In Case You Missed It
Boulderganic Fall 2009
Student Guide 2009
Boulder Weekly Sweet 16 Anniversary
Summer Scene 2009
Best of Boulder 2009
Annual Manual 2009
Newspaper of the Future
Kids Camp Guide 2009
Wedding Marketplace 09
Student Guide 2008
Best of Boulder 2008
Annual Manual 2008
Join Our Mailing List
• Back to categories
• See Food & Drink 2
• See Food & Drink 3
The Mediterranean Restaurant
1002 Walnut St., 303-444-5335
Runner-up: The Kitchen
In these uncertain economic times, a meal of small plates can be a reasonably priced alternative to a full-course dinner. But just because you’re saving money, doesn’t mean you have to feel deprived. Case in point, one could accurately describe The Mediterranean Restaurant’s voluminous appetizer offerings as a treasure trove of starters and representative of the main menu’s mix of options. Tapas features include rare beef carpaccio, sparkling tuna tartare, sweet and salty bacon wrapped dates and fried artichoke hearts. Fans of meatless Middle Eastern fare can tuck into baba ghanouj and hummus and wood-oven flat bread. Other offerings include bowls brimming with savory broth, mussels and a topping of French fries. The indecisive can also order up mixed tapas plates tailored for both the herbivore and carnivore. Even better, many of The Med’s selections are available at a discount during Happy Hour. While the selection at runner-up The Kitchen isn’t as comprehensive as The Med, the starters menu here reflects this eatery’s commitment to fresh seasonal fare. Simple, but well-executed choices here include plain or garlic fries, roasted beets, spiced nuts and tomato soup. Those feeling a bit more ambitious can spring for a cheese platter or a half-dozen oysters.
ASIAN FUSION RESTAURANT
Chez Thuy Restaurant
2655 28th St., 303-442-1700
Runner-up: Hapa Sushi Grill & Sake Bar
Honorable Mention: Moongate Asian Bistro
Upon hearing an argument between a couple who couldn’t decide between Vietnamese and Thai for their dinnertime delights, we kindly suggested that they shut their faces and instead stuff them with the delicious concoctions of both cuisines. “But how?” they asked. So we told them, “go to the frequent Best of Boulder™ winner Chez Thuy, where you both can be happy.” With extensive lunch and dinner menus that include both vegetarian and meat dishes of the Thai and Vietnamese varieties, Chez Thuy is sure to have something for everyone. We recommended that the arguing couple share some vegetarian Vietnamese fried egg rolls, some basil curry with a choice of protein and an order of pad Thai. They stopped arguing and seemed pretty happy in the end, so we’ll go ahead and suggest the same to you, but if you think you can do better than that, there are 14 pages worth of deliciousness to choose from on their dinner menu alone, so we’re fairly confident that you’ll find something to keep your tummy full — and your relationship in tact.
Moe’s Broadway Bagel
2650 Broadway, 303-444-3252
Runner-up: Einstein Bros. Bagels
Honorable Mention: Big Daddy Bagels
There are many myths surrounding the creation of the bagel. One legend states that they originated in 1683 to celebrate the defeat of the Ottoman Turks by King Jan Sobieski of Poland (the shape was supposedly chosen to imitate that of a stirrup). It makes sense that such myths exist because, when one is completely honest with oneself, it is impossible to ignore the fact that bagels are a little bizarre. Are they meant to look like the savory cousin of the doughnut? What's with the holes? Luckily, we're in Boulder County, which means we tolerate all kinds of bread products, no matter how strange they are. At Moe's Broadway Bagels, Boulderites demonstrate their progressive thinking by availing themselves of the best bagels the 303 has to offer. In addition to the award-winning bagels with cream cheese, Moe's serves a variety of menu items that will tickle your tastebuds, including classic New York style pizzas, delicious sandwiches and subs made to order, garden fresh salads, irresistible pastries, beverages and more. Didn't eat breakfast before leaving for work? Stop by Moe's and have a coffee and a breakfast burrito. The possibilities of bagel-bliss are endless. Once you've been to Moe's, you'll never judge a bagel by its shape again. You'll be too busy eating them.
