The best part of loving where you live is showing it off. In a place like Boulder, the “showing off” is easy! This weekend, my wonderful, and coffee-loving, mother will be leaving the warm weather of San Francisco and coming to visit! In this post, you'll find an itinerary that I've created for us to help provide ideas and inspiration for when you have visitors from out-of-town.
Friday: We'll start off our weekend at one of our favorite places downtown; ten20! This salon is absolutely adorable. While you're getting your mani/pedi on, they treat you with complimentary M&M's and Coca-Cola, while you catch up on the latest Ellen or Modern Family episodes. We'll head west on Pearl street after that and take care of some afternoon shopping; Free People, Peppercorn, and Pitaya, we're coming for you!
As happy hour approaches, we'll pick one of many happy hour specials to indulge in. As a mexican-food lover, I'm a huge fan of Tahona's happy hour....if you haven't tried their queso, you're seriously missing out! Sticking to the Mexican theme, we'll probably dine at Tahona, Centro, or Rio. Lastly, we'll have dessert at Jill's and head up to our room at the St Julien to get a good night's sleep!
Saturday: Rise and shine, visitors! We will start our Saturday morning off with coffee from one of the amazing coffee shops downtown. If you missed my last blog post regarding the best of the best of Boulder's coffee, feel free to read it here. I know my mom will enjoy a relaxing morning at The Cup, complete with a pastry and her favorite skinny vanilla latte (which they do make at other places besides Starbucks). If the sun is shining (which I hope it is because us California girls love our warm weather), we'll hike up Chautauqua and enjoy the beautiful views from the top. If the weather is chilly and snowy, we'll check out classes at either BOCO Fit or Amana Yoga by vpk. After all, Boulder was rated one of America's Most Active Cities.
After a workout (and a much needed nap), we'll head back downtown for another delicious meal. There's always so many events happening downtown on the weekends, I encourage you to check out our events calendar! My mom and I will visit POSHSplat on Saturday night where we will learn to paint "Aspen Views" onto a canvas. What better way to end a great day than with delicious treat from Piece Love & Chocolate?! As a fellow chocolate-lover, I'm sure my mom will enjoy their decadent deserts just as much as I do!
Sunday: To conclude our wonderful weekend, we'll enjoy a delicious brunch at Snooze. It's always so sad to see my momma leave after such a fun weekend together, but summer is only a few months away, which means another visit is on the horizon! Until next time, mom! xoxo
Stay tuned for my mom's review of her weekend in Boulder!
Yes, it's that time of year again. Time to pull out your red sweaters, succumb to candy advertisements telling you "Yes, you NEED this box of chocolate", and scramble to find something to do this Saturday (so you're not couped up at home watching Netflix all day). It's Valentines day! A holiday full of love, sweet treats, and a half-naked baby mascot, what's not to love? Whether you're single, taken, anti-valentine's day, or a softy at heart, there's something for everyone to do in this wonderful downtown on the 14th!
I plan on spending my favorite holiday with the one thing I know will never break my heart, food. There are some incredible dining options on the 14th that both couples and singles alike can enjoy! If you decide to go for that mouthwatering multi-course meal at places like The Kitchen, Jax Fish house, or any of the other restaurants serving up delicious food this Valentine's Day, I guarantee you'll be leaving with a full-belly and a good time. One thing I'm looking forward to is Cured's Truffle Tasting Event. Chocolate tasting on Valentine's day? It doesn't get much better than that.
If the ooey-gooey, couples stuff isn't for you, not to fear! There's plenty for singles to do out there. Fun fact: in 2010, Forbes magazine listed Boulder as the "Best City for Singles". So call up your single galpals and head to the "Paint Wine Love" event POSHsplat for an evening of artistic endeavors, fun friends, and an in-store bar. After that, head up Pearl Street for Conor O' Neil's annual Anti-Valentine's Bash! Make sure to check out live music at The Laughing Goat and late-night dancing at Absinthe House. I can't think of a better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than having a great time with good friends!
Personally, I've always loved Valentine's Day! Regardless of my relationship status, it's a day to remind my best friends, family, and loved ones how much they mean to me. Make sure to check out the Downtown Boulder Gift Guide for all your Valentine's Day gift shopping this year! Whether you hand-craft valentines or dance the night away, I hope your Valentine's Day is full of good times and even better company! Have a wonderful Valentines Day, Boulder <3
It is no secret that summer in Boulder is the time to do all things outdoors, and that includes dining. Whether you are looking for intimate dining or a high energy dining experience, this foodie downtown will satisfy your needs inside and out!
When I first started brainstorming our best dining patios instantly twenty came to mind, so I’m categorizing by size and experience. No matter the restaurant, you will be surrounded by Boulder’s natural essence- from bikers to sidewalk entertainment, people-watching is one of the fun benefits of outdoor dining.
Some of downtown’s larger patios include:
Centro Latin American Kitchen- It’s large outdoor patio space gives guests the opportunity to enjoy the Colorado sunshine, while either at the bar or a table. Centro also has an amazing happy hour you don’t want to miss!
If you’re looking for sidewalk seating these restaurants are for you:
Aji, Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant, West Flanders Brewing Co., Ted’s Montana Grill, Sushi Tora, Boulder Café, Hapa Sushi Grill & Sake Bar, Mateo, Tahnona Tequila Bistro, Rueben's Burger Bistro, Walnut Brewery, Salt the Bistro, The Kitchen [Next Door], Pasta Jays, Riffs Urban Fare, and Trattoria.
Wanting a more intimate patio experience? Check out:
Pizzeria Locale, PastaVino, Shine Restaurant and Gathering Place, Zoe Ma Ma, Jax Fish House, West End Tavern, Frasca Food & Wine, The Kitchen, The Med, Pizza Colore, Woody Creek Bakery and Café, Georges Food & Drink, Dish Gourmet, Lucile’s Creole Café, T|Aco, and L’Atelier.
Want to dine on a rooftop overlooking the city of Boulder?
If you are looking for a local hangout where you can sit and read a book or meet a friend some of Boulders local coffee shops should do the trick. These include:
Boulder patios are a great place to meet friends and family for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
-Taylor, the intern
It may not be “official” until June 21st, but it feels like summer in downtown Boulder (finally). The tulips have come and gone and new flowers are being planted, pools are open and the 80 degree heat is here. Summertime is my favorite season for more reasons than just being out of school. Downtown Boulder has so much to offer during the summer. Whether it’s patio dining, listening to live music or running through the pop jet fountain, being bored in Boulder this summer is not an option.
Here are just a few things I’m excited about:
With all of these upcoming activities and events, I have some preparing to do.
Let’s cross our fingers and hope that the summer weather is here to stay!
Boulder, the sunny 70 degree weather may have left us for now, but spring has official begun! With an average temperature of 65 degrees for the month of April, I have a feeling we have many beautiful days ahead of us!
As the weather warms up, there is nothing I would rather do than eat, drink, and enjoy great company outdoors. This Friday I was lucky enough to get out of the office and scope out some of the best outdoor patios and rooftop restaurants downtown Boulder has to offer. This quickly proved to be a very easy task! Every 15 feet I found myself snapping pictures of patios and looking at menus along Pearl Street. From exotic tapas to local beers, Pearl Street’s restaurants and bars have something to satisfy everyone’s taste buds. Below is a highlight of some of my best findings:
Beehive(left): Sit under the iconic lime green umbrellas and enjoy some great appetizers such as Spicy Deviled Eggs and Sweet Pickles
Pizzeria Locale(top right): Order the Mais pizza (I know it is sweet corn, but trust me, it is beyond amazing) and sit outside at their Eurostyle community tables.
Centro Latin Kitchen(bottom right): Start your meal off with a La Casa Marg and an order of their avocado salsa!
Rio Grande(top): With full roof top dinning, The Rio is one of my personal favorites. Order a man-berry (mango and strawberry) marg along with the chicken fajitas. I promise you will have a very happy stomach!
Pasta Jay’s(left): If Italian is what you are craving, sit outside at Pasta Jay’s and enjoy hearty dishes such as the Cheese Tortellini or Chicken Parmigiana.
West Flanders Brewing Co(middle): In the mood for an ice cold beer outside? Get to West Flanders. They have a seeming endless selection of unique brews!
West End Tavern(right): Another one of my personal favorites on Pearl. I have tried just about everything on the menu, but yam chips with guacamole and the veggie burger are my absolute favorites!
The Kitchen(top left): Sit at their adorable little tables and enjoy exceptional dishes such as spinach and ricotta ravioli or a grilled ribeye steak!
SALT the Bistro(top right): Enjoy happy hour on the patio! I recommend the chickpea & quinoa sliders and the house white.
Trattoria on Pearl: (bottom left) Sit alongside the iconic chef statue and enjoy all of your Italian favorites like pizza, gnocchi, and pasta.
Riffs Urban Fare:(bottom right) Situated right in the heart of Pearl Street, Riffs is a great place to eat outside and do some people watching. Their winter salad may be one of my favorite salads ever!
Writing this post reminded me of what an amazing place Boulder is in the spring and summer! As the iconic tulips start to bloom on Pearl, I cannot wait to say goodbye to winter and hello to the best seasons in Boulder.
Deciding where to have dinner on special occasions (like Valentine’s Day) can be tricky. Making decisions has never been my strong suit, so I want to help you plan the perfect dinner date for you and your valentine. Here are a few restaurants with prix fixe menus to take into consideration:
Want to spice it up a bit? Celebrate “El Dia de Amor” at Centro for some delicious Latin American food!
If you are looking for something fancier, try Frasca Food and Wine. The fine Italian cuisine will leave you and your valentine fully satisfied.
For all of those couples who share a love of seafood, Jax Fish House (my personal favorite) also offers a delicious menu for the special day.
Vegetarian valentines should definitely try Leaf’s special menu. It’s a more casual dining experience that both vegans and even carnivores enjoy.
Last but not least, West End Tavern is offering a casual dining experience aptly named the “Beer Lovers’ Dinner”.
Hopefully, this helps quicken your decision making process because Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! Be sure to click here to view a fully detailed list of all Downtown Boulder restaurants’ Valentine’s Day specials. And don’t forget to check out our gift guide!
It is pretty clear that we live in one of the best towns for foodies! From farm to table restaurants, to delicious sushi, Italian and steakhouses Boulder is a Mecca for quality food. And, luckily we all have the chance to sample some of these restaurants for a low price during the 7th annual First Bite Boulder. More than 40 of Boulder’s restaurants will open their doors starting November 9th, offering a three course prix fixe dinner menu for $26. Checkout the list of participating downtown restaurants!
Restaurants participating in the downtown area include:
I have been dying to try Pastavino since its arrival on Pearl last spring. And their menu looks incredible!
