Caterer Tammy Davis, who first tempted us at a little diner called Divine Temptations, is back -- in a new space, but still up to her old tricks. Although Sweet Rockin' is an adorable bakery on its own, with an excellent coffee bar and breakfast and lunch items that satisfy both a hungry stomach and a sweet tooth, the real temptations here are Davis's homemade chocolates. These are enchanting little confections made with good-quality chocolate -- Davis uses the domestic Merckens, a favorite of the home candymaker because of its low working temperature, high flexibility and rich, cocoa-heavy flavor -- and oozing enticing fillings, including peanut butter, coconut cream, lemon, maple and vanilla with macadamia nuts. Chocolates come in both milk and dark versions, and one bestseller is a white chocolate filled with coffee cream (coffee and cream, get it?). Davis also cooks up cherry cordials and seven types of truffles (the English toffee rules), and her bittersweet-dipped dried apricots put gorp to shame. Although offerings vary from day to day, the $19-per-pound price is a constant -- and a bargain, considering how these chocolates rock!
Every Saturday morning beginning April 7 and every Wednesday afternoon beginning May 9, latte sippers mingle with Boulder and Denver chefs, serious home cooks with chatty socializers, at the Boulder County Farmers' Market, the largest farmers' market in the state. It begins the season with flats of seedlings -- tomato, pepper and eggplant, to be nurtured inside, as well as cabbage, broccoli and cold-resistant herbs ready to be set out in the garden. While you wait for those to grow, you can feast off tender leaves of spinach and baby lettuce, blue cornmeal and dried black beans also sold at the market. Later there will be hothouse tomatoes and, still later, brilliant, warm-fleshed specimens ripened by the sun. Then peaches, apricots, plums and, as summer begins to merge with fall, locally grown corn picked the same morning, huge black-purple eggplants and others white as eggs, several kinds of garlic, and long strings of shallots. And at every market, you can take your pick of herb vinegars, mushrooms, turnips and apples, ostrich eggs, melons, honey, armloads of wildflowers, and delectables cooked up by local vendors.
Every Saturday morning beginning April 7 and every Wednesday afternoon beginning May 9, latte sippers mingle with Boulder and Denver chefs, serious home cooks with chatty socializers, at the Boulder County Farmers' Market, the largest farmers' market in the state. It begins the season with flats of seedlings -- tomato, pepper and eggplant, to be nurtured inside, as well as cabbage, broccoli and cold-resistant herbs ready to be set out in the garden. While you wait for those to grow, you can feast off tender leaves of spinach and baby lettuce, blue cornmeal and dried black beans also sold at the market. Later there will be hothouse tomatoes and, still later, brilliant, warm-fleshed specimens ripened by the sun. Then peaches, apricots, plums and, as summer begins to merge with fall, locally grown corn picked the same morning, huge black-purple eggplants and others white as eggs, several kinds of garlic, and long strings of shallots. And at every market, you can take your pick of herb vinegars, mushrooms, turnips and apples, ostrich eggs, melons, honey, armloads of wildflowers, and delectables cooked up by local vendors.
There was a time when fortune cookies contained messages imparting ancient Chinese wisdom, little snippets of philosophy to digest along with the food. But as times change, so do our concerns for the future -- which Dragon Cafe recognizes with fortunes that are right on the money. And so when you break open a cookie here, you'll get the message loud and clear: "You'll have more money than you can spend," "Your fortune will come from scratch," "Your forgotten collection will bring you a great fortune," "The experts at Wall St. will be shocked by your financial success," and, finally, "A large sum of money will be deposited in your account weekly." We can live with that.

There was a time when fortune cookies contained messages imparting ancient Chinese wisdom, little snippets of philosophy to digest along with the food. But as times change, so do our concerns for the future -- which Dragon Cafe recognizes with fortunes that are right on the money. And so when you break open a cookie here, you'll get the message loud and clear: "You'll have more money than you can spend," "Your fortune will come from scratch," "Your forgotten collection will bring you a great fortune," "The experts at Wall St. will be shocked by your financial success," and, finally, "A large sum of money will be deposited in your account weekly." We can live with that.

