Welcome to the downtown Colorado Springs area. On the right, we have Chipotle. On the left, we have a zillion other options where it's easy to get your money's worth in nutrition. Because when you do go out to eat, you want it to 1) taste good, 2) be (relatively) good for you and 3) consequently be worth the money you spent.
Here are five dishes, by price, that stand out from the zillion.
If you have ...
$5 to spend
The Breakfast Sandwich @ Wooglin's
823 N. Tejon St., 578-9443, wooglinsdeli.com
Wooglin's is the Camelot of all delis, so this must be the Holy Grail of all breakfast sandwiches. It's simple: bacon, egg and cheese on a homemade bagel. Not only does it manage to fill you and focus you for subsequent hours of studying, it's available all day and goes excellently with a cup of Wooglin's Estate Blend. Five bucks well spent.
$6-$7 to spend
Any meal @ Seeds Community Café
109 E. Pikes Peak Ave., 473-8206, seedscommunitycafe.org
Seeds is one ambitious nonprofit, offering classes, training and employment opportunities to clientele with disadvantages, all in addition to well-designed café fare in a "pay what you can afford" model. You should pay at least $6 or $7 for your chosen portion of, say, quinoa, seasonal steamed veggies and roasted acorn squash. If you're looking for good nutrition, good variety (the menu changes weekly) and a good cause, this is your best bet.
$8 to spend
BYO Salad @ Ola Juice Bar
27 E. Kiowa St., 633-3111, olajuicebar.com
Forget paying $13 at Whole Foods for a pile of lettuce: Ola Juice Bar serves all of your colorful nutrient needs for $5 less, featuring a menu that's vegan and 90 percent raw, local and gluten-free. And if you're not into the whole salad-building strategy, go with one that's pre-designed: The Rutledge Salad includes hummus, quinoa, avocado, cashews, pickled carrots and daikon, shiitake sesame dressing, and Sriracha on a bed of mixed greens.
$9 to spend
The Cadet Omelette @ The Omelette Parlor
900 E. Fillmore St., 633-7770, co-spgs-omeletteparlor.com
It's not as easy to find biscuits in the West as it is down South. So when you go on a biscuit quest at hung-over-Sunday brunch, you may have to test your intestinal fortitude. You will wait, stomach growling, to the tune of the seemingly hundreds of patrons eating omelets before you've even gotten a table. One hour later, when your order's placed before you, you realize that it was well worth the wait: The Cadet Omelette is stuffed with spinach, mushrooms and Swiss cheese, served with your choice of fruit or potatoes — and of course, a goddamn biscuit.
$10 to spend
The Alaskan Burger Combo @ Cy's Drive-In
1833 W. Uintah St., 630-7008
Drive down Uintah Street toward Manitou, and you'll spot a '50s-era shack on the left side of the road. Inside you will realize the perfect blend of your American interests: fast food and conscious eating. The folks at Cy's get their beef from Ranch Foods Direct, and pride themselves on a selection of burger styles: everything from a scoop of guacamole, to buffalo ranch sauce, to the infamous "Alaskan" with two patties and cheese. Take your sweetheart if you're going for the combo — each burger comes with fries and a drink.