Spaghetti with cucumbers at Penny Quarter.

The fried chicken sandwich ... the sweet pea and chorizo fritters ... these are all hype dishes at Montrose's Penny Quarter, the all-day café and bar from Justin Yu and Bobby Heugel. And look, they're all that and a bag of chips.

But recently the popular spot debuted a number of vegan and vegetarian dishes, like cauliflower steak, Tuscan stew, and tofu in verde sauce with quinoa, let alone a host of salads and a crispy grilled cheese sandwich. 

The magic dish, though, is the spaghetti with cucumber. You read right.

The cucumber—small and sliced thin—is more or less here for crunch and window dressing. The star of this plate is the melange of garlic and green peppercorns that, with the help of some olive oil, coat the pasta and add deep heat. To wit, halfway through the plate I was both sneezing and clearing up my sinuses. Potent stuff.

A plate of the spaghetti runs for just $12 and, as the fair price showed with me, won't necessarily fill you up. That's a good thing at Penny Quarter, because you could always continue your night with the fried chicken sandwich or sweet pea and chorizo fritters (for meat-eaters) or that tofu with quinoa.

Whatever you do, be sure to pair that spaghetti with a glass of vino from wine director Justin Vann's well-curated list. May I suggest some zinfandel? They got it.

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