Sweet Addict Bakery
Various locations, sweetaddictbakery.com
Deidre Peak started Sweet Addict Bakery as a law student back in 2009. After becoming a mom, she made it her career so she could spend more time with her wee'uns. Laudable — over 20 flavors of her rich, buttery caramels lined her stand at the Colorado Farm & Art Market at the Pioneers Museum. A mixed dozen ($10) serves as a good way to survey her wares.
Fleur de Sel comes strongly salted and only mildly sweet, twisting the creamy treat to the savory side. Pecan pie caramels are salted more lightly, with a pleasant nutty crunch. Vanilla bourbon presents rich oak and vanilla notes. Blood orange delivers subtly floral and delicate notes with minimal direct citrus. Fireball caramels taste spot-on, but why adulterate good caramel with so much artificial cinnamon? And sriracha caramel gets plenty of garlic and chile — intense for a candy, but I'd love to try a pork chop glazed with this stuff. — GS
Bust Colorado Kitchen
8655 U.S. Hwy. 24, Cascade, 505-9587, bustcolorado.com
Pulling into the parking lot off Highway 24 can be daunting when the turn lane gets surrounded by four lanes of heavy, highway-speed traffic. Well into summer, the long-standing building still bears the "Grand Opening April 22nd" sign, as well as ads for a variety of sumptuous Mexican bites, including two molé sauces. Tragically, none of these grace the menu, so skipping breakfast, we went with chipotle chicken and a carne asada chimichanga (each $12).
The former, chicken chunks with mushrooms in a ruddy cream sauce, comes with beans, rice and tortillas. While the sauce adds smoke and spice, the chicken chews tough. The chimichanga bears pleasant crispness, thanks to tangy and mild tomatillo salsa, which helps elevate the under-seasoned beef. House guacamole tasted under-ripe with a stringy texture. The flan ($3) holds a pleasant taste and texture marred only by the occasional ice crystal. — GS
Banh Mi Viet
3315 N. Academy Blvd., 629-9416
I spazzed out in my review of Banh Mi Viet when it first opened a little over a year ago, extolling its legitimacy, culinary delicacy and killer affordability. Bad news: They took my advice and raised their prices by 45 cents per sandwich. Good news: To pay $3.95 still equates to a steal considering how deeply fulfilling each is. More good news: They've added three new banh mi renditions to the existing five.
We try two of those because the third, the #7, is sold out. The menu describes the #6 as shredded chicken with tangy and sweet pineapple sauce. But we don't get much fruit or sweetness out of it, just a lovely char on the meat and the usual pleasantness of garnishing pickled daikon and carrot, cilantro, cucumber, and jalapeño slivers. The #8, roast beef with onion, smacks as good as the others, but the #2 grilled pork (our favorite from before, which we must retry) still bests the batch with its plum/hoisin sauce notes. — MS