Cold noodles & hot dumplings

Lunch hour at Boulder's Flower Pepper Restaurant

The Flower Pepper's Sichuan noodles. Photo by Susan France.

It’s easy to miss the Flower Pepper Restaurant as you drive up Broadway in Boulder, but, if you do, you’re depriving yourself of stellar traditional Chinese home cooking. When I stopped by during a sizzling lunch hour, I couldn’t decide between the cold Sichuan noodles and the chicken leek dumplings, so I got both. 

Earthy, spicy noodles are swathed in a tahini-rich spicy sauce with shredded carrots and slivered cukes in the generous portion of vegan tastiness. 

The Flower Pepper’s chicken leek dumplings. Photo by Susan France.

It was hard to narrow down the dumpling choice but I was glad I chose this steamed bundle of salty, savory, onion-y joy dipped in soy and chopsticked into my eager mouth.

The Flower Pepper is mainly a takeout spot with limited seating. When you arrive, park in the old hospital parking garage located behind it.  

Tour: The Wonder of Bread Making

Denver’s splendid artisan Rebel Bread hosts factory tours led by bread whiz Zach Martinucci, with insight into how bread and croissants are made, plus a home-baking Q&A, pastries to sample and sourdough starter to take home. Reservations:

Boulder Recipe Flashback: Salmon with Zest

Dolan’s Restaurant, 2319 Arapahoe Ave., was noted for its seafood-centric menu and dishes ranging from Dungeness crab cakes to swordfish steak au poivre. In the late 1990s, Dolan’s executive chef Ryan Henkel shared this requested recipe. 

Dolan’s Horseradish-Crusted Salmon

2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

1/2 cup prepared horseradish

1/3 cup finely chopped Italian parsley

2 6-ounce pieces salmon filet

Salt, freshly ground black pepper

5 tablespoons vegetable oil

Lemon wedges

In a bowl, mix bread crumbs, horseradish and parsley. The mixture should bind together when squeezed in your fingers. If not, add more horseradish. Season salmon all over with salt and pepper. Cover each filet completely with a 1/4-inch layer of the mixture. Press to adhere it to the fish. Place salmon in a cold non-stick skillet with the oil, turn on medium heat and cook until the bottom is golden brown. Turn the filet over and place on a baking sheet in a preheated 375-degree oven for about 10 minutes, or until fish is cooked as desired. Remove from the oven and spritz with fresh lemon juice. Makes two servings. 

Another RoadFood Attraction: Food Flight

Nobody goes to the airport to eat, but there’s always a wait at The Perfect Landing for brunch. For a change of pace, I met an old friend at the restaurant overlooking the runway at Centennial Airport in Englewood. 

Through the windows lining the place, you can watch everything from corporate jets and small prop planes to F-18 fighters on the weekend. That—and the perfect views of the mountains and sunsets—explains why most of The Perfect Landing reservations for all three meals they serve daily ask for window-side seats, especially families with kids (or grownup airplane geeks). 

We enjoyed oversized omelets, chicken-fried steak with house-baked biscuits and sausage gravy, and freshly baked blueberry muffins with big mugs of coffee. 

Culinary Calendar: Fall Food Festivals

Pungent roasted chile perfume fills the air as you sample green chile stew at the Pueblo Chile & Frijoles Festival, Sept. 23-25. Don’t miss the roasted green chile and cheese quesadillas and the Chihuahua Parade  ( … Taste of The Middle East Festival, Sept. 17, Aurora ( … Colorado Mountain Wine Festival, Sept. 17, Palisade (; and the Flatirons Food Film Festival, Oct. 21-22, Boulder ( 

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