Caroline Bilodeau has opened Bennies, 17230 Jackson Creek Parkway, inside the Tri-Lakes YMCA in Monument. She has brought most of the dishes she wowed customers with at Palmer Lake’s Speedtrap cafe, where she was the chef from 2011 to 2016.

She and her crew make everything fresh daily. The menu has the cafe’s namesake, eggs Benedicts, including bennies on a crepe, which Bilodeau was famous for at Speedtrap. There’s also a nice assortment of other breakfast favorites like avocado toast, quiche, oatmeal, and fresh fruit plate. She offers breakfast burritos, sandwiches, croissants, lunch sandwiches, soups, salads, smoothies, crepes, flat breads, espresso drinks and desserts.

Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Details: 719-445-0660,

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New bánh mì spot

Lee’s Sandwiches, a chain based in San Jose, Calif., has opened the first Colorado location at 5660 Barnes Road. Colorado Springs resident Mai Robinson is the managing partner. The menu specializes in a variety of Vietnamese bánh mì (served on baguettes) and Euro-style (served on croissants) sandwiches. There’s a substantial bakery for making baguettes, croissants and an array of sweet and savory pastries.

Lee’s Vietnamese iced coffee is available freshly made at the shop or you can purchase it as a concentrate for making at home. Appetizers include wings and egg and spring rolls. There’s a small retail market with unique Vietnamese groceries.

Hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Details: 719-344-9344,

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Salads and more

Salad or Bust, 8 E. Bijou St., opened in early January in the former Pita Pit. It’s the second location for the eatery known for their salads. Owners Bob and Stephanie Curtis started their business in a school bus and moved from the bus to a small space in Ivywild School.

Sandwiches and soups share space with the salads on the menu at the downtown location. Soups are homemade and change daily. There are snacks, chips,and Sasquatch cookies for dessert. Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Details: 719-434-2313,

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Wine dinner

Pizzeria Rustica, 2527 W. Colorado Ave., kicks off its Passport wine dinner series with an Attimo Wine Dinner, 6 p.m. Feb. 8. For $65 (plus tax and tip), you get Island Creek oysters on a half shell with Pappadeaux mignonette, chicken pistachio ballotine with chervil goat cheese cream, pizza with pecorino, fontina, black pepper and crispy thyme dusted sweet potatoes, skirt steak roulade with asiago parsnip puree, and pizzelles with white chocolate jalapeno mousse. Each course paired with Attimo wines. Reservations at Coaltrain wine store, 719-475-9700.

Contact the writer: 636-0271.

contact the writer: 636-0271.

Food editor

Food writer for features life section and columnist for Go! Entertainment - Table Talk column

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