This week's Dine & Dash column is brought to you by the letter "F," if only because Bryce and Monika coincidentally visited two restaurants whose names begin with the letter, which inspired someone in a meeting upstairs to quip that I, too, should go to a place that starts with "F," so we could drop a big ol' tasty F-bomb on you.
Do you really freakin' care? No.
Regardless of what I blather about in this space, this column's all about the food, not the trivial setup. So eat some effin' wings and pizza, or an effin' hoagie, or if that's way too lowbrow for ya, grab an effin' plate of gnocchi.
Fat Boy Pizza and Subs
2322 Vickers Drive, 594-4963, fatboyspizzaco.com
It's not every day when the consumption of a 28-inch pizza — roughly 10 pounds of pie — by two people can earn the pair $300, but that's the deal being offered by Fat Boys Pizza, which just opened its third Springs location.
Of course, I'd hate to embarrass the local chain (and myself) by eating two, so I went with a $14.99 wings-and-pizza deal. Turns out any purchase of over eight bucks comes with free breadsticks, a pleasant turn for two reasons. First, the Supreme pie is only 10 inches, though it has fresh ingredients; crunchy, chewy, house-made dough; and a good, sweet sauce. Second, the fat Parmesan and garlic butter sticks are stupendous. Even the hot wings are strong: Spicy and meaty, with a sharp vinegar tang. Want me to eat 10 pounds of these? Done and done. — Bryce Crawford
Feelin' A-Little Philly
2750 S. Academy Blvd., #110, 392-5004, feelinalittlephillycs.com
Adding to locations on Pueblo's north and south sides, Springs native Art ClingingSmith and his wife Lorie have now brought the first incarnation of Feelin' A-Little Philly to Colorado Springs. And ClingingSmith's heaping stacks of freshly cut, thin, golden-brown French fries, with just the right amount of salt, deserve a hero's welcome. I wish I could say the same for the Crispy Chicken Parmesan hoagie ($4.95 for a 6-inch with a side and fountain drink, as a lunchtime meal deal).
Instead of a shallow-fried chicken cutlet, the children's menu's pre-made tenders are deep-fried and chopped up to resemble nuggets, then tucked into a decent roll and covered in a commercial-tasting sauce, provolone and Parmesan. It's not terrible, but I wouldn't call it terribly successful, either. Guess I just wasn't feelin' it. — Monika Mitchell Randall
Fratelli Ristorante Italiano
124 N. Nevada Ave., 575-9571, fratelliristorante.com
According to pastry chef Kym Palomba, Fratelli hosted Italian cyclist Ivan Basso and his Liquigas-Cannondale team before the USA Pro Cycling Challenge prologue. Stopping in after the race's end for take-out, I got an idea of why a hotel concierge might recommend it: When I ordered the pesto cream gnocchi, I was told the chef wouldn't serve it; he worried that the sauce wouldn't work with the texture of that day's homemade gnocchi.
I appreciated the perfectionist standard, as well as the meaty, tomato-rich bolognese sauce I got instead ($17). It nicely garnished the potato dumplings, along with chewy pockets of mozzarella cheese, al dente carrots and celery, and flecks of Italian herbs. But the gnocchi was still mushy. It didn't ruin my overall enjoyment of the dish ... but I have to bring it up, since we were just talking perfectionism. — Matthew Schniper