Category Archives: Boulder

Boulder Kitchens on View This Weekend

Fundraiser for I Have a Dream Foundation opens great local kitchens.

DreamKitchens2015If you are thinking about building a home or remodeling the one you have and are looking for ideas, if you just enjoy visiting fabulous kitchens in terrific homes, or if you mainly want to support the I Have a Dream Foundation, don’t miss the 2016 Dream Kitchens Tour this weekend, Saturday, April 30. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, May 1, 12 noon to 4 p.m.

On the 2015 tour are 11 Boulder County homes —  up from just six last year. Tickets good for either or both days are $20. Purchase  at the I Have a Dream office (5390 Manhattan Drive, Suite 200, Boulder). Online purchases or tickets bought at any King Soopers carry a service charge. FoMoInfo, call 303-444-3636.

500th Anniversary of German Beer Purity Act

Three ingredients mandated for Bavarian beer — and that’s all.

A German commemorative stamp celebrates the Reinheitsgebot, the world's first legal standard for the prodcution of a food or drink product.
A German commemorative stamp celebrates the Reinheitsgebot, the world’s first legal standard for the production of a food or drink product.

April 23, 1516, was not the date of William Shakespeare’s death. That wouldn’t happen for another hundred years. It was the date of the adoption of the Bavarian Beer Purity Act (Reinheitsgebot in German), decreeing that beer could be made only with three ingredients: water, barley and hops. Period.

This calls for all manner of celebrations, certainly in Germany where some festivals will stretch through the summer, but even in Colorado. Here are some:

AC Golden and Sandlot Brewery, both part of the Coors family, serve limited release of the Reinheit brew at select World of Beer locations. Master brewer Andreas Gahr from St. Johann Research Brewery in Germany has collaborated on this authentic, old-style German lager.

Boulder’s Bohemiian Biergarten is turning up the party juice this evening, even though Bohemia is now the Czech Republic, not Germany. Really, who cares? Beginning at 8 p.m. this evening, they are serving  $5 Paulaner and Hacker-Pschorr Biers (both from Munich and now corporately related). Also, there’s a raffle for commemorative mugs. Austrian Connection plays live. At least Austrian and Germany share a common language (more or less, depending on regional dialects). Create some Reinheitsgebot-themed attire and  get a gift.

Mockery Brewing irreverently calls its its event Reinheitsgewhat?!.  It starts today at noon, and the irreverence continues as the brewery invites guests to “spend the day rocking and mocking beer laws.” They’ve got limited beer releases, live music by the The Polkanauts (“Metal by Birth-Polka by Choice”) and commemorative beer steins for the first 100 guests. They are putting details on their Facebook event page.

The Rackhouse in RiNo is serving specialty brews from Call to Arms and Fässer, Andechs Döppelbock monastery from noon on. The kitchen is turning out the Bavarian specialty, Leberkäse, a pâté beloved in southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

New Ice Cream Emporium in East Boulder

Heifer & Hen’s rich and flavorful ice cream.

012Heifer & The Hen sounds like the name of a pub in an English country village, but it’s Boulder’s newest place for designer ice cream and related treats. It’s the work of the talented Ian Clark, the chef and brewmaster whose BRU Handbuilt Ales & Eats turns out unfiltered, naturally carbonated ales and excellent hand-tossed pizzas and pub food. He calls it a “gastrobrewery.”

Last Friday, Clark quietly unlocked the Heifer & The Hen door, and the next day, it snowed. A lot. Still, people made through the weather for the organic creamery’s divine ice cream, milkshakes and floats. I visited on Tuesday afternoon. There were no lines (yet) but a steady stream of adults and kids. Subway tiles cover the walls. The counter features unpainted tin panels made for ceilings with a top or concrete. Seating consists of three swings suspended from metal chains, tall barstools facing the window and on the patio. All over are clever design touches, which Clark credits to his wife Bryce.

The young and the young at heart can hop aboard a swing at the counter.
The young and the young at heart can hop aboard a swing at the counter.

Clark is committed to thick, butterfat-rich ice cream made on a custard base in an open kitchen, so guests can watch. Cream + eggs = custard. Therefore, the dipping store’s name. I tasted several of the innovative flavors that he calls “elevated versions of classics. Burnt Honey. Sour Cherry, Buttermilk & Dark Chocolate. Mint, Basil & Dark Chocolate. Each one packs more of a flavor punch than the last.

