Archive for the ‘Dining’ Category

Absinthe House now open in Foundry’s old location

Abisnthe House sign in front of the old Foundry location…that’s pretty much the news. Last year in November, the Foundry, a Boulder landmark nightspot, closed its doors for good. Today, you can wine and dine in that very location again, under the sign of Absinthe House.

Well, not literally under the sign. The Foundry’s iconic marquee remains empty of letters. For now, a sandwich-board chalk sign will have to do.

It had its grand opening just last week, but it’s been operating since mid-August or thereabouts. According to the Daily Camera, its focus is on “audiophiles, …foodies, [and] the vino culture.” With a dance floor, live DJs, and 24 different absinthes, the array of sensory stimuli offered is promising. Westword describes the restaurant’s offerings in more detail.

Absinthe House is already on the Downtown Boulder website, so if you’ve got a Downtown Boulder gift card you can probably use it there.

And that’s the news, coming straight to you from the sidewalk of downtown Boulder. If you’ve already been, tell us what you think about the new Absinthe House in the comments below.

Absinthe House: OPEN: Lunch ~ Dinner ~ Rooftop ~ Happy Hour

Join the DuckDuckDeal Treasure Hunt tomorrow at 4

You’ve heard of DuckDuckDeal, right? You’re following them on Twitter, aren’t you? Liked them on Facebook? (Link goes harmlessly to DuckDuckDeal’s Info page. Link is not a Like link. External Like links can DIAF.) Have you got their iPhone App?

OK, more context. I follow them on Twitter via mobile device, so at intervals throughout the day I get text messages on my phone telling me that, for instance, ModMarket was offering a bottle of wine and a pizza for $10 until 6 PM to customers brave enough to utter the password “duckduck” at the register. That’s a dang good deal, one I regret not having followed up on either time I saw it go active.

Another one I regret forgoing was yesterday’s Treasure Hunt Kick-Off. I saw them tweet its imminent approach while I was busy distressing my thighs with an unaccustomed number of squats in the cause of helping with the eggplant transplanting initiative over at Abbo. (They’re in the ground. They’re already flowering. Stay tuned for the CSA eggplant cornucopia and Niki’s Favorite “I Don’t Like Eggplant” eggplant parmesan recipe.) By the time the clue hit the intarwebs and the treasure-hunters hit the street, I was sacked out in bed being not much good to the world. (Sorry, world.)

So. Congrats to Monday’s Clue #1 winner, who snagged a $50 gift certificate to Japango (dang!) and released a piece of treasure map unto Boulder.

The next clue goes public tomorrow, Wednesday, July 21st at 4:00 PM. It will be revealed exclusively on Facebook. (Don’t worry; the DuckDuckDeals Wall is public. I don’t think you need a Facebook account to play.)

I’m in – are you?

Big Freakin’ Deals for Father’s Day

If you’re thinking of taking Dad out tomorrow, here’s several special events and special deals to ensure you have plenty options for this special day.

The Counter
8439 South Park Meadows Center Drive
Lone Tree, CO 80124
(303) 790-9630

The Counter’s “Burger For Dad” deal means that fathers get a free build-your-own burger for Father’s Day. The only catch is, you have to ask for it by name.

Bring in your family and say “I want the BFD!” and the burger is all yours. Offer is limited to one standard burger with included toppings per customer accompanied by a paying guest. Additional and premium toppings such as extra cheese, avocado, fried egg and honey cured bacon are extra.

BFD also stands for “Big Freakin’ Deal,” which is, of course, what Dad is.

McCormick’s & Schmick’s
Denver LoDo location:
1659 Wazee St
Denver, CO 80202
303.825.1107

Greenwood Village location:
8100 E. Union Ave
Denver, CO 80237
720.200.9339

McCormick’s & Schmick’s invites you to bring Dad in for a 3-course prime rib dinner for $29.95. And keeping with the theme of those typical, classic, 50s-era Dadtastic delights, you can enter him to win a professionally caddied game of golf.

