Ruthies Boardwalk Social, 1397 Pearl St., Boulder, ruthiesboulder.com
Most of us have warm memories of grandma’s cooking: hearty elk stew for winter dinners, potato salad on a summer day, fried green tomatoes in the South or a freshly baked pecan pie. For the folks at Ruthies Boardwalk Social, it’s grilled cheese. The menu is simple yet intriguing, with various takes on the classic hot sandwich. We opted for the Glass Onion: thick slices of brie cheese, along with caramelized onions and granny smith apples are melted between thick slices of buttered bread, smothered with whole grain mustard that will clear the sinuses right out. Occupying the spot right in front of the court house on Pearl Street, Ruthies is takeaway only. $6.75.
Can-O-Bliss Tropical IPA
Oskar Blues Brewery, Several Boulder County locations, oskarblues.com
Oskar Blues recently launched their Can-O-Bliss series (hop-forward IPAs that include unique hop combinations and rarely used varieties) with the Tropical IPA. The combination of Mosaic, Azacca, Galaxy, El Dorado and Idaho 7 hops creates a tropical bouquet of flavors, from kiwi to mango to papaya. The heavy hop factor is mellowed by a juicy texture, and it doesn’t quite feel like a beer that comes in at 7.2 percent alcohol by volume. Next up in the series is Hazy IPA, then Citrus IPA. Prices vary.
Buddha Cafe, 2719 Iris Ave., Boulder, 720-565-0506
Buddha Cafe, or Buddha Thai as its colloquially known, is a hidden Boulder gem. Their menu of Thai specialties, curries, noodle dishes and more are expertly prepared, always fresh and deeply satisfying. Take the drunken noodles — pan-fried wide rice noodles with eggs, bell peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms, basil, carrots and chili sauce. The veggies are slightly charred and caramelized, the chili sauce is irresistible and the egg gives the whole dish a warm, umami quality. $10.95.
Lady Jane, 2021 W. 32nd Ave., Denver, ladyjanedenver.com
Given the frigid temperatures of late, we decided to venture to Denver’s Lady Jane, a chic, tropical cocktail bar in LoHi. With planted palm trees and warm, inviting décor, it’s worth a visit, and the drinks are on point. The Daisy Buchanan mixes Hendrick’s gin with some lime and blood orange, as well as frothy egg whites to make a refreshing and smooth drink that will make you feel like you’re on the Buchanans’ Long Island porch in the humid, summer heat. Plus, $1 from every drink goes to Denver’s Lighthouse Literary Center, funding writing workshops around the city. Drinking for a good cause? We’re in. $12.