Category Archives: Happy Hour

World of Beer’s Appealing Happy Hour

West Pearl beer emporium’s long happy hour.

001Most Boulder happy hours end at 6 p.m., but the World of Beer’s downtown Boulder location of this franchise has a well-priced happy hour that starts at 3 p.m. and lasts until 7 p.m. That’s one of the things I really like about the place.

Billing itself as a “craft tavern,” WOB puts out a ginormous beer list with a goodly number of Colorado brews. Other pluses: the menu of substantial and shareable dishes, the congenial sidewalk tables and the fact that cocktails, wine and non-alcoholic beverages are also available. What I don’t like at all is the volume of the sound system. Outdoors is OK, but the noise level guarantees I won’t be there when it gets cold.

Tasty peach sangria is one of the World of Beer's alternative beverages.
Tasty peach sangria is one of the World of Beer’s alternative beverages.
Babacoa tacos, one of the two taco options offered on happy hour.
Babacoa tacos, one of the two taco options offered on happy hour.
The other happy hour taco is crisp chicken. Both are full-size, not street taco size. Each comes with a suitable salsa and other condiments are available on request.
The other happy hour taco is crisp chicken. Both are full-size, not street taco size. Each comes with a suitable salsa and other condiments are available on request.

004Price check: At happy hour, craft beers, $4; shareable food, $5; wine and cocktails, $6.

Zomato has not yet discovered this World of Beer, which is at 921 Pearl Street (former Bácaro location), west of the Mall. The phone number is 303-728-9155.

Sampling Samples’ Small Plates

A cool time at downtown Longmont eatery.

006Samples World Bistro has been on my radar screen since I learned about its international cuisine. More importantly, I was impressed when I read a piece in the local paper about its self-imposed mandate of employing people with physical or developmental disabilities in “real” jobs — not in isolated sheltered situations.  I admired that, but I also really like its Main Street location, since I far prefer real downtowns to new developments.

With all that, it still took what I now realize was too long to finally get there. After all, food and beer aficionados Mark and Carmen Sample opened it a couple of years ago.  A Longmont friend suggesting meeting there for hapy hour on Friday. On the roof. For drinks and small plates and live music. On a mellow spring evening. Everything went according to plan — except the mellow part. It was chilly and windy. We didn’t last as long as we’d anticipated. But the food was good, the music listenable  (and not too loud) and the company terrific. We shared some plates but ordered others individually.

My husband ordered the Carolina BBQ Beef slider with shredded short ribs and white cheddar. Our friend's lamb slider had goat cheese and green harissa, These two meat sliders essentially look alike -- each sitting alone on an unadorned white plate. Both were pronounced to be very tasty, so presentation isn't everything.
My husband ordered the Carolina BBQ Beef slider with shredded short ribs and white cheddar. Our friend’s lamb slider had goat cheese and green harissa, These two meat sliders essentially look alike — each sitting alone on an unadorned white plate. Both were pronounced to be very tasty, so presentation isn’t everything.
Devils on Horseback is a delicious pair of dates stuffed with blue cheese, wrapped in bacon and served with a bit of truffle honey.
Devils on Horseback is a delicious pair of dates stuffed with blue cheese, wrapped in bacon and served with a bit of truffle honey.
Bacon and goat cheese flatbread comes with asparagus, caramelized onions and that tantalizing truffle honey.
Bacon and goat cheese flatbread comes with asparagus, caramelized onions and that tantalizing truffle honey. It comes cut into slides for convenient sharing.
Is one fried rice ball still called arancini or is it a single arancino? I don't know, but I do know that the crisp-fried exterior surrounding lush interior with tender rice, a bit of chili and cheese,
Is a single fried rice ball still called arancini or is it a single arancino? I don’t know, but I do know that the crisp-fried exterior surrounded a smooth interior of tender rice, a bit of chili and cheddar cheese atop a cool herb-flecked sauce., plus scallions.
The baba ghanoush with a smooth, subtle version of this Middle Eastern eggplant dish. It came with (not enough) flatbread, celery sticks, cucumber slices and carrot sticks. We asked for more, but nothing materialized before we had to leave. We were not charged for the add-ons that we did not receive.
The baba ghanoush with a smooth, subtle version of this Middle Eastern eggplant dish. It came with (not enough) flatbread, celery sticks, cucumber slices and carrot sticks. We asked for more, but nothing materialized before we had to leave. We were not charged for the add-ons that we did not receive.

