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Wednesday, November 23,2011

A hipster visit to Boulder’s Snooze

By Clay Fong
A couple months back, I was chatting on the phone with my sister when I mentioned my fear of becoming a hipster. “Becoming?!” was her incredulous reply. Granted, I hang out with people that drink Pabst Blue Ribbon and wear kilts, ironically, and I even own a few fedoras and have volunteered at the roller derby, but moi, a hipster?
Thursday, November 17,2011

Pearl Street gets a new riff

By Clay Fong
In the late 1990s, I worked on west Walnut Street, a stone’s throw from the Pearl Street Mall. For lunch, I’d patronize now-defunct venues like Juanita’s and the New York Deli, and I’d often pick up morning coffee at the old Bookends Café. Like many, I felt a touch of melancholy when I heard that Bookends was closing, but I’ve also learned to accept that businesses invariably come and go on Pearl.
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.