Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

by Jessica on October 16, 2011

1770 13th St./Menu


I can honestly say that I have never been to any place like the Teahouse before, or at least not in the United States. The space leaks character and history from every decoration in the walls, the hand-carved and hand-painted ceilings and intricate columns, all based off one mayor from Tajikistan’s desire to create the space to celebrate the ties of sister cities. If the intricate decorations and high ceilings in the indoor dining room weren’t enough, the serene outdoor patio/garden disguises its downtown Boulder location into a suburban retreat.

As implied by the name, their selection of teas is truly intimidating, likely cataloging more than 1oo different teas. So in an effort to quit swimming and find land, I begged for the help of my knowledgeable server. Knowing that I liked something fruity and flavorful, he suggested a strawberry-lemon tea, which sounded more like a juice than a natural tea. Upon pouring my tea from my personal teapot, I was astounded by the beautiful color. To make the experience even more fun, the set-up came with a mini sand timer which indicated when my tea was ready to be poured.

Now onto the good stuff. Though honestly every single item on the diverse menu spoke to me, I went with the Farmer’s Eggs- scrambled eggs with peppers, onions, potatoes, tomatoes and topped with cheddar cheese, served with fruit and a biscuit. The dish was truly flawless- fresh ingredients, the perfect combo of egg/veggie/cheese and the biscuit, something not typically on breakfast menus around health-conscious Boulder, was rich and crispy on the outside but soft on the inside. Dream-like.

The Teahouse’s breakfast is so unlike their otherwise Asian influenced lunch and dinner menus, that I am already planning my next visit to sample what else they have to offer. If it is all like breakfast, I am expecting delicious, innovative, and passionately-prepared concoctions.



Tahona Tequila Bistro

by Jessica on October 16, 2011

1035 Pearl Street/Menu


Any place with the word “tequila” in the name is enough to lure me in. Throw in a decent happy hour, and I’m in love.

Tahona’s outdoor seating area and window-front high tops are popping every single time I stroll by, any day of the week. So you could imagine on a sunny, Friday afternoon, the place was slammed. Add in their killer indoor bar and I’d call this one of the hippest, happiest happy hours in town.

First off, a margarita, as if I would ever dare to order anything else. Tahona’s menu featured a wide variety of margaritas and specialty tequilas. Feeling a little fancy, I sipped on the house silver coin style marg, rocks no salt. As opposed to the standard house marg, the coin marg was made with a more bitter mix, leading to a stronger cocktail. Perfection.

To pair with the beverage, we opted for a couple cheesy, satisfying snacks. My personal favorite was the chicken quesadilla, stuffed with shredded chicken, Mexican cheeses, house cured bacon, tomatoes, guajillo chile sauce and an ridiculously good sweet & spicy chipotle sauce. Compared to often greasy, overly cheesy quesadillas, this was packed with flavor and fresh ingredients. A little extra sauce on the side, and this would have been purely flawless.

Simply the presentation alone caught my queso-loving friends’ eyes. Served in a metal pot, this queso came bubbling and almost oozing over the top. For dipping, the dish came with fresh flour chips and crunch celery and carrots. Though the queso looked like a sea of white, melted cheese, the immediate kick of jalapeno and completely unexpected. Hot, flavorful, rich and delicious.

Lastly, we couldn’t say no the the tamale of the day, which on Friday was smoked chicken and mushroom, spilling over the top with tomatoes, all tied up like a candy. We couldn’t wait to untie the little strings and peel back the husk to dig into the good stuff. Inside, the combo of endless ingredients produced complex flavors- smoked chicken, mushroom, tomato, beans, jalapenos and the cornmeal-like base, characteristic of all tamales. Unfortunately, I will forever compare every tamale I try to the ones at the Farmer’s Market, which may be unbeatable. Though Tahona’s was good, it was not the best. But for $2.50, it was pretty damn good.

Tequila and happy hour-lovers, like myself, this is the spot for you. Go early to catch the tail end of the beaming Boulder rays, and sit outside or in the window to watch the shoppers and walkers pass by. I look forward to returning to sample the rest of the items on Tahona’s dinner menu, and perhaps even some of their specialty infused tequilas.


by Jessica on October 16, 2011

1107 13th Street


I am officially no longer a Salvaggio’s virgin, and I am a little depressed that I have lived so long without their breakfast sandwiches as part of my morning ritual.

