LITTLE SLICE OF HEAVEN
Craving pie? Pretzels? Rosemary garlic baguettes? Popsicles? Cocktails? Breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner? If you’re in Fort Collins, consider GINGER AND BAKER your new home away from home. Housed in the historic 110-year-old Northern Colorado Feeders Supply building, the property underwent a $12 million renovation and now houses a bakery, market, coffee shop, restaurants and a rooftop bar (it also boasts a teaching kitchen and event spaces). Owner Ginger Graham (who opened the space with husband Jack Graham, former Colorado State athletic director) says she originally hoped to launch a little pie shop, and pie is the star attraction here. Apple, coconut cream, maple pecan, whoopie pies, daily quiche specials, savory ratatouille or pot pies … Talk about being pie-eyed!
Need a sugar rush? Head to THE CEREAL BOX, 5709 Olde Wadsworth Blvd. in Old Town Arvada, the new sweet spot where our favorite breakfast food is the star. With more than 100 cereals from across the globe, a slew of toppings and all kinds of milk (plus collectible toys), this is the place to “escape adulthood for a while,” says co-owner Lori Hofer, who opened the business with her husband, Michael Emmerson, last fall. “A huge part of our appeal is the nostalgia factor, especially for children of the ’80s and ’90s, with all the fun cereal flavors and characters,” she says. “It’s a reminder of the days when your biggest worry was making it in front of the TV for your favorite cartoon. It takes you back to a simpler, happier time.” Spoons ready? Build a bowl (choose your cereal, milk and toppings— fruit, nuts, sauces, etc.); select a pre-made mix (like “Unicorn Poop”: Trix, Froot Loops, Fruity Pebbles, rainbow marshmallows and sprinkles, strawberry milk and whipped cream); order a cereal milkshake or Hot Mess (hot chocolate with, yep, cereal); or try something new (“Our most unusual cereal is probably Choco Flakes from Portugal,” Hofer says. “They look like cookie raviolis.”). As Tony the Tiger would say, it all sounds grrrreat!
Who’s the big cheese? That’d be Gold Hill from HAYSTACK MOUNTAIN in Longmont, recently named Best American Cheese at the 30th annual World Cheese Awards in London. The honor is no fluke: Gold Hill, a versatile Spanish/ Portuguese-style cheese that’s great grated on pasta, melted in mac & cheese or paired with smoked meats, olives and nuts, also took first place at the American Cheese Society’s conference in Denver last July. Voted best in the world (of 3,001 entries) at the London contest? Cornish Ken, an alpine-style cheese from the U.K.’s Lynher Dairies Cheese Company. Quel fromage!
Skip the mass-retailer brews this season and try PI CHAI, a ready-to-make combo of black tea, pure vanilla and exotic spices. The Fort Collins brand comes in three flavors— original, java and chocolate, $9.99 per 10.2-ounce bag—and is easy to whip up. Just heat your favorite milk, add a couple tablespoons of the chai mix and stir (or drink it cold or blended if you prefer).