Mici Handcrafted Italian, 535 W. South Boulder Road, Lafayette, miciitalian.com
Lafayette’s outpost of Mici Handcrafted Italian serves a lineup of pizza, pasta, salads, calzones and more in a fast casual setting. Its penne cortonese is composed of penne pasta, a Tuscan-inspired meat sauce and parmesan cheese. The pasta is cooked perfectly al dente, and the chunky, pork ragu is satisfying. Two slabs of garlic bread saturated with fresh olive oil make scooping up the remaining sauce at the end a delight. $10.99.
Fried Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich
Community, 206 S. Boulder Road, Lafayette, eatatcommunity.com
This stand-out Lafayette restaurant only offers its Lunchy/Brunchy menu three days a week (Friday-Sunday). That’s only three days a week to experience some of Community’s mid-day specialties like stuffed French toast, croque madame and its breakfast burrito. Recently we went more lunchy than brunchy and picked the fried hot honey chicken sandwich, drawn in by the promise of gluten-free fried chicken thighs (perfectly crisp dark meat!) and gooey white cheese. What really made this sandwich off-the-charts good was the fresh herb slaw made with red cabbage and the house-made pickles, both of which added the perfect amount of crunch and tang to each bite. Then there was the special sauce, which complemented each bite with a combination of sweet and spicy that left us wanting to order another one. Served with house-made salt and vinegar potato chips. $12.
Seeds Library Cafe, Boulder Public Library, 1001 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, seedsboulder.com
The library, and Seeds Café in particular, is a gathering place like no other in Boulder. Drawing in a wide breadth of the Boulder community, Seeds showcases local food and drink, baking its pastries in-house and partnering with local farmers to develop its seasonal menu. The house-made plum scone is a staple, a constant among rotating flavors and experiments. It’s perfectly dense and moist inside, while offering a lightly flaky and crisp exterior. The plum flavor is subtle but tasty — tart and sweet, all at the same time. Although we intended to just have a few bites and save the rest for later, we couldn’t help devouring the entire treat while sitting at a table overlooking Boulder Creek. $3.
Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Outrageous Baking, Available throughout Boulder County, outrageousbaking.com
Boulder County-based Outrageous Baking has been baking unbelievable sweet and quick breads that are dairy- and gluten-free for more than a decade. The breads are dense, moist and naturally flavored, like the chocolate zucchini bread. It’s imbued with decadent Dutch cocoa, dairy-free chocolate chips and veggie-sweet zucchini. Made from a variety of gluten-free flours, the texture is remarkably satisfying. Prices vary.