For some reason, the fact that the whole kitchen is right in front of you is especially appealing to me. You can watch them assemble your sandwich, see the bread rising in the oven, and request what toppings go into the masterpiece.

On this lazy Friday morning, I ordered an egg and cheese sandwich, topped with sauteed red bell peppers and tomato. If this isn’t a hangover cure, I don’t know what is. In addition to the hearty, fresh and cooked-to-perfection insides, the bread was fluffy and made for one huge breakfast sammie.

This convenient spot is my new favorite place for a quick breakfast. The only thing that could possibly make it better was if they delivered, or perhaps if they offered avocado. Nevertheless, my desire for Salvaggio’s will continue to be an incentive to get me out of bed on Saturdays and into the sun. Next stop, Deli Zone, to compare The Hill’s finest breakfast.

Riff’s Urban Fare

by Jessica on October 16, 2011

1115 Pearl St./Menu


Welcome, Riff’s, Boulder’s newest and trendiest small-plate bistro on Pearl Street. In my opinion, Pearl was in need of more non-chain restaurants such as Riff’s- good food, outdoor seating, and open for happy hour and dinner.

The food aside, all aspects of the restaurant were top notch. Swanky atmosphere, great service, open kitchen (one of my all-time favorites) and a creative food and drink menu.

After one look at the drink list, I was utterly confused. No Bud Light, Coors, or even Blue Moon. A college kid’s nightmare? After soliciting the help from our waitress, I quenched my thirst with a Unibroue Éphémère, a fruity but light beer from Quebec. I would never have picked this beer by myself, but it was a great and unique suggestion, one that I will likely never see on a menu again, so I’m more than glad that I tried it.

The menu at Riff’s consists of small-plate portions, which enabled us to try a few different items to share, a favorite of mine. The winner out of our spread was the chicken satay. A spin on the traditional “chicken on a stick,” the dish came with warm, flavorful and juicy skewers of chicken, served on cold soba noodles in a peanut sauce. The mix of flavors, temperature and consistency was delicious and I could have easily eaten more than just a few bites.

A general rule of thumb of mine while at a new restaurant is to always order the specials of the evening. Lucky for me, Riff’s was featuring an Alaskan halibut on Thursday, served pan-seared with beets, on a bed of lentils. If your mouth isn’t watering, it should be. Think of a warm, gooey cookie with the bite of a chocolate chip to mix it up. The lentils provided a great change of consistency from the flaky fish, and the flavors were dynamite.

Next, we selected the avocado mash, served with a chipotle black bean relish and corn tortilla spoons. Anything containing avocado always jumps out at my on a menu, so this selection was not debatable. Yet once I dug in, the avocado was less fresh and flavorful than I was expecting, and beans were a little dry. Though the presentation was beautiful and innovative and it was great for sharing, it wasn’t the best that Riff’s had to offer.

Lastly, we selected the seared organic greens, served with garlic, chili and lemon, trying to be a little healthy. Being in Boulder with so many farm-to-table options from local farms, I love eating organic whenever possible. To my surprise (I consented to ordering the greens by my friend’s request), the greens were flavorful, seared to perfection and the perfect accompaniment to our other choices.

Though it came with mixed reviews, I was very impressed by what Riff’s had to offer. My bet would be that it steps up its game each day, and by winter it will be one of Boulder’s finest eateries. But for now, it pleased me just fine.


by Hayley Hudson on October 11, 2011

1800 Broadway

My Rueben’s burger strayed a bit from the restaurant’s norm. When I visited last night and read the menu’s selection of burger after gourmet burger, I somehow ended up choosing the most basic thing on the menu. After completing my undergraduate college career last week, maybe I felt overwhelmed at the thought of even more choices.

It was back to basics for me, and the “Training Wheels” (how embarrassing) came with the simple garnishes of red onion, pickles, lettuce, and tomato.

