by Hayley Hudson on April 30, 2011

1136 Pearl St / Menu

For some reason, Japango is never my first choice when I’m craving sushi, but that’s not because there’s anything wrong with it. I’ve never had a bad experience here. I came close once, but it was my own fault for ordering appetizers and failing to pace myself properly. Before my meal had even gotten started, I ended up full.

This time around, I took it easy with a simple seaweed salad to begin. A sweet dressing of soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and sesame seeds coats the salty sea vegetables.

I’m always a fan of this dish, and I feel healthy eating it. Rich in iodine and trace minerals, seaweed provides a lot of nutrients that the standard American diet usually lacks. If you’re hesitant to try seaweed, do it for your health! I promise it’s delicious, too.

The sushi rolls didn’t inspire quite the same level of confidence about their wholesome qualities, as it was possible they were highly radioactive due to the chaos in Japan.

It was worth the risk, though. The spicy tuna roll, pictured on the right, was the best I’ve had in recent memory. Usually, I chalk it up as a “boring” roll, but the tuna tasted extremely rich (all those chemicals, I’m sure) and the level of spice was perfectly hot without being overwhelming.

Even though I love unagi, I found the roll on the left less than inspiring. Cucumber and raw shrimp were wrapped in the rice, and each of them just tasted watery. Without the sweet and slightly smoky eel topping, which was delicious, the roll would have been a disappointment.

The spicy tuna roll really won me over. From now on, I’ll remember to include Japango in my regular sushi rotation, assuming I live to see the day.


Bombay Bistro

by Hayley Hudson on April 28, 2011

1214 Walnut / Menu

Let my visit to Bombay Bistro be a lesson to you about the power of enthusiasm.

I had been to this place before and loved it, so when we sat down I immediately made a statement about how very excited I was about my impending meal. A restaurant owner happened to overhear and told me that usually, his customers were less expressive. Why? I don’t know. The food here deserves loud affirmations of its greatness.

As a reward for being his number one fan, my dining companion and I were treated especially well, and a complimentary chai kicked off our meal.

The warm tea, creamy and sweet, made for a nice accent to the comfy interior of the restaurant, which is decorated with lots of sheer curtains and soft pillows in bold prints.

Naan came next, and this variety seemed a bit different than most naan I’m usually served. Small with a slightly crispy underside, the bread lacked a fluff factor, but I still enjoyed it and especially liked the chickpea-based dip that accompanied it.

Because no bready appetizer should go untasted, we also got an order of pappadum, which is my personal favorite Indian appetizer. I even like it more than naan, which probably seems blasphemous to some, but something about its aromatic flavor gets me every time. I want to say it’s more complex in taste? Let’s just go with that. I’m very complicated.

Every time I visit Bombay Bistro I get the vegetable korma, which is veggies, chickpeas, and rice in a light coconut milk-based curry sauce. The dish’s sweet flavor comes from the coconut and the lack of heavy spices. I love it, but if you want your eyes to water, I would suggest ordering something else.

Our feast came to a close with another gift: free bites of dessert.

The cheesecake tasted light but rich, and after a drink, appetizer, and entree, decidedly made our dinner a complete meal. And to think it all happened because of a simple statement demonstrating my borderline obsessive love for Indian cuisine. So people, never silence yourselves! Good things come to those who eat.

Lazy Dog

by Andrew Woodman on April 26, 2011

1346 Pearl Street
Boulder, Colorado 80302
Lazy Dog’s website

I came here with my roommate Matt to watch the Nuggets third playoff game.  This place was great for that, eating copious amounts of nachos and wings, and just about anything else you’d imagine doing at a sports bar. Like drinking beer, or something.

We ordered a dozen Crispy Chicken Wings [$10.95], and split the order between the mild flavors of ginger chili and honey chipotle.  That part didn’t really matter, since all of the wings kind of tasted the same, with the flavor of honey standing out more than anything else.  But that didn’t really matter either, because they were still all extremely crispy on the outside, and pretty darn good on the inside.  Although they weren’t falling off the bone or anything, the meat was still pretty moist.  And let me tell you, this is some of the best celery I have ever had (haha).

