Two Hands Kitchen, Mobile, Boulder County, twohandskitchen.com
We love the burgers at the mobile Two Hands Kitchen for one simple reason: they’re grilled over flames that reach the ceiling vent and impart a robust, irresistible smokiness into the meat. It helps that the organic beef patty is fresh and thick, creating a solid foundation from which to build the burger. Then after the flaming, the patty gets topped with roasted poblano peppers, chipotle mayo, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles. That all goes onto a slightly sweet, perfectly chewy brioche bun. The poblano brings just the right amount of heat and its own element of smoke, while the cheese cools down the palate. The chipotle mayo is sweet and spicy, and binds all the burger’s elements. And not for nothing, but the fries Two Hands churns out are perfect: crispy, thick, salty and skin-on. $11.
Spicy Turkey Sandwich
Naked Lunch, 3301 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, nakedlunchcolorado.com
Naked Lunch has been slinging its robust salads, sandwiches and soups from its location tucked inside the Peloton for a couple years now. We’re always glad to stop in for its fresh, amply portioned meals, which, as the name might not imply, you can also eat for dinner (they also serve breakfast sandwiches). The hot sandwiches are great, though, at any time of day. Take the spicy turkey: it’s thick-sliced turkey piled high with white cheddar, crispy and thick bacon, red onion, thinly sliced green apples and chipotle mayo. That’s all on an irresistible ciabatta bun — crusty on the outside, chewy on the inside. Naked Lunch perfectly balances the flavors and textures in this sandwich. $10.50.
Kathmandu Restaurant II, 1964 28th St., Boulder, kathmandurestaurant.us
We were so glad when Kathmandu branched out from its original Nederland location to open up shop in Boulder a few years ago. The sauces, curries and spice blends are always dynamic and exciting, and these folks manage to elevate dishes we think we know all the moves to because we’ve had them a million times, like the korma. Their cashew-based sauce is loaded with coconut, red spice, fresh pepper and some bold herbaceous notes like anise and coriander. Poured on tender boneless chicken, it’s hard to beat. Polish that off with some fruity, spicy kheer rice pudding, and you’ll be happy. $12.99.
Boulder Beer Company, 2880 Wilderness Place, Boulder, boulderbeer.com
Boulder Beer has been making rock-solid brew in the city for decades. We all know the staples, and so it’s great to reach for a seasonal when Boulder Beer releases one. The Festbier is classic, crisp and flavorful. It’s a helles-style lager that’s low in hops (Chinook and Tettnang), with just enough Munich malt for structure. Prices vary.