Recent 5 Star Recommendations
Each month I give a shoutout to our sponsors because without them, I wouldn’t be able to write Feasting Fort Collins. Each and every meal reviewed on here is paid for by advertising dollars and servers are tipped. Our graphic designer is paid for creating our marketing material. Our hosting service is paid each month to keep the blog up and functional on our servers, and tolerates my freak outs when things (rarely) go wrong. Nothing is free and everyone else is paid before I ever think of paying myself as a writer or contributing to financially support my own family. Which often times doesn’t happen (in turn, I take on more Four Course Marketing clients, my other business, to make up the difference).
I really appreciate that they support and believe in Feasting Fort Collins. Without their advertising, this blog wouldn’t be able to function. And without your support of them, they wouldn’t be here. Without the two, this blog would cease to exist.
On March 1st I launched membership subscription options after some readers recommended it, giving people access to new features like reviews by map, and exclusive content, like knowing who I recommended to Food Network when they asked about filming restaurants in Fort Collins.
The truth is, after nearly 2 months of having this option, we’re not a reader-supported resource. We’re an advertising-supported resource. So your patronage with them is essential.
If you visit a sponsor because they help fund Feasting Fort Collins, please let them know! Check out their websites, visit their businesses, and give them a call for services. They make it possible for you to find the best and avoid the worst food in Fort Collins.
And if you want to join advertising on Feasting Fort Collins, email me at Kristin@feastingfortcollins.com!
Brewers Jamboree is a brand new craft beer festival hitting the town for the first time this year IN THREE WEEKS, and Feasting Fort Collins is proud to be a media partner! This was built by the breweries for the honest craft beer lovers, focusing on taking it slow and appreciating each sip.
There will be food and beer pairing tents, similar to a festival-style beer pairing dinner:
Austin Taco Food Truck will have Fajita and Carnitas and various beer-infused sauces. Tacos are going to be paired with beers from Equinox, 1933, Grimm Brothers, and Zwei Bruder.
Meatball Slider Tent
Bear’s Backyard Grill will be serving swedish meatball slider with mushroom sauce, and spicy jalapeno meatball sliders. Slider are going to be paired with beers from Black Bottle, Pateros Creek, and Fort Collins Brewery.
Fox & Crow will be with Boar and Bull in this area. Fox & Crow will have their homemade crackers with their cheeses. Meats and cheeses will be paired with beers from Horse & Dragon, Snowbank, and New Belgium.
Culinary Chaos will have a hazelnut crust tart with chocolate mousse, flaked sea salt, and bourbon caramel to pair with beer from Funkwerks, Odell, and Verboten.
You will be able to chat with each of the brewers, because they will be right there at each booth. There will also be industry presentations to help foster beer education. This is the family-friendly beer festival that we’ve been waiting for! Here’s where you can purchase your tickets.
All Star Cleaning cleans our own home every other week, so I can personally vouch for how amazing their business is! They do an incredible job each and every time, and the feeling after a cleaning day is often the highlight of our week. There are quite a few Feasting Fort Collins readers who’ve hired All Stars to clean their homes too. You can see those testimonial links in the Sunday Table Talk newsletter each week.
Mother’s Day is almost here, and surprising the mom in your life with the gift of house cleaning is sure to make your appreciation known! You can get gift certificates for special pampering packages that include house cleaning, a massage, and a bottle of wine, or a gift certificate for a full year of house cleaning! You can purchase gift certificates HERE.
Butter Cream Cupcakery is the founding Feasting Fort Collins sponsor! They’ve been with me from the very beginning, which makes them superstars. They were the ones who made me realize that I could make this blog what it is today. You can check out their website for the list of upcoming flavors over the weeks to make sure you don’t miss out on your favorite.
And did you know they also deliver? No joke, they will deliver cupcakes Monday – Friday from 10am – 3pm, anywhere in Fort Collins. Now you never have to miss out on a favorite flavor or making an office occasion more enjoyable with a sweet treat!
