Despite being open since 2018, Raglin Market (5378 Gunbarrel Center) is still undiscovered country for many diners, even those who love Matthew Jansen’s 20-year-old Mateo in Boulder.
A friend and I finally visited the casual Raglin Market for lunch and found a menu full of chef-made approachable classics. Nostalgia drove me to order grilled cheese and tomato soup, but this is a serious upgrade on the old Campbell’s Soup combination. Raglin’s tomato soup is a soothing blend of roasted tomatoes and carrots with basil and a goat cheese crumble on top. The sandwich is sourdough slices with gruyere, American, and goat cheeses griddled until golden brown and melted. Yes, I dunked.
We also ordered a barbecue brisket sandwich that hit just about every flavor button with bacon, cheese, and caramelized onions, plus a bowl of loaded potato soup that was an unexpected pleasure. This super-creamy vichyssoise-like soup is blended with butter, cream, and bacon puree and crowned with green onions, chopped bacon, and grated Parmesan. Yes, it’s as dreamy as it sounds.
Raglin’s menu features substantial salads like the Ancient Grain with arugula, farro, quinoa, and roasted butternut squash tossed with dried cranberries, toasted pepitas, and sherry vinaigrette.
Desserts include an authentic New Orleans bread pudding and Mateo’s famous pot au chocolate.
I’ll come back for Raglin’s Market Plate which pairs proteins like meatloaf, roasted chicken, seared ahi, grilled wild salmon, and roasted portabellas with a choice of salads and sides. The eatery showcases sparkling, white, and red wine on tap.
Another roadfood attraction
Consider exiting I-25 at Greenwood Village to fuel up with The Monster Cookie served at the chic Bird Bakery. This expansive, excessive confection tucks peanut butter, peanut M&Ms, and roasted peanuts plus coconut, chocolate chips, and M&Ms into a big buttery oatmeal cookie. Bird Bakery crafts a memorably chewy Toll House-style chocolate chip cookie that is well designed for dunking in a chai latte or eggnog.
What to drink instead of eggnog
According to legend, the root beer float was “invented” more than 128 years ago by Frank Wisner of Cripple Creek Brewing Company in Colorado.
For holiday toasts, if you can’t stand eggnog, consider enjoying Root Beer Milk from Morning Fresh Dairy in Bellvue instead. Made with milk, cream, sugar, and root beer syrup crafted by CooperSmith’s Pub in Fort Collins, it tastes like a root beer float minus the extra thick creaminess. The root-y aroma is incredible. I found it in quart glass bottles at Natural Grocers.
To make a festive “nog,” simply add a shot of your favorite clear spirit from a Boulder County distillery to a mug of root beer milk with a cinnamon stick for stirring.
Holiday hack: How to make mulled wine or cider
At some casual parties this holiday season we will still gather on patios around fire pits if we want to be together. Put a smile on the faces of family and friends by greeting them with a hand-warming mug of mulled wine or cider steaming its fruit spice aroma.
Never waste expensive fine wine on mulled wine. Grab a bottle or box of Merlot, Zinfandel, Chianti or any red table wine. The best device for heating mulled wine is a slow cooker. Heat low and slow or the alcohol and flavor may evaporate. Use fresh whole spices, i.e., not ancient ones from the back of the pantry.
To make roughly six to 10 servings of mulled wine, heat about two quarts or more—of red wine with whole spices—about two cinnamon sticks, two whole cloves, and four whole star anise. Add the juice of one orange and one lemon plus at least 1/3 cup of honey and slices of orange. Taste and add more honey or wine as needed, and serve in pre-warmed mugs.
To make mulled cider, substitute good quality apple cider for the wine.