Black Pepper Chicken
Bao Asian Fusion & Sushi Bar, 594 McCaslin Blvd., Louisville, baoasianfusion.com
It’s hard to have a more satisfying lunch than the one you get dining at Louisville’s Bao Asian Fusion & Sushi Bar. Start with complimentary soup — the hot and sour is fantastic — pick from a long menu of sushi and nigiri, and order an affordable lunch special. We chose the black pepper chicken, a heaping plate of wok-sizzled tender chicken, spears of red onion and ligtly charred red and green bell pepper. It’s topped with thick-cut scallion and punchy black pepper, and it’s served with a fried egg roll that comes with a sweet pepper dipping sauce and nostril-flaring horseradish. You’ll get out of there with your belly full and your wallet no worse for the wear. $7.95.
The Skip Scramble
Walnut Cafe, 3073 Walnut St., Boulder; South-Side Walnut Cafe, 673 S. Broadway, Boulder; Super Mini Walnut Cafe, 2770 Arapahoe Road, Suite 116, Lafayette; walnutcafe.com
On a recent visit to Boulder’s South Side Walnut Café we couldn’t help but order The Skip Scramble out of curiosity over the name. Who’s this mysterious (assumed) vegetarian named Skip that has secured his fame on the menu of one of Boulder’s favorite breakfast spots for over 30 years? Our server couldn’t say, but that didn’t stop us from ordering the dish. Two scrambled eggs are mixed with Cheddar cheese, an ample portion of mushrooms and some delicious veggie sausage that adds the right amount of salty texture to the dish. It’s served with two sides, and you can never go wrong with classic breakfast potatoes. Thanks Skip, whoever you are. $10.45.
Maple Glazed Lamar’s Bar
Lamar’s Donuts, 133 McCaslin Blvd., Louisville, lamars.com
Lamar’s has been a prairie state staple since 1933, and we’re glad to have an outpost in Boulder County. The donuts are baked fresh daily and come in a variety of flavors and textures, and the coffee is always piping hot. In short, it’s everything a donut shop should be. We opted for the massive maple glazed Lamar’s bar on a recent trip, a long, airy, chewy pastry topped with maple frosting and chocolate. It’s an indulgent way to start your morning, but every bite is worth it. It’s not too sweet, the bite is substantial and the maple flavoring is well apportioned. $2.
La Vita Bella Café, 471 Main St. Longmont, longmontcoffee.com
La Vita Bella Cafe is a cozy coffee shop/café/bar nestled in the Experience Building in downtown Longmont, designed to draw people in and allow them to stay awhile. The menu here is expansive with breakfast treats, sandwiches, salads and tapas, along with Ampersand coffee and a full bar. On a recent afternoon, we couldn’t pass up the decadent homemade biscotti displayed on the counter to go along with our iced coffee. The twice-baked almond Italian cookie was both crisp and chewy, and the adornments of dark chocolate and almond slivers were satisfying. $3.