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Thursday, August 16,2012

A classic diner standby still delivers

By Clay Fong
The energetic cooks and servers here are a friendly yet efficient lot, and the menu holds few surprises for a breakfast and lunch joint. Offerings include a full complement of egg dishes ranging from single egg, bacon and toast kids specials for $4 to $8 jumbosized helpings of huevos rancheros.
Thursday, August 9,2012

Mainlining cured meats and cheeses

By Clay Fong
Back in the ’70s, Dad would often return from overseas business trips with his battered black briefcase freighted not with paperwork, but culinary treasures. Returning from Lisbon, Dad once brought back an enigmatic hunk of salted meat. “It’s Portuguese prosciutto,” he explained, “and it’s illegal in the United States.”
Thursday, August 2,2012

Burgers and shakes with style

By Clay Fong
I used to mess with my friend Andrew by feeding him false reports that a popular burger and milkshake chain had set up shop in Colorado. As it turns out, that chain now does have a Denver-area outpost, but it’s far enough away to require advanced planning, and who wants to deal with that?
Thursday, July 26,2012

Vegan food for meat eaters

By Clay Fong
Meeting up with old friends Michael and Allison, a dining dilemma posed itself. Michael describes himself as the antithesis of a vegan, while Allison is a self-proclaimed picky eater straddling the line between vegetarianism and full-tilt veganism. While there’s more than a few spots that can accommodate vegan dining, some are more compromised than others. In some cases, meatless offerings are nothing more than a thoughtlessly thrown together veggie plate.
Thursday, July 19,2012

An old favorite endures

By Clay Fong
I’m not sure if this is more Pavlovian or Proustian, but for many normal folks, hearing a particular song transports them back to a particular time and place. For example, I’ll always associate the first day I set foot in Boulder in 1994 with Seal’s “Prayer for the Dying,” as that was playing on the then-local station. Unlike normal people, I’ll also associate restaurants with certain times in my life. For that mid-Clinton era, I’ll fondly recall long-defunct eateries like the LA Diner and Trios.
Thursday, July 12,2012

Respecting the urban taco’s roots

By Clay Fong
I’ll argue that the most critical determinant of an ethnic restaurant’s success is how much it respects the source cuisine. Go to any ethnic neighborhood in a big city, and you’ll likely chance upon a family-run hole in the wall that’s wildly popular due to its authentic home-style cooking.
Thursday, July 5,2012

An alternative to the Indian buffet

By Clay Fong
Curry N Kebob fills a unique niche among Indian eateries by not featuring the ubiquitous buffet. Most options here cost a buck or two less than typical all-you-can-eat offerings, and service is reasonably fast, permitting those pressed for time to enjoy a subcontinental lunch.
Thursday, June 28,2012

Simple, organic Italian on Pearl

By Clay Fong
Gone is the dark, cavernous bar setting where Charles Bukowski would have felt at home. In its place is a contemporary interior that lunch companion Patrick described as very “New York,” with its exposed brick, airy ambience and sculpted light fixtures. The Mexican-American dive known as Juanita’s is long gone, and in its place is the new Pastavino, billing itself as “simple, organic, Italian.”
Thursday, June 21,2012

A pleasant surprise for Thai

By Clay Fong
Thai Avenue Rice and Noodles presents a textbook case of truth in advertising. First of all, it serves Thai food, notably rice and noodles. Secondly, it’s located on Boulder’s College Avenue. This straightforward naming scheme carries over to the no-frills experience that conceals a top-notch Southeast Asian experience.
Thursday, June 14,2012

Go west for summer cookout fare

By Clay Fong
First up was the Tavern’s $6 take on deviled, or as they call them, picnic, eggs, a selection my inner Cool Hand Luke found appealing. The West End’s presentation consisted of a half-dozen jumbo oeuvres, subtly spiced with turmeric, although they also suffered from too much salt. The yolks featured silky smooth texture, and appeared to have been piped through a pastry bag. Whites had a touch of give, and none of the rubberiness associated with overcooking.