Summit at The Broadmoor
19 Lake Circle, 577-5896, broadmoor.com
Early last year, I freaked out over a saffron-infused cocktail that remains on Summit's highly creative bar menu. And I can't help but do the same now in regard to the Smokehouse ($11.25), centered on bacon-infused Maker's Mark bourbon. Bartenders and co-creators Zach McCabe and Dennis Schuler originally considered a "fat wash" of foie gras into cognac, but instead opted for this piggy juice.
They mix the bourbon and bacon grease, then freeze the concoction; strain off the hardened fat; then add portions of Drambuie liqueur and brown sugar simple syrup, plus a key splash of pineapple juice, whose acid "busts up the bacon," says Schuler. The result is almost like an adult bacon iced tea, in my colleague's words, not overly smoky or sweet, but holding fire's breath beautifully in balance with swine sweat and faint herbal honey notes. Think that's weird? Ask Schuler about his buttered-popcorn-infused rum "movie time" drink. — Matthew Schniper
7170 N. Academy Blvd., 598-5900, mcalistersdeli.com
On a certain stretch of North Academy Boulevard, it's a battle of the national sandwich-slingers: Beaumont, Texas-based Jason's Deli versus Mississippi's McAlister's. I'm not ready to take sides, but McAlister's is clearly not a bad option.
Our meal started off with a warm, "Are you gonna be dining with us?" Staff then made sure we got stamps on our Tea Club card; got us drink refills once we sat down in the big cafeteria-like, pale-orange-and-green dining room; and sent us out the door with a clap on the back and a "Thanks for coming."
Before that last part, we were treated pretty right by a McAlister's Club ($6.99) and a Spicy Southwest Chicken Griller ($6.99). Both good-sized, the former came on soft, untoasted wheat bread with a nice honey mustard kick; while the latter did a great guac-chicken-corn-pepper-relish thing in a grilled, ciabatta panini. The sweet tea sings a perfect note, too. — Bryce Crawford
The Point Sports Pub & Grill
1545 S. Eighth St., 473-1155, thepointsportsbar.com
You've probably driven by the Point on some random day, on your way to or from an eye appointment, or a trip to the Cheyenne Mountain Library, or a splurge in Motor City. The little blue building has called out its "daily lunch specials," and you've thought, "Next time I drink, I'm going there."
So, do. You'll find Golden Tee 2013 Live, Silverstrike 2009, and jerseys from all the relevant local sports teams, as is appropriate, including the most original find around: a No. 19 Jerry Rice jersey from the few months he spent in training camp with the Denver Broncos in 2009. And on Wednesdays you'll also get to order the locally famous fried-chicken plate ($7.99). Our green beans were a little overcooked, our coleslaw a little too ranch-y. But the lumpy mashed potatoes, with a pool of yellow gravy, were spot-on, and the mild, crispy crunch of breaded drumsticks, thighs and half-breasts just beautiful. — Bryce Crawford