Southwestern Tofu Scramble
Lucky’s Cafe, 3980 Broadway, Boulder, luckysmarket.com/luckys-cafe
There once was a time when North Boulder’s little market Lucky’s was the neighborhood’s best kept secret. Of course, Lucky’s has exploded, but you can get a sense of its humble beginnings at its excellent diner, Lucky’s Cafe. Adjacent to the North Boulder grocery digs, the diner offers a variety of breakfast and lunch staples with Lucky’s now-renowned commitment to quality, local ingredients. The southwestern tofu scramble is a vegan indulgence — tofu, black beans, chunks of sweet potato, pico de gallo and green chiles are rolled together and served with toast and hashbrowns. $9.50.
SALT, 1047 Pearl St., Boulder, saltthebistro.com
SALT is as good as ever. It takes locally sourced ingredients and spins them into comfort dishes influenced by international cuisines. The menu also includes excellent options for meat-free diners, with its plant-based three-course dinner and vegetable tasting dinner. We opted for the spot-on take on gnocchi Bolognese. Large gnocchi built like Tempurpedic pillows are bathed in braised (and grass-finished) beef and pork, plum tomatoes, herbs, cream and Parmigiano Reggiano. It’s one of those dishes where each bite is greater than the sum of its parts, and you end up pacing yourself just to make the experience last longer. The meat is deeply satisfying on a primitive, anthropological level, and the tasteful development of flavor from the sweet, earthy carrot and bright, acidic tomato make each forkful a unique experience. $21.
Pacific Ocean Marketplace, 6600 W. 120th Ave., Broomfield, 303-410-8168
If you haven’t been down to Pacific Ocean Marketplace in Broomfield in a while, you really ought to. The grocery section of Asian items will keep you curious and busy for hours, but the food stalls will make your mouth water. Roast duck and pork, dumplings, bao buns, pastries and much more are available, and for cheap. We took home POM’s version of the pandan cake on a recent trip. Pandan (a plant) is as commonly used as vanilla in many Asian countries, and the simple cake made of flour, eggs, sugar, oil and pandan puts it on a pedestal. It tastes (and looks) a bit like a Tastycake Butterscotch Krimpet, with the pandan bringing both sweet citrus and an herbaceousness close to cardamom. The oil in the cake makes it sing, by the way. $2.
Fish and Chips
Avery Brewing Tap Room, 4910 Nautilus Court, Boulder, averybrewing.com/taproom
Daylight savings is here and the days are getting longer, which makes it the perfect time to spend your evenings on Avery’s outdoor patio. The Friday special on fish and chips is one good reason to close out your week there. Large chunks of moist cod are lightly battered and fried to perfection using Avery’s icon White Rascal Belgian White. Served with sweet potato chips instead of traditional French fries and a delightfully crunchy, lightly dressed, coleslaw, the dish leaves you satisfied but not stuffed. Paired with any one (or more) of Avery’s variety of brews makes it all that much more enjoyable. $18.