Arepas House food truck, Mobile, Boulder County, arepashouse.com
Simply put, the pabellon arepa from Arepas House food truck is one of the most delicious things we’ve tasted this year. The Venezuelan specialty starts with the actual arepa: a pillowy bread made of white cornmeal, water and salt. The bread is grilled, split and stuffed to form a hybrid sandwich-taco. The pabellon is loaded with fruity black beans, moist and flavorful shredded beef, expertly fried plantains (crispy on the outside, sweet and tender on the inside), fresh avocado and bright cotija cheese. Once you figure out how to put the densely packed arepa in your mouth, it’s a dynamic, droolworthy bite. What’s most remarkable is how the disparate flavors, textures and temperatures meld into one singular taste experience that’s both comforting and excitingly new. $9.50.
De Niro Pizza
Adelia’s Street Legal Pizza, 3060 Pearl Parkway, Boulder,
A general rule of thumb for pizzerias is that if there is a framed photo of the Italian national soccer team, the pizza is probably good. Adelia’s Street Legal Pizza comes close, with banners and jerseys of Italian soccer greats, and the pizza, likewise, is pretty darn good. The expansive menu includes varieties named after said soccer greats and Italian-American notables (your Tomei’s, your DiMaggio’s), and offers endless combos. The De Niro is loaded with flavor-packed tiny meatballs, mushrooms, crispy bacon pieces and grana padano parmesan cheese. The crust is crispy and slightly sweet, the sauce provides solid backbone and the toppings are fresh. $14-$22.
Element Bistro, 6315 Lookout Rd., Boulder (Gunbarrel),
Elk, boar, bison and antelope. That’s what makes up the meat patty in the Element Burger. Top that with wild mushroom truffle butter and no doubt you’re dealing with rare flavor combinations. The meat blends together surprisingly well, but it’s difficult to parse out each animal, and it tastes mostly like lean bison with a kick of something wild and good. The mushroom truffle butter is wisely used judiciously, and provides creaminess and earthy depth to the burger. Worth mentioning is the chewy, yet sturdy bun, which is slightly sweet, and the always-appreciated addition of butter lettuce. Served beside a basket of sweet potato fries, it’s comfort food done up. $16.
Lemon Almond Ricotta Cake
Lucky’s Bakehouse and Creamery, 3960 Broadway, Boulder,
There’s no shortage of handheld sweet treats at Lucky’s Bakehouse and Creamery, the grocer’s specialty bakery and ice cream shop in North Boulder. The lemon almond ricotta cake came via staff recommendation, and it lived up to the hype. The ricotta base makes for a flan-like texture, jiggly and airy, and the fresh lemon and almonds are a dynamic pair. Slivered almonds on top provide a necessary crunch, and the browning on the edges of the slice brings warmth. $4.