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|December 11-17, 2008
2124 14th St., Boulder, 303-442-4743
Although the dining experience at Lucile’s may not be an exact facsimile of what you might find in New Orleans or the Carolinas, it remains true to its down-home Dixie roots. The ingredients may be simple and the prices reasonable, but meals of shrimp grits, beignets and Eggs Sardou definitely evoke a sense of relaxed contentment. Friendly and helpful servers round out the experience, making for a true taste of Southern hospitality in the Rocky Mountains.
Thyme on the Creek
1345 28th St., Boulder, 303-998-3835
With the hiring of Executive Chef Dedric McGhee earlier this year, Boulder’s Millennium Harvest House Hotel boldly ups the ante at its restaurant, Thyme on the Creek. Sophisticated offerings such as lacquered duck provide more than just sustenance for captive lodgers; they’re also an attractive inducement for locals to check out the upscale menu. Other can’t-miss items include the achingly tender petite filet, pan-seared to lock in flavor, and the rib-sticking buffalo osso buco over Chimayo chile risotto.
Big City Burrito
2426 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, 720-565-2489
Nowadays, it seems there’s a burrito joint on every block, many of which are owned by a fast-food corporate parent that would probably prefer to remain anonymous. However, Big City Burrito has Colorado roots and wraps that are heads and shoulders above their mass-market brethren at a comparable price. Old standbys, like carne asada and carnitas, stand alongside a raft of veggie options, as well as more unique choices like bay-leaf chicken. Also, be sure to spring for the addition of fried potatoes to your wrap.
6565 Gunpark Dr., Suite 190,
One of Gunbarrel’s more exotic spots, Gurkhas Restaurant is a casual Nepalese/Indian/Tibetan eatery incongruously housed in a strip mall. Featuring a decent $9.95 luncheon buffet, this restaurant also serves up smooth yogurt lassi drinks and tantalizing choices such as pungent lamb vindaloo. For vegetarians, several paneers beckon, made with firm, homemade cheese. There’s also an assortment of lentil dishes, as well as other meatless choices featuring potatoes and other mixed vegetables.
4684 N. Broadway, Boulder,
At Spruce Confections, one can be as virtuous and healthy as one pleases by selecting a balanced entrée, such as the ahi spinach salad. On the other hand, one can also explore more decadent choices like a slab of buttery shortbread and a frothy cappuccino with whole milk. Either way, Spruce Confections is an ideal spot for a quick and casual repast.
Crêpes À La Cart
2018 Broadway, Boulder,
A lthough Boulder isn’t Paris or Brittany, one can still get a decent crêpe at downtown’s Crêpes À La Cart. Taking some design cues from Parisian bistros, this eatery has something for nearly everyone with dozens of savory crêpes with fillings including vegetarian mixes, rib-eye steak and smoked salmon. Save room for a dessert crêpe as well, and chocolate lovers will be especially appreciative of the options which range from Nutella spread to white chocolate.
1175 Walnut St., Boulder,
If you’re expecting the ultimate expression of Japanese cuisine at a premium price, Yaki Maki probably isn’t the place for you. But if you’re looking for a spot to enjoy a down-to-earth meal with good friends after work, it’s definitely worth seeking out. The all-you-can-eat sushi special is an exceptional value and some selections, such as the raw-fish wrapped rainbow rolls, compare favorably to offerings at much more expensive establishments.
2719 Iris Ave., Boulder
If the proverbial cheap and cheerful Thai meal is what you seek, North Boulder’s Buddha Café is the place for you. It’s not a high-end or expensive place. Instead, it’s a welcoming neighborhood joint dishing out decent $6.95 lunch specials and reasonably priced dinners of such traditional Thai favorites as spicy stir-fries, Pad Thai noodles and robust curries. The especially hungry would be well served to sample the super combo appetizer platter of crispy egg rolls, chicken satay, cheese and crab wontons, and potato wrapped in wonton skins.
1680 29th St., Boulder
A sleekly modern establishment in Boulder’s 29th Street Mall, Cantina Laredo is much more upscale than its name implies. While traditional combination plates of tacos and enchiladas are available, the menu’s strengths are found in the daily fish specials as well as the camaron poblano asada. This ambitious dish is a chile relleno on steroids, substituting carne asada steak instead of the batter traditionally found on a relleno. The typical cheese filling is also augmented by mushrooms, onion and jumbo shrimp.