2644 Broadway, 303-444-5667
Runner-up: Great Harvest
Whoever figured out that combining flour and water with a few other simple ingredients to make one of the most delicious food staples that has ever existed was simply a genius. And, alternatively, whoever decided to start the low-carb craze and make everyone feel guilty about eating the yummy, doughy stuff should be ashamed of himself. Now that we’ve made our feelings about bread known, the winner is (drum roll, please)… Breadworks. Let’s face it: just because bread is made of a few basic ingredients doesn’t mean that all bread is created equal. In fact, when you put a slice of Wonder Bread up against one of Breadworks lovely loaves of crusty sourdough, you’ll wonder if that tasteless white gooey stuff is actually the same species as what you’re holding in your other hand. (Maybe that’s why they named it Wonder Bread — one bite and you wonder if it’s bread.) Breadworks also offers scrumptious and filling lunch options, as well as desserts. So go stuff your face — and save us a seat.
Mountain Sun / Southern Sun
1535 Pearl St., 303-546-0886 / 627 S. Broadway, 303-543-0886
Runner-up: Old Chicago
Once upon a time, there were no such thing as beer companies. Beer was crafted with great care by individual brewers, and if you mentioned the word “Coors,” people would look at you strangely and say, “What dothest thou talkest about, ye evil rogue? Ye must be a witch.” And then they would cut out your liver and feed it to a seagull. In the good old days, making beer was an art form, like playing the lyre or beheading an aristocrat, and brewers took great pride in crafting this divine elixir. But then the Industrial Revolution happened, and suddenly beer became a mass-produced commodity controlled by businessmen who were more concerned about making money than about creating the perfect brew. Still, there were a few brave men and women who dared stand against the banality of Budweiser and the monotony of Miller. They were called microbrewers, and they brought life and creativity back to beer. Boulder has been one of the leaders in the microbrew renaissance, and the master brewers at the Mountain Sun/Southern Sun are some of the very best in the country. Sires, we thank ye! And they all lived hoppily ever after…
2124 14th St., 303-442-4743
518 Kimbark St., 303-774-9814
Runner-up: Walnut Café/ Southside Walnut Café
Breakfast in Boulder fulfills a variety of functions, whether it’s an opportunity to catch up with old friends or fuel up for an athletic escapade. Boulder Weekly readers prefer a taste of the Big Easy in their breakfasts, as evidenced by their selection of Lucile’s Creole Cafe as the hands-down champ in the morning meal category. A homey atmosphere, amiable service, and a down-home menu round out the experience here. Start with a soup-bowl sized mug of café au lait or a glass of fresh-squeezed O.J. Follow it up with a breakfast standard like pain perdu French toast or a savory offering such as hearty shrimp grits. Even the supporting players are worthy of comment, especially the pungent spice tea and heavenly biscuits slathered with homemade jam. Arguably, runner-up Walnut Café and its Southside sibling are the places to go for a lighter meal than Lucile’s. But can that really be the case with an eatery renowned for its selection of pies? A slice of fresh fruit pie and one of the Walnut’s potent coffee drinks is one way to start the day with the bang. But there’s also a whole range of egg dishes and some vegan options, not to mention sides ranging from home fries to fresh fruit.
Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse
1770 13th St., 303-442-4993
Runner-up: The Kitchen
Brunch is perhaps the most sociable of meals, a chance to spend a leisurely morning with family and friends and indulge a bit in something more decadent than just a bowl of oatmeal. Top honoree, the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, is a perfectly idyllic setting for this meal, with its gorgeous artist-crafted interior and globe-trotting menu. A Greek scramble upholds at least some of the tenets of the Mediterranean diet, with a mouth-watering mix of eggs, spinach, tomatoes, olives and panir. French toast acknowledges the Republic’s southern neighbor by building on a foccacia base. Of course, traditional favorites also abound on the menu — those exercising dietary caution can feel prudent about ordering granola with fruit and yogurt. On the other hand, those acting more indulgently can revel in salmon eggs benedict or old school hash and eggs. Best described as a contemporary bistro, runner-up The Kitchen takes a broad-based approach to brunch. Light eaters can get by on a croissant, while peckish Anglophiles (or the merely ravenous) can enjoy a traditional British breakfast of eggs, sausage, tomatoes and mushrooms. Another noteworthy strength of The Kitchen is that it offers more lunch-like options including lamb burgers and a confit tuna sandwich.
