Smoked Georgia Pork Bowl
Big Dawg Barbecue, Mobile, Boulder County, bigdawgbarbecue.com
This is barbecue to write home about. Home, in the case of Big Dawg Barbecue, is Georgia, and the folks behind the mobile operation have been making smoked meats for three decades. Assembled in less than 30 seconds, we chose to have our sampling of slow-smoked, pulled pork (brisket and chicken were the other choices) in one of Big Dawg’s “barbecue bowls.” It’s heaven. Luxurious macaroni and cheese, fruity roasted corn, a heaping serving of pork, crunchy onion strings, punchy scallions and crispy bacon. Add on any of a half-dozen sauces from sweet to spicy — we liked the Carolina gold. $11.
Pearl Street Sandwich
Lolita’s Market and Deli, 800 Pearl St., Boulder, 303-443-8329
Embedded within Pearl Street’s quirky West End is Lolita’s, perhaps the most underrated sandwich shop in Boulder. We stopped by to pay homage to the City’s main artery with the Pearl Street sandwich, a delightful combination of turkey, avocado, Monterey jack cheese, onions, tomato, lettuce and sprouts held between two slices of bread. We opted for the toasted sourdough, and it did not disappoint. $8.99.
Vegetable Sherpa’s Stew
Sherpa’s Adventurers Restaurant & Bar, 825 Walnut St., Boulder, sherpasrestaurant.com
One recent day when spring had momentarily fled Colorado, leaving winter to once again fill the space, we decided to go in search of comfort food. We looked no further than Sherpa’s, where we opted for a bowl of the vegetable Sherpa’s Stew. A savory, bone-warming broth is loaded with tender carrots, cauliflower, sweet peas, bell peppers and chewy house-made dumplings, then topped with fresh spinach. Just a dash or two of the house hot sauce and we forgot how chilly it was outside. You can pack a bit more protein into the stew with chicken, lamb or yak meat. $8.50.
Fire Lamb Special
Spice China, 269 McCaslin Blvd., Louisville, 720-890-0999, spicechinalouisville.com
This house special is every bit as fiery as promised. The lamb is thinly sliced and fried in a savory blend of spices that doesn’t overwhelm the dish, but adds noticeable texture and depth. The snap peas and bell peppers lend a distinct pop of freshness and a satisfying crunch; beware the abundance of fresh jalapeños — unless you’re in for the real fire. $12.95.