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Thursday, April 19,2012

Royal Indian dining on the east side

By Clay Fong
Over the $8.99 lunch buffet at the Royal Clay Oven (formerly India’s Clay Oven) on Arapahoe, British-born friend Andrew and I discussed the differences between Indian restaurants in the U.S. and U.K. He pointed out that more people in the U.K. work in subcontinental eateries than in the shipbuilding, coal mining and steel-making industries combined.
Thursday, April 12,2012

Returning to a Longmont seafood favorite

By Clay Fong
I’m not entirely sure why I hadn’t paid a visit to Longmont’s Tortugas in the last few years — in the late ’90s, I thought it was one of the best restaurants in the county. Combining a hospitable, homey, Key West feel with a menu of fresh seafood, prepared in the manner of the Caribbean, Mexico and New Orleans, it was an easy winner.
Thursday, April 5,2012

A reasonably priced lunch at a high-end place

By Clay Fong
My first job out of college was working for the U.S. Forest Service in Rutland, Vt. Unfortunately, lunch choices in this town were limited, and I ate most meals at the family-run Sandwich Shoppe. Pricing was in line with my entry-level salary — today, you can still get a big meatball sub there for $6.
Thursday, March 29,2012

A distinctive Indian lunch buffet

By Clay Fong
For those old enough, you may remember 1985 as a dark time, mostly because that’s when McDonald’s launched the McDLT. In today’s recycling-conscious age, the McDLT probably wouldn’t exist. For those of you unfamiliar with this environmental atrocity, this was a burger adorned with lettuce and tomato that came in a double-chambered Styrofoam container.
Thursday, March 22,2012

Al fresco at Zucca

By Clay Fong
Located smack dab in the middle of downtown Louisville, Zucca Italian Ristorante boasts an inviting ambience balancing the rustic with a subtle but unmistakable European flair. The same can also be said of the menu, which ranges from old standbys like comforting spaghetti and meatballs to more elevated selections like seafood cannelloni and rack of lamb.
Thursday, March 15,2012

Chinese-American standbys

By Clay Fong
I’ve finally taken a “If you can’t beat, join ‘em” tack to my critical assessment of local Chinese restaurants. No longer do I hold Boulder eateries to the same standard of the Bay Area joints of my youth. Why? Because for the most part, establishments around here are not, strictly speaking, Chinese restaurants.
Thursday, March 8,2012

Santa Fe in Longmont

By Clay Fong
I appreciate a business with a name that unambiguously identifies what it offers. Such is the case with Longmont’s to-the-point Santa Fe Coffee & Burrito Co. This welcoming breakfast and lunch spot features caffeine ranging from classic diner coffee to espresso drinks and hearty, New Mexico-influenced meals.
Thursday, March 1,2012

A high-end food court

By Clay Fong
Neither good food nor subtlety was a strong suit at the busy suburban mall food courts of my youth. In those pre-Sbarro years, kitsch was king. Over-the-top Union Jack displays heralded the fish and chips stand, and garish, if not stereotypical, lanterns and kimonos indicated where greasy tempura was dished out.
Thursday, February 23,2012

A laudable weekend brunch

By Clay Fong
Sunday morning was rough. I had injured my knee the day before, resulting in an ER visit and an unsure prognosis. My friend Ann suggested an ameliorative brunch, and I was game, but not necessarily up for one of those popular joints with a long wait and hip vibe.
Thursday, February 16,2012

Oak has recovered — and then some

By Clay Fong
When assessing the recently reopened Oak at Fourteenth, the lazy tendency would be to open with a sentence such as this: “Like a phoenix rising out of the ashes, Oak has returned from months of rebuilding from a debilitating fire.