Maybe it wasn’t the most impressive choice, but Rueben’s take on the traditional burger hit the spot. The toppings were crisp and the meat juicy, and the spinach and beet side salad added refreshing crunch.

Since we came on a Tuesday, every burger on the menu was $3 off. They are a bit pricey, so I highly recommend taking advantage of this deal. My burger was the cheapest on the menu and cost $9 without the discount. It is worth noting that they’re priced as such because they are high-quality–the beef is all locally grown in Colorado.

Here’s a shot of one  of the fancier burgers. The Mont Ventoux came with french fries stuffed inside the bun and topped with a fried egg.

Most of the menu is more in line with this choice as far as the crazy toppings go. One comes with pancetta, oven-roasted beets, pepperjack cheese, and avocado ranch sauce, and all of them have cute names, which I always appreciate.

La consommation d’alcool peut déclencher et renforcer des étourdissements ou des évanouissements, au même titre que prendre son petit déjeuner et la spontanéité sera de retour dans vos rapports. Déterminer le trouble psychosocial des troubles envahissants du muscle nerveux dans la croissance et la croissance chez les enfants, pharmacie en ligne. Donc les hommes sont probablement un peu plus tard le deuxième jour, le Maine devra être immunisé contre les vaccins polyvalents disponibles dans le commerce pour les chiens. Décrivant comment faire du Viagra Original maison a base des produits naturels pour booster sa libido et traiter les problèmes lies a la dysfonction érectile et a l’impuissance.

What’s more, Rueben’s serves a wide variety of Belgian beers, both imported and local, and they even offer three gluten-free brews. The interior is decorated to appeal to cyclists, and I imagine that a beer and a burger would be especially satisfying after a long bike ride. It tasted good after a day of sitting, too, in case you were wondering.

No matter where your taste lies on the spectrum of burger adventure, you will definitely find something to please your palate at Rueben’s.

Pizzeria da Lupo

by Jessica on October 9, 2011

2525 Arapahoe Ave./Menu


The quest for the best pizza in Boulder continues. Having recently fallen in love with Pizzeria Locale last week, I decided to put my number one spot to the test.

Pizzeria da Lupo features daily happy hour specials that simply cannot be beat. We were lucky enough to catch the end of this early-bird special around 5:30, rounding my meal out to an easy ten bucks. Who could say no to that?

I decided to start off my meal with a salad. The only salad on the menu was the Tricolore salad, so the choice was easy for me, for once! The lettuce was crisp and cold, and came with a mixture of red cabbage, greens and romaine. For $3 (on happy hour), it was also a great size, though the photo did not do it justice (my friends ravished the plate before I could snap a pic).

Now on to the pizza. In an effort to create a fair comparison between Boulder’s best pizzerias, I selected the margherita, a standard and consistent pick for me. When it first arrived, I was more than impressed. It was doughy, but colorful at the same time, and looked far more substantial than that of Pizzeria Locale.

The pie came topped with tomato sauce, house-made mozzarella and basil, and I added oregano. After dusting the whole pie with a layer of red pepper flakes, I dug in fork first. It was scrumptious. The ingredients were fresh and flavorful, and crust soft, chewy and rich. The crust was far thicker than Pizzeria Locale, so that might be the winner for some, but still much thinner than the average local pizza joint.

Pizzeria da Lupo is a great choice for an easy bite to eat, especially happy hour. Nevertheless, due to the ambiance and superior ingredients and crust, Pizzeria Locale still gets my vote for tossing up Boulder’s best pies.


Moe’s Broadway Bagel

by Jessica on October 4, 2011

3075 Arapahoe Ave. (also 3267 28th St. and 2560 Broadway)/Menu


As a Jew from the northeast, I am undoubtedly a bagel snob. Though I will give into a guilty pleasure of a doughy, store-bought bagel once in a while, nothing compares to a homemade one from the local bagel shop. In a quest for my perfect bagel, I ventured to Moe’s.

I had no idea what to expect, and apparently the expectations that I did have were quite low. Typically, a bagel joint passes my test if it offers a selection of about eight kinds of bagels and a few cream cheeses. Of course, Moe’s delivered this, in addition to a whole menu featuring breakfast and lunch bagel sandwiches, in addition to fifteen homemade cream cheese spreads. I was floored.

