Sun-dried Tomato Falafel Burger
FATE Brewing Company, 1600 38th St., Boulder, fatebrewingcompany.com
The folks at FATE know how to brew excellent beer, which somehow tastes even better when served up alongside a variety of food options on the menu. The falafel burger intrigued us, and then delighted us after we ordered it. The thick chickpea patty has more the consistency of other veggie burgers and less the fried-dry texture of classic falafel. The accompanying hummus, tomatoes and cucumbers add both flavor and freshness to the sandwich. The star of the show is the preserved lemon jam: spread sparsely on the brioche bun, it adds a gratifying citrus flavor to every bite. $11.
Honey Pot Latte
Flatiron Coffee, 2721 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, flatironcoffee.com
Flatiron Coffee has some of the most creative coffee drinks of any shop around. We dove into its honey pot latte recently, and it’s dynamite. Robust espresso is mixed with honey, cinnamon, vanilla and steamed milk. It creates a truly bittersweet sensation — bitter coffee, sweet honey, and the cinnamon and vanilla flavors travel directly to the part in your body where fuzzy memories live, and warms it. $4.
Nocturne, 1330 27th St., Denver, nocturnejazz.com
Going to Nocturne is worth the trip to Denver. In the heart of the RiNo district, Nocturne offers nightly live jazz music Tuesday-Sunday, with late night sets Friday and Saturday. It’s a perfect venue for a night out on the town, and offers a hearty menu to accompany myriad cocktail and other drink options. The pan-roasted scallops are decadent. Three pieces of perfectly charred scallops lay atop a mixture of chorizo, mojo black beans and rice. A light pepper salad with radishes adds the perfect amount of crunch. A poblano pepper puree adorns the dish, adding both flavor and color. $29.
Fried Tofu Bowl
May Wah, 2500 Baseline Road, Boulder, maywah.net
If you’ve never stepped into May Wah in the big shopping complex on Baseline, you’ll be struck by how different it feels. It’s set up like a modern diner, one you’d find in some big coastal city, with white marble, decorated and high ceilings, spacious booths and a hustle-hustle-hustle atmosphere among the wait staff that just makes you feel welcome. The expansive menu of pan-Asian meals gets pared down at lunch, but the ambiance stays the same. We opted for the veggie-filled fried tofu bowl. It’s perfectly executed rice with sprouts, fried onion, scallion, peanuts, cucumber, carrots, daikon and a side of fish sauce. With a carafe of green tea, it’s a wholly satisfying meal at May Wah. $8.95.