Matador is another long-time supporter of the blog. They’ve grown exponentially over their sponsorship years as a restaurant and as a part of our community. They are always willing to help support other businesses and restaurants (including other local tacos!), and are involved in many fundraisers. They are the hosting location for the Dragon’s Breath Chili Challenge, a fundraiser for T.R. Paul Academy of Arts and Knowledge (another awesome sponsor on Growing Up Fort Collins). Dragon’s Breath is looking for more cooks to register! You can pick up forms at Matador. I’ll be a chili judge again for the 4th (5th?) year in a row, so be sure to get your tickets to eat chili, support Matador, TPAAK, and say hi!
Jason Speciner has been a long-time avid sponsor, too! He’s a great resource, especially if you’ve had a freakout tax season and feel like you need to get your finances in order. Jason specializes in working with clients between the ages of 30 and 60 and has unique experience working with restaurant and bar owners, engineers, and teachers. With all of his clients Jason focuses on prudent wealth management strategies and true ‘big picture’ financial planning; primarily addressing retirement goals, education funding, taxation, and estate planning.
He has tips on Facebook and Twitter, so you can follow along at your leisure. If you happen to be a restaurant owner, then he’s the guy you want to talk to about setting up retirement plans and all of the financial planning things that tend to get pushed to the side. He knows the financial side of the restaurant industry well!
Jennifer Bond at Nancy Bond Insurance is another long-time avid reader and long-time avid sponsor who has joined me on quite a few reviews over the years. She is always up for some food fun – be it a food truck rally, a pairing dinner, or a beer. She’s also a great snowshoeing and hiking partner for when I’m out on assignments for Fresh Air Fort Collins. Their relaxed approach on insurance is a breath of fresh air – if they aren’t stressed about it, you know you don’t have to be either.
Jennifer has helped navigate business insurance for crazy startups like Feasting Fort Collins, figured out the best rates and coverage for families who need auto insurance, and made sure homes are covered in case anything should go wrong (flood season is just around the corner!). Jennifer is another person who knows what restaurant owners need for the best insurance coverage. We’ve seen owners close up because of pipe floods and kitchen fires – she makes sure you’re covered so your restaurant can go on.
We’ve been big fans of KidsTown for many, many years. They’ve been our go-to sitter for the times I need to go to meetings, doctors appointments and date nights. Our boys always enjoy their time there, making new friends and excited to see old friends there as well. And the staff is super sweet that the kids always feel comfortable going there. We love them! You don’t have to sign up for contracts – just drop your kids off anytime you need to.
KidsTown makes sure the kids are doing fun and creative things while they’re there rather than just leaving them to their own devices. They plan bounce house parties and craft projects – so it’s always a good time!
The moment you take a bite that raises your eyebrows in unsuspecting surprise. The time a forkful of food makes your eyes roll back in delicious pleasure. The second you scrape the last of the remaining sauce on your plate, determined to eat every last drop because it’s so good.
These are the dining experiences that we live for. These are the moments we wish for in every restaurant. This is what makes eating a beautiful part of life.
They happen every so often, not infrequently enough to be considered a unicorn experience, but special enough that when you discover the restaurant that delivers you are immediately converted as a devout follower. It doesn’t matter if it’s a fine dining restaurant, a coffee house with fresh pastries, or a neighborhood family restaurant – this is a significant moment that can be enjoyed in any setting when someone pulls it off right.
Nick’s Homestyle pulls it off.
Nick’s opened in February of 2015 after months of construction in the old Number 1 Chinese Super Buffet on College across from campus. Owner Nick Doyle brings his many years of industry experience as the former Executive General Manager of The Kitchen Next Door in Boulder, and the former Regional Manager for Rio Grande restaurants throughout Colorado. This is a restaurant built by hands-on, in the trenches experience. Designed by Nick’s friend, James Beard-nominated chef Clay Conley, and Nick’s Chef, Brian Shaner, Nick’s Homestyle’s menu features a variety of Italian-American cuisine and New York-style pizza created with fresh local ingredients.
The restaurant features a contemporary design with an open-kitchen pizza bar, lounge, arcade room and big screen TVs. Many of the design elements in the restaurant come with their own story, such as the interior doors that came from a bar in Idaho Springs; reclaimed factory windows from a pickle plant in Longmont and reclaimed wood from train cars found in the Midwest. The atmosphere here is pretty sweet.
