This post is for all of my Fort Collins people. If you don't live in FoCo, it's all good. I recommend you read along anyway. Not all of these exquisite places are local to Fort Collins, so keep watch because you might have one of these places right across the street.
Before I dive into the details of my favorite places to indulge, allow me to put you in my world. But understand this: I do what I do because it works for me. It may not work for you, and it may not work for Joe & Sally, either.
Anyway, it's just any other day. I wake up, and go through my morning routine. Coffee, journaling, and looking through my execution list (no, I'm not an assassin). Once I have finished my routine, I get ready for the day and check my calendar (fun fact: cheat meals aren't on my calendar, nor are they set in my mind). As I see my schedule, it's white. No blue or green blocks. That means it's a day of blogging, marketing, programming, etc. I don't have any meetings or classes to teach, which means it's time spent at home hustling. So I begin to write, market, develop, program, make calls, etc. And then a text comes.
I feel the two vibrations on the table as my phone buzzes. I look over hoping it's text from one of a few people that I consistently communicate with around lunch and dinner hours. Why? Because I know what they're going to ask.
"WANNA GET SOME FOOD?"
Heck. Yes. Heck freaking yes I want to. If anyone knows my heart, they know that food always makes it happy, regardless of the situation. As begin to thumb my way though a reply, the wheels start turning and I ask, "where you wanna go?" Most of the time, I get the same response.
"IDK. YOU PICK."
I have now become the freaking dictator of this relationship. I am in control for the next couple of hours. I have the freedom to make the ultimate decision. Now, my day has begun.
HERE IT IS...
So here we go. In the mind of Poe, ready to make the ultimate daily decision, we find ourselves ready to approach the top five cheats list.
1. PIZZA CASBAH
If you know me well, you know that pizza is up there on the list of favorite foods. It's so incredibly simple, yet so incredibly delicious. That's what I love about it. Located near downtown Fort Collins, Pizza Casbah is a small, locally owned pizza shop that has some of the best NY style pies out there. Not only are they known for the size of their pies, but the quality of the ingredients as well. I wish I could explain the difference of taste into words, but you'll just have check it out yourself.
2. CAFE MEXICALI
With the opening of their first restaurant in Fort Collins, Cafe Mex has expanded and now has two other locations in Colorado. If I'm dying for some Mexican-style food, it's always Cafe Mex. Although all of their ingredients and menu items are fresh and to die for, it's crucial that you try their specialty sweet pork smothered burrito with their creamy habeñero sauce. Aside from the flavor, my favorite thing about a good cheat meal is feeling like I have a massive food baby. You'll never come up short at Cafe Mex.
If you're a fan of a high quality burger in the Northern Colorado area, you know all about STUFT. Burgers and fries are my absolute favorite when it comes to cheat meals, and there is no better way to satisfy the craving than to hit up STUFT. Aside from their great menu of pre-selected burgers, they have a unique custom order style that will give any sort of twist to your typical burger. From the type of protein to the style of bun, you have the choice to make any burger you want from TONS of different ingredients. And when I say different, I mean DIFFERENT. What's so different about it you may ask? Well, let me tell you this: my absolute favorite burger to make at STUFT consists of two beef patties, honey, strawberry preserves, cream cheese, and peanut butter, with a side of sweet potato fries (I have yet to try better sweet potato fries.. they're killer). Sometimes, I'll even have a donut as my bun. Why? WELL WHY NOT? I know, I know, you may be thinking that combination sounds absolutely disgusting. That's what I thought too, until I said "screw it" and gave it a try. Go out of your comfort zone, people. It usually has a positive outcome.
4. & 5. THE FIVE GUYS & MARY'S COMBO
You may be thinking, how can numbers four and five be together? Do they have an entree and dessert on the same menu? Nope. Numbers four and five on my list are two completely different places, but believe me when I say this: they are a match made in heaven. If you are close friend of mine, you know what my response is going to be when you say "you pick." 99% of the time, I will respond with: "Five Guys and Mary's."
I would assume that most of you know about Five Guys Burgers & Fries. It's phenomenal. In my opinion, it's somewhere in the middle of fast food, and STUFT. More towards the STUFT side, because the ingredients are soooo freaking fresh. The beef is quality, too. If you've been to Five Guys, you know that you can't walk in or out of that door with any sense of shame, because you're going all in on a big ol' greasy burger. Although the burgers at Five Guys are extremely fresh, they are ridiculously greasy and I absolutely love it. They are also known for making you feel like you have a brick inside of your stomach. They're dense. I can't speak for everyone, but I know that I'm out of commission for a couple of hours after I eat there. And when I say out of commission, I don't mean that in any way related to eating.... because it's time to take a few more steps.
After my big fat greasy burger, I head to the south door, open it, take a few steps to my right, and find myself in sweet-tooth heaven. It's time for dessert. I don't really have a lot of absolute favorite foods, because I eat and love everything. But if you were to put me in a pressure situation in which I had to pick, I would take Cookies/Milk and Ice Cream over anything else. I can't choose between the two, though. Here's the best part: I can get both of those things at Mary's Mountain Cookies. Mary's Mountain Cookies is a Colorado shop with several locations. I believe they just opened one in Missouri, too. Anyway, the cookies are massive, and out of this world. Beyond cookies, they have ice cream and cookie dough that will knock you off your feet.
If I'm really feeling the ice cream that day, I get the sandwich that has a bottom layer of cookie, stacked with cookie dough, about an inch of ice cream, and another cookie on top of that. IT. IS. AMAZING. You might be asking yourself, "how is this kid not sick by this point?" The answer to your question is: I don't know. I really have no clue. At this point I should be puking but I'm ready to down that ice cream sandwich in 120 seconds or less.
If the ice cream isn't an option for me that day, some of my favorite cookies there are the C.O.W., the Monster, and the Caramel Sea Salt. And no, I never get one cookie. That's lame and for the birds. I always get two or more because it's more cookie to eat, and it's more punches on my card toward a free one.
If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm not a saint, and neither is any other personal trainer you've met. We all have our "things", and these are mine. We just have to make sure we treat them as cheats, and not habits.
So next time you're out on the town, or looking for a new place to indulge, refer to this article and pick one of my favorites. Heck, try more than one if you think you can handle it.
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I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it. I will probably be eating a cookie within the next 15 minutes.
Thanks for reading!