I recommend trying as many of these restaurants as you can because you won’t be able to eat three courses for $26 for long! First Bite Boulder ends November 17th.
When I first started working at Downtown Boulder I read through the previous intern’s blog posts to get a feel of how I should be writing blog posts. When I read Madalyn’s comment about having to model for Fashion’s Night Out on her second day of work I immediately hoped I would not be asked to model. But only three weeks into my internship Taylor turned to me and asked if I would model in dinning pictures for Downtown Boulder’s website. Unfortunately I hadn’t escaped the job of modeling as I had hoped.
But I am here to tell you that if you’re ever an intern and asked to be a model for Downtown Boulder do it! You will receive some great perks, learn some interesting things, and have a little fun.
The best perk had to be getting to eat yummy food and drinking The Rio's Strawberry/Mango margaritas for free! As a college student who wouldn’t love free food?
Next, among the snapshots I learned a lot about the other Downtown employees. Such as the adorable stories of how they met their significant others. Nothing like employees bonding!
Lastly, posing candidly and laughing on command can get a little awkward. But doing it along side my fellow Downtown Boulder employees turned out to be an enjoyable experience full of a lot of genuine laughs.
So keep checking the Downtown Boulder website and look for my big debut as a model!
- Rebecca (intern)
It is officially one of my favorite times in Boulder. The leaves are changing, chilly weather is upon us, and the best part is, not a lot of snow, yet. Another one of my favorite things about fall is the seasonal foods and drinks. Starbucks pumpkin spice latte and pumpkin bread are a classic favorite but Boulder has many more options as well.
Mountain Sun Brewery is tapping two pumpkin ales this weekend and Walnut Brewery also has an Ocktoberfest menu and brew on tap! Rueben’s Burger Bistro has begun Pumpkin Takeover featuring four seasonal brews on tap. If you’re looking to stay in and cook on one of these chilly nights I recommend picking up ingredients from the Boulder Farmers’ Market (through November 17th). The market is open on Saturdays and you can find fall favorites like sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, winter squash and much more.
Autumn isn’t only about food though. The shops in Boulder are fully stocked with fall’s latest fashions like the adorable boots at Steve Madden, I can’t keep myself away from that store!
Halloween is the perfect way to cap off the beginning of the fall season and what better way to do that than with the Munchkin Masquerade on the 31st on Pearl. You’ll be able to see adorable Boulder little ones dressed up in their finest costumes.
As the new kid on the block I’ll admit that I was a little intimidated about being tasked to write blog posts for the Downtown Boulder webpage. But as I got to thinking about what my first blog post would be about I realized I should talk about something that I was experienced at, something where I wasn’t the new kid on the block.
That something my friends are the CU football games. As a senior I feel as though I have got the whole football game thing down! This upcoming weekend, September 28th – 30th, is Parent’s Weekend. To all of you visiting parents and underclassman I am going to teach you how to do Parent’s Weekend right!
Hopefully by now you have booked a hotel reservation, but if not Boulder has a great selection of hotels to choose from. One of my favorites is the Hotel Boulderado, known for its unique charm and history. Another hotel located in downtown, is the St Julien Hotel & Spa which is quite luxurious. And, lastly (but sure not least) is the Bradley Inn, a cozy little inn in the heart of Boulder.
Now if you’re like me you’re excited for the array of fabulous food Boulder has to offer! On Friday night I suggest you eat at one of the many happy hours on Pearl. Some amazing food can be found at Centro, their happy hour is from 3:00 – 5:30pm and they have gourmet Mexican food and delicious margaritas! Another tried and true restaurant for happy hour is The Mediterranean which holds a happy hour from 3:00-6:30 pm everyday of the week! A restaurant with some Italian flare is Bacaro, their happy hour is from 4:00-6:30 pm daily! These are just some of the restaurants on Pearl that offer happy hours, but there are many more delicious options. If you walk up and down Pearl I am sure you’ll find many options!
After eating dinner the Stampede on Pearl is a MUST SEE! The Stampede is a CU tradition for home games and features the CU Buffs football team, the Golden Buffalo Marching Band, and some loyal CU Buffs fans. It starts at 7pm and walks the length of the Pearl Street Mall. This is an amazing way to get pumped up for the home game the next day! You have to see one of these during your CU career and Parent’s Weekend Stampede is sure to be a great one!
The actual game day is a long day full of fun activities. Boulder is known for amazing breakfast places and Snooze on Pearl is to die for! After filling up on a yummy breakfast head to the stadium as there will be plenty of tailgating going on outside the stadium walls.
The game against UCLA starts at 4pm and lines will be long so get there early to cheer on the Buffs and see the adorable Ralphie run! After the game head back down to Pearl for another amazing dinner to fill you up after a long day in the sun.
On Sunday during the day one of my favorite things to do is walk around Pearl Street with a coffee in hand, Pearl has some amazing coffee places! This day is especially great to wander in and out of stores like Free People, Weekends, American Apparel, and much more. Hey if the parents are buying, why not??
I hope this post has you excited and ready for Parents Weekend! Boulder, CO is such an amazing place to go to school and live in. I have truly loved every moment of living in Boulder and I am very excited to work for a company that appreciates and promotes all that Downtown Boulder has to offer!
- Rebecca (Intern/New Kid on the Block)
Eating on the cheap sometimes seems like an impossible task. You want to go out with your friends, but you’re tired of pretending that puny side salad with half a crouton filled you up. How do you combat this cry for a satisfying lunch at a price you can count on one hand? You let me handle it. Well, that’s not entirely true, but I do know of a myriad of cheap options that will prevent you from having to practice your “spot me?” look.
Soup is often underestimated. The Kitchen [Next Door], Two Spoons, Dish Gourmet, and Lindsay’s Boulder Deli offer a hearty soup selection that generally comes with bread. Mountain Sun takes hearty to the next level and has a vegetarian chili (served with chips) that fills up carnivores and herbivores alike.
Not a believer in the power of soup? How about a hot dog from Freddie’s Hot Dog cart or Mustard’s Last Stand? Maybe a slice of pizza from Nick-n-Willy’s or Pizza Colore? Sliders are great too and they’re available at Boulder Café and Rueben’s. Also sushi is quick and light which makes for a perfect lunch meal. Hapa and Japango have a wide variety of rolls for under $5 that make sharing a grand idea if you want a bit of everything.
As a connoisseur of the cheap and delicious, my top picks for the best food for your buck include: Zoe Ma Ma’s $4.95 cold noodle bowl, The Unseen Bean’s $4.98 veggie bagel, Chipotle’s $2.25 tacos, and $5 sandwiches at Atlas Purveyors. Just because I can find these places when blinded by hunger pangs, there are not the only options. Take a look here for our full list and maybe introduce your date to something better than the $.99 menu.
(Image: MomentuM on 16th & Pearl St.)
The wait is over! I know you have been dying to hear the second half of my East End explorations and the time has finally come. When I last blogged, I had made it as far as the scent-ual experience that is Boxcar Coffee Roasters and Cured. One might not believe that cheese, meat, wine, and coffee could all come together in one delightful aroma, but it certainly does.
As I reluctantly walked away from the tantalizing scents, I decided to give my eyes something to savor too. Last year, Buffalo Exchange moved to its new location on the East End and it could not be a better fit. It has always been a fun store with a retro, yet contemporary, (still funky) sort of vibe, but they have really taken their new space to the next level. There are racks of clothes and shoes in a variety of styles for both ladies and gentlemen, as well as some of the most unique accessories to layer on top. And in case you weren’t sure about the “exchange” in their name, you can bring in your gently used or unwanted clothes and trade them in for either cash or store credit.
Another fun place to shop for unique and fashionable clothing is Lilli. A sister store to Violette just across Pearl Street, Lilli strives for a casual and funky look to compliment the more classy fashions available at Violette. Lilli’s clothes have a feminine look that is just the right amount of girly and casual to work with anyone’s style. Along with clothing for the young adult audience, there is an adorable little girl’s section where there is never a shortage of pink, tutus, or fairy wings. I would highly recommend talking to the friendly staff and let them help you find a great new dress for spring. You deserve it!
There is always some special occasion coming up that merits a gift, but it is never easy to find that perfect present. Allow me to introduce MomentuM. Fair trade is the name of their game and it has never looked better than it does at this inviting and vibrant shop. The worldly music gets you in the spirit to check out the trinkets, clothes, jewelry, toys, kitchen ware, and other hand-crafted items from various corners of the world. Each item also contains a tag cluing you in to where the item was made and the background on the person who made it. You can have a clear conscience when buying any gift here; that is, if you decide you even want to give it away anymore.
If you are like me and somehow manage to work up an appetite while shopping, then go no further than Snooze. Snooze made its way to the East End last year and I have yet to see a short waiting line on any given weekend. I suppose this is because of their phenomenal pancake menu, or the five unique ways they can serve up hollandaise, or maybe the way it feels like you’re in some sort of space ship eating an out-of-this-world breakfast. Point being, Snooze is always hopping for a reason and you should join the movement.
I feel as though I was exploring the East End for hours, poking around the awesome stores, talking to super friendly people (thanks for answering all my questions!), smelling so many delicious foods and coffees, and yet I didn’t even get to make it into every store or restaurant. I hope I have given you all a reason to go beyond the bricks and see that not every east side should induce a panic attack. For all the restaurants and shopping venues you could ever want, click here and I hope to see you on the east side soon.
Thanks to the combined efforts of Hollywood and a slew of popular American rappers, the “east side” is often labeled in a negative way. It’s always on the wrong side of the tracks, it’s where the terrifying gang bangers reside, it’s got the shabby buildings, and ironically, it usually has some of the best food (should you be brave enough to cross the tracks and have a taste). But let me tell you a not-so-secret secret, Hollywood and rappers are not always right, and they are especially not right about the East End of Pearl Street.
Today I had the privilege of being free to roam and thoroughly explore and East End. I have a big love for the East End, because it was the first part of Pearl Street I ever explored when I arrived here at CU. I fell in love with The Cup at first sip and Buffalo Exchange found its way immediately into my wallet. My agenda today was a bit different than the aimless wandering I have come to know and love. Geared up with the fancy camera and legal pad, the people seemed to part on the sidewalk and let this obviously very important lady through. My credibility was quickly compromised however, when I lost my footing and took a slight tumble off the curb. No big deal folks, I’m an intern.
