Vina Pho & Grill, 1630 30th St., Boulder, 303-444-1809
Nothing satiates like pho. It’s salty, savory, umami and spicy, and when you’re craving it, no replacement will do. Vina Pho serves an excellent rendition of the classic Vietnamese noodle soup. In the combination pho, vermicelli noodles are bathed in a broth spiced with black pepper and star anise, along with rare steak that cooks in the bowl, tender brisket, meatball slices and flavor-boosting, texture-variant tendon and tripe. Add in chili sauce, basil, jalapenos and more to infuse the soup with more flavor, and at the end of the bowl, your taste buds will thank you. $7.50-$9.50.
Organic Sandwich Co., 459 S McCaslin Blvd., Louisville; 16th and Pearl, Boulder, organicsandwichco.com
The Organic Sandwich Co. dishes out powerfully flavored, uniquely composed sandwiches using organic ingredients. Their menu caters to people of all dietary persuasions, but the thing that’s constant is the quality… and those robust flavors. Take the turkey reuben for instance. Roasted turkey, turmeric ginger sauerkraut, tomato, aged white Cheddar and sriracha aioli are piled onto sourdough and pressed in a grill. The result is an indulgent bite that doesn’t linger in your gut. The turmeric ginger kraut is dynamite, but it gives just enough space for the cheese, fresh turkey and spicy sriracha aioli to make their statements. $10.50.
West Side Tavern, 1283 Third Ave., Longmont, westsidetav.com
The West Side Tavern is a charming and unexpected neighborhood spot tucked between single family homes off of Third Avenue in Longmont. The small inside dining area and bar is cozy and inviting on a fall or winter night. But this time of year, the expansive side patio is the place to be. It was the perfect setting to enjoy the starter ceviche dish on a recent warm evening. Like the Tavern, the dish was unexpected, forgoing tradition for what amounted to a delicious guacamole-like experience. Thick chunks of Ahi tuna are mixed with creamy avocado, lime juice and onion, then drizzled with a balsamic vinegar glaze. Served with wonton crisps for dipping, it went down smooth and fast. $12.
Beet Probiotic Sparkling Beverage
Pfizz, Louisville, drinkpfizz.com
Boulder County is home to a number of fine natural food brands, and more crop up every day, like Louisville’s Pfizz sparkling beverages. Pfizz takes naturally fermented, probiotic ingredients and marries them with fizzy water for an enjoyable, healthful drinking experience. The beet variety is a beet lover’s dream — all the sweetness and earthiness of a beet (and its digestion- and liver-boosting nutrtional elements) without having to wait for it to bake or find something to eat alongside it. Prices vary.