Try this week: Sonoma hash, shepherd’s pie and more

Four courses to try in and around Boulder County this week

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Caitlin Rockett

Sonoma Hash
Olive and Finch, 1552 E. 17th Ave., Denver, oliveandfincheatery.com

Sunday mornings are meant for taking it easy (you’re welcome for that earworm). Olive and Finch is as easy as it gets. The neighborhood eatery located on 17th Street, one of Denver’s most walkable and denser neighborhoods, gives off good vibes and serves classic food made from scratch. What’s best about the setup is the combination of counter and table service. Walk past a case of fresh baked goodies (just try to resist) and step up to the cashier to place your order. Take a number, sit down and wait for delicious food and drinks to come your way. Now, Sunday morning also calls for breakfast, and nothing says breakfast like hash. Olive and Finch’s Sonoma hash brings to mind its namesake: two eggs sunny side up are reminiscent of the sun-drenched valley, while a wholesome portion of roasted vegetables, potatoes, arugula and goat cheese fill the stomach and the soul. The potatoes and vegetables are soft but not mushy, and the arugula provides a peppery crunch that contrasts the silky, buttery umami flavor of the egg yolks. We suggest pairing it with a buttermilk biscuit — lightly crispy on the outside, soft and moist on the inside — or sate your sweet tooth with a beignet. $10.95.

Shepherd’s Pie
The Hungry Toad, 2543 Broadway, Boulder, the hungrytoad.com

Is there a dish that comforts more than shepherd’s pie? It’s like an electric blanket on a cold day — warm, familiar and you won’t want to move once you get into it. The dish is a specialty of The Hungry Toad, which offers a number of English staples from London Broil to fish and chips to bangers and mash. Its shepherd’s pie features meaty sirloin tips, carrots, onions and celery tossed in a Guiness gravy and buried under air-light mashed potatoes. The potatoes are singed on top, providing a crispy texture, but the reason we come is for the meat and gravy. It’s peppery, half-sweet, half-savory and piping hot. The accompanying Fuller’s ESB, Boddington’s or whatever British or American pub brew you choose from the taps makes it just a little better. $16.95.

Gyro
Mediterranean Market & Deli, 2690 28th St., Unit D, Boulder

Boulder’s ethnic groceries are treasures. The Mediterranean Market & Deli is one of the best, with a small café and a store filled with spices, teas, sauces and much more sourced from Greece to Pakistan. And it’s all pretty cheap. You should check it out. If not for the interesting finds, then for the jam-packed and flavorful gyro. Lamb and beef are grilled, then dressed with red onion, tomato, cucumber and a dill yogurt sauce. The pita itself is chewy and thick, with welcomed bits of blackening from the grill. If you can fit your mouth around it, the gyro makes for an incredible bite — tons of different flavors, textures and temperatures. Served alongside similarly robust stuffed grape leaves, the meal packs a wallop for cheap. $8.

Turkey Reuben
Page Two Cafe, 6565 Gunpark Drive, Gunbarrel

We like a humble sandwich. In a world where artisan breads, bizarre jams and expensive meats are gracing sandwiches left and right, simplicity in the sandwich game is no longer paramount. But at Page Two Cafe, sandwiches come the old fashioned way — toasted squares of bread, thick-piled meat, and a few select, flavorful toppings. The turkey Reuben gets all the flavor it needs from juicy sliced turkey breast, funky and pungent sauerkraut, smooth Swiss cheese and tangy Thousand Island dressing. Served on two slices of toasted rye, it’s a sandwich you could easily see wrapped in plastic and placed in brown bag for lunches of yore. $6.75.