My first visit was for dinner with my lovely dining companion, Robyn. I started with one of their specialty cocktails, the Rosada made with silver tequila, rhubarb, lime juice and strawberry compote.
Their specialty drinks are exceptionally sweet. It’s almost like dessert before dinner. Even though, it was still delicious and mixed well. As a tequila aficionado, it was mixed enough that you could still taste the deep, sharp flavor of the tequila while avoiding the trap of being a glass of fruity mocktail.
We shared an item from their small plate menu for an appetizer. The fried mozzarella sounded perfect and light. The mozzarella is made in house, so the cheese is noticeably fresh and flavorful.
That plate was gone within a minute between the flavors of fresh cheese, crispy breading, and savory marinara sauce.
Robyn ordered the Orrecchiette for dinner, made with house-made fennel sausage, rapini, and chilies.
It had a nice layer of spiciness, herbiness, and saltiness in each bite with al dente pasta. It bordered the level of too salty ever so closely but not quite crossing the line. It definitely seemed to come from the sausage. It was still pleasant and tasty.
I ordered the Bucatini Carbonara with pecorino, bacon, and mint.
HOLY HELL. This was amazing. The pasta was thick, chewy, and oh so fresh. It was addictively enticing. The bacon added a good level of saltiness and the egg yolk delicately nested in the middle of the noodles added a deep creaminess to the already cheesey sauce. I especially loved the minty aftertaste. I LOVED THIS.
After nearly licking our plates clean (at least I pretty much did), we moved onto dessert. They make some of their desserts in house, with the exception of the gelato and sorbet. We shared their tiramisu with house-made mascarpone.
I was moved to raised eyebrows and eye rolling. Good god. It’s the best I’ve had in Fort Collins, no contest. I don’t think I’ve ever had a creamier, light and fluffy tiramisu.
I returned for lunch with my friend, Nathan. After much effort in the decision making department between the two of us because there are so many enticing menu items, he ordered the Chicken Scallopini with fennel salad with oranges, pecorino, basil and mint.
Besides the pasta, I think the vegetables stand out as impressive aspects to the menu here. I’m not a person who orders salad often, but each salad here is distinctly delicious, and most importantly, you can taste the local freshness that’s served. The chicken in this dish was good, but it was the salad that made it great.
I ordered the pizza-by-the-slice lunch special with a glass of house wine on tap. You have the option of getting two slices or one slice with a side salad, and you can choose any of the salad options from their menu. They only offer two different slices of pizza – either pepperoni or some kind of meat option they have that day, or a vegetable topping. Specialty slices aren’t available on this one.
I went with a pepperoni slice with a side salad of baby kale, pine nuts, parmesan, and dried currants. Their house wine is a barbera, which was a delightful addition to lunch!
Now, if I were to go back and do pizza at Nick’s, I’d skip the typical options and go for a specialty pizzas with a group of friends. The slice for lunch is fine, and it’s good New York style pizza with a thin crispy crust, but I think the slice options are a little too standard (understandably from the restaurant’s perspective). I would rather have ordered the fresh pesto dish but knew someone would flip their shit if I didn’t review any kind of pizza here, and I’m not about to order a whole pizza at lunch. Such are the limitations of one mouth, one stomach, and a budget when it comes to pizza reviews.
Either way, the slice, salad, and glass of wine were a wonderful lunch with great company in fantastic atmosphere. And despite the lack of enthusiasm for pepperoni pizza, this was one of the better by-the-slice lunch options I’ve had because the salad and wine were what brought it up to top notch expectations. Again, the vegetables here are fresh and delicious enough to convert any dedicated meat lover.
We decided to hit up the dessert menu and split the triple chocolate pudding, which is made in house, and has a layer of crumbled Heath Bar in the middle.
Well, here are the two desserts you MUST order on your next visit. Life’s too short to pass on pleasures like this. Seriously. Go run around the block a few times if you’re counting calories. It’s worth it. This chocolate pudding is rich, silky, and good to the battle of spoons for the last scoop.
Nick’s Homestyle has landed themselves as one of my favorite new dining spots because of the high quality of so many dishes, particularly pasta and salads. I’ve been dreaming about them ever since my first bite and can’t wait to come back. They’re special enough that I’ve been immediately converted as a devout follower.
