Grimm Brothers Brewhouse
547 Denver Ave., Loveland, grimmbrosbrewhouse.com
To those guilty of buying a beer because of bad-ass label art: One of Grimm Brothers' new-to-the-Springs bombers (around $6.50 each) is destined for your fridge. The Snow Drop Honey Wheat Ale pays homage to a sexy Snow White, while the Little Red Cap Alt Style Ale depicts a mischievous Little Red Riding Hood holding a hatchet behind her back. Cool stuff.
The 7.1-ABV, enjoyable Snow Drop also sports a cool history: The Kottbusser-style brew, incorporating honey, molasses, wheat and oats, flaunted the Reinheitsgebot (German Beer Purity Law of 1516) that mandated only water, barley and hop ingredients. Honey is big in the aroma and flavor, not to the extent of a braggot or mead, but more so than say a Bristol Beehive Honey Wheat. We were less impressed by the 6.3-ABV Red Cap, which pretty much tasted like someone's bready, amber homebrew, and not much like its description. — Matthew Schniper
Taste of Korea
1825 Peterson Road, 574-2060
Back when it was the Orange Plate Café, serving mostly American breakfast fare and sandwiches, this spot also dished a Bulgogi Hoagie that reflected the owner's Korean roots. It also portended changes to come. The first rebranding was to Jin Go Gae, which sounded "too Korean for Americans," according our waitress. Hence the move last year to Taste of Korea.
Lunch specials here now run $7.49 with all the generous accoutrements. On the day we visited, our spicy pork bulgogi order had to be traded for chicken due to a super-busy lunch rush having killed inventory, but we found it to be among the fresher-tasting and brighter renditions locally. Meanwhile, the sliced rice pasta soup is excellent, a creamed ox bone stock rendered to a milky translucence, with black pepper bite and uniquely chewy compressed starch slivers, softer than Japanese mochi and the highlight of the silky stew. — Matthew Schniper
Duckie's Coffee Shop
10530 Ute Pass Avenue, Green Mountain Falls, 684-2355, duckiescoffeeshop.com
To pull off an insistent Highway 24 on to Ute Pass Avenue — stopping at the corner coffee shop where customers chat under the covered porch — is to finally know peace. Duckie's makes good on its name right away, lining shelves with a lineup of rubber fowl that look like they just finished breaking into Zeezo's. On top of the ice cream, pastries and coffees, intrepid seekers shall find books by local authors, a rotating Scrabble board and T-shirts proffering admissions like, "A few feathers shy of a whole duck."
Basically, there's this whole aquatic-bird thing going on, which makes sense considering it's owned by the folks who run the next-door Mucky Duck Restaurant. They make a pleasant café au lait ($2.75/large), too, using a blend sourced from Café Leo (formerly Gold Hill Java) in Woodland Park. It's mellow, milk-forward and good for a gentle pick-me-up. — Bryce Crawford