Overhearing such words as kamikaze, sonic boom, and bomber, you might think you’re on an Air Force base instead of in a chicken restaurant. But these are the names of Wild Wings ‘N Things’ wings, slathered in 10 zesty incarnations of sauce so named for their respective abilities to send taste buds soaring. The franchise has spent the last several years cropping up across Colorado and Mississippi like hot-sauce dollops on a crisp white napkin, with its Fort Carson location serving up bone-in and boneless wings in baskets of up to 100 pieces.
As patrons lounge amid the dining room's Tabasco-red walls, chefs in the kitchen construct buffalo and teriyaki sandwiches to pair with comfort foods such as okra, fried pickles, and deep-fried recliners. After two-handing a chili-smothered slopper burger, diners can question the counter person about the weekly offerings of NFL Sunday Ticket viewable on the eatery's many flat-screen TVs.
When they lived on the East Coast, the Ezzat family fell in love with the flavors of America, such as reubens and Philly cheese steaks. This passion for pastrami, however, did not supplant their preexisting love for the traditional recipes of their forebears, in which falafel and shawarma reign supreme. So at Michael's Mediterranean, the Ezzats decided to celebrate all kinds of cuisine. Gyros, spinach pie, and moussaka appear right alongside burgers and parmigiana on the menu; feel free to enjoy any dish with an Italian-style cream soda, an arabic tea, or a Texas Ranger.
For more than two decades, the same family at Detz Cafe has served comfort food that seems appropriate among the cozy booths and log-trimmed walls. The scents of sizzling bacon, smoked sausage, and french toast mingle in the morning air, providing a reason to get out of bed other than an obsession with the morning news anchor's mustache. At lunchtime, cooks grill sandwiches filled with corned beef or ham ‘n’ swiss, grill burgers topped with guacamole or green chili, and fill kid-friendly plates with child-sized portions.
Those who live, breathe, and snort coffee will find a fine selection of both classic blends and little-known beans at Pikes Perk. Percolate perkiness with the medium-bodied Tanzanian Peaberry, or the bitter-less Jamaican Blue Mountain. Black-coffee purists can grab a 20-ounce cup of joe ($1.99), whereas those who spruce up beloved brews can order a white mocha ($4.19 for 16 ounces), or enliven their aromatic medley with a shot from one of the 50 syrups available. Hoard a pot of hot Pikes' peach tea, with chunks of fruit from Austria ($3.59), or soothe your stomach with something from Pikes' food menu of pastries, sandwiches, and breakfast items.
Just 12 minutes away from downtown Colorado Springs lies an oasis known as Sacred Grounds Coffee in the Canyon. Nestled in a historic building that wouldn't look out of place in the old west is this coffee shop, where breakfast and lunch sandwiches and baked sweets are all made in-house. Guests settle down either in the cozy café or outside on the open-air porches, where they can use a magnifying glass to bend the sun rays into keeping their coffee warm. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, the kitchen crafts take-home dinners, which are comforting options such as turkey and meatloaf, and just about everything is made with natural and organic ingredients, including the cheesecake and pie.
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Paintings and other works by local artists festoon Cucuru Gallery Cafe, whose walls are painted with the rustic reds and deep greens of the Spanish countryside. Glasses of Spanish wines and specialty cocktails clink within the single-story house-turned-café, such as the Barista blended with espresso and brûlée liqueurs. Cucuru's drinks pair with tapas and other Hispanic-inspired dishes, such as crispy spiced patatas bravas with garlic-aioli dipping sauce and pollo oloroso, which tops a seared chicken breast, manchego cheese, and mashed potatoes with an oloroso-mushroom demi-glace. The café hosts live entertainment throughout the week, such as jazz, funk, and other genres, and opens on Tuesdays for sultry tango classes.