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Friday, April 25,2014

food part II


Organic Restaurant 

THE KITCHEN 

1039 Pearl St., 303-544-5973 

Second Place: Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant 

Third Place: Shine Restaurant & Gathering Place / Modmarket (tie) 

Fifth Place: Black Cat Farm-Table-Bistro

How do you know The Kitchen is all its cracked up to be? ’Cause winning “Best Organic Restaurant” in Boulder is like winning “Best Irish Pub” in Dublin. This isn’t some pushover category like “Best Darning Class” or “Best Local Alt Weekly.” The philosophy of this amazing restaurant is to create a dining experience that, as much as possible, matches a gathering of friends and family in the kitchen of a home — a place of laughter and conversation where all feel relaxed and welcome. Add this atmosphere to the Kitchen’s commitment to serving the area’s best locally sourced organic foods and you can understand our readers’ choice. And did we mention that everything tastes fantastic? It does.

Lyons Restaurant 

OSKAR BLUES GRILL & BREW 

303 Main St., Lyons, 303-823-6685 

Second Place: Lyons Fork 

Third Place: Smokin’ Dave’s BBQ & Taphouse 

Fourth Place: Barking Dog Cafe 

Fifth Place: The Black Bear Inn

Nowadays, Oskar Blues and its many award-winning beers are everywhere, collecting accolades and fans as they go. But once upon a time, there was one location only: Oskar Blues Grill & Brew, a staple of downtown Lyons since 1997, and the resilient community’s best locale for Southern-style food, as well as tasty, tasty beers. Add in regular live music and it’s a recipe to win the hearts and minds of the community as well as Best of Boulder. Done, done and done.

Overall Restaurant 

THE MEDITERRANEAN RESTAURANT 

1002 Walnut St., 303-444-5335 

Second Place: The Kitchen 

Third Place: Oak at fourteenth 

Fourth Place: Brasserie Ten Ten 

Fifth Place: Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar

We l l , t h e y d i d i t a g a i n . The Mediterranean Restaurant has won our readers’ hearts and votes as the best resaurant in the foodiest city in America.

That is an amazing feat in a county where world-class restaurants are abundant. What makes it best? pretty much everything about it. The  Med has a fantastic atmosphere that includes a bar with a brick oven, an amazing courtyard patio and a maze of dining areas decorated in Mediterranean style. The service is great and the food is to be remembered. It has the best tapas in town and entrees ranging from lamb to pasta to seafood to individually handcrafted pizzas.

Congrats to the Med and thanks for all the good times and great food.

Pancake/Waffle

SNOOZE, AN A.M. EATERY 

1617 Pearl St., 303-225-7344 

Second Place: The Buff Restaurant 

Third Place: The Huckleberry 

Fourth Place: Tangerine 

Fifth Place: Turley’s Kitchen 

Snooze wants to “re-energize the way you think, feel and ultimately eat breakfast,” and they do just that by offering pancakes, that tried and true breakfast staple, in new and unexpected ways. This is the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company of Pancakes: pineapple upside down pancakes, sweet potato pancakes, caramel apple pie pancakes, molton chocolate lava pancakes and plain ol’ buttermilk, blueberry, chocolate chip or chocolate/peanut butter pancakes. Can’t choose just one? No worries. You can get a pancake flight with three flavors. They ain’t exaggerating when they call it “Pancake Bliss.”

Place to Go on a First Date 

THE MEDITERRANEAN RESTAURANT 

1002 Walnut St., 303-444-5335 

Second Place: The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse 

Third Place: The Kitchen 

Fourth Place: Brasserie Ten Ten 

Fifth Place: Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar 

Ah, the first date — all that excitement, that anticipation, the possibility that the entire thing will be really awkward, if even for just a bit. There’s no better way to push through the awkward than with great food and drink and charming ambience. The Mediterranean Restaurant is Boulder’s favorite place to take that potential soulmate as they navigate their way through the murky waters of The First Date. Enjoy an adult beverage on the patio — if the weather’s dandy — and wow your date with your ability to create an awesome meal based solely on appetizers with The Med’s selection of more than two dozen hot and cold tapas.

Restaurant Ambiance 

THE BOULDER DUSHANBE TEAHOUSE 

1770 13th St., 303-442-4993 

Second Place: Flagstaff House 

Third Place: The Mediterranean Restaurant 

Fourth Place: The Kitchen 

Fifth Place: Brasserie Ten Ten

The best restaurant decorators for Boulder County, it turns out, are roughly 7,000 miles away in Tajikistan. That’s where the 40 artisans from several towns carved and painted

The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse’s ceiling, tables, stools and columns. It was all done with sisterly love, as in a gift from one sister city to another. It took years to find just the right location and reassemble the teahouse in Boulder, but with features like life-sized sculptures and a fountain to tell “The Seven Beauties,” a 12th century poem, it was worth the wait. The Teahouse is a beautiful setting for any daytime meal or a fabulous dinner. The afternoon tea is also amazing as are the rose gardens that surround the patio dining.

