1833 W. Uintah St., 630-7008
As a business, Cy's is older than most of you who'll read this, by far, so show some respect for that and the whole affordable, classic drive-in atmosphere. But not so much respect that you're unwilling to call it like you see it when it comes to the grub and overall experience — nostalgia and novelty only go so far.
Wait times can run quite long; staff will only cook the Ranch Foods Direct beef burgers well done; the bagged fries are extremely generic, in need of salt and more time to crisp, and only see mild improvement with a melted-cheese cap. Despite opaque and vapid tomato and lettuce fixings, our mushroom and Swiss burger rates OK. The equally thin-pattied bleu bacon burger fares better because of the hog help and cheese's pungency, but both burgers flatten quickly in a basic, gummy, white-bread sesame bun. The most redeeming highlight's a banana-peanut butter shake topped with a wavy whipped-cream mound. — Matthew Schniper
3121A N. El Paso St., 633-6266, storybookbrewing.com
Storybook has commanded beer-community respect since its November opening, and it's easy to see why when you sample through its nine taps ($1.25 per sample). Brewer Pete Kilman consistently delivers his respective styles with the notes you expect from each: The brown's nutty, the red's malty and toasty, the Kolsch treads into a wheaty lager territory, and the APA and IPA linger in the 50s and 60s for IBUs, resulting in a restrained appreciation for aromas and hop profiles.
But our favorites are his The Last Straw-Berry Honey Wheat and Chocolate Java Dragon Porter. The first hits a sneaky 7.5 ABV, blending local honey and strawberries with a Hefeweizen base for a lovely "wheat/mead hybrid." The regular CO2 version of the porter leans on chocolate malts and an organic Oaxaca medium-roast cold-brew from High Rise Coffee Roasters; the cacao powder added at kegging helps produce a big, beautiful, creamy chocolate finish on nitro. — Matthew Schniper
333 N. Tejon St., 635-5565, louies-pizza.com
At this point, Louie's is like Colorado Springs' old, beloved roommate, still doing now what they were doing years ago and doing fine at that. It's treated accordingly, with Yelpers referencing high school lunch runs gone by, or, um, other memories: "Damn if I didn't have a dream about Louie's Pizza last night, more specifically about Louie Bread," wrote one reviewer. "... The dream was essentially a close-up of a piece of Louie Bread being dipped in the customary side of pizza sauce."
I'm assuming that references the mozzarella-and-Parmesan-covered garlic bread ($4.19) which is crazy flavorful, and yields a texture reminiscent of a savory fudge brownie in some bites. The bright-red sauce is sweet and light, making it a delicious background flavor on pies like the Special ($15.38/large). The generic mushrooms were more melted than roasted, but the combo of pepperoni, sausage, onions and green peppers was still a happy lunch. — Bryce Crawford