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|March 5-11, 2009
• Safety in numbers?
Perish the thought of outdated food
by Kathy Mangold
Filling the bill
Turley’s remains a Boulder favorite
by Clay Fong
It was one of those surprisingly chilly mornings, the kind that reminded people that despite warm, sunny days, we were still in the midst of an occasionally cold season known as winter. Snow dusted the ground, and starting the day with a bowl of room temperature cereal sloshing around in cold milk just wouldn’t cut it. Nay, the day demanded something hot and substantial, satisfying to both body and soul. In other words, it was a good time to go have breakfast at that old Boulder standby, Turley’s.
Although a mass-market steakhouse previously occupied this location west of Whole Foods, Turley’s nevertheless possesses a comforting ambience reminiscent of a sturdy ski lodge. A wooded interior heightens this impression, and it didn’t hurt that friend Juanito and I sat at a table a few feet away from the crackling fireplace. Offering an equal measure of comfort, the morning menu here accommodates nearly all palates, offering everything from granola to tofu scrambles to traditional egg selections. Ingredients also occupy pride of place here, and suppliers range from popular local cheese purveyor Haystack Mountain to California’s famed poultry farm, Diestel.
As a defensive measure against the cold, my friend desired a “fancy coffee drink,” and a $4.35 decaf mocha amply filled the bill. It came in one of those gargantuan European-style mugs that seemed more appropriate for an entrée serving of soup than a cup of java. While it didn’t possess the subtle flavor profile of a rarefied fair-trade brew, it still satisfied my friend’s craving for stout mocha taste.
Given low temperatures, I forsook my usual choice of cinnamon-inflected and delightfully tongue-numbing iced spice tea that could perform double duty as an anesthetic prior to a root canal. Instead, I settled for a cup of coffee and a small $1.85 glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice. It’s been a while since I’ve had juice that wasn’t out of a carton, and I was reminded how this delectable stuff can strike just the right balance between sweet and tart with a minimum of acid.
For his breakfast, Juanito followed the lighter road, limiting himself to a $6.25 Belgian waffle. Rather than loading up his choice with fruit and whipped cream, he selected a granola topping, a $1.10 upgrade, and authentic Vermont maple syrup for a $1.60 upcharge.
The heady bouquet of syrup and cereal crunch enhanced both the waffle’s subtle malty flavor and perfect texture, which straddled the line between delicate airiness and substantive heft.
A generous $10.75 serving of smoked salmon hash certainly didn’t scrimp when it came to weightiness. While the flaked bits of fish led Juanito to ask if the fish was canned, the firm but not-too-hard-texture — hardness is a symptom of oversmoking — indicated that this was of higher quality than canned fare. One would be hard pressed to find a better marriage of lightly seasoned fish, crisp red pepper and home fries. Top it off with a tangy hollandaise sauce and softly poached eggs, and you have a superior morning repast.
This dish served as critical evidence that Turley’s is a local’s favorite for good reason. While it’s certainly possible to enjoy a breakfast that might be less expensive, one would be hard-pressed to find an a.m. meal that provides a similar level of value and winning flavor.
Photo by: Charles Loughlin
Clay’s obscurity corner
The health advantages of seafood as a protein over such typical breakfast meats as bacon and sausage make it a mystery as to why more morning meals don’t include seafood. There’s ample precedent in other cultures. Some traditional Japanese breakfasts include a piece of grilled or broiled fish with steamed rice and Chinese jook or congee, a savory rice porridge, can feature thin slices of fish or clams. Of course, bagels and lox are a reasonably popular choice for the first meal of the day, and while some local restaurants feature trout and eggs, this dish is a menu rarity.
2805 Pearl St., Boulder 303-442-2800
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