Best Of 2013: Place to Eat Local/Sustainable
Best Of 2013: Restaurant for Herbivores
Best Of 2013: Neighborhood Restaurant: Manitou
Farley McDonough can joke about it now. When told that her restaurant, Adam's Mountain Café, is up for several Best Of awards, she asks, "In what category? The Restaurant Most Likely to Be Evacuated?" But it wasn't funny when the Aug. 9 flood plowed into Adam's, forcing weeks of cleanup, repairs and revenue loss. "I have to admit that, the night it happened, my mindset was that we would never open again," she says. "But it became apparent, very quickly, that there were so many people out there who love the café, love our food, love our staff, and wanted us to ride this out." Volunteers kept coming, bestowing an "incredible gift" to McDonough, her family and staff. Merely saying "thank you" isn't enough for her, so she promises that diners will always find food, service and atmosphere that meets or exceeds pre-flood levels of excellence. And that's pretty damn good. — Rhonda Van Pelt
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 2013: Irish Pub
Jack Quinn's maintains an element of craic, an Irish term for good banter and great times — that vibe you get when you walk into a place that feels like home. However, the authentic Irish feel isn't the only thing that's earned Quinn's this win for the eighth year in a row. Stellar food abounds, including the traditional Boxty, which manager Martin Troy describes as a "giant Irish burrito." It's a large potato pancake filled with ingredients such as sautéed onions, mashed potatoes, corned beef, cabbage and more. This month, stop in for Scotchtoberfest to enjoy glasses of scotch paired with dishes that complement. — Gracie Ramsdell
Bites 2013: Shepherd's Pie
Must. Get. Through. Description. Without. Mentioning. Guinness. ... D'oh! Quinn's and the famous stout are inextricable. And seeing as how heavy beers call for heavy food, the shepherd's pie is a natural choice from the Irish selections. A custom bread boule (yeah, not bowl, ya' eegit!) from Colorado Bread Company holds the mashed potatoes, molten cheddar and ground sirloin and veggies (mushrooms, onions, carrot, peas) seasoned simply with salt, pepper and thyme. ($10.95)
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 2013: Middle Eastern
Falafel. Kufta kabobs. Shawermah. Dolmas. Tabouleh. Babaganooj. Turkish coffee. It doesn't really matter what you order off of Heart of Jerusalem Café's loaded five-page menu of Middle Eastern delicacies, because, frankly, it's all good. Nor does it matter which of the two locations you visit, because when you walk in the door you'll be welcomed like family at both. Top off a visit with the walnut-almond-pistachio-honey baklava, and you'll go home smiling.. — Kirsten Akens
Best Of 2013: Hummus (tie)
In the hummus smack-down, we've got two strong contenders. On one side of the ring, brothers Jake and Telly Topakas and their family recipe brought to the States from the Aegean isle of Chios. On the other side, Hussein Abukhdeir and his authentic Jerusalem chickpea concoction, available at two locations. You may prefer to dip your warm pita slices in one version over the other, but in this year's Best Of bout, it's a well-deserved international tie. — Kirsten Akens
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.