Category Archives: Boulder

A Sprightly, Simple Napa Slaw X 2

Asian flavors make the Flay-inspired slaw sing.

Potluck-linedrawingThursday evening potluck. Salads requested. What to bring? Slaw, but not any old slaw. One with a bit of zing. I found a Bobby Flay recipe online and tinkered with it a bit to match the “flavorating” ingredients that I happened to have on hand. This slaw was so well received that I tinkered with the ingredients a bit more a couple of nights later when I wanted something a little more Middle Eastern for a meeting of the Boulder-Nablus Sister City Project committee.

Asian Napa cabbage slaw.
Asian Napa cabbage slaw.

Below is the first version I made, and below that, the modifications:

Ingredients

1 lime, juiced
3 tablespoons Asian chili rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sweet Asian wine
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 to 4 drops of liquid hot pepper (or to taste)
3 cups finely shredded Napa cabbage
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced snow peas
3 scallions, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method
Whisk together the lime juice, vinegar, wine chili oil, mayonnaise, soy sauce hot pepper in a large bowl. Add the cabbage, peppers, snow peas and scallions and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld.

Version Two

This time, I used the juice of one lemon rather than one lime. I left out the sweet wine, snow peas and scallions. And I substituted finely chopped parsley and mint for the scallions.

‘The Shed’ Launches Website to Support Boulder Food Resources

DiscoverTheShedLocal foodshed becomes reality & gains momentum with online presence.

A bit over a year ago, I wrote a post called “Foodshift to Foodsheds” — a foodshed being defined as a small geographic area that includes the boundaries of where food is produced, transported and consumed. I then thought that the local foodshed comprised the Front Range, but Boulder now has an even more localized one. The Shed, as it has been named, is a new public-private coalition with a website as its first initiative to educate and build awareness about Boulder County’s local foodshed.

A good group of local officials, community leaders and food influencers were present at the Boulder Public Library's new Seed Café for the introduction of The Shed.
A good group of local officials, community leaders and food influencers were present at the Boulder Public Library’s new Seed Café for the introduction of The Shed.

Boulder City Council members Tim Plass and Suzanne Jones shepherded the initiation through the local legislative process. The Shed has emerged as a coalition of nine private and public entities that aims to increase awareness, consumption and production of local foods.  The founding entities are the City of Boulder, Boulder County, Boulder County Farmers’ Markets (Boulder and Longmont), Boulder Valley School District, Chef Ann Foundation, Local Food Shift Group, Naturally Boulder, University of Colorado and 350 Boulder County. While the City of Boulder (again) took the lead, it is a county-wide initiative with room for other communities and organizations to join.

Plass listed benefits from the local foodshed: economic (i.e., keeping more grocery dollars in the community), environmental (reducing the carbon footprint of food consumed here) and social (building community through food).  Continue reading ‘The Shed’ Launches Website to Support Boulder Food Resources

Boulder — An Underrated Food City?

Thrillist-logo Thrillist.com the latest to “discover” Boulder’s vibrant food scene.

I’m always pleased when national media shine the spotlight on Colorado’s food scene — even more so when Boulder is singled out. But I was startled when Thrillist.com selected Boulder as for its roundup of “The 7 Most Underrated American Food Cities in 2015.”

Underrated? Boulder’s highly regarded, even nationally known restaurants are written about all the time, and Boulder  boasts one of the best farmers’ markets in the land and has been the wellspring for natural and organic food companies starting with Celestial Seasonings to whichever food or beverage startup will launch next weekend.

Thrillist.com tasked Cindy Sutter, the Boulder Daily Camera food editor, with writing about the Boulder food scene. She focused on the restaurant aspect, understandably including “the usual suspects.” Here’s what she wrote:

“When people think of America’s culinary capitals they usually look to the coasts: New York, San  Francisco,      and New Orleans all regularly top the lists of the best American food cities. But hiding in the ‘flyover states’ and in ‘harbors-that-not-many-people-live-in’ is a cache of culinary talent that’s just as worthy of sinking your teeth into.

“We’ve already touched on seven of these underdog cities, but our country’s cupboards are hiding so much more deliciousness and so many cities’ scenes have exploded in the past year, so we thought it worthwhile to give props to seven more gastronomically obsessed towns. And to show just what makes each great, we tapped a local writer to share what makes that food scene unique. Here are seven cities you’ll immediately want to visit.”

