From the beginning, Fresh Thymes Eatery was designed to feed everyone, no matter their dietary persuasion—carnivore, vegan, vegetarian, paleo or keto—a gluten-free, sustainably sourced meal. However, that has never meant boring fare at the Boulder restaurant. Take Fresh Thymes’ memorable cauliflower tacos I tasted recently. Abbondanza Farm blue corn tortillas are warmed and wrapped around sweetly grilled cauliflower, amped up with hot macha salsa, tart house-made curtido slaw and a squeeze of lime. On the side I enjoyed moist chickpea flatbread with rosemary olive oil for dipping.
The regular menu includes chicken, steak, ancho chile pork, veggie entrees, composed salads, grilled pizzas and a burger made from house-ground pastured beef. I’m happy to applaud the Magic Bar with almond shortbread, chocolate ganache, coconut caramel and toasted coconut.
Next door to the eatery, Fresh Thymes Bodega recently opened offering coffee drinks and takeout-prepared foods including a ready-to-eat burrito dished with a kimchi-like house-fermented salsa verde. The star of the gluten-free pastry roster is a firm, chewy chocolate chip cookie with lots of chips made with chickpea flour and flax. I washed it down with a spicy, locally bottled OliKo ginger beer.
Another Roadfood Attraction: Pasteis pleasure
I wasn’t looking for Brazilian cuisine but when I bumped into it in Wheat Ridge, it made me smile. The tiny Little Brazil, 10081 W. 26th Ave., is jammed with hard-to-find Brazilian ingredients, energizing guarana drinks and frozen ready-to-cook items like pão de queijo (cheese bread) and coxinha, fried croquettes filled with shredded chicken and cream cheese.
The cafe menu includes feijoada, the black bean stew with various meats that is Brazil’s national dish, but I went straight for pasteis, the Brazilian fried variation on Central and South America’s empanada tradition. It’s the out-of-the-ordinary fillings that make them a treat. I enjoyed a sampler of hot, crispy shells filled with hearts of palm and cheese, savory jackfruit and, my favorite, sweet guava paste and mozzarella splashed with the Brazilian hot sauces on the table.
Culinary Calendar: June tastes like
More than 30 Colorado wineries will be pouring at the Manitou Springs Wine Festival on June 4. Manitousprings.org … The Taste of Louisville returns to Main Street on June 4, with local eateries, bakeries and breweries offering treats. louisvillechamber.com … We are assembling a comprehensive guide to Boulder County’s roadside stands.
Boulder Recipe Flashback: Just add rattlesnake
That was the longtime home of West Flanders Brewing Co., but before that it was Pearl’s Restaurant. I worked there in the late 1970s as a cook, and the restaurant shared this recipe after a Boulder chili contest. No, rattlesnake doesn’t taste anything like chicken. It’s mild but it tastes like snake, but in a spicy chili the flavor is masked. If you can’t find a source of rattlesnake meat, boneless pork may
Pearl’s Rattlesnake Chili
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
3 large cloves garlic, peeled, minced
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound boneless rattlesnake meat (or pork loin)
20 ounces stewed tomatoes
1 green bell pepper, seeded, chopped
1 pound antelope sausage (or other game sausage)
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 cups water
2 cups cooked pinto beans
In a heavy pot over moderate heat, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add all remaining ingredients (except beans) and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Lower heat and simmer for about two hours. Remove bay leaf. Stir in beans, taste, adjust seasonings and serve with warm corn tortillas.
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