Chowhound In Boulder, CO Needs Help
- Richard Jun 23, 2004 10:38 AM
I am a Philadelphia Chowhound who will be visiting Boulder,CO for the first time - on a business trip for three days. I will have access to a car. I am very flexible in choice of food and always enjoy the experience of local cuisine. Can fellow Chowhounds suggest any restaurants worthy of a Chowhound visit in the Boulder area? Thanks in advance.
Lucile's is a fantastic breakfast joint. Their website is: http://www.luciles.com/ You may want to get their early in the morning or after the rush (around 10am). They are famous for having long lines... but are absolutely worth the weight.
For lunch or dinner, check out Sunflower: organic cuisine. Always interesting and DELICIOUS. Great atmosphere. They also have a great weekend brunch.
There are also great happy hours around town. I especially love the Boulder Cafe on the Pearl Street Mall. They have great seafood and fondue specials.
Great margaritas can be found at the Rio. The appetizers are mighty tasty too.
There are lots of other GREAT restaurants! Ask around. Everyone is bound to have their favorite place.
There are a couple of other regulars on this board who are more current on Boulder restaurants than I am, but I'll toss a few out. Chef Bradford Heap has the Full Moon Grill, and also does the food at the Chatauqua Dining Hall (which is a Boulder institution, very historic and folkloric). He is worth checking out. Q's, at the Boulderado Hotel is very good, higher end. Dave Query has several restaurants--I'd recommend Zolo's--fun southwesternish menu, or Jax for great seafood (and a very loud, hip, busy dining room).
I haven't been to Brasserie Tenten since they opened, but hear good things.
I'm not a big fan of Radek Cerny, but he is very popular, and his current restaurant is L'Atelier.
Maybe others will check in with opinions, enjoy Boulder.
p.s. Go to the Dashenabe (sp?) Tea House for tea and the architecture--they have a large tea selection and it is a fascinating building and story. Don't bother with the lunch or dinner menu.
re: Fred B
Richard: Thanks for the tip about Chef Heap having the Full Moon Grill...we won't go there! My experience with Heap was a fish dinner at Chattaqua that gave my wife food poisoning within 45 minutes. I called Heap to report the incident and he was in complete denial. Actually told me "it was impossible to get food poisoning, but he would look it up and call me back". He didn't. Any first year culinary student is made to understand histomine poisoning.
All the suggestions so far have been good, except for one with which I'll disagree. Avoid the Rio unless your idea of a good time is a noise level equal to being in the front row of a Metallica concert. You are just as likely to experience one of their margs on your shirt from some drunken college student. If you really want a margarita and Southwestern food, head to Zolo - one of the aforementioned Dave Query restaurants.
I'd also suggest Mateo for mediterranean/french and Amu for unique Japanese. Narayan's, located in a strip mall at Baseline and Foothills Hwy is fanatastic Nepalese and very reasonable.
Avoid the Red Lion Inn like the plague. Nice setting just a short way up Boulder Canyon but miserable food.
The corner bar in the Hotel Boulderado is a great place to hang out for drinks. Their lunch and dinner menu is pretty decent and the food comes from the same kitchen as their main restaurant, Q's.
Finally, don't give any spare change to the dirtbag panhandlers on the Pearl Street Mall. It only encourages them.
I guess my husband and I are the only people in Boulder who truly dislike Lucille's (maybe it's because my husband used to live in New Orleans?). We find that the food is soupy and over-seasoned, and that the crowds are so overwhelming for the staff that they do not have time to adequately clean the restaurant as they serve. By the time you get seated for breakfast, the place is a mess (e.g., scrambled eggs on the floor).
For a much more serene, and in my opinion, better breakfast I would highly recommend the brunch at Q's or at Sunflower. For a quick bite at a local "breakfast dive," Rocky Mountain Joe's has some great granola pancakes!
We recently had a fabulous meal at a new restaurant on Pearl Street, The Kitchen, and I have to say that it was probably one of the best meals I've had during my five years in Colorado.
I would second recs to visit Zolo Grill and Full Moon Grill, though the strip mall locations of each might be underwhelming for a visitor.
And an afternoon stop at the Teahouse is really a treat - I agree that the food is not the best, but a pot of tea accompanied by a scone with some clotted cream and lemon curd is a great way to take a break.
Beacuse Dr. T just posted on this thread yesterday, it has now moved to the top of the Southwest Board. For anyone reading it now, be aware that the Full Moon Grill is no more. Last year, the owners moved lock, stock and wine barrel to the north side of McGuckin's and opened Alba. Bradford Heap is no longer with Alba or the Chautauqua Dining Hall. He is owner/chef of Colterra in Niwot, an excellent restaurant.
Since you have a car, I recommend a trip to Treppeda's in Niwot. It's an Italian deli and the food is fantastic--always fresh and flavorful. They're not open evenings, just for lunch (and maybe breakfast? I don't know.) To me, there's no better way to spend an early summer afternoon than outside at Treppeda's enjoying lunch.