Best of the West 2014 — Critics’ Choices

Published on: February 25th, 2014

FOOD

BEST COLORADO TRANSPLANT: ANTONIO’S

Just like its beloved Taos predecessor, Antonio’s achieves a level of flavor and creativity that others dare not attempt. This guy is the real deal. Try their award-winning red chile and wash it down with a jalapeno-watermelon margarita. The ceviche and crab cakes are delightful. Upscale, yes—but worth every penny. Gluten-free friendly, too. 246 Main St, Longmont

BEST SCALLOPS: BISTRO 503

First of all, the scallops are gigantic—ten of them weigh one pound. Second, due to its popularity, they can’t list it on the menu. Chef Ado Salguero’s Italian-influenced dish with homemade pesto is pan-seared to perfection and is recommended served medium well. 400 W South Boulder Rd, Lafayette

WEINERSHCNIZEL & PRETZEL: BOHEMIAN BEIRGARTEN

Planning a trip to Europe is time-consuming, costly, and unnecessary when you can head to 13th St. Here, the Czech owners have created a restaurant that feels taken from the old world, where handmade pretzels and thick mustards are washed down with fitting European biers and good conversation. 2017 13th St, Boulder

BEST NEW DENVER TRANSPLANT: HAPPY CAKES

I could go all ‘Food Network’ about ingredients or presentation, but let’s be honest. For most sinners, cupcakes are about the flavors. Bacon Maple, Jack and Coke, and Bananas Foster are just the tip of the frosted iceberg. Girl Scout Cookie flavors hit the shelves in March. 449 Main St, Longmont

BEST FARMSTAND: ISABELLE FARM

One of the best parts about living in Colorado is the proximity to local, wholesome food. More than 80 varieties of Certified Organic produce are grown to make your dinner table more colorful and nourishing. 1640 West Baseline Rd, Lafayette

BEST PLACE TO GET A REAL CHICAGO HOT DOG: MUSTARD’S LAST STAND

A transplant from Chicago, owner Dan Polovin brought the best of the Windy City with him to Boulder. Enjoy juicy all-beef frankfurters on poppy seed buns, with mustard, onion, sweet pickle relish, dill, tomato, sport peppers and celery salt. 1719 Broadway St, Boulder

NUMBER ONE MEAT EATERS HAVEN: WALLY’S QUALITY MEATS & DELI

Trays and displays of elk, buffalo, veal, redbird chickens and steaks are only some of the delectables to be had here in addition to rubs and glazes. Basically, it’s meat overload, and we couldn’t be happier (or hungrier). 11187 Sheridan Blvd, Westminster

BEST LOBSTER MAC & CHEESE: 4580

Made with Maine lobster knuckles (the best part of the crustacean), this gruyere cheese macaroni topped with herbed panko breadcrumbs is an amazing stand-alone dish. Mac & cheese afficianados will tell you the best way to retain a noodle’s al dente-ness is to make the cream seperately. We’re obsessed. 4580 Broadway St, Boulder

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