Saag Paneer Taco
Roxie’s Tacos, 1135 Broadway, Unit 102, Boulder, roxiestacos.com.
To create truly satisfying fusion cuisine, a wise chef understands not only what flavors pair well together, but where cultures intersect. Fletcher Starkey and Rushani Patel of Roxie’s Tacos have found the impossibly delicious crossroads of Mexican and Indian street foods. Enjoy one of three types of curry — Dada’s red chicken, saag paneer or chana masala — in either a taco, burrito, nachos or rice bowl. We opted for saag paneer tacos, with cubes of soft cheese sautéed in creamy yogurt sauce with baby spinach and roasted onion topped with cool, crisp kale slaw. Doused liberally with a homemade cilantro chutney, it makes you question why you didn’t eat curry with a tortilla sooner. $3.80.
Chips and Dip
Euclid Hall Bar and Kitchen, 1317 14th St., Denver, www.euclidhall.com
This isn’t your average plate of chips and dip. In the heart of Denver’s LoDo district, Euclid Hall Bar and Kitchen at Larimer Square specializes in eclectic and innovative pub fare including housemade sausages, poutine and schnitzel, in a made-to-share (have enough people? order the sausage platter) environment. Fresh, lemon goat cheese (the dip) is covered by a stack of hand-cut potato chips and layers of both rare, smoked duck breast and duck confit. Surprising at first bite, the duck breast and cheese are served cold, juxtaposed to warm confit and potato chips. Sprigs of dill are more than a garnish, adding to the fresh taste. $12.50.
Nepal’s Cafe, 184 E. Elkhorn St., Estes Park
Every once in a while that feeling comes along. You know, the one that goes like: “Shut up. I’m so hungry, I’m going to die, and I need food right now.” What we’ve noticed, as of late, is that some people are particularly prone to this feeling in Estes Park, as it serves as the gateway to myriad high-caloric activities, especially in the winter. Nepal’s Cafe is where you should go when that feeling hits. Its lunch buffet, which is an all-you-can-eat affair served up 11-3 p.m., is packed full of warming masalas, fresh-made naan, fluffed rice, spicy chicken, mushroom paneer, veggie noodle mixes and so much more. A delectably creamy rice pudding is available, with almond slivers and cinnamon, to top it all off. $12.
Spicy Red Ramen
2014 10th St., Boulder, chimera.restaurant
The composition of ramen can be as complex as it is variable, restaurant to restaurant. Chimera, for one, nails the delicate umami in its spicy red ramen. The artisan, organic, alkaline ramen noodles, which Chimera’s staff hand massage to create a unique texture, are perfectly chewy and equally flavorful. Its broth, too, is made from scratch, and provides a complementary base for the sansho-chili oil, grilled chicken, enoki mushrooms, sprouts, nori, corn and soft egg. Pair it with the duck dumplings and you’ve got yourself a meal to remember. $15.