Babettes, 2030 Ionosphere St., Longmont, babettesbakery.com
We are very glad Babettes moved to Boulder County from Denver, bringing its array of pizzas, small plates and beautiful, delicious breads and pastries. It’ll be hard for you to choose just one item from the pastry display, so be prepared to eat a lot. We opted for a cardamom bun (in addition to a terrific pistachio-chocolate snail-shaped pastry). The bun, first off, is a work of art. The folding, browning and glazing of the bun is perfect, and the artistry of the pastry makes it legitimately fun to eat. What you taste, when you’re done admiring, is a chewy, moist, just-sweet-enough cinnamon and cardamom roll that you’ll polish off in no time. $4.50.
Bacon Social House, 2434 W. 44th Ave., Denver, baconsocialhouse.com
If you’re a meat eater, bacon is pretty much the cream of the crop. Which is why Denver’s Bacon Social House is intriguing based on the name alone. The bacon flight comes with six strips of differently cured bacon, exemplifying a full range of flavors. There’s the classic Applewood strip, a tad sweet; the barbecue cured strip, with a bit of tang and spice; the habanero strip has the most punch, but not enough to set your mouth on fire or ruin the rest of your meal; and the paleo strip has no bells and whistles, just bacon, plain and simple, no added sugar, preservatives or anything else. Then comes the sweets: the candied strip sticks to your teeth like any good candy should; and finally the featured, which the day we went for brunch was French toast, and it really did taste like the classic breakfast dish: a little cinnamon and egg flavor to the crispy bacon. Served with a pair of meat scissors so you can easily share, the flight is absolutely worth it. $9.99.
Guava Lime Gose Wheat Ale
WeldWorks Brewing, 508 Eighth Ave., Greeley, weldwerksbrewing
Available in cans in Boulder County, the Guava Lime Gose from Greeley’s WeldWorks is worth finding. You’re not likely to taste a beer like this all year. It’s a kettle-soured wheat ale brewed with sea salt, coriander, lime juice and guava puree that clocks in at only 4.4 percent alcohol by volume. What you get is an ultra-refreshing beer with an ideal balance of sour, sweet and salt flavors. The guava puree is fresh and delicious, but the kick of lime juice is what makes this electric. Prices vary.
Gulf Shrimp Hushpuppies
The Kitchen, 1043 Pearl St., Boulder, thekitchenbistros.com
Not only did The Kitchen make farm-to-table universally understood, it also continues to create unique dishes from fresh, mostly local ingredients. With a great happy hour and a long list of small plates to chose from, it’s easy to try it all (or most, anyways). While the entrees are great, we opted for variety instead on a recent visit, which included the Gulf Shrimp Hushpuppies. Castle Valley Mill cornmeal, with shrimp, is shaped into bite-sized balls and then fried. Served with hot pepper honey, each bite is both crunchy and moist, buttery and spicy. $7.