Price check: At happy hour, small plates, $2-$6. Also, $2 off draft beers and wines by the glass.

370 Main Street, Longmont; 303-327-9318.

Samples World Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Generous Happy Hour at Spruce

Spruce-logo

Spruce Farm & Fish in the Hotel Boulderado does a dynamite happy hour — A) because the prices are good and B) because it stretches from 5 to 7 p.m. — none of this 3 to 5 stuff. The atmosphere is also exceedingly congenial, with a noise level that allows for pleasant conversation. The dishes are pared-down versions of what’s available at dinner, and I really like that.

Spruce Food and Fish is at last the third name for this hotel restaurant in the 27+ years that I've lived in Boulder. The décor changes with each name change.
Spruce Food and Fish is at last the third name for this hotel restaurant in the 27+ years that I’ve lived in Boulder. The décor changes with each name change, but the columns and the leaded-glass windows remain.
PEI mussels, my enduring faves, here with creamy pumpkin seed pesto, shaved fennel, sundried tomato and grilled bread.
PEI mussels, my enduring faves, here with creamy pumpkin seed pesto, shaved fennel, sundried tomato and grilled bread.
My husband actually ordered a burger and, of all things, grits from the regular menu. We are like Jack Sprat and his wife when it comes to food tastes.
My husband actually ordered a burger and, of all things, grits from the regular menu. We are like Jack Sprat and his wife when it comes to food tastes.

Spruce Farm & Fish is located in the Hotel Boulderado, whose front entrance is at 2115 13th Street,  Boulder. The side entrance is on Spruce Street, hence the name. The phone number is 303-442-4880

Spruce Farm & Fish Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Terrific Tabernash Tavern

Casual atmosphere & first-rate fare in tiny mountain town.

P1000270Whenever I visit the greater Winter Park area, eating at the Tabernash Tavern is high on my list . This casual restaurant in a vintage building is loaded with more vintage it — such items as beer cans, jumping skis from the Olympics, fishing memorabilia and other eclectic items decorate the walls and ceilings. Both the bar area in front ad the dining room in back exude casual fun. Five of us went there for happy hour this evening — five different dishes, decent portions and a wonderful variety of styles and tastes. The menu will change tomorrow, so don’t expect to see this exact selection.

Ahi tuna nachos with spicy tuna, wonton and nori chips, cucumbers, sriracha aioli, ponzu, wasabi crema, seaweed, avocado and queso.
Ahi tuna nachos with spicy tuna, wonton and nori chips, cucumbers, sriracha aioli, ponzu, wasabi crema, seaweed, avocado and queso.

Continue reading Terrific Tabernash Tavern

Keystone’s Upcoming Savor the Slopes

Each week features a different resort restaurant showcasing food, wine & spirits.

KeystoneResort-logoKeystone was Colorado’s first mountain resort to really emphasize its culinary side with interesting restaurants in the valley and up on the mountain. It long ago began hiring real chefs rather than short order cooks who were frying up burgers in exchange for free skiing. and began beefing up its kitchen staffs with real chefs and culinary school apprentices. As one of the early built-from-the-ground-up full-service resorts, it developed lodging and food and beverage facilities. The high bar Keystone set for itself continues.

Keystone Resort’s distinct signature restaurants are on display during this season’s Savor the Slopes, an upcoming multi-week rotating showcase featuring food, wine, beer and spirits. Each the host restaurant organizes its tasting event with its own unique theme that promises to be both informative and delicious. Award-winning, mountaintop locations, historical buildings and two distinct village settings host a combined 17 tasting events. All events begin at 4 p.m., so they are an excellent après-ski option. I love that several feature Colorado beer, wine and spirits. Resort guests might even want to ski off a little of the Savor the Slopes calories, while cay skiers can linger and avoid some of the eastbound I-70 traffic — of course, being  very conservative adult beverages.

Each event costs $25 (a tab easily reached by ordering some beer and munchies during conventional après-ski.  Reservations for individual Savor the Slopes tasting events are required, and can be made by calling 970-496-4386. Continue reading Keystone’s Upcoming Savor the Slopes

Zeal Introduces A New Chef

Former Greenbriar chef tackles & tweaks “clean” food menu.

