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Dining notes from (mostly) north Boulder - long


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Dining notes from (mostly) north Boulder - long

vanillagrrl | | Jun 14, 2007 01:07 PM

I've had some decent food out around Boulder lately, some of it fabulously cheap, some not so much, and lots of it very good.

We've enjoyed a couple of visits to Radda, where I think the house-named endive salad rocks and I liked my bowl of pasta, sausage, greens, and beans very much indeed. My sweetie had a thing they called ravioli but was a sheet of pasta wrapped around a lump of wild boar meat with some roasted tomatoes strewn around, all a little too deconstructed and tasteless for my liking. Freezing cold air conditioning actually sent me home to retrieve another layer. Once I was warm enough, we enjoyed our food and wine very much, and walked away with a pleasantly surprising under $60 tab for the two of us after we each had two glasses of wine (my sweetie's reasonable Barbera was the star) as well as apps, mains, and dessert. As much as I love Frasca.... Breakfast wasn't great the time I tried it: the first croissant they brought me had a hair baked onto the top and set in the egg glaze; the next one they brought was undercooked and mushy in the middle.

A week after Tom Eldridge's memorial we finally made it to Tom's Tavern for our farewell-to-Tom cheeseburgers and chicken strips for the young 'un, everything as excellent as ever. Our friends, who had grown up in Boulder, too, but never eaten at Tom's, wondered aloud whether anything would change in Tom's wake, but his son is taking over and I'll bet there aren't too many plans to mess with their successful yet simple formula.

Mateo hosted a little post-garden-tour party for a local elementary and served great fries and tapenade and goat cheese toasts. Dish made good (big) sandwiches, and a couple of bakers whose name I missed supplied really good pastries, from cupcakes to lemon tarts to brownie cupcakes.

We tried 4580 on north Broadway and liked it okay, but there's something missing from the whole equation. Decent food but again, chilly air dumping on us, and just a lack of warmth, no sense of who nor where all this chicness and tasty tapas are coming from.

We celebrated Mother's Day early with breakfast at Brasserie Ten Ten, which I'd been avoiding for many reasons. They impressed me, with a menu full of great-sounding food and we had a fabulous breakfast (if way too much food) -- and I think the best croissant you can find in Boulder.

About once a week, I treat mysefl to an apple turnover at Burnt Toast, because I love that place.

Another weekly treat is ice cream -- well, I prefer the gelato -- from Glacier, also on 28th.

I've also enjoyed a couple of fine little meals at a new place, 8 Island Hawaiian BBQ, on 28th, north of Valmont. Great stuff, from fried stuff to teriyakis to this ridiculously smoky, salty, and delicious pork that is available on Fridays. Apparently there's some traditional dish involving eggs but I haven't gone there that hungry yet. They also carry Hawaiian sodas and sweet coffee drinks, all of which are very sweet but good.

We had a good dinner at Pupusas, up on north Broadway, which is tucked into a little strip next to the North Boulder Cafe. Great, simple Mexican (mmmm, horchata), and I hear it's almost always busy in there; there are only a handful of tables and enough people know of its existence.

A little farther north on 28th St. is Kyoto Teriyaki, which has very healthful and delicious sukiyaki. Haven't tried everything else, but I bet that's a good place to get a non-starchy breakfast.

We tried the little Vietnamese-Chinese-Thai hybrid next to Safeway, Five Spice, on Iris west of 28th, but I'll warn you that those grizzled Asian guys in the back aren't washing the bok choy. Grit city -- so unpleasant I wonder whether I should call them and tell them that's why I haven't been back since that first try.

Chez Thuy, one of my usual Asian standbys (for grilled meat/noodle/egg roll bowls and excellent pho), is remodeling. Despite their signage, they seem to be taking their time; I'm guessing Mme. Thuy is enjoying the break from the relentless pace of serving hungry people in Boulder for the past several years.

We had a pretty good meal at Da Gabi, but it's never great -- I never leave there thinking, "I should come back more often!"

For a pizza party, friends ordered from O's (a little organic pizza joint, where the Hatton Creamery still sells a few flavors of ice cream as far as I know, in the shopping center with Lucky's Market and China Gourmet and Da Gabi. I tried some of their gluten-free pizza, too, and it wasn't bad at all. My only complaint about their pizza in general is it's a little bland and always seems a little underdone.

The Bookend Cafe, on the Pearl Street Mall, is a favorite for an afternoon snack break (their pumpkin pie is excellent but the bread pudding has, alas, seems to have vanished).

On the other end of town, the southern clone of the Walnut Cafe, on Broadway south of Table Mesa, still lets the air out of my tires, with greasy crust on a quiche heated in the microwave, gooey banana bread, and bacon that tasted off in the BLT (made with green leaf lettuce instead of iceberg). My six-year-old and I both liked the cup of Hungarian mushroom soup okay, though. But nothing they do ever makes me want to come back. All of this was extra disappointing because I'd been craving a tuna sandwich at the Southern Sun but they're only open for lunch Friday-Sunday.

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