5480
4580 Broadway # D-1
Boulder, CO 80304
303.448.1500

5480 hosts its 3rd annual Father’s Day BBQ and Duct Tape Giveaway. $10 to $20 dollars fills a plate with one grilled entry (buffalo, ribs, or kielbasa and stuffed lobster tail) and 3 sides. Plus Dad gets a free roll of duct tape. (Click the link for list of ways to use duct tape. Favorite item with bonus unintentional double entendre: “Taping annoying people to walls, floor, ceiling, or bed.” Bed, hmm? Kids, why don’t you head off to the movies? It sounds like Dad wants some alone time with his special someone… *ahem*)

So far, a list Ozzie and Harriet would approve of. Because all Dads like beef best of all, play golf, and are the exclusive duct-tape using handymen around the house. (See? It’s right in the name: Handyman!) You won’t catch Dad playing video games, eating a cobb salad, or for heaven’s sake knitting. Father’s Day is for safe, predictable gender-role-conforming men! (But we’re all edgy and iconoclastic because we’re telling you not to get Dad yet another neck-tie!)

…OK, I sort of have to wash off my keyboard after typing that, even sarcastically, because, ew. Seriously: Restaurants of the Denver/Boulder area? Yes, there are lots of Dads who love steak, burgers, beers and scotch and wine, cigars, all-day golf outings. There’s often a reason stereotypes get started. It’s good these things are available. But why are they practically all that’s available? Oh, sure, it’s easy to find a vegetarian restaurant if Dad doesn’t do meat, or otherwise cater to Dad’s specific tastes… just as easy as it is on any other day of the year. And that’s the problem. Slap the words “Father’s Day” on it, “Dad’s Big Day,” “Make Dad Feel Special,” and suddenly it’s all about beef, BBQ, tobacco, and golf. Take a look at last year’s Denver Daily round-up of Father’s Day specials; it’s a good sample set of the kind of thing I’m talking about. At least this year’s Open Table list features the odd pasta/Italian dinner/brunch… but most of them are just their regular menu. Like any other day of the year.

All I can say is, Father’s Day must be an annual nightmare, or at least an irritation, for the Dad who doesn’t fit the “Man’s man” stereotype. Everywhere you look, specials and offers and events that seem specifically designed to reinforce the message that your lack of appreciation for a steak and a 9-iron means you’re defective.

Can we fix this?

Examples of the sort of thing it would be nice to see more of:

Boulder Organics‘s Father’s Day Collection:

Featuring a beautifully illustrated, reusable, keepsake gift box (including Father’s Day wrap) that is filled with delicious spicy roasted almonds, apple-pie jam, French Roast coffee, decadent dark chocolate bar, tasty milk chocolate Sun Cups, chipotle lime rub for grilling, some great trail treats like a granola bar, an oat bar, nut-butter squeeze packs, and bees-wax lip balm. Active dads are sure to enjoy this all organic, eco-friendly sampler.

Gigi’s Cupcakes: Dads get a 15% discount on all purchases between 10 AM and 4 PM on Father’s Day, “while enjoying live musical entertainment. Bring the kids and they can frost their own cupcake and, of course, eat their creation for just $3.” Gigi’s is at 550 Grant St. in Denver, phone number 303-777-0698.

See? Special offers and offerings for Father’s Day that think outside the 50s-era sitcom box! It’s not that hard. More like that, please!

Experience Walnut Brewery’s White Pelican Pilsner, benefit a good cause

You like a locally crafted beer. You like putting money toward a good cause. Do both at once this Thursday! On May 27th, the Walnut Brewery (1123 Walnut Street, Boulder) will host a special tapping event beginning at 6:00 PM. For every pint of their special seasonal White Pelican Pilsner that they sell, 25 cents will benefit CareConnect, an organization helping seniors with disabilities in Boulder County. Do follow the link and read all about ’em; they do good work in the neighborhood.