Then we got the Macho Nachos [$10.95] with steak [+$2] since we already had chicken.  They were absolutely insane, with a fantastic toppings to chip ratio (so many toppings), and some puréed fresh yet mild salsa on the side.  They featured a heap of black beans, tomatoes, black olives, green onions, jalapeños on top of a relatively much smaller bed of chips.  The steak bits were surprisingly really good, and were juicy with actual flavors… not just some crappy Nacho-esque side cut that is also worthy of being fed to a dog.  The cheese was cheddar and jack, which did a fantastic job of making you feel amazing by getting a bunch of really good bites stuck together into one extremely exciting nacho bite.  This reminded me of that one scene from the movie Saving Silverman:


Along with all this food I obviously had a few beers, of course (none of the beers were Coors, although that is definitely an option, duh). The classic sports bar food was done super well, and the atmosphere only added.  The camaraderie, cheering and yelling in an absolutely spastic manner when JR Smith tied it up with a baseline 3 at the end of the third quarter made the whole night worth it… Even if Denver lost and became 0-3 in the series against the Oklahoma City Thunder… At least I was at the Lazy Dog.



by Hayley Hudson on April 25, 2011

950 Pearl / menu

Refreshment Palace, one of the descriptors that appears in Centro’s full, official name, accurately describes its drink offerings. They’re fit for a king indeed, and the dimly lit indoor/outdoor setup, in which the bar backs up to an open patio, offers up an inviting spot to enjoy one.

A house margarita, sweet but not sickly sweet, will not steer you wrong. My favorite Centro drink, however, isn’t a margarita. Truthfully, I couldn’t remember the name of it, so I requested “the one that looks like a glass of limes.” Our server knew exactly what I was talking about and didn’t (noticeably) judge my ignorance.

If I had simply consulted the drink menu, I would have discovered that I was seeking the Caipirinha, a concoction of muddled lime, cachaça, and simple syrup. This drink is essentially lime and sugar, plus more sugar that’s been made alcoholic (cachaça is fermented from sugarcane juice). No wonder I love it!

Other Centro treats include the Dark and Stormy–rum, lime, and ginger beer–or the Kentucky Wildflower, which contains vanilla cognac and lavender extract. The wine and beer list is extensive, and there’s even quite a few hot beverages to choose from, like the cocoa-nut, a magical-sounding mix of coconut rum and hot cocoa. See? Refreshment palace, truly.

The said refreshments shouldn’t overshadow the great food, though. Centro Latin Kitchen and Refreshment Palace incorporates unexpected twists into traditional Latin American fare. In the words of a friend (who ordered a burrito), “There’s so much going on. In a really good way.”

I split the pork tacos with a different friend. She made no quotable remarks.

Some of those flashes of red/purple are radishes, not red onions (but those were in there too). Crunchy and cool, the little veggies helped my mouth better handle the intense spice factor, a result of rotisserie  habanero seasoning and plenty of seedy jalapeno slices. I supplemented every eye-watering bite with more of my alcoholic sugar water.

Everyone at our very large table raved about their food, and we all left satisfied, whether we had consumed tacos, burritos, soup, appetizers, or just lots of margaritas. No one had anything bad to say, and although groups of drunk people have been wrong before, I assure you we weren’t wrong about the Refreshment Palace and its equally great (but underwhelmingly titled by comparison) Latin Kitchen.

Zoe Ma Ma

by Andrew Woodman on April 24, 2011

2010 10th Street
Boulder, Colorado 80302
Zoe Ma Ma’s website

gluten-free, vegetarian, and organic-lover friendly!

Zoe Ma Ma’s Chinese food is definitely Boulder bent: they are very health oriented. This makes dim sum intake limited by the fact that it is priced per dumpling, which makes it relatively pricey to what I’m used to.  Their noodle and rice dishes use the same healthy/pricy ingredients, but for their size they are actually really decently priced.  Go figure.

I started off with a dim sum plate, and got one of each of the following (pictured left to right from top to bottom): Original Potsticker [$1.25], Pork Bao [$2.79], Vegan Dumpling [$1.25] and Sao Mai [$1.25].

