I rewarded myself with an end of summer vacation to Boulder, CO to visit one of my old college roommates and best friends from Rutgers. It was definitely a necessary getaway, as work has gotten to be kind of annoying at times.
Boulder, CO is a pretty, healthy, crunchy, clean kind of town. Altitude issues aside, I had a blast hanging out with Beth and meeting her friends from Naropa (where she is getting her Masters in Art Therapy… GO BETH) who are all awesome souls. I can only think of a couple of things that bugged me- maybe the large number of her residents (she’s a peer mentor in the one undergrad dorm on campus) who went without shoes, the dry air, dehydration, etc.
I had lots of good eats while in Boulder and Colorado. My reviews:
Sherpa’s Adventures 825 Walnut St. Boulder, CO 80302-5034: This was my first meal after getting into Boulder. Beth came to pick me up from Denver Int’l and I was completely famished by the time we reached Boulder. She had looked up this place before hand; apparently it’s the best Indian and Nepali food in Boulder. I had requested Indian food since I don’t get to eat it very often (the irony is that I live in central NJ which has some of the best Indian food around- blame my boyfriend!). The owners apparently all mountain climb/are sherpas.I had the Lamb Korma, Beth had Saag, and we split a single serving of Naan. I was starving, but my lamb was delicious. It was the first time I had lamb in a stew as opposed to a chop/on its own. It was slightly gamey, but really succulent due to the sauce and flavors in the Korma.
The Kitchen’s Hummus
The Kitchen 1039 Pearl Street Boulder, CO 80301: While Beth was off on Thursday getting her learning on, I explored the city. Luckily she lives nearby the downtown area- the Pearl Street Mall is chock full of great stores and eateries. I had put some research into my one solo lunch, and decided on The Kitchen, which I read an article about in Food and Wine. The ambiance is airy, light, chic, and inviting. The service was excellent. I indulged and had the Kitchen’s hummus to start, served with a three thick slices of grilled bread. My main was a slow-roated pork sandwich, topped with salsa verde, served with a side of fricase, potatoes, and a light vinagrette dressing. Sublime and excellent. The Kitchen also boasts a bar, all organic/all local food attitude. The cocktails were tempting, but I decided to pass since I was still adjusting to the altitude.
Chocolate-Bacon-Maple Cupcake from Tee and Cake
Tee and Cake 1932 14th St Boulder, CO 80302: I am a cupcake fiend so of course I had to scope our Boulder’s cupcake offerings. I was not disappointed when I came across Tee and Cake. I indulged in a maple cupcake topped with chocolate ganache and….wait for it…crisp bacon. The bacon wasn’t as crisp as I would like, but it wasn’t oily or greasy. The ganache was what ganache should be- smooth, creamy, without leaving any sort of grit on the top of your mouth. The cake was airy and light, yet flavorful. Had to step away before I tried other cupcakes- they had many different varieties!
Afternoon Tea at Dushanbe
Dushanbe Tea House 1770 13th St Boulder, CO 80302: The place to go to when in Boulder! Of course, coming from the tea industry, I had to go. I made a reservation for high tea with Beth; an afternoon tea newb. The teahouse itself is a place to visit- it was built in Boulder’s sister city, Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan- the entire tea house was built in Dushanbe then sent over to Boulder and put together. Beautiful, hand painted walls and ornaments adorn the tea house. Our afternoon tea was more than delightful; tiny sandwiches and cakes, and pleasant helpings of a delicious and simple side salad (the soy vinegrette is worthy of being imitated), a potato salad with pieces of andouille sausage, and pasta salad. The scones were good, not the greatest. My biggest qualm was with our server leaving our infusers in the teapot instead of preparing the tea, and presenting us with the finished tea. I accidentally over-steeped! Alas, it was a wonderful, beautiful time. Very girly indeed!
Little India 330 E 6th Ave Denver, CO 80203: We drove through Denver after an eventful and cold day in Colordado Springs visiting Pikes Peak. Our only nourishment the entire day was a half a jar of blueberry granola, 2 donuts from the summit house (special recipe for the high altitude), hot chocolate, and fries. We were ready for real food. Thanks to yelp.com I was able to locate this place and easy directions. More Indian food! Why not? I had the house favorite, chicken tikka masala, Beth had saag with chickpeas. Deliciousness as usual; seems like Colorado can give central Jersey a run for its money.
Sunflower Organic Dining 1701 Pearl St Boulder, CO 80302: When I see ‘organic’ in a restaurant’s name, I usually think that it’s a gimmick and I’m right- the food is subpar, but HEY ITS ORGANIC. I hate that, I really do, when justice isn’t given to the best, quality ingredients. Now, of course I peronally cannot buy all my produce organic, but I try. Eating organic, when presented with good tasty options, is way easier. I wish Sunflower was local- I would have brunch every weekend there! I had the smoked salmon eggs benedict- tasty, flaky salmon, perfectly poached eggs, their version of a hollandaise sauce (made with soy mayo), all atop a large slab of cornbread. For real. They had me at cornbread. Amazing and kept me full until I got home way later that evening, my feet safe and sound on New Jersey ground.
Ribbon Candy from Hammonds Candy Factory
Other foodie activities:
Celestial Tea Factory Tour 4600 Sleepytime Dr Boulder, CO 80301: Of course this was a big to-do on my list (this and breweries,, which unfortunately we did not manage to fit into our schedule). The tour is free and accessible by public transportation. Beth and I went, along with her good friend Danica, who had not gone yet. The tour is very fun and I love seeing how other teaplaces operate, and I became insanely jealous of the herb storage. My biggest disappointment was our lively tour guides misinformation- white tea having more caffeine than green (I had to bite my lip). I could have been that person but I wasn’t. The tour ended appropriately in the Celestial Seasonings gift store where I bought two boxes of delicious smelling herbal tea (Gingerbread and Sugar Cookie- two flavors my company does not have in caffeine free).
Hammond’s Candy Tour 5735 N Washington Street Denver, CO 80216: On route to Colorado Springs, our Celestial Seasonings tour guide informed us of Hammond’s candy tour. I was pumped because MARTHA STEWART loves Hammonds. Rather, maybe Darcy Miller, editor of MS Weddings loves Hammonds because it’s one of their top suppliers of candy for the ubiquitous and ever popular candy buffet at weddings (I don’t care how non-trendy it is when I get married, it’s happening). Hammonds is known for their hard candy and ribbon candy. It was really interesting to see how the actual candy is made and pulled and molded.
Powell’s Candy Store 1200 Pearl St #110 Boulder, CO 80302: This candy store was so much fun to browse through! They also boast a gelato bar. Candy of every sort imaginable here- I would imagine children losing their shit once setting foot into this store; I nearly did. I was good and bought only a chick-o-stick and some crazy lookign Botan Rice candy from China.
Food regrets? Not trying out enough of Colorado’s local beers. I’ve been finding myself drinking more and more beer and Colorado boasts the most micro breweries than any other state. I did try Avery’s IPA and several Mountain Sun Brewery’s beers. A brewery tour is in order for the next visit.
I thought with all the walking around in Boulder, that I would be ok with all the eating. I think I gained a few pounds, can’t blame it on the altitude either. 😛