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Nemo's Coffee, Luigi's Homemade Italian Food, Wobbly Olive

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Nemo's Coffee - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Nemo's Coffee

Nemo's Coffee

2114 E. Pikes Peak Ave., 635-2745, nemoscoffee.com

It's rare to find a coffee café that grinds its own wheat for house-baked items, including a vibrant biscotti array ($1.80) and several capable gluten-free items. The sweets counter at Nemo's stands out, as evidenced by our GF raspberry oat bar ($2.75, dense, doughy, chewy and granular sweet); an almond extract-exuding vegan, GF cacao-walnut "power bar" ($2.65); and both chocolate-almond and ginger biscotti. The latter makes for a fun double-down paired with a gingersnap-tasting dirty chai latte ($4.55/16-ounce), and the former suffers none for a dip into an Ozo (Boulder) caramel latte ($3.45/12-ounce), quite sweet, but mocha-rich (and chocolaty too somehow), and still balanced and tasteful.

Fast service finds a casualty in a chili chicken quinoa soup ($5.95, with a side) served less than hot, but pleasantly filling and better with hot sauce. No complaints with a BLT ($7.25, with a side) on the house wheat bread, smaller but sufficiently stacked. — MS

Luigi's Homemade Italian Food - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Luigi's Homemade Italian Food

Luigi's Homemade Italian Food

947 S. Tejon St., 632-7339, luigiscoloradosprings.com

This cozy dinner-only spot has been here since 1958. Inside and out, it looks like nothing has really changed in the last 59 years. The daily specials are so enshrined they're painted on wood signs. It's less like a dining experience and more like a warm, wood-paneled time capsule. I'm even seated next to a framed fundraiser poster from 1994.

Being a Wednesday night, the lasagna ($13) is on special. We opt for the minestrone over salad as a side. It's heavy on veg and not too salty, so if it's not mind-blowingly fresh, at least we're not heartbroken. The lasagna arrives buried in garlicky meat sauce — thank you, accompanying basket of bread — though the occasional bite of meat chews flavorless. Still, the lasagna itself has creamy ricotta, mozzarella and pecorino romano. It's not life-altering, but it's pretty much the exact recipe they served in '58. — GS

The Wobbly Olive - RILEY BRATZLER
  • Riley Bratzler
  • The Wobbly Olive

The Wobbly Olive

3317 Cinema Point, 247-9504, wobblyolive.com

Wobbly Olive cleaned house in our 2016 Best Of awards. Their latest seasonal menu update occurred in early January, ushering in many items that should linger until around April's end. We stopped in to sample some new plates, including a spinach and fried goat cheese salad ($9), sexy with a hot bacon vinaigrette over portobellos and the pop of peppadew peppers.

A grilled kangaroo quesadilla ($13) starts with a mix of cheddar, cotija and Muenster-like asadero cheese, into which red onion, corn and poblano peppers merge, with the roo — described by chef David Cook as "gamey and mineral-y," when tasted solo. Here, chili-lime salt helps launch a Mexican flavor, punctuated by toasted almond pico, airy roasted grape-and-chipotle aioli, and Spanish Nyora chili pepper oil garnishes. Ideal cocktail pairings for tequila or mezcal influence: the habanero bitters-laced Mexican Firing Squad or the smooth and smoky Tequila Mockingbird. — MS


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