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Colorado Cider, Panino's, and Milt's 

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click to enlarge Colorado Cider Company's Pome Mel

Colorado Cider Co.

2650 W. Second Ave., #10, Denver, coloradocider.com

Even though 300 pounds of Colorado wildflower honey is utilized per batch, both in the fermentation and as a final sweetener, don't think you're getting into honey mead or braggot territory with the excellent Pome Mel apple honey cider (around $8/22-ounce bomber). As described on many forums about "Cyser," the result of combining apple juice, honey and yeast (and in this case rosemary and lavender for very faint back notes) often results in a more wine-like, dry, crisp and not over-sweet drink.

Pome Mel, which is gluten-free, hits a modest 6.5 percent ABV and leads with a honey-rich bouquet. It's very light in clarity and body, quite balanced between the apples and apiary sap, and extremely likeable to someone who doesn't usually care much for regular cider, i.e., me. Outside of stores, it'll be available at July 28's Fiddles, Vittles & Vino event, along with CCC's Glider Cider and lemongrass-infused Grasshop-ah. — Matthew Schniper

click to enlarge Panino's Baked Casserole

Panino's Restaurant

604 N. Tejon St., 635-7452, paninos.com

The main entrance was bricked up and moved from the left side of the building to the right; the dark interior's been completely redone in hip reds and blacks, with black-and-whites of old Colorado Springs on the walls; and the restaurant's now open on Sundays. But looking at the massive menu ripe with more than 30 varieties of the rolled and baked sandwich — not to mention just about anything else held crave-able by your average pastafarian — it's clear it's still the same old Panino's, just, you know, shinier.

Not counting the generic dinner salad preceding it, the Panino's Baked Casserole ($14.49) is a star all its own. Pull forkfuls of steaming pasta and grilled chicken, coated in frictionless alfredo sauce, past a broiled crust of gooey cheese. Sliced mushrooms, mildly bitter spinach and translucent red onions offer a little snap, crackle and pop. I love it. — Bryce Crawford

click to enlarge Milt's huevos rancheros

Milt's Coffee Shop

2314 E. Platte Ave., 634-9016

Thirty-four-year-old Milt's Coffee Shop is so '70s that the plastic booths are orange, the tabletops marigold, the paneled walls brown, and the carpet green and worn. Of our mismatched coffee cups, one was repping Orange County Choppers; and over in the corner, a pink polka dot scarf hung from the coat rack. The place is as plainspoken as its Platte Avenue patrons, and — with its Ranch Foods Direct beef, homemade green chili and all-you-can-eat biscuits and gravy ($4.60) — twice as awesome to eat in.

We only hit the last two, though, with the huevos rancheros ($6.99), and its two beautiful fried eggs and thick, grilled tortilla, bringing a side of the chile. A word of warning: It takes about 10 seconds for the fruity heat to kick down your door, but oh, how it will. Elsewhere, it's a brave soul who can down more than one plate of the biscuits covered in the thick sausage gravy, but we're assured it's done all the time. — Bryce Crawford

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