Best Of 2012: Place to Eat Local/Sustainable
Best Of 2012: Restaurant for Herbivores
Best Of 2012: Neighborhood Restaurant: Manitou
An institution in downtown Manitou Springs, Adam's takes multiple titles each year. There are a couple major reasons, says owner Farley McDonough: "First, we try to be as consistent as possible. ... Second, we don't waver from that which we do well." And why would they? Look at the huevos rancheros, for instance. "It seriously rocks: The green chile is great, the avocado is fresh, the beans are spiced just right, and the eggs are local," says McDonough. As for those most partial to dining on Adam's creekside patio, McDonough has more good news: "My hope for the future is that we can find a way to keep the patio open all winter," she says. — Celine Wright
Bites 2013: Christmas Mountain Falls
Yeah, the menu says Green or Red Mountain Falls, but locals know you can mix them to dramatic effect. Onto a bed of toasted polenta (yup — 'dem ITALian corn grits) capped in cheddar cheese come the vegetarian chilies garnished with scallions and tomatoes and cooled slightly by a dollop of sour cream. Get the added eggs your style (over medium, perhaps?) because the yolk adds another pleasing dimension. There you have it: Christmas year-round. ($7/$10.25 with two eggs).Click here for Adam's Mountain Cafe's Indian Braised Romanesco Recipe!
Five-year-old Nemo's recently moved a block from its old spot, expanding into drive-through service. They're proud of from-scratch everything, including sweet baked goods in the a.m., breakfast burritos, and hot and cold sandwiches until 7. Beans from Boulder's Ozo Coffee Co.
Bites 2013: Butter Chicken
You'd swear the golden pool full of cubed chicken chunks, easily splitting into pink shreds, was 90-percent sweet cream. But ginger zings, then garlic sings, then yogurt and tomatoes vibrate with biting tang. Then you're taking another bite, then you're out of steaming, grilled naan to pile it onto, then you're out of room to eat, so you roll to the car. ($12.95)
Best Of 2010: Indian/Curry
For the love of good gravy! At least that's the way Taste of India owner Tajinder Dhillon see things. Dhillon describes curry — an aromatic mix of onions, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, cumin, cinnamon and more — as Indian gravy, something found in every Indian home. And he bristles at the oft-heard belief that all Indian food is spicy; in his culture, heat is only achieved through the addition of chilies. So you can get your lamb, beef or mushroom curry mild, medium or hot, or even opt for a creamy dish, like the much-revered butter chicken. Dip some fresh-prepared naan into that sauce, and you'll see why Taste of India has been converting even skeptics into regulars since 1997. —Monika Mitchell Randall
Here you'll find the tastiest butter chicken in the city, and a family-dominated staff that will take care of you — just two reasons why Taste of India earned our readers' Best Indian nod in 2009. Lunch buffets here are legendary, and will help you quickly understand why the outfit has such a fine reputation within the local Indian community.
Best Of 2012: Running Club: Jack Quinn's Running Club
Best Of 2012: Weekly Bar Event
Shawn Finley knows how much he brings to the runners and downtown. People talk about overcoming health issues and depression after joining Jack Quinn's Running Club for its Tuesday night runs. Hell, he even met his future wife on one. That sense of community brought out another record number of people this last June with nearly 1,800 runners, walkers and joggers. "I'm not the only one struggling on the hill by CC on Uintah," he says. "There's 500 more people doing the same thing." They're also supporting downtown business on a weeknight: Finley says a study the club conducted revealed that his runners and friends spend an average of $11 per person. — Sonja Bjelland
Best of 2012: Irish Pub
Quinn's is on our list for the seventh consecutive time because it does Irish right. Traditional staples such as Boxty and Shepherd's Pie share the menu with orange balsamic chicken and grilled salmon. In October, they added new items to the menu, including Guinness Brats and Pretzel Kabobs, Lime and Dill Salmon, Shepherd's Pie in a bread bowl, and a Salmon Trio appetizer. In addition to traditional Irish beers and ales, Quinn's has added a tap IPA lineup from Colorado's Ska, Odell and Avery breweries. — Bret Wright
Get the: Coconut Bubble Tea
Also a roaster, C&T Zone offers a couple things not common (or entirely unique) to the Springs: a diverse bubble tea selection and Zoneberry (based off the popular Pinkberry yogurt drinks elsewhere).
Best Of 2012: Middle Eastern
Best Of 2012: Hummus
Hummus is like Goldilocks' porridge: One has too much garlic, one's too chunky, another tastes bland. Hussein Abukhdeir's is just right. Savory, smooth and perfectly seasoned, with a little olive oil floating on top, this hummus demands to be eaten. It's not a happy accident. Abukhdeir, who owns the area's two Heart of Jerusalem restaurants, boils his own garbanzo beans, instead of buying cans (whose beans, he says, aren't fully cooked). He peels the beans and processes them in a special blender he bought just for that task. In addition to the beans, he uses cumin, olive oil and "strong" tahini that he ships in from California. "It's my mom's recipe," Abukhdeir says — one that perfectly complements not only pita, but, say, the lamb, beef and chicken in a Heart of Jerusalem sandwich. Abukhdeir adds that he plans to open a new restaurant, but won't say where — fearing that, as in the past, competitors will encroach. — J. Adrian Stanley
The 2011 winner for Best Middle Eastern and Hummus, Heart of Jerusalem is affordable and delicious. Fun blends like the "chikofel" and "beefofel" buck the norm, but it's hard to argue against the $8, shawarma-loaded hummus bowl plate. Baklava mandatory.