2716 28th St., Boulder
Another candidate for the Boulder Breakfast Hall of Fame, Dot’s Diner has been keeping early risers happy for years. Basic sausage and egg breakfasts are available, in addition to well-executed omelets. Favorites include corned-beef hash, grits and the rough-hewn biscuits. Dot’s also features some of the best diner java in town.
2010 14th St., Boulder
Okay, it’s ironic that you have to go downstairs to get to Boulder’s Himalayas, an Indian restaurant named for the world’s tallest mountain range. The lunch buffet is a decent value with some intriguing twists on old favorites. For example, saag, the classic creamed spinach dish isn’t accompanied by paneer cheese, but more flavorful mushroom. The aloo dum, or spiced potatoes, is a hearty choice as well, and makes a fine meatless course.
1117 Pearl St., Boulder
Distinct from other Japanese restaurants, Hapa is where new-style Asian and old-school Hawaiian fare meet. Of course, there’s the expected offerings of sushi, miso soup and rice bowls. But there’s also hipper fare like a rich miso-glazed Black Cod appetizer and unique-to-Hapa sushi rolls. A prime Pearl Street Mall location also makes this a fine spot for people-watching as you tuck into your soft-shell crab spider roll.
Meadow Lark Farm Dinners
Meadow Lark Farm Dinners isn’t like any other dining experience you’ve had. The Meadow Lark crew travels from farm to farm in Boulder County, serving up dinners featuring freshly harvested ingredients and fine wine. A typical menu might include a stellar chilled cucumber soup, followed by a main course of locally raised flank steak sided with a ratatouille-style vegetable casserole with goat cheese. Sound good? It’s one of the best dining experiences in the county.
Leenie’s Southern Café
625 Ken Pratt Blvd., Longmont
Come hungry to Leenie’s Southern Café, and you’ll undoubtedly go home satisfied. Specializing in Cajun and Creole cuisine, this is the place for authentic gumbo, po’ boy sandwiches and blackened redfish. Other Southern specialties include Mississippi-fried catfish accompanied by hushpuppies and breakfasts goods like eggs Florentine topped with fried oysters. While the ambience is nothing fancy, it’s still a friendly place to enjoy a taste of Dixie.
4700 Pearl Pkwy., Boulder
If fancy and cutting edge cuisine are what you seek, the Parkway Café isn’t for you. It’s a breakfast and lunch joint that’s more Norman, Oklahoma than Boulder, Colorado, and that’s what gives this eatery its considerable charm. Breakfast spans the range from a Spartan meal of a single egg and toast to more extravagant eggs Benedict and complex omelets. Lunchtime brings an array of burgers and classic sandwiches such as hot roast beef and tuna melts. No matter what meal it is, you’ll get your money’s worth.
1710 29th St., Boulder
Yet another spot with something for just about everyone, Laudisio continues to draw in local diners with its traditional Italian fare. While the restaurant has forsaken its humble strip mall setting for the tonier climes of 29th Street, the menu still offers up a crowd-pleasing mix of pastas, made-to-order risottos, wood-fired pizzas and entrées from land and sea. Can’t-miss items include the vegetarian pizza margherita and spaghettini puttanesca.
Sun Deli, Pizza & Liquor
2299 Pearl St., Boulder
Like something out of a Kevin Smith movie, Sun Deli, Pizza & Liquor is a slacker’s paradise. Enjoy vintage footage of the Dead on the flatscreens while enjoying above-average pizza slices and satisfying cheesesteaks. Crisp entrée salads include spinach, antipasto and Greek variants, and the soup’s noting to sneeze at either.
Jax Fish House
928 Pearl St., Boulder
Marrying a casual atmosphere with near-haute cuisine preparation, Jax Fish House is a premier spot for seafood. Raw bar afficianados will appreciate raw bar specialties such as small but sweet Kunamoto oysters. Those preferring cooked selections will enjoy such entrées as perfectly seared sea scallops atop an imaginative foundation of oyster mushrooms and sensual polenta. For those indifferent to the fruits of the sea, burgers and a buffalo steak are also available.
1701 Pearl St., Boulder
Sunflower’s been under new management for about a year, but fans of the old menu have nothing to fear from this organic pioneer’s current offerings. Owner and Chef Jef Forsberg has preserved the restaurant’s commitment to dishing out natural and tasty selections whether it’s at brunch or happy hour. The portabello burger’s a winner, and the salad buffet’s a winner for those who enjoy a hearty yet healthy lunch.
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