001Zeal, a downtown Boulder restaurant catering to health-conscious food enthusiasts, opened November and developed a following from those allergic or averse to certain foods or food groups. Vegetarian? Zeal has many dishes for you, including sustainably harvested proteins of various kinds. Carnivore? They serve only pedigreed meats from grass-fed animals. Gluten-free? The only gluten is in the beer and the little spelt-flour bread that is served. Avoid processed foods or concerned about GMOs, pesticides and chemical fertilizers? Zeal is the restaurant for you. On the Paleo diet bandwagon? It’s easy at Zeal. Interested in the Conscious Cleanse? Jo Saalman and Julie Paleaz, authors of the bestselling book by the same name, are hosting a three-course, $39 Conscious Cleanse dinner at Zeal on November 11.

Zeal owner Wayde Jester at the chalkboard where the changing menu and the popular grab-and-go options are posted.
Zeal owner Wayde Jester at the chalkboard where the changing menu and the popular grab-and-go options are posted.
Leslie White, who joined Zeal after a stint at The Greenbriar. Being able to accommodate both restaurants' styles shows his versatility.
Leslie White, who joined Zeal after a stint at The Greenbriar. Being able to accommodate both restaurants’ styles shows his versatility.

From the beginning, Zeal has used whole fresh ingredients, served as simple flavorful combinations. But like many a new restaurant, Zeal has experienced some growing pains. In addition to the service glitches common to new restaurants, there has been turnover in the kitchen. It is on its third chef in less than a year. Opening chef Arik Markus had left by June, and his successor, Sean Smith, was replaced about a month ago by Leslie White (that’s a he-Leslie), who has made a rapid shift from the butter-and-cream kitchen of The Greenbriar to the “clean” ingredients used at Zeal. I don’t know any details about these changes, except to speculate that since founder/owner Wayde Jester, a prototypical Boulder endurance athlete, comes from the real estate realm and though a cooking enthusiast, didn’t have restaurant experience, the owner/chef combination has taken a few tries.

Zeal hosted a group of foodies and food bloggers to sample a few of White’s creations, plus artisanal cocktails, other adult beverages and the sensational cold-pressed juices.

Super-fresh cold-pressed juices in a rainbow of colors.
Super-fresh cold-pressed juices in a rainbow of colors. Juicing is a two-step process that can be seen through a window in a back corner of the restaurant.
Thai-style shrimp and tofu cradled in an endive leaf.
Thai-style shrimp and tofu cradled in an endive leaf.
Spicy eggplant puree in a hollowed cucumber.
Spicy eggplant puree in a hollowed cucumber with carrot and red cabbage slivers providing additional color contrasts.
It may be fall, but this is Zeal's spring mix salad with spiced pecans.
It may be fall, but this is Zeal’s spring mix salad with shredded carrots, spiced pecans and dressing on the side.
Cute bundles of sweetness, on this evening some orange-flavored and others pumpkin.
Cute bundles of sweetness, on this evening some orange-flavored and others pumpkin.

Zeal is participating in First Bite Boulder but has not yet posted its menu — perhaps to busy serving breakfast, lunch and dinner every day and recently added happy hour ($2 off beer, wine and spirits and $5 small plates). In addition to the popular bowls and sandwiches, Chef White is presenting more large and small plates and has brought dessert-making in-house. Zeal is pickling and fermenting in-house too (think kimchee and kombucha). During the warm months, the restaurant closed for two hours for Movement Mondays or Trailblazer Tuesdays so that staff and guests could go on a local hike. The concept might soon be transferred to a climbing gym or other indoor venue. And then there’s the Zeal food truck, which debuted at the Hanuman Yoga Festival and most likely dispatched to Uptown Denver, where Jester hopes to open a second restaurant. Stay tuned.

Zeal on Urbanspoon

Happy Hour at the Steamboat Grand

The Cabin’s yummy mac & cheese app

After a day on the slopes, I met some friends at the Steamboat Grand’s bar/restaurant called The Cabin. Everyone else just ordered a beer or a glass of wine, but I was hungry — and I knew that dinner was quite some time off.P1050804

Mac n Cheese Bites — a nice nibble with veggie matter alongside.

Price check: I ordered a glass or Merlot and Mac n Cheese bites, nicely presented, tasty and filling enough to hold me. At happy hour pricing, this came to $8.26, including taxes. No extra charge for the pleasant ambiance.