Fifty Fifty Coffee House
330 N. Institute St., facebook.com/fiftyfiftycoffeehouse, 445-1157
A lavender tea, sweet with honey, swirls into syrup at the heart of this coffee: A lavender latte ($4.23/12-ounce), when made in the right way, served hot or cold, will make someone's day. Sure, a lavender latte sounds like a sugar bomb or potpourri, but this drink shows the details in both bean and flower. Fifty Fifty's take leaves most other lavender lattes in the dirt.
Those who scoff at lavender in their coffee drinks can still enjoy a Fifty Fifty iced coffee ($3.99/16-ounce), which sees intense iced coffee mellowed with milk and brown sugar syrup. And, of course, the macchiato ($2.79/double) starts as rich as dark chocolate before mellowing into notes of vanilla and mild citrus, a great display of a nuanced Costa Rican bean. In the words of beloved poet Robert Frost, "You can't go wrong with this brew; it's totally off the chain." — GS
109 N. Tejon St., 633-3686, cacaochemistry.com
It's pretty easy to see how at the latest Colorado Indulgence Festival, Cacao Chemistry won gold for Most Indulgent Sweet Treat. When savoring cherrywood smoke infused in a Stranahan's whiskey-cream cordial, tasting the elegance of a fine cocktail, you get it. That bar-side beauty returns in the forwardly tart Angostura bitters and strawberry jam truffle, which fades to a bitter dark-chocolate finish.
From my nine-piece truffle assortment ($22.50), these are just two of the spring highlights. A Cabernet caramel and pear-and-port both play nice off wine elements, while a pineapple-and-coffee piece brilliantly blends citrus with java essence. Only salted grapefruit falters with little citrus and big salt. Four macarons ($10) don't wow, a little dry and crumbly and not as full-flavored. Nice cacao filling buoys the chocolate but overwhelms the pistachio, with bright strawberry besting flat vanilla. — MS
Pig Latin Food Truck
mobile business, 347-1144, piglatintruck.com
After Pig Latin appeared on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives last fall, business picked up for Andres and Patricia Velez. Typically anemic winter numbers hit summertime figures. Even with the recent move from Curbside Cuisine to the parking lot next to Ohana Kava Bar, fans have followed.
The pork butt for the filling and fantastic Pig Latin Plate ($9) marinates in vinegar (Filipino style, minus the soy that adobo also gets) and ample garlic, plus cumin and oregano before a 10-hour braise. Charred edges delight amidst the tender bits, and caramelized plantains bring in a countering sweetness. Side Goya red beans, seasoned similarly to the pork, pair perfectly. The cilantro-habanero cream makes a pair of Island Tacos ($8) pop, their pork seasoned with sofrito sauce and pineapple. I crave only a soft-taco version (given the right tortilla), and a lifetime supply of the accompanying garlic-Parmesan fries. — MS
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