About Boulder: “Boulder residents would likely be surprised to find their town on an underrated food city list. And it’s not only because Bon Appétit magazine picked Boulder as America’s Foodiest Town in 2010. Take a walk down Pearl Street in downtown Boulder, and you’ll see what the magazine folks saw.

“Start at Frasca Food and Wine, where co-owners Lachlan Mackinnon Patterson and Bobby Stuckey have two James Beard Awards. Stuckey is one of 118 Master Sommeliers worldwide, as are six other Boulder residents. Not bad for a town with a population of 100,000 and change. Head west (toward the mountains) and make another stop at OAK at fourteenth, where local meats, vegetables, and even luscious Colorado peaches take a turn in the restaurant’s wood-fired oven.

“Veer a block or so off Pearl to find the Black Cat, whose chef-owner, Eric Skokan, raises the restaurant’s vegetables (including heirloom dent corn for GMO-free polenta), as well as ducks, pigs, and beef cattle on his farm on county-owned land preserved for agricultural uses. This year, Skokan released a cookbook, ‘Farm Fork Food’, that he edited on his smartphone from the seat of his tractor. Or try The Kitchen, which has nourished relationships with local organic farmers since it opened in 2004; its nonprofit Kitchen Community builds school gardens, placing more than a 100 in Chicago, where it also recently opened a restaurant to positive reviews. You also might want to try Salt, where the food is local, seasonal, and GMO-free.

“Food, health, and sustainable agriculture have a long, intertwining history in Boulder. The bustling Boulder County Farmers’ Market, also near Pearl Street, got its start in 1987. The town that popularized herbal tea and tofu also had a strong hand in craft beer, with Boulder County boasting 40 breweries and counting. After you’ve taken in the scene, do what Boulderites do: eat and run (or hike or bike). There are trails just a few steps away from those amazing restaurants.

“And if that’s not enough for you, go east a couple of miles and find ‘Top Chef’ winner Hosea Rosenberg’s Blackbelly, which received well-deserved national attention when it opened last year.” – Cindy Sutter, Daily Camera food editor.

Rounding out the “most underrated list” are Baltimore; Birmingham, Ala.; Kansas City, Mo.; Memphis, Tenn.; Portland, Maine and Providence, R.I.

Tandoori Grill’s Lunch Buffet

001Last night, I watched some TV program about street food. It came to my screen via Netflix, so I don’t recall the name of the program. I do know that the only slightly annoying English host was in Mumbai and ate at lot food stalls. So when my husband and I wanted lunch to fortify ourselves for plant shopping, I was pre-disposed to an Indian buffet. The Tandoori Grill in the Table Mesa Shopping Center was convenient. We were at the front door (along with about a dozen others) when it was unlocked, so all the food was still hot and freshly prepared.

Side-long look at the buffet, with rich spinch saag right up front.
Side-long look at the buffet, with rich spinch saag right up front.
Wedges of hot naan are brought to the table and are included in the buffet price/
Wedges of hot naan are brought to the table and are included in the buffet price.
My selection comprised a little of almost everything.
My selection comprised a little of almost everything.

Price check: The lunch buffet is $9.89, plus tax. Beverages additional.
Tandoori Grill on Urbanspoon

Tangerine: Cheery Place for a Gloomy Day

North Boulder restaurant’s cheery ambiance and breakfasts.

001On a gloomy morning with day-long rain promised again, Tangerine‘s allure was irresistible. We entered beneath the tangerine-colored awning into the cheerful and sunny tangerine-rich décor. That started the smiles, and the excellent breakfast dishes made with the tastiest, freshest,  most nutritious ingredients continues to fuel the day the most upbeat day. We got there early. That was a good thing, because a line built quickly and soon guests were being seated in the flexible space between the it and its sister restaurant, Arugula Bar y Ristorante.

Juice, coffee, fine breakfast entrées and prompt courteous service warmed our bodies and lifted our spirits beyond the rainclouds. Tangerine’s full bar provided some temptations that we resisted. What willpower!

