- Griffin Swartzel
The Hanging Tree Café, 209 S. Union Ave., Pueblo, 719-561-8567, thehangingtreecafe.com
Desert goths, welcome home.
This long-standing Pueblo café packs quirky art into every corner, from Buddhas and skulls and Hispanic and Native American art to protest art and more. Hell, the huge wall of loose leaf teas next to the counter could be deemed art all its own.
And there’s more to love on the menu, which offers vegan and gluten-free options — death leaves none behind, after all. We opt for a Shaggy Snack, a hot vegetarian sandwich we get wrapped in a tomato-basil tortilla, picking that over a variety of breads and bagels. It’s savory and spicy, packing a soggy mix of mushrooms, green chiles, red bell peppers, onions and hummus, plus melty cheese (Pepper Jack for us). As a wrap, it works.
We enjoy also an avocado pork belly burrito, full of tender meat, avocado, black beans and spinach, more rich than spicy under green chile made with — gasp! — tomato. Our cappuccino uses darker-roast beans and comes a touch scorched, a little clumsy all told, but with a splash of sage simple syrup, it manages to sip unique and delicious.