Category Archives: Breakfast

Polish Pierogis in a Package

 

Denver’s Bistro Charlotte makes these filled treats.

BC-sealOnce upon a time, there was a cafe in Boulder that made divine pierogis, filled dumplings that could bring gustatory sunshine to a rare Colorado gloomy day. I wrote about them here, but that now is a nostalgic essay rather than a description, because the Eggcredible Cafe is no more.

I just received a heads-up message from Charlotte Pistek, whose frozen pierogis are available in high-end markets around the metro area. Preparing them takes less time than driving across town. Three flavors (traditional Potatoes and Cheese with Sautéed Onions, Kraut & Sautéed Mushroom Potato and the Colorado-inspired Cheddar with Roasted Jalapeño) are sold under the Bistro Charlotte label, though there appears to be no brick-and-mortar bistro.  Amanda Faison of 5280 Magazine has tried them and recommended them, so that’s good enough for me. She wrote:

Look to most any corner of the world and you’ll find a dumpling. Japan has the gyoza, Nepal the momo, Italy the ravioli, and Russia the pelmeni. But to many, the ultimate dumpling is the supremely comforting pierogi. The Polish finger food is usually stuffed with a starchy combo of mashed potato and cheese or potato and sauerkraut. A good pierogi is worth hunting for, especially as winter weather blasts us with cold and snow.

Enter Bistro Charlotte, Denverite Anna Postek’s boutique pierogi company. Postek began making and selling her own dumplings when she couldn’t find the quality she was looking for in the market. “Everything is so processed now,” Postek says. She looked in old books and pestered her Polish mother and family members and friends’ family members until she came up with a pierogi recipe that “is something like what used to be made.”

Postek works every batch from scratch using organic eggs and flour, and the results yield excellent chewy dough stuffed with creamy, satisfying fillings. She sells her Bistro Charlotte pierogi (there are three varieties: potatoes and cheese with sautéed onions, kraut and sautéed mushroom, and potato and cheddar with roasted jalapeño) at Marczyk Fine Foods, Whole Foods, and Sawa Meat & Sausage. The pierogi are so good, we keep a box or two in the freezer for a quick lunch, dinner, or anytime snack.

At Home Tip: We like serving the potato and cheese pierogi with balsamic-red onion jam.

Back to ABC

Downtown Mancos bakery a longtime favorite.

008When I researched and wrote Culinary Colorado (the book) in the early years of this millennium, the Absolute Bakery & Cafe in Mancos was fairly new — and very wonderful, both for the food and for the down-home, hippie and very welcoming ambience.  The original owners, both Culinary Institute of America grads, no longer own it, but whoever is cooking and baking there has continued the tradition of quality. ABC was  using local and organic ingredients before it became the norm. And the old hippie vibe is still there too.

When ABC got started, T-shirts were not part of the inventory. They are now -- and they acknowledge the ongoing spirit of the place.
When ABC got started, T-shirts were not part of the inventory. They are now — and they acknowledge the ongoing spirit of the place.
The requisite comfy couch, local art, used books for sale and other nostalgic clichés of this sort of place are joined by this whimsical flatware wall clock.
The requisite comfy couch, local art, used books for sale and other nostalgic clichés of this sort of place are joined by this whimsical flatware wall clock.

Guests who want coffee or tea are handed thick mugs to fill at a counter. Espresso drinks are brought by servers. And so are generous portions of food. The cafe format to me says “breakfast” so that is the meal my husband, our friend Mary and I went for.

A half-order of eggs Benedict with sautéed spinach and ham. It comes with a whole English muffin but a pared-down order of potatoes.
A half-order of eggs Benedict with sautéed spinach and ham. It comes with a whole English muffin but a pared-down order of potatoes.
In this most unusual huevos rancheros, two eggs, avocado, black beans, peppers, onions and cheese, are sandwiched between two flour tortillas. The assemblage is topped with house-made red chile that is slightly sweet and very nice Green chile is also available and so, of course, is "Christmas."
In this most unusual huevos rancheros, two eggs, avocado, black beans, peppers, onions and cheese, are sandwiched between two flour tortillas. The assemblage is topped with house-made red chile that is slightly sweet and very nice Green chile is also available and so, of course, is “Christmas.”

Price check:  At breakfast, main courses, $4.25-$9.25; sides, $1-$3.50.