Even if you miss the May 27th event (I’m going to, I’m afraid), make plans to come in for a pint of the White Pelican sometime in the next few weeks. Walnut Brewery will continue socking away the per-pint-proceeds for CareConnect until the pilsner runs dry. But if you can attend, do. It looks like you’ll get a free pint just for stopping in on Thursday.

For more information, the Daily Camera’s got the goods. So has the official Downtown Boulder website. (Did you know we had one of those? We have one of those.) Clicky clicky!

Wednesday Farmer’s Market Begins This Afternoon (Boulder)

Boulder’s Saturday Farmer’s Market has been operating for a month now. Tonight, the Wednesday edition starts up. If you’re looking for salsa for your Cinco de Mayo celebration, or if your pantry’s in need of fresh veg, head on down to that block between the park and the Dushanbe Teahouse (13th b/n Canyon and Walnut) and visit your community of local growers and producers.

The market will be open from 4 PM to 8 PM every Wednesday afternoon through October 6. And of course the Saturday market is from 8 AM to 2 PM and runs through November 6.

See you there!

Spend Earth Day With Oskar Blues and Left Hand Brews

If you’ve driven from Boulder to Longmont anytime over the past year, it can’t have escaped your notice that the old silo now resembles a can of Dale’s Pale Ale. Lyons-based Oskar Blues, provider of “homemade solids and liquids,” now has a home in Longmont. (Not that I could tell from looking at their website, though. The “Venues” page only seems to mention the one in Lyons.)

And their Longmont location will host a fantastic beer-pairing dinner this Thursday night:

Left Hand Beer Dinner
Date: Thursday, April 22, 2010
Time: 6:00 PM
Limited Seating; Advanced Ticket Purchase Required

(Not that you could tell from the Music & Events Calendar on their website. Which at least appears to color-code events that are on the calendar as to whether they take place at “Grill & Brew”/Lyons or “Liquids & Solids”/Longmont. I think.)

For the price of $55 per person, attendees will be served a 3-course meal, each course paired with a particular Left Hand Brewery creation. The entire menu is listed here. (It is not accessible from the calendar, but rather from the blog, which you get to by hovering over “NEWS” in the top menu. I found it by searching Google.) I’m told there will also be live music, but I don’t know who’s playing.

Oskar Blues Liquids & Solids is in Longmont at the complicated corner of South Hover Road and Diagonal Highway and Ken Pratt Boulevard and 95th Street. There’s plenty of parking. You can also get there from Boulder by riding the BOLT, which will drop you off right in front of the big silo that looks like a beer can.

As of Monday around about oyster bar time (3:00 PM), there yet remained ten or fifteen or so tickets. Move fast! Call 303-485-9400 to reserve your seat. They will take credit card over the phone but would prefer you then show up and pick up your tickets in advance of the event.

Dining Out For Life: April 29, 2010

That new restaurant you’ve been thinking of checking out. That splurge you’ve been owing yourself for months. That person you’ve been meaning to ask out to lunch ever since they first caught your eye. That early morning breakfast date you and your spouse have long said you ought to incorporate into the weekly before-work routine.

You know what would be a great day to finally go ahead and do it?

On April 29, 2010, over 300 participating restaurants will agree to donate 25% of their food sales to Project Angel Heart. Diners simply eat out for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner at participating restaurants. By eating out on Dining Out for Life® day, they support their favorite eateries, enjoy delicious food, and benefit Project Angel Heart, all at once.

Project Angel Heart is all about making sure those enduring difficult times have, at the very least, the support of a good square meal. They deliver meals to those suffering from HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses, ensuring that their immune systems get the right nutritional support. It also goes a long way toward reaffirming that someone cares.

During eighteen years of phenomenal growth, our goal has always remained the same: ‘meals with love’ for men, women, and children living with life-threatening illness.

Feeling cared about has an impact on how well one responds to medical treatment, on how well one’s immune system stands up to illness. So that, too, is a sort of “nutrition” that Project Angel Heart delivers. And since their services are free of charge, they help lighten the financial load that dealing with illness imposes on sufferers.