I figured the best route to take in my explorations would be to start in the far east (the scariest part, right?) and work my way to the bricks. Knowing very little about downtown’s spa scene, I headed to nail and waxing spa, ten20, to get more acquainted. I was blown away with the splendor of the space as there were walls of nail polishes, complimentary diet cokes and m&ms, and even a movie projected on their enormous screen. The staff was very friendly and let me know the skinny on their women’s bike team: it currently has sixty-five members and continues to expand with each meeting. They welcome women of all levels and even have Wednesday training nights where they bring stationary bikes into the spa and cycle to training videos (as well as each other’s encouragements). Makes me want to dust off the ol’ bike!
After my bike inspiration, I went to check out Boxcar Coffee Roasters and Cured to see if I could further develop my dream of being a coffee and/or wine connoisseur. This might be a shared space, but there is nothing crowded about it. I felt very welcome as I was greeted from my left and my right by employees ready to offer any insight or answer any questions.
Boxcar Coffee Roasters is a sleek, yet rustic establishment that does not hide their fervor for brewing the perfect cup of coffee. Along the wall, they sell bags of freshly roasted coffee that have origins in various coffee-connected countries, as well as their personal blends which combine select beans to create the perfect mix. Boxcar is also a café which sells the standard hot drinks and pastries, but each item has a flavor that can only be found in something that was made with passion. With a spin to the right, you will find yourself faced with Cured; a shop unlike any I have ever known. It focuses on “preserving a personal connection to food” by offering hand-picked selections of cheeses, cured meats, and wines. Not only is Cured an aesthetically pleasing place to shop, but they also offer classes every Thursday night to share their knowledge of choosing quality ingredients and how to bring them into your every day. And they are also the recent recipients of the 2011 Downtown Boulder Rising Star Award, so they’ve got our official stamp of approval.
In the spirit of giving the East End of Pearl Street its well deserved attention, I am splitting this blog in two. Check back on Tuesday for the second half of my explorations; and in the mean time, take a look at all the shopping and dining listings that the East End has to offer. There are so many and it will be well worth your time, I promise! And as a special treat for all you loyal blog readers, email me at email@example.com for your chance to win 2 FREE tickets to Los Lobos at Boulder Theater Friday March 9! To keep things fair, I’ll combine all the entries and randomly select one to be announced in my blog next Tuesday.
“How can you survive?” “So, what do you eat then?” and my favorite “If you love animals so much then why do you eat all their food?” As a vegetarian, I hear these things a lot. People are either utterly confused as to how it is possible to eat anything that doesn’t contain meat or they are concerned that I will not be able to order anything at a restaurant if we choose to go out. Rest assured everyone, I have yet to faint from not eating meat and no animals have starved because I made a meatless meal. I do have to admit that being a college student makes for some meager meals, but that’s something collegiate carnivores and vegetarians share.
Of all the cities to be a vegetarian, Boulder is certainly the place to be worry-free from starvation and malnutrition. There is an abundance of restaurants that offer full vegetarian menus and meat-free options, and even a number that allows you to dine freely as a vegan or gluten-free patron. Leaf is Boulder’s only full vegetarian dining establishment, and what a delicious place. There is nothing wrong with it except the fact that vegetarians now have an entire menu of options to choose from. Oh the decisions to be made! Comparable to Leaf, Bombay Bistro has a separate vegetarian menu in addition to one for their meat eating customers. Zoe Ma Ma also has an incredible cold noodle bowl that is not only a treat for the taste buds, but is a deal for the wallet at only $4.95.
If vegetarian options are not the only thing you are looking for in a menu, Sherpa’s Adventures on Walnut Street understands. They give you the option to add tofu, vegetables, or meats to almost any of their dishes. BJ’s might be more known for their hamburgers and meaty items, but have you noticed their baked potato section? It’s a haven for vegetarians! As is their soup and salad menu, which offers bread bowls to be savored and ripped apart as you dip pieces into your steaming soup. The Mediterranean would not be the same without their lamb kabobs, but they also have quality pizzas and paella that lack meat, but never flavor.
Being gluten-free is also a tricky diet to abide by when it comes to dining out, but at places like Boulder Organic Pizza, Aji, Shine and Boulder Café, you don’t have to ask any questions beyond, “Can I see your gluten-free menu?” Here’s the list of all the restaurants in downtown with gluten-free options.
Sigh…it is nice to know that I will never have to worry about ordering four side dishes just to feel like I ate a complete meal. With so many options for vegetarians, vegans, gluten-freers , and those who wish they were brave enough to give up meat, Downtown Boulder is the place to eat. So, if you are dabbling with the idea of becoming a vegetarian or are skeptical as to how anyone could eat a satisfying meal without meat, then I challenge you try a meatless entrée from any of these restaurants and report back with your level of satisfaction.
Eat on Boulder!
Ahh, the great outdoors. When I am not anchoring my feet to the ground in an attempt to save myself from blowing away to Kansas, I enjoy it. While we have had a fun little bout of wind and snow and temperatures so low I had to don the ever-attractive marshmallow look and waddle my way around town, the weekend is shaping up to be a whole other story. Take a look:
There may be a cloud under that cartoon sun, but under that cloud are some numbers worth smiling about. I really never thought I would get excited about temperatures in the high 40s, but Colorado will do that to you. It makes you frustrated, because in the morning you are nice and bundled up with your scarf and fuzzy fleece jacket(s), but by the time you walk wherever it is you’re going, you are sweating like a marathon runner at the end of a race in the middle of July. Why Colorado, why? So, although I am aware that this little diagram could be completely invalid by the time you are done reading this, I wanted to share with you some exciting news that comes with temperatures about 40 degrees: eating outside.
There is something about drinking a cup of coffee on a patio while enjoying a delightful pancake breakfast that just really starts my day off right. Or having a good lunch while soaking in the sunshine somehow makes the food taste better. I don’t think I am alone in saying this, or else Boulder would have a population of one and all these restaurants would not be offering patio seating. So, when you are strolling around trying to figure out what patio looks the best, consider your patio options: the rooftop, the on-the-bricks people watcher, the intimate, or the more sneaky back area.
The rooftops are ideal for lunch. They are most always festive and give you plenty of room to enjoy your meal and whatever company you may have with you. The Lazy Dog, The West End Tavern, Bacaro, and Rio Grande have some of the best rooftops around. If you want to kill two birds with one stone and do your people watching while you dine, the on-the-bricks patios are best. Boulder Café, Cheesecake Factory, Antica Roma, Hapa, and Woody Creek are right on the bricks and make you feel like you are having an intimate dining experience while still being in the middle of all the action. If the middle of the action is not what you’re looking for in a patio companion, then try for a more intimate location. Foolish Craig’s, The Unseen Bean, Trident, Laughing Goat, and Zoe Ma Ma are excellent choices for a less crowded patio. And if the intimate patio is still not secluded enough or you just don’t want anyone to know that you sometimes like to eat outside, then these sneaky back patios are for you: The Mediterranean, Spruce Confections, Sherpa’s Adventures, Mateo, and Centro Latin Kitchen. They offer large, beautifully decorated patios which make it feel like you are enjoying a private meal with a bunch of your best friends.
So, in honor of a weekend with lots of sun (and possibly a little gray cloud or two), let us confidently say, “Yes, I would like to sit outside.” Be sure to check out our complete list of downtown restaurants with a patio, because more options are never a bad thing. And don’t forget to look at the dog-friendly patio list too! Even our furry friends like to enjoy a pancake in the sun.
Me! With a new semester comes a new intern, and this semester’s selection of Boulder blogging perspectives will be courtesy of me, Devon. I have some big shoes to fill, but I am very excited to be able to share my explorations, food outings, café trips, festival happenings, and busking discoveries with you.
Part of being new is getting into the swing of things and figuring out the way things work. For example, I have to put stamps on envelopes, which may seem mundane, but this is no lick ‘n stick situation. The envelopes are weighed on this grey device and then fed into a slot where the stamp is stamped electronically; but not before it makes a bunch of noise and lets you know how important it is that you give it your full attention. However, I am not the only one who is still getting acquainted with a new environment. A few new restaurants and shops have opened their doors in downtown, providing excellent opportunities to make multiple dinner date plans:
Shine on 13th and Pearl opened in December with the ever-so-fitting slogan “Light up Your Life…Shine from Within.” The Emich sisters, previous owners of the wine-bar and music venue Trilogy, opened Shine as a “place for us all to nourish ourselves through food, community, dance, education and celebration. It is hub for us all to share our gifts, to explore, and to have fun doing it.” Putting their creativity to good use, the sisters have worked hard to utilize the space and give an intimate, yet versatile feel, perfect for the live music, private parties, or their Wednesday morning yoga class. Cheap menu items paired with their unique elixirs and potions adds up to a satisfying and delicious time. Sounds like a good place to me!
If you recall the heartbreak of the fire that devastated the new Oak at Fourteenth last March, then you would also recall their magnificent reopening this December. Seeing this as an opportunity to redesign what they previously created, co-owners Bryan Dayton and Steven Redzikowski went straight to work rebuilding their restaurant resulting in a simple and rustic, yet contemporary space. The delectable menu you remember from a year ago has only been improved upon, providing seasonal items made with house-made pastas, as well as local produce and meats. If that isn’t enough to make you “accidentally” leave your leftovers in the office frig, GQ Bombay Sapphire named Bryan Dayton the 2011 Best Bartender in the country, meaning the hand-crafted cocktails and select artisan wines and beers are designed to perfectly compliment your entrée. Fresh, local, and award-winning. See you at six?
And if you feel like having a glamorous night-in while wearing your finest sweatpants, then first stop by the brand new Oliverde and browse through their premium selection of extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinaigrettes from around the world. After co-owners Terry and Kathy Kulesa opened the Rocky Mountain Olive Oil store in Fort Collins, they decided to expand south and bring their knowledge (and oil) to Boulder. Italian dishes made with authentic Italian olive oil are sure to impress friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, and neighbors alike.
So while I continue to get myself acquainted with the life of a Downtown Boulder intern, come on down and check out the other new kids on the block.
As a kid, holiday parties were always such a riot. Everyone was so happy…laughing and getting along. (It must be the magic of Christmas right?) But then you grow up, discover alcohol, and realize the magic of Christmas was really just being served in the “grown up drinks.” Now that I’ll finally be enjoying the grown-up drinks at this year’s holiday parties, I have to wonder, how “happy” is acceptable at work and school functions? This lovely diagram created by the nymag.com blog “Grub Street” is a clever resource that I suggest you crumple into your suit pocket and use for reference. Unfortunately, I happen to fall in the toddler section where even if you work for a cool company, you’re still only allowed one glass of vino chased with some cheap beer (Interns can’t afford Corona yet).
So whether you enjoy 1 tequila, 2 tequilas, 3 tequilas, or the floor at your staff mixer this year, at least do it in style at a hip Downtown Boulder venue. Because, trust me, our business owners are just dying to host you and your office buddies, watch you play spin the bottle like a teenager and dance to some Snoop Dog with a lamp shade on your head. So much so that we even had to make a webpage of the countless holiday party rental options.
