28 N. Tejon St., 636-2244, gasolinealleycs.com
It's part of the Guadagnoli empire of CS Nightclubs that includes Cowboys, Blondie's, Red Martini and The Mansion. And its street-side ordering window, open until 2 a.m., makes for easy access whether you're just walking by or about to disappear into drinks in any one of those enormous venues. Call the small menu of burgers, dogs and classic fried sides "drunk food" or "bar food" or whatever you wish, but it hits the spot on a booze-bearing evening.
The War Pig ($4), a basic brat with generous seared onions and warm wet sauerkraut, won't exactly frighten an enemy's elephant from the battlefield, but it's a completely proficient hunger-slaying soldier. Great, crispy garlic fries ($5) are a perfect brother in arms, although oddly expensive and sobering considering you can take down a Philly or burger for a buck or two more. Still, damn decent eats for oft-sodden streets. — Matthew Schniper
BierWerks Brewery & Gypsy Pizzeria
121 E. Midland Ave., Woodland Park, bierwerks.com; 694-6376
Kind of like the symbiotic Rocky Mountain Brewery/B'z BBQ relationship described here earlier this year, the Cascade-based, mobile-wood-oven-bearing Gypsy sidles up to BierWerks (daily currently; though hours vary) to gift drinkers an alternative to pretzels. Total win-win, as we pair a Margherita pizza ($9) with a two-beer sampler (a steep $4) and cozy up to the awesome outdoor fire pit on a cool summer night.
The pie leads with a wonderful light and crunchy crust, elegantly restrained buffalo mozzarella puddles, and ample, rough-cut basil bits. It's only the tomato sauce, a bit sweet, bright and overly tomato-pasty, that detours on the road to perfection. The 5.6-ABV Spring Water Pale Ale, made with Manitou Springs' Twin Spring water (described in-depth in my Oct. 4, 2012 IndyBlog post), will please those who prefer milder bitterness, while the 6.5-ABV Hop Monster American IPA is a fun, bold mouth-hammer of hop-forwardness. — Matthew Schniper
17801 Teller County Road 1, Florissant, 748-3968
So you're on your way to that one swimming hole where all the dumb-asses nearly paralyze themselves cliff jumping, and you hit Florissant just as the Costello Street Coffee House closes. Conveniently, the 30-plus-year-old Thunderbird is just across the road and still plenty rockin' for a Sunday afternoon. It takes a good minute to get the barkeep's attention and a menu, and service remains fairly aloof, but at least they split your shared burger without being asked, for no extra cost.
That Colorado buffalo cheeseburger ($9.50) sports nice pinkness on a buttery grilled sesame bun with melted pepper jack (or whatever's your choice) bleeding out. Use the side pickles, fat tomato rounds and lettuce to add crunch. Sweet potato fries are proficiently crispy but somewhat lacking in quantity, especially for the 50-cent upcharge from regular fries. A diverse condiment tray that includes fresh red onions and spicy mustard is one bonus, with another being beers topping out at $3.75 for the likes of a Newcastle or Fat Tire. — Matthew Schniper