I thoroughly enjoyed 3/4 of this plate.  The Original Potsticker was easily my favorite, and I also enjoyed the Vegan Dumpling (filled with tofu, shitake, garlic) and the Sao Mai (steamed pork wrapped in wonton paper)… but the Pork Bao—which by the way is my favorite dim sum item—was easily a disgrace to all steamy buns.  The “fluffy” outside was barely that, as it was dry and had the consistency of a slightly overcooked piece of bread.  It also wasn’t sweet in the slightest, and the organic wheat really just made it super mealy.  It also took me more than one bite to get to the marinated pork middle. By the time I got to that point, I was so disappointed that I don’t even remember what it tasted like.  And this is their most expensive piece of dim sum?!  Shameful.

I got the Za Jian Mian, which I was told is their most popular dish.  It’s a classic Northern Chinese hot noodle dish, that uses fresh organic egg noodles and is topped with ground pork, “sauce,” green onions, and julienned cucumbers and carrots.  The noodles were super yummy and had a perfect consistency and texture for slurping.  The ground pork was good, as they use all-natural meats, but it was slightly overcooked and thus a little bit dry.  The sauce didn’t only add brothy + citrusy + spicy flavors to the dish, but it was seriously a necessary tool to assist me with all that slightly dry pork.


So they have a pretty solid noodle dish, and a botched Bao, but at least they have the most praiseworthy selection of dim sum in town (that I have seen… please tell me if there are any others, Lollicup doesn’t count).  I also really liked their Chinese newspaper decorated tables, which further reminded me that I still cannot read Chinese.

On top of all this, I guess I have to give them credit for being a healthy Chinese restaurant in America.  Who would have thought that was possible? Welcome to Boulder.


Foolish Craig's

by Hayley Hudson on April 23, 2011

1611 Pearl / Menu

As some of us have had to learn the hard way, a crepe lacking sufficient filling leaves something to be desired. Avoid putting yourself in that position with a trip to Foolish Craig’s, the land of crepe abundance.

Their crepes can be enjoyed with or without an accompanying mimosa, but since my visit coincided with crack whore Friday, I had to indulge. Those who observe this weekly holiday-of-sorts traditionally don messy hair and day-old makeup and often incorporate the old customs of a slight headache and general uncleanliness. All are results of the previous Thursday night out.


The bubbly orange drink did its job, tastily and effectively preparing my unsettled stomach for the crepe to come.

“Breast O’ Pesto” Crepe

Now that’s a crepe.

The thin, buttery cousin of the pancake could barely contain all the chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, and artichoke hearts stuffed in its center. Everything came doused in pesto, which added flavor and prevented the crepe from tasting too dry. Filling was anything but scarce, and I ended up taking about half of my breakfast home. The lesson here is that although crepe stands on the hill have tried to convince us that skinny crepes are normal, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Sure, a Foolish Craig’s crepe will feel like a gross excess compared to the meager offerings elsewhere, but you might as well treat yourself to the extravagancy of a well-stuffed crepe. If the crepe guilt gets to be too much, wait for a commemorative day to indulge. I think you deserve the best every day, though, and the best even comes with a side of potatoes.

Happy Noodle House

by Andrew Woodman on April 21, 2011

835 Walnut Street
Boulder, Colorado 80302
Happy Noodle House’s website

4-4:30PM daily @ Happy Noodle House = best deal in Boulder

The following statement is absolutely exaggeration free: At the time and place above, you can find the best deal in town → $5 for a Bánh Mi pork sandwich + a beer.

Although I’m sure it changes, there were two choices for the beer, the Avery IPA or the Avery Ellie’s Brown Ale.  It seriously doesn’t get much better than that, since an Avery alone is normally around $4. I went with Ellie’s Brown Ale since I’ve never had it.  It was a good choice since it was a dark and decently heavy brew, which helped to fill my stomach up way more than any $5 tab should.  It also had tastes reminiscent of chocolate, which can never be a bad characteristic to anything.

