Boonzaaijer's Dutch Bakery
4935 Centennial Blvd., 264-0177, dutchpastry.com
This is a delicious little piece of cheesecake ($2.99), this three-inch-long bit of cream and sugar topped with chocolate and chopped walnuts. Potent, too, packing a punch that belies its size. First thing you taste, biting down through the buttermilk-colored triangle, is a light, lustrous sourness. It's a pleasant tang that lasts just long enough to notice, before a curtain of sweetness reminds you that this is food-candy you're forking down.
In every way, the northwest bakery is just as sweet. The air is thick with the scent of confection, while multiple display cases — which feature whole, freshly baked fruit pies on top — do their part to remind you that diabetes comes in multitudes of wonderful shapes and colors. It's all so sugar-laden that the coffee counter at the end of the room, next to a couple of cushy chairs, is nearly mandatory. — Bryce Crawford
Sassafras American Eatery
2637 W. 26th Ave., Denver, sassafrasamericaneatery.com
Southern-themed and sustainability-minded Sassafras was named one of Denver's best new restaurants in this month's 5280 magazine, and indeed it's extremely likeable, if a bit pricey: For three of us to have coffee ($2.50 each), a shared plate of Elvis Beignets ($6) and an entrée each ($11 to $12), we tabbed out, post-tip, at $62 — at breakfast. Ouch ... but superb.
The fun banana-batter beignets are stuffed with a peanut butter mousse and lathered at the table with a bacon-molasses jam. (Sweet damn!) Hollandaise, both classic and spicy Fresno chili versions, ooze with perfectly poached egg yolks across the Deep South Benedict and Eggs Sardou plates. Collards and pulled pork plus pickled pepper jam co-highlight the Benny; cornmeal-fried oysters and a garlic grit cake the Sardou. The Chicken Fried Eggs + Smoked Buffalo Hash are something to behold, more than describe; view pics from the whole meal here. — Matthew Schniper
Smiley's Bakery & Café
323 N. Tejon St., 328-9447, smileysbakerycafe.com
Having only been for the badass breakfast, it has completely escaped me that Smiley's has become Wooglin's Light during the day. An eclectic environment including brown paper napkins, with live plants and paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling and "Pink Moon" on the radio, it's perfect for extended lunches with a friend, business meetings at tables strewn with documents, and that certain style of collegiate conversation that mostly involves agreeing with each other.
A half-and-half "Shorty Special" ($8.45) — ours featuring a blackened tilapia sandwich with a kale-bean stew — only heightened the joy. Soft and savory, the fish came with a mild rémoulade; crisp, lightly sweet slaw; and a house-baked sesame bread that held the po-boy together like a frame. Topped with a thick bunch of sprouts, the stew was paradise, with hearty kale and slices of tomatoes and carrots pooling in a peppery broth. — Bryce Crawford