Carrot Cake Cupcake
Lovin’ Oven, Available throughout Boulder County, lovinovengoodies.com
Gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free need not mean that something is taste-free. Take the carrot cake cupcake from Boulder’s Lovin’ Oven. It’s loaded with flavor, starting with a citrusy cake that’s packed with slightly crunchy carrot slivers and abundant baking spices. Pair that with a “cream cheese” frosting that tastes more unctuous than the supposedly real stuff, and you’ve got yourself a decadent cupcake to sink your teeth into. $3.49.
Pizza Aglio e Olio
Sforno Trattoria Romana, 1308 Pearl St., Boulder, sfornoboulder.com
Sforno Trattoria Romana has maybe the best location on Pearl Street. People tend to congregate in the area in front of the Courthouse and visitor’s center, where Sforno’s alluring patio beckons. Fortunately, its take on southern Italian fare is worth all the attention. The name Sforno, which means “from the oven,” encouraged us to order a wood-fired pizza. The aglio e olio, borrowed from the classic garlic and oil pasta dish, was just right. Mozzarella, oregano, garlic, oil, crushed red pepper and arugula conspired together on a crispy crust to make a satisfying bite. The garlic was present but not overwhelming, the oil was fatty and pleasing, and the arugula added a peppery crunch. $16.
Chorizo Breakfast Burrito
Tacos Al Molcajete, 926 Main St., Longmont
Tacos Al Molcajete is a gem. Its extensive menu and rotating specials mean you’ll never get the same thing twice if you don’t want to, but we kind of want to get the chorizo breakfast burrito every day. And at only $3, why not? It’s a hot wrap of spicy, robust chorizo, a blend of cheese, crispy potatoes, green chili, avocado, beans and onions. If chorizo’s not your bag, you can switch out the protein, but the important thing is that Tacos Al Molcajete is able to provide both quantity and quality in its breakfast burritos. And the flavor it develops in the meats and sauces is complex and unique. $3.
Orange Cranberry Bread
Outrageous Baking, Available throughout Boulder County, outrageousbaking.com
Quick breads are great — dense, moist and loaded with flavor, without ever leaving you with the feeling like you’re overindulging. That’s especially the case with the local Outrageous Baking’s gluten-free orange cranberry bread. The orange is abundant and enticing, while the cranberry levels out the citrus. The bread itself is indeed dense and moist, and the structure Outrageous is able to produce without gluten is remarkable. $2.99.