Last night one of my business school classes had a holiday party at Bacaro. They have a bunch of different sized rooms available. (My roommates and I are having our graduation party on their rooftop in May!) Apparently the diagram above doesn’t apply to school functions where you’re taking tequila shots with your professor. #ilovecollege
Happy Holidays! Keep it classy Boulder…
There are over 115 places to eat in Downtown Boulder and I personally don’t have the funds, or the metabolism to try them all (sigh…) In fact, sometimes I wonder if going to college in Boulder is doing more to my waistline than to my brain. Sure, there are flatirons to hike, creeks to fish, trails to bike and mountains to climb…but once I’m done, how exactly do you expect me to say no to the queso dip at Tahona? (It’s served BOILING by the way.) Unfortunately for me, were smack in the middle of another great event that has to do with ever expanding my pants size, First Bite Boulder! All this week (Nov 11-19) 40 of Boulder’s top restaurants are offering a $26, 3 course menu to all of us; Great for those strapped for cash and not so great for my future size 0. Last year, I stumbled upon First Bite on accident while eating at The ChopHouse. I found myself thoroughly confused (and scared) from the ridiculously cheap seafood prices. Luckily, I actually know what’s going on this year as the DBI intern (so enlightened…) and I think you should know too! For example, check out The ChopHouse menu for this year:
House Salad- Mixed seasonal field greens, carrots, cucumber and a fresh herb vinaigrette with buttermilk bleu cheese
Onion Soup - Stewed onions in a rich beef broth topped with crouton and melted Gruyere cheese
Fontina & Sage Stuffed Pork Chop- Served with port-rosemary sauce, apple chutney and wild rice-pecan pilaf
8oz Filet Mignon - Served with white cheddar mashed potatoes and Worcestershire butter sauce
Citrus Salmon - Atlantic salmon with orange beurre blanc, served atop fresh asparagus
Old Fashioned Chocolate Caramel Cake- Gandma's chocolate cake with fresh cream
mmmm…..and all this for $26. Other participants include some of my personal downtown favorites, like Brasserie Ten Ten, Sushi Tora, Jax, and Mateo. You can see a full list of participants, their menus and even make reservations from the First Bite Boulder website. So come enjoy some fabulous dining. This event is great for families on a budget, dad’s paying their daughters CU out-of-state tuition, people who bought Buff season tickets and are regretting it, or the bottom 99% (hehe). It’s also great for my roommates and me, because we lack self control… Either way! Enjoy!
My freshman year homecoming, Sigma Pi fraternity put a mechanical bull in their front yard. Now, being from California, the mechanical bull was a new thing to me. And man those are fun! (I averaged 4-6 rides on the bull any time it was present) So naturally I was the star bull rider…but on my 5th ride my dismount threw me into a break in the floor padding (aka a large metal bar). Ended up with a bruise the side of Argentina, and we lost to Texas...Go Longhorns?
Sophomore year, I decided to take a short nap before the game against Missouri, which turned into a long nap and I missed the entire game. If anyone wants to fill me in on the game details (you can always e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org!), I’d love to know. I do know that we lost.
My junior year, I had swine flu. Yes, I was one of the lucky people who had the swine flu. I completely missed my sorority’s adorable Charlie Brown themed float in the homecoming parade and it was awful. Oh yeah, and CU lost. Sound familiar?
My point...is that this weekend is cursed. And I’m terrified. But, I have faith because there are a lot of changes happening this year. The parade is moving down to Pearl Street (awesome). Whoever thought of that is a genius. Ahem…it starts tonight at 7 p.m. in front of the Courthouse and moves west to the reviewing stand on 10th street. The Buffoons will be singing and if you haven’t heard them your life is not complete. And, the Grand Marshall is our National Championship coach, Bill McCartney; Bringing the winning spirit to Boulder! (They won in 1990, my birth year. Coincidence? I think not.) If you haven’t noticed, I’m a fan of downtown. The Oregon Fans are already out and about, realizing their mistake in choosing a Duck over a Buffalo. They’re buying CU shirts from Jackalope and converting from the dark side to the good side. As soon as they taste the fresh food at their Salt reservation, they’ll probably just end up staying here. You may be good at football Duckians, but Downtown Boulder knows how to have a good time. And as their trusty intern, that means I am going to (for once) have a good homecoming weekend!
So Boulderites, pray for me. Come watch the parade, head out to the football game, and be nice to the Duck fans (it’s a waddling bird, after all). Let’s create some good karma for the weekend. I think it’s going to be an awesome one.
What better way to experience our vibrant city than all at once! Whether you’re outdoorsy, a foodie, family-oriented, or just like to drink beer, there’s a tour happening today that knows just how to tickle your fancy. Grab your Hawaiian print shirt, some binoculars and a camera; here are 5 of the best one-and-done ways to experience the greatest downtown in America in a couple of hours (or less)!
Why crawl from bar to bar if you can bike? If you haven’t seen this contraption wheeling its way around downtown then you’re missing quite a sight. MyHandleBar is a peddle powered portable bike bar, equipped for 16 passengers and comes with its own designated driver. Peddle with your buddies to move the portable watering hole from bar to bar. MyHandleBar offers a “Boulder Brewery Biking” tour stopping at locations such as The Walnut Brewery, The Lazy Dog, Bitter Bar, Conor O’Neills and Pearl Street Pub. Another tour is the “Boulder Bar Bash” stopping at destinations such as Shooters, Catacombs, The Walrus, The Attic and Tahona Tequilla Bistro. Talk about innovating the bar crawl! And hey, all that peddling will cancel out the calories you drink, right?
2. Boulder Walking Tours
If you’re not into drinking or crawling, follow an experienced local guide on a relaxing walk through downtown while you learn about the history, planning and people of Boulder. Some of the sites include the magical Dushanbe Teahouse and the cafes and shops of Pearl’s West and East Ends. The talk will also allow you to get an inside scoop on the public art found on the mall. (Why is that elk there anyway?)
3. Local Table Tours
Calling all foodies! Discover what bon appetit magazine called “America’s Foodiest Town” on a Downtown Dining Tour. LocalTableTours.com offers cocktail tours, coffee and pastry tours, market-to-table tours, and even tours of the Boulder County Farmers Market. These are not sampling tours…so get ready to eat! With over 100 restaurants in Downtown a table tour is a great way to get started on conquering them all. Their motto is “Eat.Drink.Walk.Repeat.” Sounds pretty fabulous to me. I’m especially interested in trying the cocktail tour. It’s supposed to be something like a private cocktail class…meet the bartenders and learn their unique mixology techniques. Tour prices range from $25-$70.
4. Banjo Billy Bus Tours
My friends and I have rented out the Banjo Billy Bus to truck us down to Brad Paisley concerts. Usually, it offers a 90-minute tour of Boulder from the comfort of an old sofa, recliner, or even a saddle. Find out about more of the eclectic side of Boulder through ghost stories and folk lore. This “traveling hillbilly shack” lets its passengers vote on the stories they want to hear. If you’re into country, or a little Jack D, Banjo Billy will show you a good time.
5. Boulder Area Bicycle Adventures
Need something a little more outdoorsy? Boulder Area Bicycle Adventures offers a Historic Downtown and Pearl Street Mall Tour on wheels! Enjoy Pearl as well as other nearby areas such as the Boulder Creek Path and Red Rocks Settler’s Park. This fast paced biking excursion is perfect for families. Do you know what trees are the oldest or what styles of architecture are used most? This tour is great for pointing out some of these less noticeable but still special aspects of Boulder.
Whether you’re a local or looking to visit Boulder for the first time, tours are great way to fit a lot into a busy schedule. So get out there before the snow comes! (I don’t think MyHandleBar will operate too well in slush).
Although this documentary came out in 2009, I saw it for the first time a couple weeks ago in my Corporate Social Responsibility class at CU. I managed to hold back tears, but I couldn’t keep my jaw from dropping. Could this really be true?! I figured it had to be just one side of the story (as most documentaries are) and quickly consulted a family friend who works as a dietitian. To my dismay, she confirmed that the information presented was absolutely true and how unfortunate it is that big business has done this to what we put in our bodies. The healthiest way to go is to buy organic. But what exactly does that mean? And what about going out to eat? Can I expect restaurants to adopt the same views as me in regards to eating organic?
After a little more research, (and some shopping changes!) I realized that Boulder is the best place to be if you’re searching for organic options. In fact, there are tons of farm-to-table restaurants located here in downtown and even more that source their food locally and safely. Here are just a few of the many dining options that you can feel great about enjoying downtown:
1. Black Cat Organic Restaurant and Farm
Chef Eric Stokan created an organic farm located just outside the city to supply his restaurant with “just picked” products. Every day the staff harvests food that inspires an ever changing menu. You can also visit the Black Cat tent at the Boulder County Farmers Market every Saturday!
2. The Kitchen (Next Door, and Upstairs as well)
The Kitchen was featured in the September issue of Entrepreneur magazine for their efforts in the organic movement. The idea behind the creation of The Kitchen “was to source food from people they knew and serve it to people they knew. ” Most of The Kitchen’s suppliers are local (displayed on chalkboards in the restaurant). See their full list here.
SALT uses product from Boulder County whenever possible. They believe, “The philosophy at SALT is simple; a belief that the best food travels the shortest distance from farm to table, that menus should change with the seasons…” Much of the produce you see at the Farmers Market you could go enjoy at SALT that night for dinner. A full list of SALT’s farms is available here.
4. Aji, Leaf and the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse
Owned by the same family, Lenny and Sara Martinelli purchased a 10-acre farm in Lafayette in Spring 2011. They named it Three Leaf Farm, after their three children. Three Leaf supplies product to all of their restaurants!
So, go out to eat in downtown Boulder and don’t worry about the nightmare that is Food Inc. These are ONLY A FEW of the stops downtown that care about serving healthy, organic options. Now, I can sleep at night.
P.S. Local Table Tours offers a market-to-table dining tour of Downtown Boulder. How perfect ;)
As if Boulder didn’t have enough great breakfast spots, the hippest place to enjoy a pancake in Denver has moved west. Having spent last summer working in Denver, some locals introduced me to the only place anyone would be willing to wait 45 minutes for some morning deliciousness…Snooze! And delicious it was! Needless to say I was pleasantly stoked to hear a new Snooze branch was opening in Downtown Boulder. Last Thursday, September 29th, Snooze opened a new location on Pearl Street’s east end nestled between Art & Soul Gallery and Momentum.