Place to Eat Outdoors 

CHAUTAUQUA DINING HALL 

900 Baseline Road, 303-442-3282 

Second Place: Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant 

Third Place: The Mediterranean Restaurant 

Fourth Place: The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse 

Fifth Place: Boulder County Farmers’ Market

Did you know Boulder is a town full of outdoors enthusiasts? If you didn’t, you probably haven’t been further outside than your own front door in a while. Allow us to educate you: here in Boulder, we’re big fans of the outdoors. We play outside, hiking, biking, climbing and skiing, and we’ll even shop outdoors at the Boulder Farmers’ Market.

The good news is you can wrap up an outdoors experience hiking or climbing at Chautauqua Park with a stop in at the irresistibly charming and historic Chautauqua Dining Hall and keep the trend going by eating outdoors. Take a table on the wraparound porch and have a helping of fresh, organic, seasonal dining selections by Three Leaf Concepts, of The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant, Aji, The Huckleberry and Zucca. Three Leaf Concepts is so committed to fresh, local ingredients they’ve made their own farm in Lafayette where they, you’ll never guess, grow produce outdoors.

Restaurant Dessert 

THE KITCHEN 

1039 Pearl St., 303-544-5973 

Second Place: SALT 

Third Place: The Greenbriar Inn 

Fourth Place: The Mediterranean Restaurant 

Fifth Place: Frasca Food and Wine

While we could use this space to gush culinary about the background and practices of The Kitchen that helped earn it the top dessert spot in this year’s Best of Boulder reader survey, instead, we’re just going to list items on the dessert menu. Potato doughnuts with spiced hot chocolate. Sticky toffee pudding with house made vanilla gelato. That same gelato served with a shot of espresso or a shot of blackberry liqueur. Cherry and cobbler tart. Apple cobbler. And there’s more. If you’re not hungry yet, then you just might be dead inside. Get thee to The Kitchen and dessert, hardcore.

Pizza Slice 

ABO’S PIZZA 

Various locations around Boulder County 

Second Place: Cosmo’s Pizza 

Third Place: Pizza Colore 

Fourth Place: Backcountry Pizza & Tap House 

Fifth Place: Beau Jo’s

It’s tough to beat the slices at Abo’s. After all, they’re legendary. With many locations across Boulder County, this restaurant has been putting out old school New York-style pies since 1977. Over the years, people like singer/songwriter Carole King and Led Zep frontman Robert Plant have popped in. But what makes the place legendary is its pizza. And to know the pizza is to know a little about the story of founder Steve Abo, the former University of Colorado student who rejected a stuffed-shirt career path for the ’za. His journey led him to an apprenticeship with boxer-turned-pizza guy, Rocky Graziano, and that’s where he discovered the secrets of the sauce, namely a family recipe. Abo’s boasts fresh ingredients but we’ll bet they won this category, in part, for size. The slices are both big and good.

New Restaurant 

ZEAL 

1710 Pearl St., 720-708-6309 

Second Place: The Post Brewing Co. 

Third Place: Fresh Thymes 

Fourth Place: FATE Brewing Company 

Fifth Place: Volta

With Boulder repeatedly getting kudos in national rankings for being so health-conscious and fit, it’s no surprise that Zeal has quickly become a favorite. The restaurant caters to the city’s passion for eating the right foods, whether diners are in a rush or just want to kick back and relax. The menu brings simple dishes to breakfast, lunch or dinner filled with fresh ingredients. One fun thing to do is build your own healthy bowl. Start with a base like rice or quinoa, add a protein, like beef or tempeh or a farm egg, and top it with delicious sauce, like mushroom dashi or burnt-orange tamarind. Securing this top honor in Best of Boulder shows that the city expects Zeal to be around for years to come.

Seafood 

JAX FISH HOUSE 

928 Pearl St., 303-444-1811 

Second Place: Tortuga’s 

Third Place: Flagstaff House / Boulder Cork (tie) 

Fifth Place: Boulder Café

It could be the $5 infusions and $1.25 oysters for happy hour that make Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar the top seafood pick in Best of Boulder. Or it could be the clams at the restaurant’s raw bar. Maybe it is the fun of mingling with the crowds that spill out onto Pearl Street. Whatever it is, Jax, a mainstay in Boulder (and in Denver) is a “Best of” champ, the place for many readers to get their fix for lobster and crab and whatever other delectable bounties are pulled from the depths of the sea. It’s the kind of place where you can find comfort food, like a bit of old school gumbo, Louisiana style, or go for a plate of Washington steelhead, with snap peas, asparagus, saffron broth and almond piccada.

Sushi 

SUSHI ZANMAI 

1221 Spruce St., 303-440-0733 

Second Place: Hapa Sushi Grill & Sake Bar 

Third Place: Japango 

Fourth Place: Sushi Tora 

Fifth Place: Sushi Hana

Why is Sushi Zanmai owner Naoto Kanda wearing such a huge smile? Cause that’s how good it feels to triumph in the “Best Sushi” category of Best of Boulder this year. Winning best sushi is no easy task in a place renowned for its amazing sushi restaurants. At Sushi Zanmai, Kanda has created an atmosphere that is nothing short of electric. The place is fun and alive, the sushi is magnificent and the staff is informed and knows how to put a smile on your face. There’s even karaoke on Saturday nights. The restaurant also has several private rooms that are perfect for small gatherings or even a sizable private party. There’s nothing better than the combination of traditional sushi and fun — and no place better to enjoy that pairing than Sushi Zanmai.