For over 800 clients served each week, Project Angel Heart embodies stability and hope by providing nutritious meals, free of charge, and specifically prepared to meet the nutritional needs of each individual client. Life-threatening illnesses can drain a person’s energy and finances, threaten their dignity, limit their independence, and leave them feeling alone and vulnerable. Project Angel Heart provides life-saving nutrition necessary for physical, emotional, and financial health.

On April 29, go out and enjoy yourself, and know a portion of your tab is going to good use.

Find a participating restaurant here.

Agave Mexican Bistro & Tequila House

Agave Mexican Bistro & Tequila HouseAgave had been “coming soon” to Boulder for the better part of a year since La Maricopa left the corner at 28th and Valmont. (You know the place. That’s where Gondolier used to be before they moved into where Magic Mushroom Pizza used to be.) Then, about three months ago, I saw Agave posting Now Hiring ads in the paper. And yesterday a friend told me they’d been open for a little while now.

I finally had a chance to try them out today.

The restaurant pings my “fine dining” radar, first with the fancy-schmancy name (“Bistro” tends to mean “add ten bucks”), then with the dimly lit interior, the dark wood veneer tables, and of course the top shelf tequila. (My dining companion and I did not sample the tequila. Next time.) Also, the availability of table-side guacamole reminded me of the high-priced Cantina Laredo Gourmet Mexican Food (“Gourmet” is sort of like “Bistro”) down on the 29th Street Mall. But our bill turned out to fall somewhere between a Cantina Laredo splurge and a Casa Alvarez comfort food dinner: $31 for the two of us, post-tax but pre-tip.

We each had a $10 tamale plate. For me, the omnivore, there were Tamales Rojos y Verdes: one chicken tamale smothered in a delicious green chili, one pork tamale in a slightly bitter (mole, I’m guessing) red enchilada-style sauce. For my vegetarian dining companion, the Tamales Agave, two tamales stuffed with black beans and spinach and covered in green chili. The tamales were presented beautifully, lying atop their corn husks, garnished with cubes of tomatoes and mango.

The dishes came with a common bowl each of beans and rice to share. We had our choice: for beans, refried or black or… I forget what they called it, but it involved chorizo; for rice, Mexican or lime-cilantro. We had Mexican rice and refried beans. The latter came garnished with queso fresco. We ended up needing extra rice (hot tamales!). They didn’t end up charging us extra.

For dessert, we split the fried ice cream ($7). It was just the right size for two people who weren’t sure they had room for dessert. It was everything fried ice cream should be: vanilla bean ice cream served in a tostada shell, covered with the requisite crunchy stuff, topped with whipped cream, garnished with mint and a sliced strawberry, and drizzled with a chocolate sauce so rich it verged on alcoholic.

So the food was awesome. The service was too; we felt more than adequately taken care of and never spent an uncomfortable time waiting for anything. My only complaint, if I had to complain–if you twisted my arm and said, “Complain! Complain, or else!”–was the noise level. We sat in one of the booths near the bar, and I could hear the conversation from the booth behind my friend better than I could hear my friend herself. Our own conversation involved a moderate amount of bending our heads over the table and going “What?” To mitigate this complaint, I should note that there was a party of eight having a grand old time at the big table nearby. And the restaurant was full up, prime dining hour full. So I’m not surprised it was noisy.

Before we left, we made sure to check out the happy hour specials and hours. It’s from 3 to 6 on weekdays, there’s half off of appetizers, and there are beer and margarita specials that I didn’t look too closely at. I mean, after all, we were going to be back soon. We could investigate more closely then, right?

For Those For Whom It’s Just Another Day…

I’m blogging from the Boulder IHOP. It’s extremely busy today, being one of the few restaurants open on Christmas Day. According to MapMuse and Foodio54, the other open restaurants are Q’s, L’Atelier, and possibly Denny’s. They don’t mention it, but it’s likely that most Asian cuisine restaurants are open, too–see below.