Mondo Vino
Courtesy Mondo Vino Facebook page
You've got the whole world in your hand when you're holding a bottle at Mondo Vino, a new wine shop whose contents span the globe. Every major wine-producing country is represented here, and owner Duey Kratzer, a member of the Guild of Master Sommeliers, is more than happy to spend a few minutes -- or a few hours, if you really get him going -- chatting about the wines he's chosen for his beautiful store. There aren't any stickers or hang tags proclaiming Wine Spectator awards or Robert Parker adjectives, but then, none are needed, because Kratzer and his staff selected every single bottle personally. Feel free to browse amid the Australian-pine wine racks on the smooth hardwood floors; the warm, open space has been set up like an old library, and there's no need to fear that you're going to knock a hundred bottles down with a single butt shot. Mondo Vino delivers, too, and consults on restaurant wine lists around town. If it's good enough for Denver's top tables, Mondo Vino's certainly good enough for you. What a glass act!

You've got the whole world in your hand when you're holding a bottle at Mondo Vino, a new wine shop whose contents span the globe. Every major wine-producing country is represented here, and owner Duey Kratzer, a member of the Guild of Master Sommeliers, is more than happy to spend a few minutes -- or a few hours, if you really get him going -- chatting about the wines he's chosen for his beautiful store. There aren't any stickers or hang tags proclaiming Wine Spectator awards or Robert Parker adjectives, but then, none are needed, because Kratzer and his staff selected every single bottle personally. Feel free to browse amid the Australian-pine wine racks on the smooth hardwood floors; the warm, open space has been set up like an old library, and there's no need to fear that you're going to knock a hundred bottles down with a single butt shot. Mondo Vino delivers, too, and consults on restaurant wine lists around town. If it's good enough for Denver's top tables, Mondo Vino's certainly good enough for you. What a glass act!

Funky Buddha Lounge
The Funky Buddha may be named for a chubby Eastern avatar, but what's really worshiped inside this happening club is the martini. The cocktail menu boasts a dizzying number of variations on the ol' James Bond standby; deciding between "shaken" and "stirred" is the least of your worries. Whatever you choose, you'll be able to sip your drink in style. The Buddha's glamorous but comfy vibe is a welcome combination of downtown chic and youthful kitsch. The bar is hip, to be sure, but not to a fault; the urbanite clientele is stylish, not snobbish, and often beautiful. Just remember this one noble truth: Don't forget to tip your bartender.
The Funky Buddha may be named for a chubby Eastern avatar, but what's really worshiped inside this happening club is the martini. The cocktail menu boasts a dizzying number of variations on the ol' James Bond standby; deciding between "shaken" and "stirred" is the least of your worries. Whatever you choose, you'll be able to sip your drink in style. The Buddha's glamorous but comfy vibe is a welcome combination of downtown chic and youthful kitsch. The bar is hip, to be sure, but not to a fault; the urbanite clientele is stylish, not snobbish, and often beautiful. Just remember this one noble truth: Don't forget to tip your bartender.
Pita Jungle
It would be annoying that chef/owner Sam Kraydie keeps announcing that Pita Jungle is the best Middle Eastern restaurant around -- if it didn't also happen to be true. This vibrantly decorated, fern-draped eatery boasts the town's top baba ghanouj -- the eggplant charbroiled for extra flavor and mashed with lots of lemon -- as well as killer kabobs, homemade lebni (the creamy Middle Eastern yogurt) and heavenly hummus. And when he wasn't boasting, Kraydie was out procuring a pizza oven where he could make his own pitas. They come out of that oven fresh, hot and delicious, just ready to scoop up some well-seasoned shawarma.

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