1100 South College
Kid-Friendly? Yes! Totally!
Parking: Small parking lot and varied street parking options
Healthy Options? They do have a variety of gluten-free options
Budget-Friendly? Average prices at $10-$25. Half-portion options are available to help cut down on costs
Recent Health Inspection: Unknown *current inspection rating not listed
I have been spending a lot of time in the mountains over the last year or so. A LOT. Some readers may know that I took over Fresh Air Fort Collins about 8 months ago, so not only am I writing restaurant reviews, but trail reports, articles about hunting and fishing, and the occasional gear review. But my excessive time spent on the trails started well before taking on an additional blog. Fresh Air just gave me an excuse to do it more often during the week.
Being in the mountains so frequently, I have the pleasure of exploring mountain town dining more often than I did when only writing Feasting Fort Collins. When I first started writing reviews here, readers would occasionally ask about best restaurants in Estes or where they could eat after a hike. Back then I wasn’t as solid on my recommendations. Now? I know exactly where you should be eating on your way up the canyon in the morning or where you should drink your post-fishing beer.
I used to drive up to Poudre Canyon through Highway 14 skipping Laporte altogether. What a huge mistake that was. Laporte has some of the best quaint town dining experiences around. Show up sweaty with mud-covered boots and you’ll fit right in Swing Station (which I honestly can’t wait to review), Vern’s (which I’m right smack dab in the middle of updating their review), and Me Oh My Coffee and Pie (which I’m obviously reviewing now).
I finally made it to Me Oh My a few months ago when I decided I was going to splurge on a 7th week break treat while soaking up the sun at Horsetooth Reservoir. I’ve been hooked since first bite!
This delightfully cute little shop opened 2 years ago by Caitlin Philp and Joe Becker after Caitlin was selling pies to the now closed Bellvue Bean and decided to go into business for herself. Me Oh My focuses on made-from-scratch items with locally sourced ingredients, especially since Laporte is filled with small farms and dairies. It’s all about quality and community here, and you sure can taste it!
They have a full coffee menu brewed from Allegro coffee, as well as a variety of teas from Happy Lucky’s Teahouse and a drink menu for kids. They make quiche, pie, soups, breakfast burritos, Noosa coffee cake, scones and many other specialties. They have soft serve, too (available in the summer only, and available NOW!). They also have a drive-thru window, so visiting them on the way up the mountain could not be any easier. You have no excuses for the stop to King Soopers for cheap snacks when you can stop here for something incredibly delicious.
I’ve had their veggie breakfast burrito with egg, cheddar, potatoes, and green chile. This seriously tasted like farm-fresh food all wrapped up in a warm tortilla. The cheese, which is usually fake American cheese at other places (but not here) was out of this world tasty.
I also had to get a slice of pie to go along with my Americano. It was a generous slice of apple pie with thick apple chunks and buttery, flakey pie crust. Phenominal. What a great pairing – fresh mountain air and homemade apple pie. Seriously.
On another visit I came back for their chicken pot pie after a long day on the trails. You can order it with a side salad, which is just a few leaves of greens and a vinaigrette. I also ordered an iced latte to sip on while dining al fresco on the patio.
Once again, I was not disappointed (other than the salad – I think that could have been something more). But the pot pie was filled with tender chunks of juicy chicken, fava beans, corn, carrots, and celery. They win at pie crust, no matter if it’s sweet or savory. It hit the spot!
Warmer days are here, which means you may be headed for the hills to have your own fun. The next time you’re on your way to Poudre Canyon or Red Feather Lakes, make sure to swing by Me Oh My for a driving coffee and a breakfast burrito, or stop for some soft serve and coffee cake after a day at Horsetooth. They’ll add a generous helping of extra delicious to your adventures.
Me Oh My Coffee and Pie
3522 W. County Road 54 G, Laporte
Kid-Friendly? Yes, absolutely!
Parking: Parking lot, but lots of bike racks as well
Healthy Options? You bet – veggie loaded sandwiches and salads, oatmeal, etc
Budget-Friendly? No doubt, most expensive menu items is $6
Recent Health Inspection: Average