The Bánh Mi came on a french roll instead of a baguette, which definitely made it look more like a hamburger than usual.  It featured cha siu pork  (pork barbecued in an Asian style on a skewer) pork paté, green Sriracha aioli, and some lettuce, carrots and cucumbers to crunch it up.  The sandwiches meat was insane: the sweet yet tangy BBQ pork and the pork paté made for an eclectic meat gathering that mixed tender meaty pork with the it’s equivalent creamy partner, and it was good. The rest of the sandwich really filled out each bite perfectly, adding a fresh vegetable crunch, and some spiciness to top it off.  There was also some Tom Yum broth served on the side, which is known for its savory, spicy and sour flavors.  I probably couldn’t have done the broth by itself, but it’s subtle seafood flavors and the tangy/hot feel really went well with the Bánh Mi.


All you have to do is be hungry and willing to drink a beer between 4-4:30PM (any day of the week) and you are more than eligible to be satisfied by the best deal in Boulder.


Antica Roma

by Hayley Hudson on April 20, 2011

1308 Pearl St / Menu

Those seeking a no-fail date venue should head to Antica Roma, where the interior mimics Italy (an American spin on an idealized Italy, at least) and the candlelight is sure to always cast that perfect shadow across your companion’s face.

The restaurant’s fountain and indoor seating that runs seamlessly into an outdoor patio recreate a European streetfront, and judging by the abundance of seafood options on the menu, this faux Italian town must have been located somewhere along the coast.

I can’t usually pass up seafood–I”ve been known to eat it for breakfast–so I insisted that we start with the mussels.

Unlike the similar-looking oyster, often served raw, mussels are usually steamed in the shell before serving, and these went from the steamer into a pool of garlic white wine sauce, which added a great depth of flavor to the dish. I last ate mussels in San Francisco, but these hardly tasted lower-quality, despite traveling significantly farther to make it to the fake seaport here in Colorado.

For dinner I ordered the salmon,which they prepared with salty fixings like artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, and capers, and served with steamed spinach and potatoes with crunchy, golden crusts. The sauce contained white wine and garlic just as the mussels had, but seemed richer this time around.

Several of the pasta dishes on the menu incorporated fresh, in-the-shell seafood as well, and while I liked the seafood emphasis, anyone not a fan can certainly find plenty of other offerings. Italian food can please most palates, and it’s worth checking out Antica Roma for the cute atmosphere alone.

As a first date venue, Antica Roma could provide that competitive edge for launching date number two because flowing water, classical music, stone walls and even imitation street lamps almost force you to see things (and people) in a more favorable light. And, if a romantic atmosphere isn’t enough to compensate for someone you truly cannot stand, you can always high-tail it out of pseudo-Tuscany and blame bad seafood.

Shish Kabob Supreme

by Andrew Woodman on April 19, 2011

1310 College Avenue
Boulder, Colorado 80302

The food court on College Avenue boasts a bunch of underground (literally) ethnic restaurants, and then a pizza place.  (Italian doesn’t really trigger that ethnic feel, and plus this pizza seems more American.)  Shish Kabob Supreme is one of those ethnic places, which is best described as Afghan Cuisine, but also offers many Mediterranean options.

They have a main overhead menu with pictures, which are also accompanied by a lot of papers taped up on the wall offering other meal items.  Having missed all those papers, I ordered the pictured Chicken Kabob [$6.99].

The chicken was extremely juicy and flavorful with lemon, onion, garlic amongst other spices, and was on top of a huge bed of white rice.  Well, mostly white rice, a select few were yellow (in a good way).  The guy working there was supremely personable and knew everyone (but me…it was my first time) who came in to order.  I even saw him take the freshly marinated skewer of chicken and put it on the grill for me, which was nice to see.  He also gave me those free veggies that were cooked in a slightly sweet and tangy sauce.  The rice made the dish filling, and the chicken was enough to fulfill my flavor expectations. There was a side of tzatziki sauce that helped my mouth find a happy medium between between slightly spicy and cool. Oh and the vegetables were a nice touch, too.

My order included a salad:

It was pretty simple: just lettuce, cucumber, tomato, topped with a super tangy dressing that seemed more Afghan than Mediterranean, but I’m not completely sure. Simple, but nice. The cold piece of pita would have been more useful if it was warm, and accompanied the chicken dish, not the salad.


The free veggies made enough impact on me to want to come back, and hopefully he will remember me, and that will make me want to come back again, and the cycle of Afghan cuisine will continue.

/^_^\  << WOO HOO!


by Hayley Hudson on April 19, 2011

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