Personally I find Snooze’s move to Boulder to be a perfect fit. Snooze’s business model is as sustainable and innovative as Boulderites themselves. They buy their eggs exclusively from Niman Ranch (free range, family owned…basically as organic as it gets) and the restaurants follow a list of sustainability principles including recycling, composting, and using chemical free cleaners. But wait, there’s more!
I’m sure half of you will agree with me when I say that half the fun of eating out is the atmosphere. The ambiance of Snooze makes the experience a lot of fun. I want to call it retro 50’s, but it reminds me a lot of the Jetson’s. Confused? Well, after further research, I discovered what they were actually going for: “The Snooze concept, beyond great food, was to create a comfortable and timeless setting. Energy through design, from flow to the feelings invoked. This vibe is reflected in both the space, and the service. Snooze has the comfort of a neighborhood coffee shop, while evoking a retro-future spin. It's fun. ”
But enough of this jibber jabber, let’s get down to business and discuss what’s really important here…THE FOOD! Ladies and gentlemen, I have 4 words for you, Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes! Not even mentioning Snooze’s plethora of breakfast options (including four different types of Eggs Benedict, my personal fav) I would have to say that Snooze’s pancakes are their specialty. Walking a fine line between meal and dessert the pancakes are definitely worth a try (or two, or three). Always ask what the pancake of the day is because it’s usually something especially decadent. They even offer a “Pancake Flight” so if you can’t decide which flavor to try, just try a bunch! Careful, I see a food coma in your future.
They serve coffee while you wait…so courteous. So let’s be courteous back! Give our newest Boulder restaurant a try. You won’t regret it :)
Sadly, today is my last day as Downtown Boulder’s Communications and Marketing Intern. This summer has just flown by, and I can’t believe that I won’t be writing to you about my adventures downtown, good and bad, all the food I have consumed, envelopes I have stuffed, licked, mailed, and carried to the mailbox on 10th Street. I finally must return to school for my senior year (yikes!). I will no longer be able to bug Eli with all my questions, usually involving this tricky little program they call Photoshop. This is a sad day indeed. I have enjoyed my time at DBI and appreciate the plethora of knowledge I gained and the patience Eli had for my Photoshop skills, or lack thereof. However, fear not, I won’t be gone for long I will be back for Fashion’s Night Out to help and to make sure the DBI office doesn’t miss me too much.
Top 5 things I learned and loved about Downtown Boulder…
1. Not labeling your layers in Photoshop is a death wish. Well not literally, but it is a massive headache to go back in and change every week. And yes, I know I will be utilizing this tool in the future seeing as I am a Marketing and Public Relations major, but it’s almost 2012, can’t a girl ask for such a technology called AUTO layer labeling, help a chica out Adobe! But until that glorious day of auto layering, I have given myself a mental reminder to label, label, and label!
2. Downtown Boulder has so much going on everyday; whether it is the guy fitting himself into a box on 13th, Bands on the Bricks, or one of the delicious restaurants (I have become a professional restaurantee). I came to Boulder not knowing much other than Rio has killer margs and Urban Outfitters is a hazard to anyone’s wallet. After my summer here, I now feel a part of the Downtown Boulder family. All the merchants on Pearl Street work together to give you guys the best Downtown ever, whether it be Fashion’s Night Out, OpenArts Fest or Bands on the Bricks. Each week there are awesome events for all ages, Boulder is uniquely marvelous. Don’t forget it!
3. People travel to Boulder from all over the world. You know those envelopes I stuff with Downtown Boulder’s lovely guidebooks? Well, each week there is at least one being mailed to the UK, The Netherlands, and even as far as Armenia for a steep cost of $3.91 per!
4. Downtown Boulder has phenomenal shopping for everything you need. Whether it be my awesome fringe bathing suit from Saavy, boots from Steve Madden, or the dangerous walk to work past Weekends where I realize I need/can’t live without 90% of the items in the window. I am officially a shopaholic and a casual clothes hoarder.
And last but not least…
5. DBI offers the best internship around. I have realized that all my skills I learned in class actually have a benefit and I can tackle (or tumble into) the real world next June. DBI has allowed me to be very hands on in almost every aspect of what they do. I had my freedom to rant, convey my excitement, and share my adventures with you on this lovely blog. I learned and experienced all the awesome events, happy hours, and happenings in Downtown Boulder. Downtown Boulder has so much going on, each week I found myself excited about a new upcoming event and with my tremendous boyfriend in tow, I got to experience it all (refer to my blogs 1-9).
So all good things must come to an end (sigh), but DBI is looking for their next fall intern, so be sure to get in touch with Eli for this amazing opportunity. I know I have left some big (and cute) shoes to fill, but if you are wicked smart and want a fun and hands-on internship, this one is for you!
See you around Boulder,
Now that summer is starting to come to a close, I really want to fast forward through autumn and jump right into ski season. Once I heard of the 6th annual Warren Miller Wednesdays, I could not have been more excited to have ski season on my mind, and watch movies of fresh powder over different mountains across the globe, and start dreaming of those first fluffy flakes.
For those of you who have been living under a rock, Warren Miller is the best skier of all time. He is a revolutionary of the sport and an icon for the promotion of modern skiing for over 50 years. He is legendary; the Mick Jagger of music, Marilyn Monroe of ski films, and the Mickey Mouse of Disney. Yes, he is that awesome.
The West End Tavern is hosting Warren Miller films old and new every Wednesday from August 24th until November 2nd. They will show Warren Miller films from across the globe, with amazing drink and food specials like the ultimate nacho platter. Does it get any better? (the correct answer is no). On top of all this amazingness there will be fantastic door prizes from FlyLow, Patron, Moon Mountain Vodka, Christy Sports envision snowboards, FlyLow gear, drinks, and more!
On top of Warren Miller Wednesdays, be sure to catch the Art of Flight playing at the Boulder Theater on Wednesday September 28th. The Art of Flight is a new breed of action sport film. In the film, Travis Rice and friends redefine what is possible in the mountains with new tricks, new zones, and new wrong turns. It should be EPIC!
Get snow on your mind and get down to West End Tavern next Wednesday to ring in the start of Warren Miller Wednesdays!
See you there!
This small restaurant on the West End, right off the bricks, is absolutely wonderful. After unsuccessfully attempting to go for brunch without a wait time (who eats brunch at noon on a Sunday, come on) and being too hungry to wait, I decided to go back and check it out for dinner.
The Kitchen is very Boulderesque in that they serve all local food in an eco-friendly environment running on local wind power (don’t deny it, you’re impressed). The Kitchen has always popped up on my radar whether through various event listings or passing by on one of my endless stops to Holiday & Co. And after hearing from a friend about their awesome eco-friendly attitude and stellar reviews, I decided to try it and bring my friend along with me.
The ambience in the restaurant was awesome. There is a trend of clean simplicity with the décor, menu, and cocktails. I felt as if I were in a must be seen in, trendy restaurant in downtown Manhattan, but with the comforts of home cooking. We started with the Beet Bruchetta, not at all what I was expecting. I am a texture person so blue cheese with the combination of beets, just wasn’t my cup of tea. However, my friend’s sister LOVED it, so if beets and blue cheese is on your radar you should definitely try it! After my tastebuds and emotions settled (yes, textures freak me out that much) my amazing, delicious, mouth watering lobster entrée came. Being from the East Coast, I know my lobster, and this lobster was absolutely divine. It came with grilled corn and lime flavored fries (YUM!) and I ate every bite, and I’m not sorry about it.
If you’re a pork chop, duck, beet or lobster fan this place is a must! The Kitchen’s eccentric menu has something for everyone. You also have to be sure to check out The Kitchen’s other two sister restaurants The Kitchen [Next Door] and The Kitchen Upstairs. Literally upstairs and right next door so don’t fret about trying to find them! The Kitchen [Next Door] has a casual pub-like atmosphere while still serving farm-to-table food. The Kitchen Upstairs is wine, beer and cocktail lounge, with one of the best beer and wine lists in all Colorado! It’s perfect for a date night, night on the town with friends or for a relaxing cocktail (or two).
So check out The Kitchen, The Kitchen Upstairs, or the The Kitchen [Next Door] and let me know what you think!
Attention all shopaholics, Fashion’s Night Out, the after-hours shopping extravaganza is coming to Downtown Boulder! On Thursday, September 8th, from 6-10 p.m., a selection of the amazing downtown clothing retailers will be joining forces to kick off the first Fashion’s Night Out, Boulder edition. So mark your calendars…and by mark I mean clear your evening plans, and sharpie in FNO (Fashion’s Night Out).
So before I go off into a ramble of how this event is amazing (and not conducive to reigning in my shopping addiction, sorry Mom!), let me give you a little background on FNO. FNO is an unprecedented global initiative created in 2009 in a partnership between American Vogue, the Council of Fashion, Designers of America, NYC & Company, and the City of New York to celebrate fashion, restore consumer confidence, boost the industry’s economy, and put the fun back in shopping. Although when is it not fun? Being from the best coast, and only a short 30 minute train ride to FNO’s capital, NYC. I have firsthand experience with FNO.
My hometown in CT, has celebrated FNO for two years now. In high school, I worked for a retail participant of FNO and it was an amazing event. Picture Sex and the City meets small town, Woodstock for shopaholics, Christmas shopping done in September, yes, it’s that awesome. Our boutique hosted a Parisian theme; there was wine tasting and mini pastries, and a fabulous Jewelry trunk show, along with great new fall fashion necessities (yes, necessities).
All the great aspects of Erika’s hometown FNO edition are coming to Boulder, but bigger and better! There will be a surprise performance on the 1300 block of Pearl Street; organized by Alchemy Dance Studio (it’s going to be EPIC!). Some of our amazing retailers such as Savvy on Pearl, Lilli, and Buffalo Exchange will host in-store activities to even further enhance your after-hours shopping extravaganza. Check the FNO website for updates and happenings. Although FNO is focused on the fashion industry, Downtown Boulder’s great bars and restaurants will still be open! So channel your inner fashionista and shop til you drop…into your comfy seat at your local favorite, such as Lazy Dog, Hapa, or Tahona that is.
So make room in your closest and get excited, September 8th is right around the corner! I hope to see all you Boulderites there for the night’s many festivities!
Until next time,
The man and I have a dog of our own (see above) and with this beautiful town, hate having to leave him at home while we’re out and about in the sunshine, especially in the Summer. Hopefully, this post is as useful to you, as it is to me.
I’m excited to be collaborating with my friend Eli with Downtown Boulder (http://www.boulderdowntown.com/) who helped with a large portion of the research on this post. You can find a full, complete list of dog friendly patios in downtown Boulder here (map included – great resource). I picked my favorite ten in downtown Boulder. The criteria/my opinion: delicious food and enough patio space.
