The Freshwater Saloon
52 Eighth St., Guffey, 719/689-0518
A few years ago when we ducked through Guffey, we enjoyed a bite at the Bull Moose, which still sits across the street from the Freshwater Saloon (the town's original name being Freshwater). It's one of only three eatery/drink houses in the town of 50-ish that counts a little over 400 P.O. Boxes for the surrounding mountains. Those numbers are from our personable server/bartender Dana Peters, who also operates the cool Strictly Guffey art shop that shares a patio entranceway with the saloon.
As general manager Chuck Binkowski plucks his way through a great acoustic set — on a floor-level stage that backs up to a door to an attached, mini liquor store — we sip beers and take down hickory-smoked pulled pork ($9) and brisket ($11) sandwiches with serviceable side fries and slaw. House barbecue sauce is tangy and rich and the meats are moist and we're happy for small-town bar fare. But really the atmosphere is everything, as is rockhounding along the drive back home. — Matthew Schniper
The Little Imbiss
It happens that we accidentally hit the new German food truck on the day of its grand opening, outside Wimberger's Old World Bakery, which helps explain both the continual 30-person line and some of the shortcomings in timing and taste we found. We're assured the process is tightening however, so see for yourself when you find them at their main spot at 1485 Garden of the Gods Road.
With an order of döner kebab ($7.99), currywurst and fries ($7.50), and rostbratwurst ($5.50), we sampled most of the menu. A friend and frequent traveler to Deutschland said döner, which is very similar to a Greek gyro, with a special flatbread from Wimberger's and a crispier take on the meat, can be life-changing to eat and hard to find. But ours came with cold meat, cold sauce, and cold bread. Our currywurst was just ketchup and spice, as opposed to a more complex sauce. But the rostbratwurst, a sausage staple of the state Thuringia, was plump, mild and delicious. — Bryce Crawford
Marigold Café and Bakery
4605 Centennial Blvd., 599-4776, marigoldcoloradosprings.com
In the middle of a slammed lunchtime, with people waiting out the door, we started with a mixed bread basket, like all meals at the hallowed local classic do. It's always interesting to pop into the well-established and see what holds up, and baby, these two entrées could reinforce a building, but for opposing reasons.
In this corner, representing the joy of simplicity, we have the Chicken Brie sandwich ($9.25). Grilled chicken joins lettuce, tomato and gooey Brie on sourdough. With some light bitterness from the cheese, and funk from the sourdough, the meal is a pleasure simply because all ingredients are pulling in the same direction, each given room to play. On the other hand, representing the joy of indulgence, we have the Flat Iron Steak Sandwich ($10), which is full of what the menu calls a white cheddar chipotle fondue, making it taste like carnival decadence with a seared twist. — Bryce Crawford