Flavors explode at Fringe, Bubby Goober’s pies bend minds, and bok choys meet the air fryer

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I probably should have waited a minute before I bit into an arancini, but I couldn’t wait. Hot from the fryer, the little breaded bundle blasted molten saffron risotto, fresh mozzarella, corn and pecorino Romano onto my palate. Dipped in warm marinara it was even better.

That was my introduction to the fare at Boulder’s Fringe, A Well Tapped Eatery.

Next up was a crab-packed cake in a super-crunchy panko coating making craveable bites with pickled citrus cabbage and harissa-spiced aioli. 

“I can’t stop eating this” my friend commented on a simple Brussels salad that was a revelation because it tasted so un-sprouty. A soft mound of shaved Brussels sprouts with shredded pecorino and spiced candied pecans was barely coated in a perfect dressing of hard-boiled egg and lemon vinaigrette.

Fringe’s freshly baked sourdough bread spread with Calabrian pepper honey served as dessert. Next time I’ll go for the chocolate panna cotta. 

Fringe’s sunny menu includes other starters like eggplant caponata, fried anchovy-stuffed olives, and a panzanella salad with bread, burrata, fruit, and pickled red onion. The house pizzas range from the simple Margherita to the Canadian, a crust topped with smoked pork in mango jalapeño barbecue sauce, charred fresh pineapple, pickled red onion, jalapeno, goat cheese, and fresh mozzarella. For brunch, add a poached egg to The Funghi, crowned with garlic oil, mushrooms, sausage, basil, and fresh mozzarella. Fringe features 16 self-serve taps of rotating beers and wines, plus soda and kombucha.   

Another road food attraction: Bubby Goober’s Pies

John Lehndorff

Meow Wolf’s Convergence Station has many mind-bending attractions, including some fine hand pies. Hellofood, the cafe inside Denver’s new immersive entertainment facility, offers Bubby Goobers pies crafted by two women in a small local bakery. The round, gemlike pies are built on a crunchy, flaky, sugar-dusted crust. Leftover crust pieces are perfect for dunking in coffee.

The bakery’s dozen varieties include Black & Bluebarb pie filled with a combination of fresh blackberries and blueberries, plus blueberry rhubarb jam. The Cherry Amaretto gets serious about flavor with a mix of cherries and Brad B Jammin sour cherry jam topped with sliced almonds.

My favorites include the Salted Caramel Apple, a three-apple blend with homemade caramel sauce, and the wonderful Hazelnut Chocolate Ganache pie. Imagine a dark chocolate Nutella-like filling topped with chocolate drizzle and a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt flakes. 

Bubby Goober’s pies are also available at Leevers Locavore in Denver, Crush Wine Bar in Castle Rock, or for pickup at the bakery, 2400 Curtis St., Unit 1, Denver. 

Frequent Air Fryer: Bok Choy and Green Onions

The air-fryer is the best thing to happen to bok choy and green onions since teriyaki sauce. This fact was revealed to me after I bought some bok choy. We’re not talking about the cute, easy, baby bok choy, but a fully grown head with big celery-like stalks. I could and did stir fry some with chicken and sesame oil but there was still a lot so I opted for my recently gifted air fryer/convection toaster. I trimmed the cabbage-y green leaves and tops for later use, as they would char black before the rest cooks. I cut the stalks into pieces, added some peeled wilted carrots and green onions, and tossed the veggies with oil, salt and pepper and air-fry-ed until lightly browned, soft and sweet. Since the air fryer was sizzling hot, I did the only logical thing: I dry toasted long grain dry basmati rice until it was golden brown. Watch closely as it easily burns! 

Culinary Calendar

Boulder Food Rescue is hosting an online new volunteer orientation March 24, boulderfoodrescue.org … The Longmont Public Library’s seventh annual Peeps Literary Diorama Contest encourages locals to create a marshmallow and book-themed scene. Submit dioramas starting March 30. Entry form: bit.ly/LibPeeps. 

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