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|February 26-March 4, 2009
• Sip a bit of history
Chateauneuf-du-Pape, an often overlooked wine you should be drinking
by Bill Daley
• A new draft pick
The Boulder Draft House makes its mark on the local scene
by Boulder Weekly staff
Where carnivore and
Blues & Greens mixes musical and culinary delights
by Clay Fong
Take a much less threatening version of the bar in Roadhouse, Patrick Swayze’s magnum opus. Add a smattering of vegan philosophy backed by a Wendy Woo soundtrack, and you’ve got a sense of what the Blues & Greens restaurant is all about. Located in the zero-waste Boulder Outlook Hotel, this restaurant successfully combines unpretentious atmosphere with a mix of bar food and vegan delights, and live music.
The menu showcases the expected array of sandwiches, chicken fingers and daily specials including meatloaf and Friday fish and chips. What’s unexpected is the presence of meatless pad thai specials and vegan triple-decker sandwiches.
During my first visit to this venue, I enjoyed one of the best cheeseburgers in town, crafted from local beef and a substantial bun from Rudi’s Bakery. A side of sweet potato fries were hot and crisp, with a bold flavor that made it hard to go back to regular spuds. Visiting a week later with friends Amy and Ray, we tackled the special $18 vegan prix fixe Valentine’s menu, consisting of a starter, entrée and dessert. Our server explained this special was an experiment for the restaurant and could lead to regularly scheduled full-course vegan dinner nights.
Ray started with the Yin and Yang soup, an artfully presented preparation of black and white beans. Contrasted with the mild white beans, the black beans in this preparation were a warming treat with a touch of spice that complemented the earthy flavor. Sampling raw food, I found my celery-apple-almond salad crisp and filling, but chilled to a point where the full flavors of the ingredients hadn’t had an opportunity to fully develop. Amy found nothing surprising about the spinach salad, but I suspect she would have licked the plate to savor every drop of tofu dressing.
My raw food entrée was an alfredo-inspired “pasta” consisting of threads of zucchini immersed in a creamy, yet dairy-free, nut sauce. Initially, I didn’t care much for this dish, but after several bites it began to grow on me. While no one would mistake this entrée for a fat-laden alfredo, my final impression was that it was a pleasant, if not significantly more healthy, alternative to the genuine article.
My friends struck paydirt with the chickpea à la king. This was hearty fare with subtly herbaceous Provencal-style seasoning. The dairy-free sauce was again convincingly creamy, and the foundation of brown rice made this a satisfying winter dish.
The desserts were the weak link. Ray and I found our “apple pie” a modest success, a hefty and layered affair consisting of nuts and apple slices. Amy had less luck, striking out with the “cacao donuts” which lacked chocolate flavor. She explained to our good-humored server that even as a devout vegan, she was unable to enjoy this selection. My friend fared little better with her replacement dessert, a whipped banana concoction with a strangely sour taste and little hint of fruit.
Despite the dessert issues, Blues & Greens is still worth a visit. It’s one of the few places where both carnivore and vegan can equally enjoy comforting fare. Folk and blues tunes round out the experience, making this eatery a place where you can get both a decent meal and a live performance for a competitive price.
Photo by: Charles Loughlin
Clay’s obscurity corner
Tunes to eat by
Live music plays a significant role at Blues & Greens, and it undoubtedly enhances the dining experience. Local favorites such as the Jack Hadley Band and Wendy Woo played here in February, and bluesman David Booker performed the night of the vegan dinner. Jazz fans can enjoy shows by CU musicians on a regular basis, and national acts such as John Lee Hooker Jr. stop in from time to time. Weeknight shows provide a respite from the work week, and it’s comforting to savor a burger and beverage while enjoying a show. A schedule of upcoming performances is at www.bouldershomeoftheblues.com
Blues & Greens Restaurant
800 28th St.,
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