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Cherry Sherre's Pizza & Ice Cream

729 Dale St., Fountain, 382-5557

I can remember playing parks and rec soccer in fifth grade for the Panthers. At the end of our defeated season — as opposed to "un" — we all hit the Louie's Pizza in Briargate for pies and participation trophies.

For young Fountain-Fort Carson footballers destined for Trojan glory, Cherry Sherre's is there for their party.

In an open room full of corrugated metal and at least three big statues of Betty Boop, tables protected by black, cherry-specked tablecloths, covered in plastic, share space with foosball and pool tables. A sign advertises the daily special: the Hawaiian Cheeseburger ($8.25), just one among many offerings that also include pizza, shakes, ice cream and steak. I'd suggest going with one of those, as the burger patty was small and full of meat juice that reduced the bottom bun to clay. Meanwhile, chunks of canned pineapple, with undercooked bacon, left a less-than-tropical taste. — Bryce Crawford

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Toros Mexican Grill

6436 S. Hwy. 85/87, Fountain, 418-5279, torosmexicanrestaurant.com

A reader requested that we visit newly opened, sharply decorated Toros because he'd received mixed reviews from friends: "It is either totally awesome or total crap. Never anything in the middle, just a 10 or a 1," he wrote.

Unfortunately, I have to lean closer to the latter, after sampling the camarones mojo de ajo (garlic shrimp, $11.50) and lengua en salsa de cacahuate (tongue in chile-tomato peanut sauce, $8.50).

The shrimp were dry-ish, bearing a burnt garlic note, and the yellow squash and zucchini with corn came unseasoned. (Salt, pepper and olive oil would be perfectly fine.) The ancho chile nut sauce — such potential! — was overly tomato paste-y, thick and low on kick, meeting a practically stewed-to-mush meat. Even the flan couldn't save the day, with a fine texture but scant caramel influence and an odd synthetic edge of cinnamon-esque sweetness. — Matthew Schniper

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Cowboy Espresso Café

105 S. Santa Fe Ave., Fountain, 382-6149

This small coffee shop, located at the end of a minute strip of retail spaces colored in teal and gold, is full of character(s). Covered in brick tiles, the floor supports five or six wooden tables, themselves sporting an opinionated bunch discussing everything from the National Guard to Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng to how busy the gas station across the street is.

"I figure the whole thing is to convert my car to methane, eat a lot of beans and fart in the gas tank," went one overheard proclamation, which met with general agreement.

Though food's fairly recently been added to the menu, and it's pretty cheap, you probably won't want to bother with it. The spanakopita ($3) tasted flat and (blazingly) reheated; while a thin tuna melt ($3) on wheat, with cheddar and Jack cheese, was just bland, though its moist bottom offered some intrigue. — Bryce Crawford

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