Please note: Having a dog on the Pearl Street walking mall is not allowed. These locations are downtown off the walking mall.
Arabesque | 1634 Walnut Street
Arabesque’s outside red-brick patio sits under shady trees, covered with umbrellas. The authentic, made-with-love food from Manal Jarrar is Middle Eastern and honestly, one of my favorite spots for lunch. It sits on the corner of Walnut and 17th. Order the chicken shawarma plate with fresh greens and homemade hummus and order a side of Tabbouleh out on their sunny patio.
Boulder Creek Market | 1801 13th Street
Boulder Creek Market has gourmet sandwiches boasting ostrich, buffalo and even many vegetarian varieties including the veggie: avocado, cucumber, sprouts, provolone and roasted red pepper cream cheese. You can order a half or whole sandwich. Sitting in a courtyard next to a small bar and spa, there is plenty of space for your pup to lounge in the sun on the warm bricks.
The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse | 1770 13th Street
I recently wrote about Dushanbe and their annual tea festival they hold every year in July. Rooted in deep history and cultural significance, it sits along the Boulder Creek (and path) also along the Boulder Farmers Market (every Wednesday and Saturday ). There are two side patios, covered with hanging vines and the sound of the bubbling creek. Their food is International. Try one of their hundreds of loose-leaf teas (hand-picked) and try the Indian Masala Dosa: cumin, fennel crepe with curried potatoes, cauliflower, onions, tomatoes, peas and dahl with raisin chutney, cucumber yogurt and an onion fritter.
Brasserie TenTen | 1011 Walnut Street
Brasserie has one of the best happy hours in Boulder. Small plates from $2-5 with the likes of olive tapenade, salman tartare with minced peppers, sesame oil, kennebec chips and truffle citrus tossed arugula and frites with truffle aioli. You can sample wines and beers for under $4 from 3-6:30 PM everyday. Their side patio is small (about 5 tables) but if you snag a spot for brunch, happy hour, lunch or dinner your dog is welcome. Also, great spot for people watching.
Foolish Craig’s | 1611 Pearl Street
Featured on Diner, Drive-ins and Dives, Foolish Craig’s is one of those places that has something for everyone. It’s unpretentious and lining outside the restaurant, is a similarly long patio to Brasserie TenTen’s with 5 or so tables that welcome dogs. I personally love Foolish Craig’s lengthy breakfast menu peppered with crepes and diesel omelettes. Try the Boulder omelette with broccoli, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, cheddar and your choice of pesto or salsa. A killer crepe is their Fahgeddaboudit (Think Brooklyn) with breaded eggplant, spinach, mushrooms, onions, mozzarella and crushed walnuts topped with marinara and parmesan.
I included these two together, as two separate restaurants (same ownership) they’re right next to each other and each offer a small patio for dogs. The Kitchen (fine dining) has two spots out front where dogs can comfortably hang and people watch on the Western end of Pearl Street. The Kitchen [NEXT DOOR] has a larger patio with about 3-5 tables for dogs. Their food is farm fresh, organic and a top five place to eat (period) for me in Boulder. At The Kitchen [NEXT DOOR], try their garlic smashers (roasted potatoes) and beet burger. I covered them here when they recently opened in June 2011.
Walnut Brewery |1123 Walnut Street
Just South of the Pearl Street walking mall, The Walnut Brewery sits between Broadway and 11th Street. For pub food and beers brewed in house, it’s a casual establishment with an outside patio where I always see dogs. They have pizza, nachos, steaks, tacos and spaghetti. Try their handcrafted beer as you sit in the sun. The St. James Irish Red Ale was a 2006 Bronze Medal and 2003 Silver Medal Winner at Great American Beer Festival.
Saxy’s Cafe | 2018 10th Street
Saxy’s is a coffee shop, that has delicious, robust salads. On any given day, you will find entrepreneurs or students gathered around their computers or studying. Their patio outside offers a handful of tables for your dog to relax, while you sample their fare. It’s a great spot to get some work done, relax and read or have a meeting. My favorite salad is their Insalata di Spinaci with turkey, fresh spinach, gorgonzola cheese, sun-dried cranberries, pine nuts and maple balsamic vinaigrette.
The West End Tavern | 926 Pearl Street
The patio is small (2-3 tables) but those tables often have dogs lounging. I love their West End Coin Margarita with a splash of cranberry – if you order at happy hour (3-6 PM Mon-Fri) it’s $5. Try their housemade yam chips with fresh guacamole and buffalo wings. It’s a hopping place, where anyone can find something to enjoy.
VG Burgers |1650 Broadway
I include this on my list because whenever we bring our dog there, they ensure there’s fresh water in the dog bowl out front and give Cerna (the pup) a big pet and hug. Their patio isn’t much to call home about, it’s on the side of their restaurant but there are 5 patio tables that are comfortable to sit on while you enjoy their entirely vegetarian/vegan menu. The Man, a seriously meat-loving kind of guy, loves their ‘Bacon Cheeseburger’ (remember, all faux meat) and craves it. Also order their tempeh ‘hot wings’. You need not be a vegetarian, I see all kinds of people in there who often muse how they love meat and VG Burger. Try it. Seriously.
Honorable noteworthy mentions: Boulder Farmer’s Market, Farfel’s Farm a pet store on Pearl Street that always leaves a bowl of water out front and has dogs milling around inside and Alfalfa’s Market, a natural grocery store (blocks from my house) that has ‘dog parking’ out front where you can tie up your dog with fresh water bowls.
Please check out Downtown Boulder’s complete dog-friendly list (all spots have been confirmed to be dog-friendly) and has 27 spots! There are many spots that are great whether it’s a coffee shop, restaurant, bar or shop.
-reposted with permission from gracefullplate.com
I set out on a restaurant exploration in Downtown Boulder recently. Craving some Italian, my first stop was last Friday night at Pasta Jay’s. I chose this restaurant because it attracted all my senses, the most irresistible being the smell (mm garlic). Pasta Jay’s has an open layout with red and white checkered tablecloths that adds to the family-like atmosphere. The floor to ceiling windows surrounding the restaurant were all open, allowing you to enjoy the beautiful Boulder weather as well as the comfort of the a/c , and a little people watching too. If the smells and the inviting family atmosphere didn’t have me and my boyfriend hooked from the start, one glance at the menu sure did. Let me tell you I couldn’t have been happier to put the carb-free diet on hold. Pasta Jay’s menu embodies authentic homemade Italian food. I ordered the Veggie Cappelloni, basically manicotti with veggies and my boyfriend got the tortellini with chicken baked in alfredo sauce (hate to admit it but I wish I got his!). It was all delicious from the first to the last bite! With family size portions it’s perfect for sharing. However, the menu has so many choices we couldn’t narrow it down to one. And with sauce choices ranging from Alfredo, to pesto, to red sauce, the possibilities seemed endless. With all entrees they serve garlic bread so make sure to save a lot of room, you don’t want to miss out, trust me. It’s easy to see how Pasta Jay’s has resided and thrived in Boulder for over two decades.
Pasta Jay’s is up on the West End so it is easily located right off the bricks. So easily located and delicious my best friend Monica and my boyfriend and I sought our hungover refuge there late Saturday afternoon (yes, we were there twice in 48 hours). I am speaking for all three of us, but I think it’s safe to say we are all still full from our Pasta Jay’s binge. If you’re not in Boulder, Pasta Jay’s also has two other locations, Moab and Lone Tree.
Rain, shine, or even hungover, Pasta Jays’s is a must if you are craving some great family style Italian food and pizza. They also have a dog friendly outdoor patio, so if date night ends up dateless bring your four legged furry friend! I know my dog Grahm (aka granimal the party animal) would not put up a fight to lounge on the patio.
So check it out, enjoy some over-indulgence and great food and happy hour specials, featuring sangria, wines, and drafts! Be sure to join Pasta Jay’s for their World Famous Monday Night Spaghetti Night. It’s summer, you gotta live a little once and a while, or shall I say; eat a lot once and a while.
Until next time,
Yesterday, as I was updating the happy hour page, my love for a good happier hour grew (it’s five o’clock somewhere right?). My overwhelming love for great food and eating out while on a college budget can be pretty hard to balance at times, so I found a compromise, happy hour (okay not that big of a compromise, but I’m sticking to it). In honor of this compromise I decided to put one of these happy hours to the test.
Happy and The Bitter Bar stood out right away. Bitter Bar is tucked away right off Pearl Street’s West End. I have to admit I didn’t know much about the cuisine, but, the name was so enticing I decided to just figure out the food when I got there (very out of character seeing as I can be a picky eater). My first glance went to the amazing cocktail choices, all at just $4. I decided on the “42 Pink Party”, seeing as my favorite color is pink , I was sold on the name alone. It was a delicious mix of pomegranate and fresh mint (yum). It was an absolutely divine, fabulous cocktail, perfect for a happy hour!
On to the food: As I quickly learned, the cuisine is Asian fusion with a little bit of everything. My boyfriend and I split this phenomenal spicy chicken rice bowl special and the sesame flat bread with pesto and fresh mozzarella (I wouldn’t complain if I had that in front of me right now despite it being breakfast hour). Everything just got better from there. This Restaurant/Bar is one of my new top ten favs, hands down. There was plenty of indoor and outdoor seating and everything exceeded all expectations. The whole “Happy” part in the name was really kicking in right about then.
If you’re looking for a great happy hour, with an array of food ranging from small to large plates, and a cocktail list that is near to impossible to narrow down, this is the place. I promise you whether you’re a well whiskey drinker, or a world renowned wine connoisseur, Bitter Bar’s Mixologists will not disappoint. In fact he gave me just the amount of liquid courage to attempt a ride on the famous bull at Shooters later that night (flop). So if my love for this restaurant bar isn’t convincing enough, put your taste buds to the test and check it out.
Stay tuned for more of my Happy Hour discoveries as I get to know the rest of Downtown Boulder’s marvelous foodie culture. Cheers!
Greetings Downtown Boulder!
I just wanted to introduce myself to you guys. My name is Erika and I am the new communications and marketing intern at Downtown Boulder Inc. I am responsible for adding all the glorious events to the calendar that Downtown Boulder has to offer. Whether it is Bands on the Bricks or events for the young Boulder crowd such as Young Artists at Work held at Boulders Museum of Contemporary Art. I also am in charge of the less glamorous task of stuffing, licking, and mailing out the Downtown Boulder guidebooks to people across the globe (even to Sweden!).