The menu is written on butcher paper -- easy to update when items change. In addition to ice cream and dairy-free sorbets, there are sodas made in-house, affogato with cold-brewed coffee and old-fashioned poured over ice ice cream and old-fashioned milkshakes.
The menu is hand-written on butcher paper — easy to update when items change. In addition to ice cream and dairy-free sorbets, there are sodas made in-house, affogato with cold-brewed coffee and old-fashioned poured over ice ice cream and old-fashioned milkshakes.

The side-by-side locations of BRU and the ice cream place make for a symbiotic destination. Families can come to eat, with the beer perhaps enticing the adults, while kids then want ice cream.

Best ice cream sandwich wrapper ever.
Best ice cream sandwich wrapper ever.

I had been lusting after an ice cream sandwich for a couple of weeks, and I found Heifer & The Hen’s irresistible and bought one for the road — the cold stuff between two robust chocolate chip cookies. Worth waiting for.

5290 Arapahoe Avenue, Unit H, Boulder; 720-328-3159.

Heifer and the Hen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

River & Woods to Rise in Boulder

Former John’s location to be reborn as innovative seasonal eatery.

River and Woods logoCome summer, a new community-focused restaurant called River & Woods should be open in the charming old John’s Restaurant space on Boulder’s East Pearl Street. John’s. This jewel of a special occasion restaurant was as classic as they come, but River & Woods will be nontraditional — innovatively crowed-sourced from funding to recipes.

The marquee name is Daniel Asher, the talented and idealistic chef  who is known for his obsession with local agriculture, sustainable sourcing, seasonality and food justice. He was culinary director of The Edible Beats Group (Root Down, Linger, Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox), and he continues to oversee sustainability and culture for the group.

The partnership opening this restaurant consists of Asher and Josh and Kate Dinar (he being the publisher of DiningOut magazines in Denver and other cities, cofounder of First Bite Boulder and other food-related enterprises). Crowdfunding via Indiegogo is part of the business plan. The project raised nearly $5,000 in its first 15 hours. Maybe other restaurants have tapped into such sources, but I sure am not familiar with any. It is hard to imagine Asher needing help in developing recipes for the restaurant’s planned “Colorado comfort cuisine,” but there is a call for just that in order to engage customers in the totality of the restaurant.

Not only is the vintage building at 2328 Pearl Street being brought up to snuff, but there is to be a large, fully-enclosed backyard oasis. The building comes from a time when lots were generous, even in the city, so I’m guessing that it will sizable. In the plan —   a grassy area for kids to run, an outdoor rotisserie and food bar, a mobile beer, wine and cocktail bar, strung lights and beautiful landscaping, Sounds lovely.

Taste of Pearl This Sunday

Downtown Boulder food event spotlights restaurants.

TasteOfPearl-logoThe weather forecast for this coming weekend is uninspiring, but I hope the weathercasters are wrong and this Sunday afternoon is dry. The seventh annual Taste of Pearl is a picaresque event with 15 Boulder restaurants paired with 15 Colorado wineries that are hosted in 15 of downtown Boulder’s best boutiques and galleries.

Attendees will enjoy a stroll from one location to the next a lot more if it is not raining. It takes place on April 17 from 2 to 6 p.m. in the heart of what is called “America’s foodiest town.” Click here for participating restaurants and here for participating wineries.

VIP tickets are sold out, but some general tickets are still available for $65 if bought online, and a limited number may be on sale for $70 the day of the event at the Visitor Information Center(1301 Pearl Street in front of the courthouse).

Included are:

  • Samples of food and wine from all participating restaurants and wineries.
  • Keepsake wine glass.
  • A re-usable wine carry bag.
  • A compostable, re-usable wine plate to hold your wine glass while tasting the food.
  • $5 off a bottle of wine from one of the participating wineries.
  • Special Offers for event attendees at hosting retail locations (including drawings, free gifts with purchase, discounts and more).

Span-ish on The Hill

Ambitious eatery offers varied menu & modest prices.

001Span-ish is a breakfast, lunch and dinner restaurant that occupies a big U-shaped space that was previously Five Guys Burgers. The chain closed this location On The Hill in favor of Twenty Ninth Street, which harbors the majority of Boulder’s fast casual eateries. In his year-end roundup of his 15 favorite dishes, Daily Camera restaurant critic included Span-ish’s Chicken Marsala. I should try it next time.