110 Main Street, Mancos;  970-533-1200.

Absolute Bakery & Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Down-Home Cooking at Chino Airport

Low prices & huge portions in SoCal.

P1060720My husband and I spent several hours at the Planes of Fame museum, whose collection largely consists of World War II era aircraft. (My post and some pix are at http://bit.ly/1PGg0CT) The museum is on the north side of Chino Airport, in the transition zone between agricultural and suburban southern California.

Locals of a certain age appear to be regulars, filling long tables, small tables and the counter in connected dining rooms at Flo's.
Locals of a certain age appear to be regulars, filling long tables, small tables and the counter in connected dining rooms at Flo’s.

Right down the street is Flo’s Airport Café, a throwback eatery specializing in enormous portions of traditional American fare — with a few stir-fries and salads thrown in to communicate modern-ness. We ate there to continue the back-in-the-day theme.

Continue reading Down-Home Cooking at Chino Airport

Predictably Mediocre Chinese Food

Low expectations met at May-Wah.

015I generally try not to eat anyplace predictably uninteresting, but today was an exception. As we were driving south of Broadway in Boulder to go for a sunny-day hike, I suddenly got hankering for spicy Chinese food. The power of suggestion was great, and my husband bought into it.

But we had miles to hike before we ate. On the way back, we were ravenous, so we pulled into the Base-Mar shopping center, where May-Wah has been located ever since it came into my consciousness. It is located in a strip mall, so I had few expectations of interesting fare and have always avoided it. My expectations were met. When we arrived, a single woman at one table was finishing her meal, and one fellow was waiting for his take-out order. One table was left to be cleared. It still took quite some time to have our order taken and then for our food to be brought out

No longer simply May-Wah Chinese, it has added Thai and Vietnamese to its claims, and a paper sign in the window also promises pho.
No longer simply May-Wah Chinese, it has added Thai and Vietnamese to its claims, and a paper sign in the window also promises pho.

Continue reading Predictably Mediocre Chinese Food

Boulder Breakfast Spot’s Pancakes Cited

The Village Coffee Shop makes Thrillist top-21 list.

Thrillist-logoBoulder’s Village Coffee Shop is a favorite local greasy spoon, beloved by folks who revere traditional American breakfast and lunch dishes. It’s a coffee-not-cappuccino kind of place in a small strip fall.

I’ve been there any number of times and always order the pancakes (usually blueberry). They are huge. Three are too many for me. Even two are more than I can handle. One is just right. But at the counter and at the Formica-topped tables, regulars wolf down gargantuan portions. First-timers are called “Village virgins” and are given a special welcome. But it’s the pancakes that captivated Thrillist.com’s scout, who wrote on “The 21 Best Pancakes in America“:

“It’s a cliche to say certain places make it feel like you’ve “stepped back in time,” so we’ll just say that when you see the burnt-orange stools and wood paneling at Village Coffee, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into Boulder circa 1971, when the joint opened and unleashed the same pancake recipe used today. There are but three pancake varieties here: buttermilk, blueberry, and chocolate chip. All are the size of a dinner plate. Pair ’em with eggs or bacon, or just show up on the weekend when they sometimes serve a “mancake special,” where they stuff their enormous pancakes with bacon, ham, and sausage. If you ask nicely, they can also prepare it whenever you want.”

 

Brunch at the Brown

The Brown Palace’s opulent Sunday spread is put out at Ellyngton’s.

025At a Brown Palace event a few weeks ago, I won Sunday brunch for two at Ellyngton’s, a steakhouse at night but the Brown’s bunch venue.  My husband and I drove to Denver yesterday on a sunny Sunday for an early-afternoon feast. He and I are like Jack Spratt and his wife in that we eat very different foods. That’s the reason we often go out to eat. And that’s the reason that buffets are so right for us.

Even in the casual times we life in, the table settings are elegant and classic. And of course, flatware is removed and replaced with every trip to the buffet.
Even in the casual times we life in, the table settings are elegant and classic. And of course, flatware is removed and replaced with every trip to the buffet.
Orange juice is poured automatically for each guest. A rose decorates each table. And when you order a mimosa, the waiter  generously pours bubbly and brings a small pitcher of orange juice for DIY proportions.
Orange juice is poured automatically for each guest. A rose decorates each table. And when you order a mimosa, the waiter generously pours bubbly and brings a small pitcher of orange juice for DIY proportions.

Continue reading Brunch at the Brown

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