Baked Meatball Sandwich
Lefty’s Gourmet Pizza, 364 Second Ave., Niwot, leftysgourmetpizza.com
If you haven’t been to Niwot’s classic red sauce joint, Lefty’s, then we don’t know what to tell you besides: go, now. It’s got classic New York-style pizza, calzones, pastas, lasagna and more, including a great sandwich menu. We opted for the baked meatball sub on a recent visit and were blown away. Tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese ooze between giant, tender meatballs, all packed in a long hoagie roll that’s toasted to perfection — it’s crispy, with a chewy interior and a healthy amount of flavorful char. The meatballs are juicy, and electrified by herb and onion additions. This is a great sandwich. $6.50-$9.
Brown Rice and Beef Bowl
Five on Black, 1805 29th St., Unit 1138, Boulder, fiveonblack.com
If you can’t quite decide what exactly you want to eat, but you know you want big flavor, head to 29th Street Mall’s Five on Black. The fast casual Brazilian eatery lets you build a bowl from your choice of grain, meat, veggie, sauce and garnish. We like a bowl with brown rice, churrasco beef, sweet potato, steamed collard greens, mango barbecue sauce and a wedge of lime that brightens and assembles all the dish’s elements. But really, it’s up to you. $8.95.
Raza Fresa, 7960 Niwot Road, Unit 11-D, razafresa.com
Raza Fresa is a freshly decorated Mexican spot in Niwot, and it’s the kind of place you can have a few margaritas, enjoy a big plate of Mexican staples and have a good time with family and friends. The menu is long, but we found our way to the house specialties section and chose the chile Colorado. The meat of the day (shredded, tender beef in this case) is smothered and simmered in a cozy, slightly sweet red chile sauce and served alongside rice, beans and tortillas. $12.98.
Oktoberfest Märzen Lager
Left Hand Brewing Company, 1265 Boston Ave., Longmont, lefthandbrewing.com
Märzen was made for autumn, and though we haven’t quite changed seasons yet, it’s starting to feel like it. So we’ll drink like we’re in autumn, and reach for any and every märzen and Oktoberfest brew we can find. And why not start with Left Hand’s excellent Oktoberfest Märzen Lager? It’s rich in toasted malts, with a refreshingly crisp backbone. Munich and Pilsner malts marry CTZ and Hallertau MittelFrüh hops for a faithful representation of the style. Prices vary.