I go to school at the University of Denver and have to admit I am quite blown away by all that Downtown Boulder has to offer, and by blown away, I mean jealous. To make up for the 2 years in Colorado I lost by not exploring Boulder, I have begun to self-indulge in all it has to offer. I will take any opportunity to invigorate my senses and fill my stomach like thanksgiving at a new restaurant. I love to cook but I have to admit I love to eat more, so restaurants were the first area of exploration. Downtown Boulder restaurants challenge the saying that my eyes are bigger than my stomach. In this case my eyes won. This past weekend I had the difficult choice of either trying West End Taverns 50 different famous Buffalo wings for lunch or tapas and pasta or pizza from The Med for dinner. I don’t know how I am going to survive a summer with such tough choices; so in this life or death decision I choose both, live a little, right?
Downtown Boulder already feels like a home away from home. I grew up in a small town on the coast. (um... the East Coast). So I have been enjoying the familiarness of quaint shops and all the children running around Pearl for their family weekend outings. My weekend wanderings throughout the Pearl Street Mall have been nothing short of awesome (even though the Pop Jet fountain caught me by surprise on Saturday, not my finest moment). I am already anticipating growth in my closet after my 3 months in Boulder. Whether it is the comfortable yet cute clothes from American Apparel or channeling my outdoor apparel fashionista at Divas. I blame my impending financial debt on the convenience of all the local shops and the friendliness of everyone in them, it would be rude not to stop in say hi and shop a little right? DBI’s location is impossible for me to walk to without getting a coffee from Paradise Café and try and execute serious self control (which was broken on day two on the job) to not to go into Powell’s Sweet Shoppe and relive my childhood cravings and buy bags of candy (I have the biggest sweet tooth for a Dentist’s daughter!). What more could a shopaholic and foodaholic ask for than Pearl Street? Incase you started thinking about that question, the answer is nothing, downtown Boulder has it all!
So after long days of adding amazing events, stuffing licking and stamping envelopes, and trying to use my photoshop knowledge with Eli (debatably successful). I decided I deserve a casual happy hour a few times a week. Being a girl who loves tequila, I have come to love Rio’s happy hour drinks and food selections all on my college budget (which I am anticipating will be dwindling soon due to all my new findings). Who wouldn’t want to kick back and relax with a margarita and tacos and pretend to be back on the spring break that our bodies and bank accounts are all still recovering from?
I can’t wait to share all my summer experiences, good and bad, with you guys. And make those who aren’t in Boulder to enjoy all the events, food, shopping, and street performers on Pearl St jealous, and come visit and explore what the good life is all about.
It was a pleasure meeting you Downtown Boulder and you will be hearing from me again soon!
Open-toe shoes. I wore open-toe shoes last weekend, and it was awesome! Springtime and happy weather have finally found Boulder, and not a moment too soon. Last weekend kicked off the Boulder County Farmers' Market, bringing in the "cream of crop" to Downtown Boulder. Over 100 vendors set up their vibrant colored, delicious smelling booths in Downtown Boulder, selling everything from fresh veggies, to umm... fresh meat, wine and various other products that Boulderite's pack their pantries and fridges with. While the first Saturday of the Farmers' Market is one of the most favorite outdoor events in Boulder, spring also kicks off a slew of popular, outdoor events, hosted by Downtown Boulder Inc.
The Tulip Fairy makes her grand entrance during the Tulip Fairy and Elf Parade, on April 23rd -- leading a parade of fairies and elves around Pearl St. to spread a little fairy love, welcome spring to Boulder, and most importantly, wake up the tulips. After all, tulips are the official flower of Pearl St. On this day, Pearl St. fills up with tiny little fairies and elves with tiny little wings and tiny, little pointy ears. And it's not just the half-pints that are getting in on the dress-up action-- turns out, it's also appropriate for adults to dress up in tights, and don the glittery garb for the afternoon too. (No joke. I don't make the rules people, I just write about the people that are brave enough to create them.) Check out these awesome event pics from last years parade, and be sure to have all of the sequins sewn on your costume by the 23rd.
May 1st is the date to mark on your calendars for the Taste of Pearl event, featuring food provided by some of Boulder's top restaurants. Attendees will spend the afternoon strolling in and out of participating retail shops in Downtown Boulder while sampling tasty creations from restaurants such as: The Black Cat, Frasca Food and Wine, Salt Bistro, Brasserie Ten Ten, The Med, and several other Downtown restaurants that give Boulder the top-notch, foodie status that we hold today. Tickets are on sale now, and a portion of the proceeds from the events will benefit The Emergency Family Assistance Association. (Note: This is not a time to procrastinate people. Tickets for this event are only $52.80, which is a steal for this event. Purchase your tickets now, and don't miss this event).
June 15th kicks off the 14th year of DBI's Bands on Bricks series. If you've strolled down Pearl St. on a Wednesday night, chances are you've seen the white tent, and the stage set up with music notes floating in the summer breeze from the likes of some of the best musicians along the Front Range. What could make a beautiful Saturday afternoon better than crusin' Pearl St., and listening to some tunes by some amazing local artist? What's that? Did someone in the back say a cold, frosty beer? Fair enough. This year, the typically "dry" event is allowing beer, and local craft beer to boot. Now you can enjoy an adult beverage while doing all that other fun stuff that I just mentioned. Sound like a fantastic Saturday afternoon in Downtown Boulder to me. Check BandsontheBricks.com on April 15 to see this year's musical line-up.
I know, I know-- I don't even have to tell you be sure to spend some time in Downtown this spring.. You already know. :)
I HEART ST. PATTY'S DAY!
Oh St. Patrick's Day. What a wonderful holiday you are. You taunt us to be bad, even though you're on a weekday this year. You encourage us to believe in things like rich, tiny little men, running around the end of rainbows in green top hats and pointy shoes. You entice little baseball and softball outfielders everywhere to search for the mythical three-leaf clover amongst the thousands of deformed imposters. You make it acceptable for grown men to: get drunk, wear "skirts" in public and admit to liking the sound of bagpipes. And most importantly, you create a "safe" day for red-heads, people with freckles, people whose last names contain an apostrophe, and people that don't quite hit the average height mark. Very cool.
Word on the street is that St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, wasn't even born Irish... and look at him now! People drink beer infiltrated with drops of green food coloring, drink shots of Irish whiskey and cream liqueur dropped into pints of Gunniess, and boil just about every vegetable they can get their hands on... all in honor of the Saint. So don't worry if you aren't Irish, St. Patrick wasn't either.
For your convenience I've put together the 5 ways for you to celebrate St. Patty's Day Downtown!
1.) If you need some green threads: Head to The Ritz for all of your green, shamrocky, top hatty and green and gold bead needs.
2.) If you LIVE for St. Patrick's Day: Conor O'neil's is the place for you. The Irish Pub opens at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday (awesome!), will have their full, Irish-inspired menu available along with bag pipers, Irish dancers, green beer and lots o' Irish whiskey on hand. You'll feel like you're in Ireland. Or drunk before noon.
3.) If you dig irish food: Head to the St. Julien. An entrée plate of traditional Irish fare is only $9.99 from 5:00-10:00 p.m. Enjoy authentic Irish menu items, such as Corned Beef Brisket, Irish Stew, Dubliner Cheese Pie and Sticky Pudding.
4.) If you're looking for entertainment: The Boulderado Hotel has a St. Patrick's Day celebration from 5:00-9:30 p.m. that includes live music by The Green Party starting at 5:30 p.m., and an Irish Step Dancing performance by the McTeggert Dancers starting at 6:30 p.m. (The Boulderado is also offering a variety of Irish menu items including Bailey's Irish Cream Cheesecake. O.M.G.).
5.) If you seek drink specials: The West End Tavern has a ton. From car bomb slushies and $3 dirty girl scout cookies to $3 Shillelagh's & Black Velvets to $5 car bombs and $4 Irish beer specials... the West End has it all-- including food specials such as corned beef and cabbage and bangers and mash.
So Happy St. Patty's Day Downtown Boulder! Make the luck of the Irish be with you, and may scrubbing with baking soda remove all of the green food coloring in your mouth.
This could be you!!
Sometimes, during the cold and snowy winter months, we get a case of the "winter blues". (I'm pretty sure that is the correct technical term for it). On the days that "dumping snow" is an understatement, I-70 is too jammed to even bother strappin' your board or skis into your Thule and making the trek to the mountains, and those loathsome chinook winds race down the Flatirons, antagonizing our peaceful city-- we are forced to spend time inside. We play video games (like kinect...), or board games. We watch movies, we incessantly check the weather channel for a sign of that tiny, dancing sun they put up on the screen. We become indoor people. We long for the days of 70 degree weather when we can grab our bikes, our running shoes or our hiking boots, and hit the trails. Days that entice us to quit our work day early so we can get first dibs on a seat for happy hour at one of Downtown Boulder's many outdoor patios. I'm a huge outdoor aficionado. I'm pretty sure they don't make a cure for the case of the "winter blues" that I get.
So, with spring just around the corner, I'd like to take this time to amp everyone up and get everyone excited for the great weather, the upcoming outdoor activities and fill you in on some of the best places in Downtown to fuel up, or grab a rewarding alcoholic beverage after a hard day of living the Boulder Dream. Cheers everyone. May the first day of Spring come quickly and last long.
1.) Bicycles. It's Boulder, just about everyone has one. Whether you're an advanced rider or just joining the Thursday night cruiser ride be sure to get your tune ups, get schooled on the art of biking or take advice from Full Cycle in the East End, or University Bikes in the West End. Both places offer really great expertise and training advice. If you don't have a bike, and aren't really sure about buying one, both have a variety of bikes for different uses that they rent out.
2.) Being an outdoor enthusiast is fun, and dressing the part is essential. Right now, I'm fairly obsessed with some of the clothes and accessories that PrAna has in their store. Walking by their shop everyday is a little less like window shopping, and more like window stalking. It's a tough job spending my non-existent paycheck on fun clothing to fuel my outdoor obsessions... but someone has to keep this economy moving. I'm also a huge fan of Outdoor Divas. I just picked up my first pair of climbing shoes from their store. (Great shoes, great price!). Super excited about my shoes, but was even more excited to walk around the mall with my Outdoor Divas logoed bag. (The bag screams, "That's right, I'm a woman, and an athlete and an outdoor lover, yet still incredibly sassy chic...See this bag? Yeah that's right. Who wants some?").
3.) Since it's not quite Spring yet, get your train on at One Boulder Fitness, and get yourself ready for those long bike rides or grueling marathon runs. One Boulder Fitness offers dance classes, yoga classes, cycling classes, ab-lab classes, kick-boxing classes and even ski conditioning classes. However, they do not offer etiquette classes-- that's just something you'll have to learn on the trail.