Mountain Sun / Southern Sun
1535 Pearl St., 303-546-0886
627 S. Broadway, 303-543-0886.
Runner-up: The Dark Horse
While few agree on the burger’s precise origins, most accounts hold that this popular sandwich made its first appearance at either a lunch stand or public fair. Given these humble origins, it’s unsurprising that you won’t find the best example at a frou-frou eatery featuring basil-honey foams and $20 glasses of house wine. You’re most likely to find outstanding specimens at a hospitable and reasonably priced drinking establishment, and such is the case with this year’s winners. The Mountain Sun, and its South Boulder counterpart, the aptly named Southern Sun, took this year’s top honors. Priced just a buck or two more than fast-food competitors, these brewpubs’ offerings include a basic model adorned with lettuce, tomato and onion. A more ambitious choice is the Junk Burger, a formidable combo of bacon, cheese, mushrooms, onions and roasted garlic mayo. Whichever you choose, you’ll enjoy 1/3 of a pound of flavorful and expertly cooked beef. Spend the extra dollar for a side of crisp fries. Runner-up the Dark Horse is a Boulder institution, also deserving of honors for most eclectic décor. This quintessential student hangout serves up the basics, as well as a peanut butter, bacon and provolone sandwich worthy of Elvis.
Two locations in Boulder, www.illegalpetes.com
Say the word “burrito” and most people will conjure up the overstuffed wrap popularized decades ago in San Francisco’s Mission District. But the Bay Area better watch its back, as our two top picks are distinctly Colorado enterprises with devoted local followers. Illegal Pete’s comes at you with a mix of chicken, beef, fish and vegetarian options guaranteed to fill you up without hemorrhaging your wallet. The only trouble with their burritos is how to fit them in your mouth. Check out the Big Fish, a super tasty burrito loaded with beer-battered filets. With choices like this, it’s no wonder that The Hill location on College Avenue is a CU favorite, while local workers pack the Pearl Street Mall venue at lunch hour. Runner-up Chipotle sponsors the formidable Garmin-Slipstream cycling team. A cool $995 buys you a membership to the team’s Argyle Club, and included with membership is a card good for a Chipotle burrito a day for a year. Right now, someone who just read that sentence is working out if the math makes sense on that, such is the level of devotion that this chain earns. But for about five bucks you can still enjoy one of Chipotle’s high-quality belly bombs made with ingredients such as their famously flavorful carnitas.
The Mediterranean Restaurant
1002 Walnut St., 303-444-5335
Runner-up: The Kitchen
Honorable Mention: 14th Street Bar & Grill
Pulling off a good business lunch is a process of balancing opposites. You want to impress your colleagues, but you don’t want to break the bank. You want to indulge in exotic and interesting cuisine, but you must be sure that everyone will like what’s on the menu. One thing is for certain, though: The Mediterranean Restaurant will meet all these potentially irreconcilable requirements with flying colors. Serving delicious meals from French, Italian, Spanish and Greek cuisine, the Mediterranean is both classy and practical enough for any lunch meeting or appointment. The colorful, lively dining room has an award-winning ambiance that will take away the stress of even the most hectic day at the office, while the patio is the perfect place to talk business while enjoying the beautiful spring weather. For a lunch that won’t empty your wallet, try the gourmet salads, wood-fired pizzas and sumptuous sandwiches. If you’re feeling more ambitious, order the paella, a traditional Spanish rice dish. Served in a hot iron skillet, the massive paella dishes can be savored alone or as a group. A solid wine list and decadent, house-made desserts round out the menu for a sophisticated and satisfying dining experience. Vegetarian options abound, and a gluten-free menu is available on request. If you like your lunch, don’t forget to come back for tapas hours from 3 to 6 p.m. daily and build an entire meal from such delicious tapas as traditional Italian bruschetta, champiñones en salsa verde and hummus bil tahini — all for about $4 or $5 each. Even if your business meeting doesn’t go well, you’ll leave The Med feeling satisfied.