The restaurant question can be fairly important for you if December 25th is just the 25th day in December to you. I don’t celebrate Christmas. For me, the big religious event for me every winter took place this past Sunday night, when I stayed up through the longest night of the year with a crackling fire, lots of food, lots of friends, and a lot of games and conversation. Being Pagan, I celebrate the Winter Solstice, or Yule. As of today, the holiday has been over for the better part of a week.

This is also true for others of my friends, for whom their December celebration began two weeks ago and continued for eight days. And you can’t tell them anything about navigating entertainment on a day when most of retail U.S. is closed; the Jewish community have been dealing with the issue much longer than many of us Pagans have had a religious name to identify ourselves by.

The brilliant “Judaism 101” has a chapter called “What do Jews do on Christmas?” which–

–well. Think about that question for a moment. In some ways, it’s a silly question. Compare and contrast: “What do Christians do during Ramadan?” “What do Buddhists do on Passover?” Yes, the question “What do non-Christians do on Christmas since most of the entertainment options have shut down?” is a valid question, and is indeed the question this blog post sets out to explore. But the reasonable way to ask that question is not the only way it gets asked. Realize that the first item on the page-summary checklist at Judaism 101 is “Most Jews do not celebrate Christmas,” because some people need to be told. Jaw drops, swings in the breeze, clicks shut belatedly.

Anyway. To quote “What do Jews do on Christmas?”:

Many Jews go out for Chinese food on Christmas. The Chinese do not celebrate Christmas any more than we do, so most Chinese restaurants are open on Christmas. In Philadelphia and New York, there are several kosher-certified Chinese restaurants to choose from, so that even the most observant Jew can eat Chinese on Christmas. This option is so popular that someone even wrote a song about it: Chinese Food On Christmas.

Also, most movie theaters are open. Sherlock Holmes hits the big screen today.

Last year, we got together with our other non-Christmas-celebrating friends, played various games all night long, and ordered Chinese food for delivery. This year we’re probably going to do it again. A laptop lunch at IHOP, maybe a session of Rock Band 2 with our neighbor (a fellow Pagan who is also active within the Jewish community; she sent me this link about coffee houses open on the 24th and the 25th, although I’m passing it on a bit late for it to be of much use this year), and then, maybe, after gathering a few more friends (some of whom do celebrate Christmas but will be done with their family gatherings by then), a trek out to Golden Sun (in the corner of the same plaza as IHOP and Video Station) for dinner and cards. Golden Sun are open their usual hours, from eleven in the morning to eleven at night. They’re yummy.

Those of y’all also for whom December 25 is just another day: What are your plans? If you’re going out, what’s open? What do you recommend?

And what are you doing on New Year’s, a holiday on which most of us, be we Christian, Jewish, Pagan, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, or any number of other religious persuasions, can agree, being that we’re all using the same calendar and we like to make noise when the annual odometer clicks over?

Oktoberfest Options!

It is that time of year – the leaves change and the beer flows! We have had the opportunity to try a couple this year and last and decided to pull it all together!

Vail Breckenride Larimer
Date 1 Sept 11,12,13 Sept 19,20 Sept 18,19,20
Date 2 Sept 25,26,27
Hours Friday 5pm-10pm

Saturday 12pm-10pm

Sunday 12pm-6pm

Saturday 11-6

Sunday 11-5

Friday 5pm-1am
Saturday 11am-1am

Sunday 11am-5pm

Ticket Price $1 $5 N/A
Tickets for Beer 5 1 N/A
Tickets for Food cash/tickets Cash Cash/Credit
Stein There are steins, but I didn’t see the price. $25 – 1/2 liter, plus 2 tickets Unknown
Ability to Get Beer Easier to reach the tents Waaaay too crowded, really long lines. Unkown
Parking Free bus around vail, free structure parking in the summer Gondola parking lot, fills up quickly Street parking or local lots
Stein There are steins, but I didn’t see the price. $25 – 1/2 liter, plus 2 tickets Unknown
Food Choices Lots of different choices Hot links, brauts, pretzels 2 tents worth
Websites Vail Breck Larimer
Beer Becks Paulaner, Breckenridge Brewery Paulaner

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