4.) After a morning filled with some sun-loving, trail cruising and calorie burning -- fuel back up with a killer omelette from Foolish Craig's. They serve breakfast till 5:00 p.m., and have nine delicious omelets to chose from, along with lots of other nosh-worthy breakfast and lunch items. The Mexicali Blues omelette has powered me through many a Sunday afternoon.
5.) One word. Patio. What better way to soak in the beautiful Colorado sun, than by posting up on a patio Downtown and enjoying an adult beverage.. or two, sometimes three... but hey, it's the weekend. Don't judge me. Boulder Cafe, Bacaro, The Lazy Dog, Centro... Patios. Mmmm. Whether it's a rooftop patio, or a patio that gives you a front row seat to some of the best people-watching ever, it's definitely the place to be on a sunny Colorado afternoon. Sandals and shades permitted, but sandals with socks are not. Here's a full list for your perusal.
So, as the season of powder and snow days comes to an end, and the season of high temps and dancing suns commences... ask yourself this.
Are you ready for Spring, Boulder?
What a wonderful weekend!
I took my own advice and spent the majority of my weekend indulging around Downtown Boulder. Had a few well-deserved margs at Tahona, celebrated a friend's birthday with a turtle sundae (chocolate sauce on the side) at Boulder Cafe and snuck a little writing and good coffee in at The Cup. Pretty awesome. But the highlight of my weekend was crossing an item off of my bucket list by buying a ticket to see a film at The Boulder International Film Festival.
On Saturday night, I sat down in a pew at the First United Methodist Church and watched as the images of the film, "Hand Held" flashed across the screen. The film paints a pretty vivid picture of the devastating pediatric AIDS crisis that hit the children of Romania in the late 80's/early 90's. The hero of the film is Mike Caroll, a photo-journalist with a bleeding heart from New England, who is so affected by the horror and devastation he encounters inside of the poverty stricken and highly infected orphanages in Romania, that he creates Romanian Children's Relief to offer whatever help and connections he can, to the sick children on the other side of his camera lens. Caroll's philosophy follows the idea that one person can't change the world, but a lot of people working toward one common goal, can. So having been inspired by the message of this film, I'd like to inspire you-- people of Boulder, and give you the low-down on some great upcoming events and organizations in Downtown Boulder, that you can support locally and do your part make a difference.
1.) Downtown Boulder Inc., is our non-profit organization that is committed to supporting other local non-profits, while promoting Downtown businesses. Fashion Under the Flatirons, on March 10, is one of DBI's events held each year with 50% of net proceeds from the event benefiting There With Care. The fashion show features clothing, shoes and accessories from many downtown merchants as well as drinks and appetizers from several downtown restaurants. Get your tickets now at the Boulder Theater. (To check out other upcoming Downtown Boulder Events, visit www.boulderdowntown.com).
2.) Dining out Days is a unique fundraiser for Boulder County Aids Project beginning on March 1, at Sushi Tora, with 15% of dinner sales for that evening being donated to BCAP. Dining Out Days will continue once a month in through 2011, with participating restaurants including: The West End Tavern, Black Cat and Tahona, each donating aportion of their dinner sales for one night.
3.) On March 11, at 6:00 p.m. at the Boulder Arts and Crafts Co-Op, The Carriage House and Community Table has organized an art show to showcase work by The Carriage House Art Therapy Group, a group of homeless artists that meet once a week at the shelter. The artwork will be for sale, with all proceeds going to The Carriage House and Community Table.
4.) This March is the 13th Annual Oyster Month at Jax Fish House, with tons of great specials and fun events like an oyster eating contest and a five course shell dinner. Oyster Month benefits EFAA, (Emergency Family Assistance Association), a Boulder organization that assists families, people with disabilities and seniors meet their basic needs.
And these are just a few ways to help out. Other Downtown organizations such as Parenting Place, the YWCA, Bikes Belong, BMoCA and eTown also need support--whether it be donating items, money or simply donating your time-- help is always appreciated.
So I leave you with this, people of Boulder: While I still urge you to get down with the get down, and get yourselves to Downtown...consider making March the month that you visit Downtown for a good cause. Check out the different events going on and find out which of your favorite retail shops and restaurants are doing their part to support local non-profit organizations. It'll be good for your conscience and your karma, which will make you forget what it's doing to your waistline and wallet.
Love, Peace, and Energy Star Fluorescent Light,
It's BIFF week! For those of you who know me well, BIFF week is not a week in which I reflect on all of the klutzy accidents and falls that I've had over time -- it's the week of the Boulder International Film Festival and it's taking over Downtown. Thursday, February 17th kicks off BIFF with the Opening Night Gala complete with a rolled-out red carpet, wine by Francis Ford Coppola, food by the Big Red F group and chocolate by chocolatier, Seth Ellis. Sounds like my kind of party!
Not only will the streets of Downtown Boulder be filled with famous directors, producers, screen writers, film makers and hard core film connoisseurs... but, as some of you may have heard, James Franco is in town. The James Franco. The man who (through his work): defined pot-smokers for a whole new generation, cut off his own arm after a freak accident in the desert, spent some time in San Francisco getting cozy with Sean Penn and tamed a massive grizzly bear in his free time... (as you can see in the above photo). Let the stalking begin ladies. Be sure to keep a camera, a sharpie, and an item of appropriate (or inappropriate) clothing on hand at all times. Tickets for BIFF's, "A Conversation with James Franco" have already sold out, which means the women of Boulder will have to rely on a "chance" encounter with James. Be sure to keep a watch out at The Pinyon, Pizzeria Locale, SALT, and other up-and-coming restaurants in Boulder's foodie scene for Franco sightings. (The man has to eat while he's in town). Post up in front of Patagonia and the Boulder Army Store to catch a glimpse of the actor buying a down, puffy jacket, a pair of Oakleys or hiking boots, in an attempt to disguise himself in the streets of Boulder. And most importantly, check out BIFF's schedule of events, and buy tickets! You never know, you might end up sitting next to the Oscar winner himself.
So I leave you, people of Boulder, on the eve of BIFF, with a little poem I've created-- derived solely from and inspired by this year's film titles.
Happy Biff-ing Boulder.
We'll be in touch soon.
The Woman with 5 Elephants,
Punching the Clown Into Eternity.
Armadillo, Nostalgia for Light.
Mama's and Papa's Crazy Wisdom, Wasteland.
For Once in My Life,
When the Dragon Swallowed the Sun: The Last Lions, Sarah's Key, The First Grader...
Hand Held The Flaw.
The Green Wave, The Labryinth of One-Thousand Pictures-- These Amazing Shows.
A Conversation with James Franco, Illegal-- Regretters.
The Last Circus.
Yes, people of Boulder, it's that time again. Time to pull the red cardigans and pink dress shirts out of your closets, succumb to the candy industry's bombarding advertising and call up your ex to casually see if they have plans on the 14th... (It's obviously not like you couldn't make plans for that night... but you'd rather pencil them in as a favor. You're a good person like that).
It's Valentine's Day!
A holiday with a half-naked mascot who runs around shooting people and messing with their love lives. It's a day made for couples -- and proposals, and love and stuff. This week at Downtown Boulder, we put together a Valentine's Day Guide filled with gift ideas, style ideas, and great date ideas... for the couples. So this blog post is dedicated to the un-couple. To the person that scoffs Cupid. The person that refuses to wear red on the 14th, and the person that will probably be attending Connor O'Neil's "Anti-Valentine's Day Bash" on Monday. Here's to you single people of Boulder! Forbes magazine once listed Boulder as the "best city for singles", and it's pretty obvious why. In 2010, Boulder was not only named "brainiest city" but also "healthiest town in the U.S.". Boulder is brimming with smart, attractive people running around in their North Face jackets, and jetting off to Copper and Aspen to ski on the weekends. In the afternoon, they gather at places like the The Cup, where they post up with their laptops and lattes and "work from home". At night, they visit the Mediterranean for happy hour and to share their latest "fresh pow" stories. On the weekends, they meet up at the West End Tavern where they buy each other pints of their favorite local craft beers. So this Valentine's Day, who says that single people can't join in on all of the V-Day fun? Whether you go about your business as usual and hit up downtown for dinner, drinks and dancing this weekend... or decide that the four course dinner menu at the Happy Noodle and Bitter Bar sounds phenomenal... go forth and represent the un-couple! Call up your best friend and make dinner reservations at the Pinyon on Monday night. Drag your single sister with you and visit the "Red Show" at Art and Soul Fine Art and Jewelry. And if you're looking to leave un-couple land, go to the "Single Mingle" Saturday night at the Absinthe House, and who knows... maybe you will meet that special someone. Me? I'll be spending Valentine's Day reverting back to my youth. You can find me gorging myself on white chocolate and sweethearts, making pretty cards out of pink and red construction paper and a glue stick.
So Happy Valentine's Day Boulder!
We'll be in touch soon,
I grew up south of Denver in the heart of suburbia. Which means I spent my childhood riding bikes and coloring with sidewalk chalk. I ate a lot of casseroles and practically lived on frozen chicken nuggets. On the occasion I went out to eat with my family it would be to some American chain restaurant or a Mexican restaurant located in a strip mall.
That's not the case with children in Boulder.
The average 6 year-old in Boulder is raised on tofu, stir-fried veggies, and sushi. They own their own pair of rock climbing shoes and are decked out in North Face gear. Ok, maybe I'm using stereotypes, but all my friends that grew up in Boulder definitely experienced a different childhood than I did.
Since I wasn't raised eating sushi, it took me a few years to warm up to the idea of raw fish and seaweed. It took a lot of soy sauce before I was ready to fully embrace sushi at the age of 17. Each time I'm at Hapa I'm amazed at the small children I see shoveling caterpillar and spicy tuna rolls into their mouths like they haven't eaten in months. The only thing that I ate that quickly when I was that age was mac n' cheese (and by 'cheese' I mean an orange powdered substance).
My parents are both from the midwest and they had never had sushi before. Once I found my love for it, I thought it was something that my parents needed to discover. I brought home an order of California rolls one night for my dad to try. After 15 minutes of convincing him just to try it, he finally ate it. Or at least tried to eat it. As soon as the roll touched his mouth he immediately gagged and spit it out. Maybe sushi isn't for everyone.
I may be a picky eater, but I do love to try new things (no thanks to my parents). While you won't ever see me eating extremely obscure items, I am willing to try most things.
While I like trying new types of food, I love trying new restaurants. And there are two newcomers to the Boulder dining scene that I must try. Oak located at 1400 Pearl is now open. One of the roommates gave it a thumbs up, but she did warn that it is a bit pricey for what you get. The Kitchen and Tahona will soon be expanding to the space formerly occupied by Abo's. Since I love tapas from The Kitchen and drinks from Tahona I am sure I will be pleased with the new restaurant.