All the best

Reflections on eating in Boulder County

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Pigs snorting and slopping in muck somewhere in the distance. Walking through rows of crops with Eric Skokan, picking peppers and his brain.

Staying too late at 4580, shooting shit and sipping new whiskeys.

Yelling Neil Diamond’s “America” at karaoke night at Outback after many, many Honey Browns.

Milling heirloom flour with the Grain Lady at Cure Farm. The same building Alberto Sabbadini taught us how to butcher a pig. The same type of flour I watched Andy Clark fold into a trial batch of bread at Moxie.

Sipping a can of Rainier and touring the meat-aging fridge at Blackbelly, sampling slivers along the way.

Discovering the effervescent Brillat-Savarin at Mateo, and purchasing a wedge from the cheese counter at Cured a few steps away.

Having an everyone-wins, endless barbecue taste test at Wayne’s Smoke Shack and Georgia Boys.

Shedding an actual tear over a plate of carpaccio at Frasca.

Getting to try great new places: a tomahawk steak at Corrida, pastries at Babettes, flaming drinks at Jungle, spicy ramen at Chimera, a Nicoise salad at Le French Cafe, fry bread at River and Woods, a reuben at Rosenberg’s.

Having too many old standbys: Parkway Cafe, Chez Thuy, Buddha Thai, Il Pastaio, Rincon Argentino, Southern Sun, Your Butcher Franks, The Hungry Toad.

Remembering the places gone: Volta, Brasserie Ten Ten, Pupusa’s, The Porch Deli, the Boulder Cafe… and the North Boulder Cafe.

What a pleasure it’s all been. What a pleasure to meet and get to know so many people in the local food scene. What a pleasure to grow as a writer by telling the stories, and eating the food, of our local food purveyors.

I can’t quite claim to have eaten everywhere in Boulder County while writing about food for Boulder Weekly for the last seven years… but I’ve got to be pretty close. Every restaurant has the potential for greatness here; hidden gems exist everywhere. That potential beats out any cynicism that creeps in about what we don’t have locally. No, you probably can’t get a great slice of pizza for a $1, but, if you’re willing to look in American Legions and strip malls, you can get an unbelievable plate of charred broccoli with sriracha aioli at Gastronauts; a savory, crispy papa rellena at Rosario’s.

As I move on from BW, and Boulder County, I’ll miss that feeling that the next great bite of food is just around the corner, hiding in plain sight.

Behind all the great food here are great people. Thank you to the chefs, restaurateurs, bartenders, brewers, entrepreneurs and, yes, even the marketing folks for letting me into your world and sharing your stories. Farewell.