Wondervu Cafe, 33492 Highway 72, Golden, wondervucafe.net
Fall has come to Colorado, which means driving into the mountains provides sweeping views of stoplight aspens, fading from green, to yellow, to red. It also means traveling through lesser known parts of the county and nearby environs, and one such trip recently led us up Highway 72, boasting sights of Longs Peak and other classic Boulder County views, to Wondervu Cafe. Although the menu has plenty of sandwiches, burgers and salads, what really drew us was the promise of “homemade Mexican food” at 8,888 feet. The steak fajitas are enough for two people (as advertised) and a sizzling plate of tender meat, plus perfectly sautéed bell peppers and onions is accompanied by refried beans covered in cheddar cheese, Mexican rice and enough guacamole, sour cream and pico de gallo to go around. It was a delightful meal in a delightful place and definitely worth the drive. $24.95.
Peckish, 1320 College Ave., Boulder, peckishco.com
Boulder’s Peckish is dedicated to the wing. Bone-in, bone-out or cauliflower, Peckish’s wings come tossed in a variety of sauces and rubs, so it’s a little tricky to pick just one that intrigues you. We opted for bone-in wings with the classic hot buffalo sauce — somewhere toward the higher end of the heat scale, but the third-hottest buffalo sauce out of five. The wings come out crispy-skinned, with tender chicken on the inside. The sauce is zippy, and you’ll power through five wings in no time. Oh well, another opportunity to try more sauces. Five for $6.57; 10 for $12.57; 200 for $230.
Wibby Brewing, 209 Emery St., Longmont, wibbybrewing.com
The weather’s turned and so we’re reaching for warming, malty brews, like Wibby’s Wibtoberfest, a traditional märzen style lager. It’s got a deep amber color and a flavor that hints at caramel without being sweet. At 5.5% alcohol by volume, it’s a medium-bodied easy-drinker that tastes best when accompanied by a pretzel and an autumn breeze. If you happen to be at Great American Beer Festival this weekend, stop by and try it fresh at the Wibby booth. Prices vary.
Scrooge Maki, 1107 13th St., Boulder, 303-449-0270
For fast-casual rice bowls, poke, sushi and more, it’s hard to beat Scrooge Maki on the Hill. Their bowls are packed with loads of flavor and texture, as evidenced in the Scrooge Bowl. It’s a combination of tender beef strips, spicy pork and tempura-fried chicken, set atop rice, veggies and kim chi, and topped with soy sauce and sesame seeds. The meats are well-seasoned, and the crispy chicken, in particular, provides an attractive crunch as you work your way through the bowl. $12.