Four Noses Brewing Company
8855 W. 116th Circle, Broomfield, 720/460-2797, 4nosesbrewing.com
We're poking around the Colorado beer area of Cheers Liquor Mart and stumble upon a new-to-us Broomfield-based brewery called Four Noses. A knowledgeable employee appears at just the right moment to confirm, that 1) yes, this is a new arrival to the shelves here and 2) yes, the Proboscis Simcoe American Pale Ale (around $10/six-pack cans) we're holding is a wise choice with which to head home.
Proboscis, whose label art features fun illustrations of schnozes, weighs in as a 6-percent-ABV brew with a medium 60 IBUs. The single-hop Simcoe approach makes for a fun study as well. Its aromas tend to elicit descriptions of apricot and passionfruit amidst pine, but here it presents with grapefruit rind first in the nose. Faint pineapple follows through in the sip, which rings dry but refreshing with mute malts, with a clean finish and very little linger. Very nice. — MS
Mile Hi Donuts
5605 N. Academy Blvd., 599-7232
It's hard to find fresh donuts at 2 p.m. But a dozen assorted donuts ($10.99) here don't include a stale bite. From the airy raised donuts to dense and decadent old-fashioned, cake, and sour cream donuts, these rounds meet or beat Dunkin's offerings. But still, big chain is what Mile Hi's wares resemble; this place isn't elevating donuts to craft status. Owner Hyun Kim's neon-orange mango icing has the standard sugar-forward flavor balance. The bacon on the maple bacon cake donut tastes a touch overdone, too. And the French-fried onions atop a strawberry donut dominate this weird pairing. Stick to rich chocolate and red velvet cake, a fruity blueberry old-fashioned, or a cinnamon-dominant apple fritter.
Mile Hi's coffee and tea options are also better than Dunkin's, all selected from Denver-based Dazbog Coffee. But both decaf and medium roast options ($1.79/12-ounce) are brewed thin — fine for dipping donuts, but nothing for coffee lovers. — GS
3408 N. Academy Blvd., 597-1175, facebook.com/saigonsprings
In 1990, Unicorn Chinese Restaurant was bought and turned into Saigon Springs. More recently, in late 2015, Saigon Springs came under the new ownership of Tuan Nguyen. Our server tells us that the menu will change a little, incorporating a few Americanized and general Southeast Asian treats, like Thai tea.
But we opt for a more traditional combination hot pot ($17.99 for two). The Thai-inflecting broth bears a decent warmth, with stalks of lemongrass and chunks of pineapple keeping things bright. As for the contents, the paper-thin cuts of beef and the shrimp are very successful. We also enjoy the roe-stuffed fish balls and shrimp balls, though the latter are powerfully shrimpy in flavor. But the mussels — one orange, one white, both served sans-shell — are a mixed bag, with the white tasting salty and chewing tough. Protein aside, expect generic veg options and, all told, a full belly, thanks to a dish that shows up too rarely in this city. — GS