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Wild Ginger, Nourish Organic Juice, Saigon Pho

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Nourish Organic Juice

303 E. Pikes Peak Ave., 634-5686,

I'm slowly dying at my desk from that damn respiratory thing that's going around: hacking from my lungs, dripping snot on my keyboard, glaring at anyone who walks by through pressure-packed, glazed eyes, as if to say, "What the hell do you want?" and, "Please kill me now" simultaneously. Which means I'm past due for Nourish's Immunity Shot ($4), a throat-burning, breath-and-bacteria-destroying, 2-ounce palate-punch of juiced garlic, ginger, lemon and apple, with a cayenne dusting on top. Ouch, it burns and bites so good — you sir, I salute.

But one wet A-bomb a meal does not comprise. So l reinforce the germ-assault with the Perky Pants ($7.50, 12 ounces) off the Norwalk Juicer. The regular juicer version is a buck cheaper, but supposedly not as nutritionally potent as the cold-pressed. In it, ginger and lemon zings balance the sweet assault of apples and carrots, the latter being the most dominant flavor. — Matthew Schniper


Saigon Pho

1107 S. Nevada Ave., 634-1262

The same lingering cold that drives me to juice compels me to seek soup the next day. Specifically the Wor Wonton ($6.25) at Shanghai Café, which I've regarded as one of the city's finest Chinese destinations since reviewing the then-newbie in mid-2008. But wait, why do I write Saigon Pho above? Well, as I learned, within a couple weeks the outfit will reopen with the new name and the addition of a Vietnamese menu, with ... surprise, pho! (What, with I Love Pho so close by? I know ...)

Talented and highly experienced chef Kevin Tran remains in charge, and he jams my scorching-hot cauldron of deliciousness insanely full, especially considering the cost. There are doughy pork dumplings, pale beef slivers, big broccoli knobs, shrimp curls, chicken chunks, delicate fried onion garnish, plus a side of chili paste for sinus-clearing, and no MSG. How is this much, this cheap during this day and age? — Matthew Schniper


Wild Ginger

27 Manitou Ave., 634-5025

Nobody should say Wild Ginger's staff isn't one of the friendliest; it is. And the Manitou location is lovely compared to the old haunt nearby. But I'm out of compliments past that, and actually disappointed after a recent visit that cost $31.45 post-tip for a pot of tea, and plates of green curry ($11.50) and Pad Thai Wild Ginger ($10.25). It's too expensive for such little gustatory impact.

Across town at one of my go-to Thai spots, those same dishes are each $7.60, for versions more vibrant and authentic, and not requiring a no-MSG request. Other spots are also cheaper and superior, considering the pad Thai's distinct non-pad Thai-ness — like, it was more of a basic rice noodle stir fry, lacking tamarind tang and much more — and the green curry's only-serviceable flavor and odd viscosity (as if corn-starched). Sure, the requested Thai-hot heat is there, but anyone can add chilies to the pan, and for fewer pennies at that. — Matthew Schniper

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