Restaurant Service 

MOUNTAIN SUN 

1701 Pearl St., 303-440-0220 %u2028 

SOUTHERN SUN 

627 S. Broadway, 303-543-0886 

Second Place: Flagstaff House Restaurant 

Third Place: Frasca Food and Wine 

Fourth Place: The Kitchen 

Fifth Place: The Mediterranean Restaurant

Many things in life are uncertain — tomorrow’s weather, tomorrow’s stock market, tomorrow’s traffic (well, actually, if you’re on U.S. 36, that’s pretty much guaranteed to be terrible). So it’s nice to know that there are some things you can count on. For instance, that if you go to the Mountain Sun or Southern Sun establishments, you will be met with a smile and a rotating cast of waitstaff determined to keep a beer in your hand and food in your belly. The pooled approach to staff means you will not have one waiter steering you through your dining experience, you’ll have a chance to poll multiple waitstaff for their thoughts and advice on the menu — and with a long and rotating list of beers on tap and a server happy to pour you a few samples, that guidance can be something you’ll learn to look forward to.

Sandwich SNARF’S SUB SHOP

5340 Arapahoe Ave., 303-444-3404

2128 Pearl St., 303-444-7766

645 Ken Pratt Blvd., Longmont, 303-774-1441

2130 Mountain View Ave., Longmont, 303-702-1111

Second Place: Salvaggio’s Deli

Third Place: Half Fast Subs Fourth Place:

Great Harvest Bread Company

Fifth Place: Deli Zone

Wiktionary defines “snarf” as a verb that means “to eat or consume greedily,” which is exactly how you are expected to eat a sandwich from Snarf’s Sub Shop. OK, maybe you aren’t expected to snarf your sandwich, but we dare you to try not to woof down a delicious sammy from Snarf’s. The original Snarf’s Sub Shop opened its doors as “The Shack” on Pearl Street in Boulder in 1996, moving to more spacious digs across the street in 2008. Snarf’s now has 11 locations in Colorado, and shops in Chicago, St. Louis and Austin.

Take Out

SNARF’S SUB SHOP

5340 Arapahoe Ave., 303-444-3404

2128 Pearl St., 303-444-7766 645

Ken Pratt Blvd., Longmont, 303-774-1441

2130 Mountain View Ave., Longmont, 303-702-1111

Second Place: Noodles & Company

Third Place: Chez Thuy Vietnamese Restaurant

Fourth Place: Curry n Kebob

Fifth Place: Khow Thai Cafe

Got to grab a dinner on the go? Looking for some take-home for dining on the comfort of your own couch? Venturing out of delivery range for this favorite of Boulder sandwich shops? Just hoping no one catches you with mayo on your nose? Snarf’s Sub Shop is the go-to place for to-go dining. Grab a sandwich loaded up with some spicy peppers and hop back into your busy or not-so-busy routine.

Thai

KHOW THAI CAFE

1600 Broadway St., 303-447-0273

Second Place: Buddha Thai Cuisine

Third Place: Thai Kitchen

Fourth Place: Aloy Thai Cuisine Fifth Place: Busaba

Khow Thai is no stranger to BW’s Best of Boulder, consecutively winning “Best Thai Restaurant” since 2003, and that’s saying a lot in a town that takes food as seriously as Boulder. So if you’re new to The Republic and you’ve seen Khow Thai’s inconspicuous store front on Broadway and thought little of it, think again. The menu is simple, offering stir-fries, curries, noodles, salads and Thai desserts, as well as appetizers and specialties. Dine-in, takeout or order delivery, and maybe see how you handle a “Thai hot” curry dish. While most Thai recipes aren’t traditionally vegetarian, Khow Thai knows its Boulder audience and provides a tofu option with carrots, broccoli, zucchini and cabbage for many dishes. Let the wait staff know if you have any dietary restrictions and they’ll work to accommodate.

Vegetarian Friendly

LEAF VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT

2010 16th St., 303-442-1485

Second Place: Modmarket

Third Place: Native Foods Cafe

Fourth Place: Shine Restaurant & Gathering Place

Fifth Place: Turley’s Kitchen

The idea behind Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant is simple: Fresh food should be sustainable, local and organic. That’s achieved at Leaf thought its Three Leaf Farm, in Lafayette, where the harvest is fresh produce, herbs and free-range eggs. The restaurant, which welcomes vegans and those going gluten-free, serves an intriguing range of items. For dinner, for instance, you can start with beet perogies with sauerkraut and vegan sour cream. Then you can move to a raw kale salad with apples, dates and carrots, topped with an apple cider vinaigrette. For the main course, there’s seitan kebabs, grain-free fettuccini and Moroccan tofu, to name a few selections. And for dessert, how about trying a vegan chocolate peanutbutter tart? You get the idea. Leaf sets itself apart by being everything a vegetarian-friendly restaurant aspires to be — and more.

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