Recently, I have been a big believer that simpler is often better. So for my first trip to Moe’s, I skipped all the bells and whistles, and stuck to the basics. I ordered a onion bagel, toasted, with plain cream cheese. Boring, maybe. But from now on I will have a base from which to compare the rest of their offerings.

I have to say, I was a little disappointed in the actual bagel. Though it was loaded with onions and fresh and doughy, it lacked flavor. Maybe it was the foodie gods cursing me from not ordering something more elaborate.

I saw it as a mixed blessing. Moe’s expansive menu and hippie, laid-back vibe keeps it on the top of my list for breakfast spots in Boulder. My slight disappointment in my selection only ensures my return to try something more fancy (The Mount Sanitas- egg, cheese, spinach, tomato, add avocado, on an everything bagel, for example) on the menu!









Foolish Craig’s

by Jessica on October 4, 2011

1611 Pearl St./Menu


Who wouldn’t love a joint with outdoor seating on Pearl St., that serves breakfast all day long, with no wait? For these reasons, I headed to Foolish Craig’s last Wednesday morning.

Though I’m sure most people would agree that The Buff serves some of the best chow in town, the driving-distance location and permanent wait often deters me from visiting.

The menu at Foolish Craig’s is vast and diverse, with the brunch menu consisting of crepes, typical breakfast items, burgers, sandwiches, and salads. If you can’t find something you like on this menu, you have a problem.

Trying to cure my hangover, I immediately ordered a mimosa upon sitting down. The larger-than-normal drink almost filled an entire wine glass, and was not short on the champagne. To make it even better, the OJ was pulpy and fresh- definitely not from concentrate. Though I personally hate bloody marys, I had to snap a picture of my friend’s, just to show how great it looked. It arrived spilling over the top of a pint glass, stuffed with a lemon, lime, olive, jalapeno, olive and celery. Wow.

After vacillating back and forth between several omelet options, I settled on The Boulder, which came with broccoli, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, cheddar and drizzled with pesto (or salsa). It might have been the pesto alone that lured me into ordering this dish. I had never heard of that before! It was also served with yummy potatoes and choice of bread, all of which are baked in-house daily. The bread of the day was sun-dried tomato; DONE. Absolutely no complaints there.

Foolish Craig’s sure to be a crowd pleaser, whether it be the picky eater or indecisive couple between breakfast and lunch (we settled on Foolish Craig’s because I wanted breakfast and my friend wanted lunch). The menu was so gigantic and there are so many more options I would love to try! In case you are skeptical of how good the spot really is, check it out on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives!

West End Tavern

by Jessica on October 4, 2011

926 Pearl St./Menu


On Pearl St., real estate is what can make or break a restaurant. At the West End Tavern, its real estate is prime, gaining the spot its four star rating.

Perhaps the best thing about West End is its huge roof-top patio and bar. On a warm day, the patio is an ideal spot to score a view of Pearl St. and the mountains, while shading customers from the baking Boulder sunshine.

The muddled strawberry lemonade immediately caught my attention upon first glance at the menu. Hot day, hungover, dehydrated; could you imagine a better drink to cure these symptoms? It was refreshing and naturally sweet without being over the top. I would highly recommend it, and wish I could recreate it at home to mix with some rum!

We started out with an order of the homemade yam chips and guacamole, perhaps The West End’s most infamous dish. Who would have thunk to pair yams and avocado? Whoever did, thank you. What a clever twist on traditional, and potentially boring, chips and guac. On top of the overly generous portion, the chips were crisp and flavorful, and guac was fresh and creamy. Honestly, the chips were so good they didn’t even need to be dipped. Though we were in awe at the heaping bowl of chips when it was served to us, we had no problem finishing it. They were so light, I even questioned if they were baked.

In continuation of my veggie burger tour of Boulder, I decided on Julio’s Veggie Burger, which came topped with arugula, mozzarella and tomato jam. The homemade patty was stuffed with corn, black beans and plenty of spices, and had a great consistency. However compared to some of the other comparable burgers I’ve tried, West End’s honestly was not the best.

