Shin Sa Dong
3845 E. Pikes Peak Ave., 638-2695
We're eating the beef short ribs soup ($9.99), which doesn't really look like its menu photo and isn't spicy like our waitress said, but we're pleased nonetheless. That's because under a slick cap of oily broth, the unctuousness continues with fatty meat bits, some still fused to bones. The flavor is slightly tangy from a miso base mixed with beef stock, and big bunches of radish greens remind me of collards in a Southern soup. James So, chef and co-owner as of June, says it's a winter recipe that by tradition also uses dried vegetables (re-hydrated and stir-fried) from harvest time.
Regarding our hairtail fish ($9.99), a long, thin, eel-like fellow, he sets it in sea salt overnight, "jerky-style," then cooks it with vegetable oil on a hot stone. It's slightly fishy-smelling but not overly fishy-tasting, crispy-skinned and soft-fleshed, and requiring great care around abundant pin bones along the spine. — Matthew Schniper
Crazy Mountain Brewery
439 Edwards Access Road, Edwards, crazymountainbrewery.com
When thinking about Colorado, few things come to mind quicker and more clearly than craft beer and big mountains. While we have no shortage of breweries — more than 160 now — it's at times difficult to find your way to the best. Especially when breweries such as Crazy Mountain produce beers that are unique within their style, almost deserving a subcategorization.
Like its alluring can artwork, Crazy Mountain's Mountain Livin' Pale Ale (around $9/12-ounce six-pack) channels a misty mountain in late spring with clean, crisp and tropically sweet notes. The flavor profile of this 5.7 percent ABV brew gets enhanced by the often-overlooked and decidedly underused Citra hops, which lend hints of gooseberry and passionfruit. While not revolutionary, it is bending the mold. So kudos for that — and for 1 percent of sales being donated to Vail Mountain Rescue. — Steve Hitchcock
Nourish Organic Juice
Mobile business, 646-9150, nourishorganicjuice.com
Currently based out of Cucuru Gallery Cafe daily but for Sundays, Nourish is waiting for its new home to be ready inside the Ivywild development, alongside Bristol Brewing Company, the Old School Bakery and other classmates. Meanwhile, patrons can order from a full menu of daily-made juices and smoothies on-site in Old Colorado City, or arrange free deliveries (with a minimum order of $24, essentially four drinks). Plans are also under way for distribution into local health markets.
We try the Spooky Boo (apple, acai, red cabbage, Chlorella and lime) and High Five (pineapple, beet, apple, ginger and lemon juices) (each $6/16 ounces), and I'm quickly converted to the playful fusion of ginger and pineapple in the latter. The cabbage and Chlorella are well balanced by the sweeter elements of the former. Of course, most of all, I'm happy to see the big "O" word. — Matthew Schniper