I might be in a better mood if I went out for happy hour more often. That’s my big finding from some recent research in Longmont. Like a lot of folks, I forgot about happy hour when the pandemic arrived and hadn’t been back.
When I joined Boulder Weekly drink columnist Matt Maenpaa for mid-week happy hour at The Roost, I remembered why I loved it: affordable drinks and big-flavored small plates.
We split crispy polenta bites with chevre, smoked tomato puree and Balsamic syrup. The ahi poke bowl was good, but the “a-ha” tastes were two near-perfect and very simple appetizers.
Bangin’ cauliflower cloaks fried florets in a thin, crispy coating that holds the temperature and serves as a vehicle for a spicy dipping sauce. Best of all were the blistered shishitos. Flash-fried and simply dished with salt and lime juice, the mildly hot chilies made me want to have another cocktail.
Boulder Recipe Flashback: Marie’s Famous Chicken
Marie’s Cafe in North Boulder dished homestyle breakfast and lunch for 34 years and was known for its Czech kolacek pastries and crispy schnitzel. This recipe was published in a spiral-bound community cookbook, The Best of Boulder II, compiled in 1979 by the Boulder Community Hospital Auxiliary.
Marie’s Cafe Chicken Paprikash
1 chicken in pieces (3 to 4 pounds)
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup chopped bacon
1/4 Cup butter
1/2 tablespoon Hungarian paprika
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cut chicken in small pieces (or buy chicken wings, breast, thighs, etc.) put in a deep saucepan, cook onion and bacon in butter, stirring over medium heat for a few minutes. Add chicken, salt and paprika. Brown the chicken, turning pieces occasionally for about 10 minutes. Add broth, cover pan, lower heat to simmer and cook for about 45 minutes. Remove chicken from pan when tender and set aside. Sprinkle flour in pan liquid and combine before stirring in sour cream. Add chicken and simmer five minutes. Serve with egg noodles or bread dumplings.
Optional: Add a cup of roasted green chilies, chopped or pureed, right after the sour cream.
Another Roadfood Attraction: Good Golf Fare
After writing about golf food for several years I’ve learned two things.
Most golfers admit that the food served at many Colorado clubs, public and private, tends to be sub-par. There are also notable exceptions that aren’t at members-only places such as TPC Colorado.
The PGA course in Berthoud boasts the longest hole at any U.S. professional golf course: The 773-yard, par-5 13th hole. Its huge clubhouse features a lounge and three eateries open to the public. There’s 473, a high-end steakhouse, plus a takeout cafe and the casual Center Stage restaurant where I grabbed lunch recently. Every seat has a sweeping view of the course and the foothills, and the fare is quite good and fairly reasonably priced for golf club fare.
I smiled over the freshness of the whole boneless walleye fried in a light ale batter and dished with malt vinegar, tartar sauce and lemon.
Center Stage also offers pizzas, steaks, a legit Caesar salad and a juicy prime rib French dip hoagie dished with Provolone, horseradish cream and au jus.
It’s worth the drive just for the house tots, a true flavor bomb. Crowning crispy hot spud-lets are house-smoked pulled pork, sriracha aioli, cotija cheese and chimichurri sauce.
Culinary Calendar: Fall Food Fun
The Lafayette Brew Fest is Sept. 10, pouring beverages from Cellar West, Liquid Mechanics, Mother Tucker, Westbound & Down, Odd13, Front Range Brewing and others (lafayettecolorado.com) … Sunbeam Farm on Cherryvale Road hosts farm dinners Sept. 10 and 24 with chef Juliette Wells (firstname.lastname@example.org) … Longmont Restaurant Week (Oct. 7-16) kicks off Sept. 29 with a farm-to-table dinner at Boulder County Fairgrounds (longmontrestaurantweek.com).