Spice Island Grill
10 N. Sierra Madre St., 473-8280, spiceislandgrill.com
Though it's now in its third year, Spice Island just added an all-you-can-eat buffet lunch ($9.99) to its offerings this past November, says co-owner Claudette Hutchinson. On a recent working lunch, she handled our greet-and-seat, while her husband manned a grill in the back parking lot, greeting us with a smile, smoke and the promissory smell of good things to come.
And in no-frills fashion, as if at a backyard barbecue, they did. Though the salad lacked a dressing option and the fish soup was oily and broken, the latter's fatty flavors nicely accompanied brown stewed chicken, Jamaican jerk chicken and jerk pork. Rice and kidney beans plus fried plantains helped soak up the sauces and mitigate the heat, as did mini cinnamon-roll-esque Festival Bread, promised to be "a party in your mouth." I'll rank it a quinceañera over an epic rager, and hit dinner for my favorite items. — Matthew Schniper
Morning Glory Espresso
101 Fontaine Blvd., Widefield, 344-9185
DeeDee Reinstein's MoGlo has gone from food trailer to full-time stop, rocking a clean, concrete building with sharp corners — an old bank building — that kind of belies the spot's whimsical name. All good, though, because it's all love inside the small dining room, complete with side drive-thru that I almost drove into. Bliss Bakery drops the muffin beats while brews come via Colorado Coffee Merchants.
Those brews include the Mo Glo ($4.50, large), which combines three shots of espresso with swirls of Ghirardelli chocolate and Monin toffee nut syrup. What you get is a rising sweetness that seems poised to pour over the edge into too much, but instead it rounds out into a toasted darkness with toffee highlights. A lingering, sort of sour aftertaste is a little off, but easily fixed with the solution to much in life: mo' swiggin'. — Bryce Crawford
Three Delights Caribbean Grill
4747 Flintridge Drive, 599-5375, threedelights.com
I wanted to eat the oxtail stew, and the jerk chicken, and the curry goat made the same way owner Amos Ferguson's grandmother made it when she taught him to cook as a child in the Bahamas. But there's only so much stomach to go around, so I took the gregarious owner's recommendation and went with the fried grouper sandwich ($13.99, plus 69 cents for onion rings). Ferguson says the price puts a lot of people off, but that he's one of the only people in town with the fish, and he seasons and cooks it as fresh as possible.
Mine took around 10 minutes, so I took in the plain waiting room and Whitney Houston remix on the radio, before Ferguson — who really is worth the trip to Three Delights just to chat with — set a fat piece of fish down. Juicy, flaky, with fresh tartar sauce, crunchy vegetables and a soft bun: perfect. — Bryce Crawford