10. Exquisite Taste (327 S. Union Ave.)
You know that place on Union that sells jewelry, “Good Life” t-shirts and grading stuff? Yeah, me neither. But they have gelato! From the many flavors to choose from, I went with the blood orange. This super-sweet yet super-tart confection will balance out the 100-degree day with a brain freeze from eating it too fast.
9. Jorge’s Sombrero (1319 E. Evans Ave.)
As far as Mexican desserts go, Jorge’s can’t be beat. Fresh, homemade items like empanadas, fried ice cream, biscochitos, churros, and the ever-important fruit-stuffed sopapillas. I suggest trying the best damn flan in Pueblo. And that’s in a town known for great Mexican food.
8. Nick’s Dairy Crème (528 E. 8th St.)
I clearly remember, after an afternoon of swimming, being soaking wet with bare feet burning on the super-hot sidewalk and waiting in line at Nick’s on the Eastside. I would stand like a flamingo with one leg straight and one leg folded at the knee. This third degree pedi-burn was worth it just for a crunch cone, a Nick Bar or, my favorite for the past thirty years, a strawberry old fashion soda.
7. The Carriage House at Rosemount Museum (419 W. 14th St.)
The Carriage House is tucked away behind the massive Rosemont Mansion. Eating here always makes me feel a little more sophisticated. (I know, funny.) The dessert menu has a few constants such as the chocolate torte, but I suggest opting for the chocolate cranberry bread pudding. The thick, soaked bread hides just the right amount of cranberries to be sweet but not overwhelming.
6. Hopscotch/Bingo Burger (101 Central Plaza @ 1st St.)
Did you know that Hopscotch has homemade ice cream? Get a Death By Chocolate cookie with a scoop of a house specialty, pistachio ice cream, on top. And, Bingo Burger makes its milkshakes with Hopscotch ice cream. Once in a great while Bingo Burger has pistachio shakes, which might just be the best thing you’ll have in your mouth this entire summer.
5. East Coast Pizza (1638 W. US Hwy 50)
Great food, low prices and a friendly atmosphere complete the perfect eating-out picture here. But what puts this place over the top is the bakery display case. Overwhelming at first, here is what you do: start with your favorite gelato then add something from the case. Choose from cheesecake, rainbow cookies, wedding cookies, or my favorite, a delicious Italian cannoli.
4. Sushi Garden (3915 Ivywood Ln)
When thinking about summer treats you might easily overlook Sushi Garden. If you are in the mood for something different and shockingly good, order a helping of Mochi ice cream. Favors range from green tea and red bean to strawberry-mango and have a crispy rice cake exterior.
3. Fun Yogurt (223 S. Union Ave.)
The best thing about Fun Yogurt, or Fro Yo as I like to call it, is the diversity of what you are able to do. After picking one or several frozen yogurt flavors, you can stroll through the buffet of healthy and not-so-healthy toppings. Try a suicide. You know, mixing all flavors and all toppings. I love that frozen yogurt is just as sweet as ice cream but more refreshing. It’s like you are doing something bad, but not super-bad.
2. Taffy’s (114 W. Abriendo)
It’s not summer until you visit Taffy’s and grab a strawberry shake, gummy bears, or a box of caramel popcorn. Every time I go to Taffy’s I feel like a kid in some kind of 1950s soda shop. Not that I would know what that’s like. I remember what a special treat it was to go as a child, and it warms my heart to see that nothing has changed in thirty years.
1. Shamrock Brewing Company (108 W. 3rd St.)
Did you know that the Shami brews its own root beer – some of the best root beer this food critic has ever had? Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you’ve got a Pueblo summer must-have! Now if only they would add a scoop of vanilla to my porter….