Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Where To Eat in Boulder, Colorado

Ras Kassa's Ethiopian

Kossta sauteed spinach with garlic, ginger and mild traditional butter; highland vegetable tibs with green beans and carrots all sauteed; mild butternut squash stew with carrots, ginger and garlic; spicy sweet potato stew with peppers; yellow split pea stew with tumeric sauce; spiced farmer's cheese made locally; lamb tibs with onions, peppers and herbs; mild lamb stew with garlic and tumeric; kitfo, beef tartar with traditional butter; lots of injera (the traditional pancake thin, flat bread, rolled up). This restaurant offers pretty tatsy Ethiopian food. To provide contrast, I prefer the renditions offered by Addis Ababa in Toronto.

Boulder Cork

On the left, an 8 oz beef burger, cooked to medium rare with sauteed onions; on the right, a buffalo burger cooked to medium rare. Both burgers were good (not great); tasty but a bit on the fatty side.

The Kitchen

A night of "apps", Cure Farm broccoli soup with Long Farm bacon, rosemary and garlic croutons. There was a slightly alkaline aspect to the flavour which I tasted at the back of my tongue, that gave the soup an unpleasant element.

Quick-fried Alaskan spot prawns, with a very light dusting of flour. Perfectly crisp skin and perfectly cooked prawns, accompanied by a delicious kohlrabi slaw and smoked paprika aioli.

Wonderful garlic frites, highly garlicy, a hit for garlic lovers.

Rabbit and chestnut sausage with braised cabbage, onions, Ela Farm apples, bacon and dijon mustard. A wonderful sausage with very good texture; a delicious dish.

Pan fried lamb's liver with caramelized onions, Cure Farms Swiss chard and sherry jus. A terrific dish for lamb lovers.

Daddy Bruce's BBQ

Everything looked so promising but was very disappointing. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy the flavours of this bbq. The beans were mediocre and although the ribs were meaty, they were on the dry side. The sauce was unpleasantly vinegary and the ribs had hardly any smoke flavour. Slaw was also mediocre. The beef brisket was buried in the unpleasantly, highly acidic sauce, a sauce with no complexity. Eating this brisket was like eating beef drenched in pure vinegar, with a tomato flavour! They did give me a great knife, when I asked for one as only forks are provided.

KT's Real Good BBQ

Now, some of KT's offerings were really good BBQ! The bbq beans had very good flavour and a very good sauce with a mild bight. The ribs were great, juicy, smokey, fall off the bone beauties with a very good sauce with a mild bight and hauntingly good flavour. Make sure you get the bbq sauce added at the counter as the table version is a pale version of that. The brisket and the chicken was on the dry side with hardly any smoke, so skip them and stay with the ribs and beans!!

The Kitchen, Next Door

Here for drinks and snacks.

Kale chips

"Garlic smashers". For the garlic  lover, smashed small potatoes redolent of garlic!

Flagstaff House

Spectacular view from the low mountains surrounding Boulder. The menu is very ambitious and speaks of rich crafted cuisine.

Good butter was served, but the house made breads were a travesty for a resto with these kinds of vaunted ambitions, frankly, quite mediocre.

Chanterelle mushrooms were roasted whole and served with russet potato gnocchi and listed on the menu with Burgundy sourced, black truffles. I requested Alba whites instead, which they had, as I do not find the flavour of any of the Burgundy sourced blacks, adequate. The gnocchi was also accompanied by fava beans and parmesan cheese. Unfortunately, although the components of this dish were good, the dish lacked any binding element.

Intermezzo of a good house made peach sorbet.

Vintage Farms ribeye cap was accompanied by the ubiquitous Yukon gold potato as a puree, braised greens, turnips and garlic sauce. Good beef, properly cooked, but on the whole, not a "wow" dish.

Dessert was a very good Valrhona chocolate marquise, with pistachio ice cream, which looked so good, I plunged into it before taking this photo. 

In house, hand made chocolate candies followed.

Basta Pizza

This wood burning oven pizza place (which uses scrub oak for the fire), is really hard to find, but well worth the journey in finding it. It was my favourite place in Boulder to enjoy pizza. It's address is located in a condo complex with it's store front in the inner court that is away from the street view. Pizzas are made using the Vera Pizza Napolitana method for the crust, but the resto is not certified.

I began with a salad of roasted, sweet red pepper strips, beets and arugula. The salad was very good, with pleasing textures and flavours. I expected some of the flavours of the wood burning oven as the menu advised that some of the elements were prepared there. That was the only disappointment with this dish.

My favourite pizza in Boulder. I enjoyed the "sauce pizza" which had crushed tomato, sliced garlic, local oregano, Maldon salt and olive oil. The thin crust was very tasty, the texture crispy at the edge and not at all doughy, the sauce was very sweet and had a concentrated tomato flavour redolent of wonderful oregano. In all, very good pizza experience.


The fish menu of this "fish house" had a reasonable variety of fish offered, but the list was of limited interest to me. So, I went with the oyster po-boy. This was a wonderful sandwich and if I return to Boulder, this sandwich is on my "must" list. The sandwich arrived with a spicy remoulade sauce , cole slaw, sliced onion and sliced tomato. The oysters were perfectly slightly undercooked inside but had a beautifully crispy skin.


Clams with white wine and garlic arrived with a side of charred lime and garlic aioli. The clams were very fresh and properly cooked. The broth had a very good flavour and the aioli was a nice complement.

Pizza Locale

Polpettine, veal meatballs came with walnut pesto and was sprinkled with parmesan cheese . This was a good dish. The meatballs were relatively light and had a very pleasant texture. The sauce was very tasty.

A dish of pepperoni and tuna with roasted red pepper and capers was very good.

The pizza marguerita arrived with mozzarella di bufala, San Marzano tomatoes, basil and garlic. The crust was just adequate. The flavour of the crust wasn't great and the texture was too doughy/chewy. Further, the sauce was a bit watery without adequate flavour and that made for a slightly soggy pizza crust, in the middle.

I also tried the "bianca" which arrived with mozzarella di bufala, garlic rapini, pecorino cheese and sausage. Same comments regarding the crust, as above, except it was greasy this time and not soggy, I suspect from the sausage.

Pizza Da Lupo

Pizza with marinara sauce, tomato, garlic and oregano with fennel, roasted red peppers and sausage. The sausage was much too greasy and lacked a hand made texture. However, the crust was good, not doughy and had a good flavour. The sauce was flavourful and concentrated. This was my #2 pizza place in Boulder.


This is a noisy gathering place for a crowd that is mostly 19 to 45.

Ordinary babaganouj which lacked adequate smokiness. 

Good meatballs.

Adequate felafel. 

Good roasted artichoke.

A very tasty paella.

Good pizza, crust fairly crispy at the edges but no obvious good crust flavour. Adequate sauce.

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