We went there for early dinner before a performance on the CU campus. We were the only party in the unpretentious dining room until a few other people came in. By the time we left, there were never more than four occupied tables — on a Friday evening. Perhaps things will pick up after Span-ish gets its liquor license sometime after April 20. Perhaps it’s busier at breakfast and lunch. I hope so.

The modest-sized menu is a grab-bag of dishes from various roots: some Italian, more Latin American than Spanish, seafood, a couple of steaks and surprisingly pad Thai. The portions are generous. It bills itself as serving budget-friendly fine dining. Easy on the wallet? Yes. Fine dining? Maybe in the context of The Hill — except, do remember that Cafe Aion is right down the street.

Sliced bread with salty, herby butter to start. Considering that we were the only patrons, I thought that a little more care could have been taken with the arrangement on the plate.
Sliced bread with salty, herby butter to start. Considering that we were the only patrons, I thought that a little more care could have been taken with the arrangement on the plate.
Stuffed  Chayote consists of slices of the squash called chayote stuffed with a  mile queso (not the pepper jack the menu suggests). It is encrust with pankko bread crumbs and fried lightly and crisp. Three slices sit on Parmesan risotto and a pool rustic tomato sauce.
Stuffed Chayote consists of slices of the squash called chayote stuffed with a mile queso (not the pepper jack the menu suggests). It is encrust with pankko bread crumbs and fried lightly and crisp. Three slices sit on Parmesan risotto and a pool rustic tomato sauce.
Grilled New York cut served over polenta with grilled asparagus and a red wine reduction.
Grilled New York cut served over polenta with grilled asparagus and a red wine reduction.

Price check: At dinner, starters, $6.50-$10; entrées, $14-$18, plus two steak dishes at $25 each.

Zomato.com has not yet found Span-ish, which is at 1143 13th Street, Boulder; 720-465-9063.

Southwestern Fare with Flair in Boulder

Small plates shine at happy hour at Boulder’s Zolo.

013Late yesterday afternoon, my husband and I went to Changes in Latitude to shop for maps and books for an upcoming trip. While we were at The Village shopping center, we heeded the siren call of Zolo Grill‘s happy hour. By the time we left around 6, it seems that every table and every barstool has been taken.

Ceiling design recalls the latillas of traditional ceilings in the Southwest.
Ceiling design recalls the latillas of traditional ceilings in the Southwest.
The signature solarita is not a particularly pretty drink, especially without salt on the rim of the glass, but it is a tall, tasty marg.
The signature zolarita is not a particularly pretty drink, especially without salt on the rim of the glass, but it is a tall, tasty marg.
A pair of pork belly confit sliders with pickled vegetable and ancho chile barbecue sauce, plus ramekin of a cooling dipping sauce.
A pair of pork belly confit sliders with
pickled vegetable and ancho chile barbecue sauce, plus ramekin of a cooling aioli.
My favorite is Zolo Grill's blue corn-fried oysters on the halfshell with crunch house slaw. jalapeño aioli
My favorite is Zolo Grill’s blue corn-fried oysters on the halfshell with crunch house slaw. and jalapeño aioli.
The tamale, a soft masa topped with julienned, steamed winter squash, is seasonal and will soon be replaced with another version.
Jalapeno relleno with Haystack Mountan goat cheese.
The tamale's soft masa is topped with julienned, steamed winter squash. This seasonal tamale will soon be replaced with another version.
e tamale’s soft masa is topped with julienned, steamed winter squash is seasonal will soon be replaced with another version.
The special chile cheesecake was not on the happy hour menu, but we shared a slice. The chile was subtly in the topping. Alongside, cinnamon crunch, slied strawberries and shaved dark chocolate.
The special chile cheesecake was not on the happy hour menu, but we shared a slice. The chile was subtly in the topping. Alongside, cinnamon crunch, sliced strawberries and shaved dark chocolate, plus caramel sauce and a dusting of confectioner’s sugar..

Price check: At happy hour, drinks, $3-$5 plus $8 for a beer and a shot. “Eats,” $2-$5.

Zolo Grill is on the Araphoe Avenue side (that is, the south side) of The Village, whose street address is 2525 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder.

Zolo Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato