Socrates is said to be the source of the common wisdom that "Any food that takes more than a couple minutes to make can't be any good, right?" Fuel up on speedy, freshly prepared selections with today's Groupon. For $10, you'll get $25 worth of made-to-order Asian eats from one of Fire Bowl Cafe's two locations in Englewood and Centennial.
Nestled amid bright, inviting environs, Café Mon Ami has dedicated more than a decade to slinging its staggering selection of breakfast, lunch, and dinner fare. Ante meridiem risers can unfurl eyelids to a quartet of savory benedicts ($8.49–$9.49) or a croque monsieur festooned with ham, cheese, and egg before it’s grilled atop a sizzling french beret ($8.49). Fix midday fangs into one of nearly 30 croissant sandwiches, such as the Oh La La’s hearty medley of roast beef, turkey, ham, pastrami, and swiss ($8.49) or the sourdough burger, which ensconces a half-pound of ground beef in a sliced croissant bun slathered with thousand island dressing ($8.49). Drizzled with such specialty sauces such as brandy-dijon and pepper-cognac, a selection of five succulent 8-ounce Angus steaks ($15.49 each) such as the steak Oscar depart kitchens accompanied by your choice of side and a sepia-toned headshot of the chef.
So established is Circle K that even brand-new vehicles recognize what its red-and-white logo stands for—fuel, snacks, and everything else a car might need to keep powering down the road with its driver. Circle K's story starts back in 1951, when Fred Hervey bought three Kay's Food Stores in El Paso, Texas. Under his guidance, these three little shops grew into the more than 3,000 convenience stores that crouch on our nation's street corners today.
After rolling up to a Circle K, drivers can pump their faithful roadsters full of high-octane fuel and send them skipping through a car wash to experience the cleansing touch of Blue Coral Beyond Green and Rain-X products. Then it's time to step inside the air-conditioned shop for a peek at the provisions. Rows of sodas hibernate behind glass doors, and snacks, candy, and their ATM guardians stand boldly out in the open. Some Circle Ks also offer the Take Away Café, which presents an appetizing lineup of healthy road fare including Ball Park hot dogs. Drivers can gear up for a long drive with Premium Coffees or enjoy a cold Polar Pop, whose specially formulated cup keeps drinks colder thanks to the family of tiny snowmen trapped in its foam walls.
Peek across the counter at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory's resident chocolatiers, who massage creamy loafs of chocolate on sturdy marble slabs daily. For additional culinary theatrics, feel free to cheer on the expert orchard orderlies as they dip Granny Smiths into thick, bubbling caramel from a traditional copper kettle. Caramel apples range from classically simple ($3.99) to loaded with toppings ($6.99), accommodating different degrees of decadence more tastefully than a pair of convertible mink pants. If you're in the mood for poppable sweets, snag a pound of chocolate-dipped strawberries ($17.99), or strip away the core and go straight for the score with freshly fangled fudges ($6.60 for a half-pound).
The protein enthusiasts at Good Eatin' Premium Meats vacuum seal natural, antibiotic- and hormone-free meats and seafood to preserve freshness and maximize quality. Good Eatin' procures its meaty masterpieces from local ranchers and suppliers when possible, ensuring that cuts such as the 12-ounce Black Angus new york strip steak ($19.99) woos taste buds with tenderness, rather than jet lag. Two racks of blue-ribbon pork spareribs ($35) await the opportunity to fire-walk across the grill, as breast-meat chicken nuggets ($38 for 10 lbs.) unsuccessfully challenge perch fillets ($44.95) to a game of Go Fish. The protein emporium also specializes in portion-controlled meats for clients with specialized diets, and 10% of the shop's revenue swims like a finned roll of quarters into the piggy banks of community organizations.
The cooks at Napoli Tom's Pasta may seem like magicians, but they only need durum wheat, semolina flour, water, and a touch of sea salt to create their bewitchingly delicious pasta. It serves as the starting ingredient for most of the carryout eatery's from-scratch Italian specialties, including ravioli, spaghetti, and manicotti—all made from family recipes. The lasagna features five layers of handmade pasta carefully placed between layers of five cheeses, a choice of Italian sausage, ground beef, or spinach, and handmade marinara sauce. Like the marinara, Napoli Tom Pasta's Bolognese sauce is cooked for three hours, though each Bolognese gallon receives an extra kick from two pounds of Italian sausage.