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Side Dish



True Mexican

A local restaurateur wrote me to say he had checked out the three-week-old La Perla Tapatia Mexican Taqueria (511 N. 30th St., 228-6006) and that it's "got the real thing: good huevos, tacos al pastor and barbacoa among others, and a burrito that will feed two people."

According to owner Sergio Laureano's daughter Alejandra, the eatery offers the true flavor of west-central Mexico's Guadalajara area, with dishes like tortillas ahogadas — essentially a pork and bean French baguette sandwich dipped in tomato sauce and topped with onions, hot sauce, lemon and lime — and jericallas, a traditional flan-like dessert with a slightly different texture and flavor. The shop is open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (8 p.m. on Sundays).

Sweet succulent

For those looking to drink locally in accordance with sustainability virtues: You'll be happy to know you have a backyard soda option. Denver-based Oogavé Natural Sodas ( are available at both Vitamin Cottage and Whole Foods locations.

The drink claims to be the first soda sweetened 100 percent with organic agave nectar. Yes, agave is the same arid-grown plant that produces tequila, but don't expect any regret or a debilitating headache from Oogavé's ginger ale, root beer, cola, watermelon cream, mandarin-key lime or grapefruit flavors.

Take note

Rocky Mountain Brewery (625 Paonia St., 528-1651) will host Big Brew Day from 9 a.m. until late on Saturday, May 2. Local homebrewers will set up and brew batches of beer for educational observation, and beer and barbecue will be sold to fuel the fun.

• Sample chocolate "in all its forms" from 11 local chefs, caterers and bakers at Kidpower's Chocoholic Frolic fundraiser at the Garden of the Gods Club (3320 Mesa Road,, from 7 to 10 p.m., May 2. Tickets ($50) must be purchased ahead of time.

• Ten percent of sales from noon to 8 p.m., May 2 at Dos Hombres Restaurant (3021 S. Academy Blvd., go to the Suicide Prevention Partnership of the Pikes Peak Region. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo a little early with giveaways and more.

The Melting Pot (30-A E. Pikes Peak Ave., 385-0300) will serve a $27, three-course meal between 4 and 10 p.m., May 5 to support the Pajama Program. Diners are requested to donate new pajamas and children's books for kids in need.

• Mother's Day approaches ... and if one of the gazillion brunches doesn't suit you, consider high tea in the Miramont Castle Museum (9 Capitol Hill Ave., Manitou Springs, 884-4109) at noon or 3 p.m., May 10, featuring teas (duh), scones, fruit, Victorian sandwiches and cakes. It's $15 to $25, with reservations required.

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