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Wednesday, November 9,2011

Southern Indian seasonings

By Clay Fong
One of my more ill-advised college misadventures involved a midnight competition with a classmate to see who could consume the most Tabasco sauce straight. While I prevailed, I learned a valuable lesson (actually one of several) in that heat for heat’s sake isn’t a good thing. The best spicy dishes are ones that don’t up your fiery pain so much that you can’t enjoy the rest of your meal, and are tempered by other intriguing flavors lurking beneath the surface.
Thursday, November 3,2011

More than a coffee shop

By Clay Fong
The first impression of downtown Boulder’s Saxy’s Cafe is that of your typical college town coffee shop with a ramshackle, slightly lived-in feel. But a closer look reveals more luxurious trappings epitomized by comfortable sofas and low coffee tables that give the spot a cozy living room ambience. Low-key, if not folksy, music plays on the stereo, deepening the mellow coffeehouse vibe.
Thursday, October 27,2011

A dining discovery — and a good deal

By Clay Fong
For some foodies, exploring new restaurants is a sporting activity, and one of the top trophies is stumbling across a hidden gem before anyone else does. If the place is affordable, so much the better, and unique menu items score additional brownie points, although some might prefer actual brownies. And while you won’t find brownies at Lafayette’s (503) Café, you’ll find all the other elements of a winning and reasonably priced dining discovery in the space formerly occupied by Chip’s Place.
Thursday, October 20,2011

Tavern fare with a twist

By Clay Fong
Whenever I visit a place calling itself a tavern, I half expect it to be populated by a clientele consisting of Revolutionary War colonists plotting their next move against the monarchy. More realistically though, I anticipate that a self-proclaimed tavern is an unfussy spot where decent brews flow freely and bar food staples are abundant and reasonably priced.
Thursday, October 13,2011

Pizza in the backcountry

By Clay Fong
Spun off from its namesake Nederland predecessor, Boulder’s recently opened Backcountry Pizza and Taphouse ably occupies the gap between chain restaurants and artisan pizzerias. It retains much of the unpretentious charm of its mountain parent, which is an endearingly comfortable spot to visit after hitting the slopes at Eldora. To its credit, Backcountry also exudes enough culinary variety to pique the interest of the foodie set — and offering a selection of more than 50 beers probably doesn’t hurt either.
Thursday, October 6,2011

Asian food for all tastes

By Clay Fong
Pan-Asian variety is the name of the game at Pearl Street’s Moongate Asian Bistro, which features a diverse and affordable Asian menu. Classic Chinese-American cookery is one of the stars of the show here, with such venerable chestnuts as Kung Pao chicken and broccoli beef on tap. Moongate also offers several Thai, Japanese and Vietnamese selections, including pad thai, sushi and Saigon soft shell crab.
Thursday, September 29,2011

Comfort food at Lulu's

By Clay Fong
Generally, the newest local restaurants shy away from the excess frilliness of haute cuisine and instead towards venerable comfort foods. For the past year, gourmet pizza has been all the rage, and folks can’t seem to get enough of updated pies with artisan toppings and authentic Italian pedigrees.
Thursday, September 22,2011

Going samurai at Alfalfa's

By Clay Fong
Consider the traditional Japanese breakfast. Instead of pork products, the protein usually consists of heart-friendly fish like mackerel and salmon. Eggs appear, but in modest quantities. Steamed rice replaces hash browns, and there’s usually a smattering of land or sea vegetables.
Thursday, September 15,2011

Georgia boys BBQ may be best on the Front Range

By Clay Fong
One of the required American barbecue trail pilgrimages is Dallass Sonny Bryans, a joint renowned for its meltingly tender beef brisket. There are several locations scattered throughout the city, but the cognoscenti know that the food is best at the original shack on Inwood Road.
Thursday, September 8,2011

An authentic Mexican taqueria

By Clay Fong
Whenever I go back to the Bay Area for family visits, it’s inevitable I stop by San Leandro’s Taqueria Los Pericos with one or both of my brothers. I suspect our visits are equally driven by the quality of the food as well as having us be seen in public for the purpose of establishing an alibi. Regardless, my brothers introduced me to authentic street-style tacos, and I completely understand their loyalty to this proverbial hole-in-the-wall.
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