waffles, and more

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Matt Cortina | Boulder Weekly

Sausage Toast
Seeds Library Cafe, Boulder Main Library, 1001 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, seedsboulder.com

There was once a time when all you could expect from a library in terms of food was some vending machine chips, a can of V8 and a water fountain. But Boulder County Farmers Market runs the shop at Seeds Library Cafe in the main branch of the Boulder Public Library, and that’s a good thing. Their winter offering of sausage toast is a refreshing find amidst the stacks. Hunks of Cure Farm sausage are piled with winter slaw, pickled crimini mushrooms, sunchoke pesto, watercress and apple mustard atop a crusty country bread slice. You’d think it’d be too much, but it balances out well: the sausage and mushrooms are robust and earthy, the pesto is spicy, the apple mustard is sweet (and worthy of its own jar) and the slaw provides some structure. $9.99.

Hot Chicken and Waffles
The Sink, 1165 13th St., Boulder, thesink.com

The world keeps turning and The Sink stays its excellent self. The hot chicken and waffles plays into the Nashville trend with a crunch-coated chicken breast doused in high-vinegar sauce and hot spices. It’s placed atop two crispy and light and waffles and mingled with pickled slaw, ranch and dill-covered half-sours. It’s another example of the elevated pub grub you’ve come to expect from the masters at The Sink. $13.95.

Mighty Bowl
Zeal, 1710 Pearl St., Boulder, zealfood.com

Self-proclaimed “food for enthusiasts,” every dish at Zeal is fresh, organic and relatively simple — but in the best possible way. Take its signature Mighty Bowl for example. Warm and hearty quinoa is served with a savory al dente chickpea and steamed greens combination that is all together healthy, tangy, and just a tad crunchy, and the highlight of the dish. The warm elements are topped with fresh mixed greens, shredded carrots, beets, raw lentil sprouts and sesame seeds, lightly dressed in whatever flavor profile you choose (we picked tahini.) The meal goes down fast, especially when paired with one of Zeal’s fresh-squeezed juices or a tasting flight. $10.

The Spicy Pig
Audrey Jane’s Pizza Garage, 2675 13th St., Boulder, thepizzagarage.com

Audrey Jane and her pizza garage tout the “only New York slice of Pizza in Colorado.” We’ll let you decide if that’s true or not, but it certainly is a New York kind of statement. The pizza lives up to the hype, fortunately. It’s got a tasty, half-charred, half-chewy crust that proves Audrey Jane knows what she’s doing. On the Spicy Pig, there’s tomato sauce, mozzarella, Italian sausage, roasted (non-spicy) jalapenos, a fair amount of garlic and some pretty mind-blowing pepperoni. What screams as most authentic, though, is the mouth-watering orange oil that forms at some point in the folding and eating process. So if you read the shop’s tagline as a challenge, go ahead and debate the pizza’s authenticity, but we think it’s an excellent East Coast-style pie no matter how you slice it. $20.