A Spice of Life
5706 Arapahoe Ave., 303-443-4049
Runner-up: Who’s Got Thyme
Honorable Mention: Redstone Catering
Have a lot of people to feed? Try 3,000. That’s how many A Spice of Life fed for the opening of Twenty Ninth Street. They were also listed as No. 4 out of 221 caterers at the Democratic National Convention, which must have been like trying to feed the entire state of New Jersey or something. Since 1987, the Boulder caterer has been serving everything from big events to smaller family affairs, with menus ranging from American to ethnic food. They have become a Boulder mainstay by, well, “catering” to any size or budget. Whether you need their event center or someone to set up in your home for a wedding, they can deliver anything from linens and flowers to music. A Spice of Life stays on top by remembering how “catering” got its name — it’s about catering to your needs.
1964 28th St., 303-442-6868
Runner-up: Moongate Bistro
Honorable Mention: China Gourmet
Given its decidedly regal décor and reputation, it’s fitting that the Golden Lotus has been crowned Emperor of local Chinese restaurants by popular acclaim. Diners are easily tempted by reasonably priced lunch specials that include soup, appetizers and rice. Among the main course choices are old chestnuts like sweet and sour pork and meatless kung pao “chicken” made with a vegetarian ingredients. But the savvy diner should request the traditional menu, which features banquet quality meals featuring authentic fare like whole fried fish and bubbling clay pot casseroles. Runner-up Moongate takes a more pan-Asian approach, although Chinese fare takes center stage here. Sesame chicken, broccoli beef and Szechuan eggplant are all on offer, as are fried rice and shumai dumplings. And if your fellow diners seek something from another culture, they have the option of diving into a Vietnamese noodle bowl or Thai curry. China Gourmet, taking home honorable mention accolades, is noteworthy for its expertly seasoned meals and the on-request traditional menu. This bill of fare delivers such rib-sticking goods as salt and pepper shrimp and pork eggplant hot pot.
1709 Pearl St., 303-440-4628
Honorable Mention: Amante
Pop quiz: What’s better than coffee? Wow, you are so smart! That’s right, coffee AND booze. We couldn’t think of a better tag team if we tried. (But to be honest, we’re not even going to try because coffee and booze are two of our very favorite things. We find them to be the best tag team ever.) We commend Laughing Goat Coffeehouse for figuring out that people want to start (and usually sustain) the day with coffee, but once so much caffeine has been ingested that you can’t keep your toes still, and it’s time to switch to beer. And beer they have. With a delicious selection, you’re sure to find something perfect to chase that espresso shot. Oh, you don’t like beer? Well, something is obviously wrong with you. But even so, Laughing Goat has got you covered with a fantastic wine list that is sure to satisfy even the most persnickety wine connoisseur. Throw a little live music in, and Laughing Goat has pretty much everything you need to spend your whole day there. It’s OK. We understand.
1039 Pearl St., 303-544- 5973
Runner-up: The Mediterranean Restaurant
Honorable Mentions: Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, Frasca Food & Wine
The word dessert originates from desservir in the French language meaning, “to clear the table,” since dessert traditionally comes at the end of a meal. Hmm… who knew? When your taste buds start to crave sweet and sugary morsels, head to The Kitchen. Voted as the Best Restaurant Dessert by our readers, this classy café offers a whole separate menu for their delectable dessert choices. Selections include Potato Donuts with spiced hot cocoa, Sticky Toffee Pudding with vanilla ice cream and Pot au Chocolat with heavy cream. If you prefer to drink your dessert, the menu includes an array of dessert wines, Port and Madeira to sip on. Last year The Kitchen received the Best Dessert Beverage List “Award of Distinction” from Crystal Beverage Awards, proving even more that their dessert menu comes highly recommended. Since its opening in 2004, The Kitchen has proven that it is committed to serving quality local ingredients in an eco-friendly way.
Back to top