Though not part of my personal West End experience, my dad ordered the Sunday special. Every Sunday, The West End Tavern sets up a smoker out front, and serves up a barbeque platter consisting of barbeque pulled pork, barbeque ribs, coleslaw, corn on the cob and watermelon. Although pork isn’t my thing, I did not want to deprive readers from learning about this special Sunday tradition at West End, which came with rave reviews from dad.

The bottom line: it is the ambiance, namely the roof-top patio, that keeps loyal customers coming back time after time. I did not think the food was anything special, though there was nothing wrong with it, but I would hands down return on a sunny day just to chill up top. Yam chips, muddled strawberry lemonade (or maybe even a beer), and a little Colorado sunshine peeking out from the awning- sounds like a perfect day at the West End Tavern.

Pizzeria Locale

by Jessica on October 3, 2011

1730 Pearl St./Menu


After recently traveling to Italy, the thought that no pizza I would ever try would be as good was simply depressing. Of course, I could not eliminate this crucial element of the college student’s diet, so I settled for a ill-fated future filled with disappointment.

Then I discovered Pizzeria Locale.

Located on the East End of Pearl St., the restaurant occupies a less-traveled area of the street, blocks from the end of the pedestrian mall. Yet as soon as you spot this trendy spot, clad with an outdoor patio and marble bar, you will know it was worth the extra few steps.

Their concept is simple: pizza Napoli-style. In fact, they even sent the head chef to Italy for a year to study the art of pizza-making, and import the majority of their ingredients straight from Italy. You can surely tell the difference. No Americanized pizza, frill or fancy apps and sides.

Perhaps a reflection of their sister restaurant, award-winning and outstanding Frasca Food and Wine nextdoor, Pizzeria Locale’s wine list is  impressive. In true college-kid fashion, we went for the cheapest bottle on the menu: the house red, Scarpetta. After ordering the bottle, we watched the bartender pour the vino out of a soda tap and into a glass bottle. Very cool. After we got over our obsession with the presentation, we all agreed that the wine was light, crisp, and well worth the $28 for a great bottle of wine.

After hearing our neighbors place their order, we decided the Arancino, or fried mozzarella and saffron risotto balls, were a must. They came one per order, so we each requested one.

I almost sent the ball flying across the street (we were sitting outside) when I tried to slice this crispy creation. Given the soft consistency of its ingredients, I did not expect the crunchy, perfectly-fried outer layer that characterized the dish. The outside was fried to perfection, yet cheese oozed out the moment my knife left the scene. It was truly perfect and a great little snack to munch on while you wait.







In a quest to learn more about this awesome concept of a restaurant, I grilled our poor waiter with questions. Perhaps the most interesting fact I learned was that each pizza stays in the oven for only sixty seconds. Though of course our pizza did not arrive within a minute, the service was speedy, which was not surprising.

In an effort to steer clear of the meat-piled pies, I stuck to the basics and selected the Margherita, with extra oregano. Traditionally in Italy, simple pizzas are the way to go. Maybe it was an excuse for not wanting to be adventurous, but as soon as my pizza arrived I had no doubts about my choice. Even my meat-eating friends preferred my selection.

The imported, high-quality ingredients is what took this pie from good to great. The crust was paper thin and extremely soft because it is cooked for such a short amount of time, yet crispy on the bottom. Normally, I do not like such a soft crust like this. Yet every single ingredient, including the imported san marzano tomatoes and mozzarella di bufala, was fresh and bursting with flavor. Here’s the sleeper: the spicy chili oil. This is an addiction I developed while in Italy. It is basically olive oil infused with hot chilies that many Italians drizzle over their entire pie. I like to pretend I’m Italian and do the same.

Even the picture of this pizza is making my mouth water and crave another visit to Pizzeria Locale. Though I have been hearing rumors of debates over which “upscale pizzeria” takes the cake, I would imagine this place is hard to beat. I will be sure to sample the other competitors soon, but will also absolutely be returning here ASAP, hopefully while the weather is still warm to enjoy the glorious patio.