Fate Brewing Company
1600 38th St., Boulder, 303/449-3283, fatebrewingcompany.com
If you venture to Fate's locavore-minded restaurant and taphouse — opened in 2013 and ranked among 10 new U.S. breweries to watch by Bon Appétit in 2014, the same year it won a gold at GABF for its kölsch — you will at times find a specialty coffee IPA available. This of course runs counter to everyone else's coffee porter or stout, and it's also a spin on Fate's regular Moirai IPA (six-pack cans for around $10).
Actually, Moirai's not regular, and in fact exceptional among the sea of IPAs; it's also Fate's best-selling label. After I doled out sips at the office, one co-worker tracked me down the following day inquiring where to buy it, still professing surprise at its sneaky 7-percent ABV. A six-hop blend speaks to a dynamic flavor profile, starting citrusy, grassy and bright and quickly fading into a bitter middle (only 70 IBUs) with a faint breadiness from Munich malts, feeling a little darker on the mouth than it appears in the glass. — MS
116 Canon Ave., Manitou Springs, radiantlyrawkitchen.com
Earlier this year, I reported on the Anna's Apothecary/Radiantly Raw team-up to take over the former Local First Grocer spot. But I'd gotten my first taste of Jacquie Mosher's excellent organic, raw, non-GMO, gluten- and dairy-free Paleo chocolates in early 2013 when she launched. She uses only cacao, coconut oil and honey as base ingredients, and since then her product line's expanded significantly, displaying creativity and beautiful presentations at each turn.
We nab a four-pack (between $3.27 and $3.82 per truffle) weighted toward newer creations: an espresso with the same deeply rich dark chocolate cheesecake ganache as the chocolate cheesecake, which gains health support from spirulina, beet and strawberry powders plus lemon juice, to peg the flavor. A holiday-appropriate ginger-apricot lands spice-forward but balanced, and the blueberry lavender cream nails that pairing's brilliance with a velvety edge. — MS
London's Soul Food
4747 Flintridge Drive, 593-7329
Why did liver and onions become the go-to threat plate for parents of picky kids? London Rogers' Memphis-recipe liver and onions combo ($9.75) is an exercise in pure Southern-style pleasure. Pounded flat, this cut of beef liver makes no secret that it's organ meat, intense with its finishing tang mellowed by onions and a fat-heavy gravy that had begun to separate. I try it with the collard greens, true to Southern standard, but powerfully salty, and bangin' cornmeal-dipped fried okra.
The catfish fillet ($9.75/combo) gets the same dip and arrives well-seasoned. Side fried jalapeños meet a buttermilk batter for a satisfying sour-spicy bite, though it's a shame they're the jarred variety instead of the fresh Rogers seasonally acquires. It's all made to order, so expect a 20-minute wait in a dining room with one piece of art and visible back-of-house to-do lists. No-frills soul food is great, but a no-frills dining room? Take lunch to go. It's already in foam containers. — GS