You aren’t likely to stumble upon this place. From the outside, In Season Local Market in North Boulder looks like it could sell solar panels or dog food as much as it looks like what it actually is: a simple market with every type of grain and seed for sale, with an easy-going style of service and a simple, cheap deli.
In Season has three walls full of whole and crushed grains, seeds, flours, nuts and other base elements. There are five different types of chia seeds, and you can get about two dozen varieties of regular, old white flour. Bags of ancient grains and traditional grains sit beside one another on the shelves, and if you don’t know what to do with them, a store clerk will help you out or else point you to a stack of books in the store that you can take to one of the big farmhouse tables in the center of the store.
Aside from the ingredient stock, In Season also has a variable deli that serves sandwiches, soups and smoothies based on what is… in season. It’s all written up on a chalkboard, and everything is assembled and cooked by hand when it’s ordered, so when I order a whole bunch of stuff, I sit and wait at the table and drink some of the complimentary tea. There’s an iced fruit-infused chai and a hot pot of something purple, so I sip a little of both and regard the chalkboard.
In the upper-left corner, away from the day’s menu items is the Rumi Corner, a daily quote from Rumi, a 13th century Islamic scholar. It read, “How happy I am, in love with a king. Silent as a fish since I was freed from existence. Why draw me back into it?” It’s at once an affirmation of the power of closeness to some supreme order or being; but it’s also a pretty good thing to read while you’re waiting for lunch.
What draws me back into reality from some calmness that Rumi and In Season had created are two sandwiches, a cup of soup and a green smoothie.
There is a slight Middle Eastern bent to the food at In Season. One of the sandwiches, a wrap, is served on lavash, an Armenian flatbread that is slightly thicker than a tortilla and crisps much better than one. There’s also a Persian soup that had just sold out, a Turkish omelet, toast and honey, and a lot of hot, spiced herbal teas.
The wrap on the lavash was filled with turkey, pepper jack cheese (you can choose your deli meat out of whatever is available that day at In Season), tomato, onion, avocado, lettuce and some leafy sprouts that had been cut from a little container in the refrigerator. The toasted lavash had a deep, rye-like flavor and, as mentioned previously, toasted extremely well and sturdy. The sandwich ingredients were fresh, and the whole wrap was well-proportioned.
I also had a vegetable sandwich. (The chalkboard offers, refreshingly and simply, a meat sandwich and a veggie sandwich.) The veggie sandwich came on an oversized and toasted English muffin, with house-made spicy fig mustard, avocado, onion, tomato and lettuce. Unfortunately, zucchini and cucumber were out that day, so the sandwich lacked a little bit of depth, but for $5, it made a nice accompaniment to the soup.
The soup was a chunked pumpkin and squash soup with quinoa, sprouts and a vegetable broth. The ingredients had all been deconstructed and so melded very well together. The pumpkin and squash bits were sweet and soft, while the quinoa provided a hidden texture in every spoonful.
Lastly, the green smoothie — again, you get what’s available — was some mixture of kale, banana, walnut, fig and some other role players. It was thin, but flavorful, and exemplified what In Season does best — simple food prepared simply.