A selection of wonderful jams is offered with toast or muffin orders.
A selection of wonderful jams is offered with toast or muffin orders.
BLR (blueberry, ricotta and lemon) pancakes is a stack of  thick but light ricotta and lemon pancakes with  generous topping of blueberry sauce.
BLR (blueberry, ricotta and lemon) pancakes is a stack of thick but light ricotta and lemon pancakes with generous topping of blueberry sauce.
Two poached eggs, wonderful house-made Romesco sauce, plus sautéed spinach and leeks -- the latter in two separate little piles. Mix or not.
Two poached eggs, wonderful house-made Romesco sauce, plus sautéed spinach and leeks — the latter in two separate little piles. Mix or not, and get a choice of breadstuff alongside.

Price check: At breakfast/brunch, Pancakes, French Toast & Waffle, $7-$9.50; On the Lighter Side, $3.50-$7.50; Eggs, $5.95-$13; Benedicts, $10.50-$13.50; House Specialties, $9.50-$13; Extras, $1.50-$4.50.

Tangerine on Urbanspoon

Best Pizza But Wine Surprise

Neapolitan-style pizza always pleases, but wine disappointed two ways.

003  When we’re just feeling like pizza, we pick it up from Nick-N-Willy’s around the corner and bake it at home. But sometimes, we head out for a designer pizza, and when we do, there’s no better place in Boulder than the flagship Pizzeria Locale. The crust, satisfyingly chewy with an undeniably fine flavor, is charred just enough. They bake it in for just 90 seconds an astonishing imported pizza oven. No matter which topping I’ve chosen, it has never disappointed.

The wine, however, this time was a surprising disappointment. I ordered a budget-friendly $6.50 glass of Valpolicella. It was not very good– astringent, a tad metallic and almost medicinal. I swirled it, let it breathe and took another sip. Same result. I asked my husband, who had ordered a birra, to taste it. He had the same reaction. I asked the waitress for a trade-in. She properly asked me what kind of wines I like and brought me a wonderful replacement. She didn’t mention that it cost nearly twice as much as the original. It’s not that the $5 or so will make or break us, but it’s the principle. And I wouldn’t think twice about it, were Locale not a sister restaurant to Frasca Food & Wine with all the meticulous attention to detail that implies.

Having shared that with you, here are images of our two fine pizzas:

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Price check: Pizzas that generously serve one or, with addition of a starter or a salad, are fine for two, $9-$16.

Pizzeria Locale on Urbanspoon

Empanada Excellence

Argentine specialties & ‘futbol’ decor in Boulder.

007Rincon Argentino brings a bit of Argentina to central Boulder.  This fast-casual eatery in The Village shopping center specializes in empanadas — those tasty little pouches of dough that are filled and either baked or fried — at Rincon, they are baked.  Fifteen appear on the restaurant’s menu, each with a different shape. The cognoscenti recognize what filling is in which empanada shape (or at least, which is the favorite). For the rest of us, there are sheets with pictures and captions.

Futbol (aka soccer) on television and framed memorabilia on the walls.
Futbol (aka soccer) on television and framed memorabilia on the walls. Superstars Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi dominate the collection.

In addition to moderately priced Argentine specialties and futbol, Ricon Argentino is also the place to go for mate (traditional, yerba or iced), various espresso options, local beer or wine from Argentina. There is also a small selection of Argentine prepared foods and grocery items.

Two cross-cultural  empanadas: #10, a caprese empanada, and #9, filled with ham and both mozzarella and provolone cheeses.
Two cross-cultural empanadas: #10, a caprese empanada, and #9, filled with ham and both mozzarella and provolone cheeses.
A heap of halved cherry tomatoes make this salad sing.
A heap of halved cherry tomatoes and and a plastic ramekin of flavorful chimichurri make this mixed salad sing.

The website is currently (still) under construction at this writing. It does indicate when the restaurant is open (closed Sundays, it says), The take-out menu that I picked up indicates that Monday is the closed day. Advice: double-check.

Price check: Empanadas, $3.40 each; gluten-free tartas (empanada pies), $6.50; salads, $3.40-$4.50 for side salads and $9.80 for entrée salads; sandwiches, $5.75-$9.50; desserts, $3-$4.99.

Rincon Argentino on Urbanspoon