I’m always on the hunt for a bargain meal and last night took me to Pho 120 in Broomfield. From the menu I ordered two spring rolls fat with shrimp, pork, basil, and rice noodles; a rice vermicelli bowl topped with grilled pork, beef, shrimp, an egg roll, shredded carrots, cucumbers, and a tangy sauce; and a bowl of pho—traditional clear-broth soup—with shredded chicken and accoutrements (basil leaves, bean sprouts, rice noodles, onions, jalapeños, hosin, and chile sauce). The feast cost just $17.52 and was more than enough food for two hungry adults. 6765 W. 120th Ave., Unit A, Broomfield, 303-466-6346.

Each year when the leaves fall from the trees, I begin to crave autumn’s cozy flavors—the nutmeg, cinnamon, and pecan pie synonymous with family gatherings. Though it’s too early to sip eggnog and enjoy bites of pie, Gelazzi, a gelateria on Larimer Square, helps bridge the gap. The two-year-old shop, which imports most of its ingredients from Italy and makes 32 flavors fresh each morning, offers seasonal goodies such as nutmeg-flecked cones and spicy pumpkin and pecan pie gelato. As the temps continue to fall, Gelazzi will roll out more holiday specials such as eggnog amaretto, caramel apple cider, and white Christmas gelatinis—a combination of liquor, mixers, and gelato in chilled martini glasses. 1411 Larimer St., 303-534-5056,

In kicking off a monthly dinner outing with our two nieces, my husband and I selected Proto’s Pizzeria in Commons Park for food and atmosphere. We chose well: our 4- and 6-year-old dinner guests were enchanted by the pizza chefs who juggled bundles of dough and spun pizza pans on their fingertips. We sat at the ultimate kids’ table—just a pane of glass separated us from the kitchen and the wood-fired pizza oven. Dinner was an equal hit: a tasty mixed organic greens salad, bubbling pepperoni pizza (for the girls), and the Proto pie topped with fresh basil and Italian sausage for us. Once the girls drained their glasses of milk, we paid the check and headed off to Bonnie Brae for ice cream with sprinkles. 2401 15th St., 720-855-9400,

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