Lunch rush…If you haven’t yet found your way to Cherry Creek’s Upper Crust deli, put it on your to-eat list. The garden level restaurant (in the space formerly occupied by Mediterranean Health Cafe) is our new lunch staple—toasty paninis stuffed with gourmet goods, fresh salads, and remoulade-smothered po’ boys all under $7.50. The Gobbler panini is divine with roasted turkey breast, melted fontina cheese, applewood-smoked bacon, and apple butter that sweetens each bite. Oh yeah. Enjoy a 10 percent discount if you work in Cherry Creek—now that’s service. 2817 E. Third Ave., Unit F, 303-321-0705.

Speaking of lunch…when you finally make it to Park Hill’s Tables Cafe (and you should) we suggest you order “The Rachel.” Lean pastrami layered with purple slaw and chef Amy Vitale’s zesty version of Russian dressing—all perfectly sandwiched between two pieces of marble rye. Delish! 2267 Kearney St., 303-388-0299.

Sideways…Cheers to Samplings, a new wine bar and restaurant in Frisco. In the month it’s been open, the superchic space on Main Street has become our new favorite mountain hangout. Ogle the enclosed wine cellar before ordering a $7 wine flight and a $7 cheese plate and let the fun begin. We like their motto: “Life is too short to drink bad wine…shouldn’t you know the difference.” Learning the difference is a heck of a lot of fun—especially with Samplings’ generous pours. 320 Main St., Frisco, 970-668-8466,

Ride that donkey…The Donkey Den, Denver’s own Tijuana opens on Thursday, May 19. Look for margs, mojitos, and “burritos fit for a donkey.” Gitty up. 1109 Lincoln St., 303-832-4100.

Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.