Every summer thousands of visitors flock to our region to experience, among other things, our considerable culinary attractions including Hammond’s Candy, tea at the Brown Palace, Celestial Seasonings, the Buckhorn Exchange and restaurants, bakeries, chocolatiers, artisans, breweries and
For locals, this is the season when the rest of our magnificent state calls to us. Here are a few recommended attractions along the Colorado Food Trail that are worth the drive.
Royal Gorge Dinner Train, Canon City
This is one Colorado meal you’ll never forget. It’s white-tablecloth dining while riding through some of the most extraordinary scenery the state has to offer. The menu includes a choice of entrée: prime rib, salmon, chicken, or vegetarian. royalgorgeroute.com
Coney Island Hot Dogs, Bailey
Originally in Conifer, the hot dog-shaped eatery was refurbished and relocated to a pretty mountain hillside with more seating. What hasn’t changed is the frankfurter-centered menu and delighted look on patrons’ faces. We’ll take one with everything…and a bib. coneyislandcolorado.com
Smith’s Corner Farm Market, Rocky Ford
Come July, the melonheads begin their migration to what terroir experts affirm as one of the best in the world to grow melons. They grow superb Rocky Ford cantaloupes but they don’t stop there: honeydews, watermelons, galia melons, canary melons, Charente melons, Denver melons, tomatoes, corn and peppers. rockyfordmelons.com
Gagliano’s Italian Market & Deli, Pueblo
Travel to this authentic Italian-American emporium for a truly hall-of-fame sandwich experience. The Stromboli-like Bada Bing is pizza dough wrapped around ham, salame, pepperoni, sausage, chiles and mozzarella that’s baked and served in slabs. This may be as happy as your mouth gets. 719.544.6058
This is probably not the best bistro for anyone fearful of heights. You take a gondola up a mountain to 10,551 feet and a restaurant with stunning views of Telluride and the San Juan’s along with serious contemporary American fare and a deep wine catalogue. Allred’s is not cheap but you’ll never forget the meal. Service begins June 4. tellurideskiresort.com
ON THE MENU
Among the best things I’ve tasted in the past month or so at North Metro eateries are a near perfect saag paneer—chunks of firm cheese clothed in a savory, creamy spinach sauce at Tandoori Grill, 619 South Broadway, Boulder; three fresh corn tortillas filled with Thai red pork, tomato, fresh corn and cilantro salsa, cotija cheese and green papaya shreds at Suki Thai, 675 30th St., Boulder; a satisfying eggs Benedict upgraded with corned beef hash at the Garden Gate Café, 7960 Niwot Rd., Niwot; and a classic East Coast eggplant parmesan hero on a toasted roll with marinara and provolone at Steve Podel’s Brooklyn Deli, 1515 Main St., Longmont.
GQ magazine’s recent “bucket list” of 50 brews of the world you should taste before you die includes some local favorites: Oskar Blues’ Dale’s Pale Ale and Old Chub, and Great Divide Brewing Espresso Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout. Sample one or more during American Craft Beer Week, May 17–23, sponsored by the Brewers Association.
The demise of the local dining scene has been grossly exaggerated, judging by a flurry of openings. A new Mediterranean restaurant, Arabesque, has opened at 1634 Walnut St., Boulder. …The old Burned Toast location On the Hill, 1235 Pennsylvania Ave., has been reborn as Café Aion, a serious tapas bar. …The Alley Cat Bar and Grill is open in the former Señor T’s space at 817 Main St. in downtown Louisville. Boulder Organic Pizzeria is serving at 1175 Walnut St. in Boulder in the former Yaki Maki location. …Helena and Chris Engles have moved their popular Jacks Corner Café from Firestone to 600 S. Airport Road in Longmont. …Coming soon: Rueben’s Burger Bistro, in the former Scotch Corner Pub/ L’Absinthe location at 1800 Broadway, Boulder. …And keep your fingers crossed: Lucky Pie pizza may soon fill the former Louisville post office.
Nibbles reader Laura Bloom wrote recently asking why Boulder County has such a dearth of eateries serving real, Southern fried chicken and asked for recommendations. Reader suggestions: Leenie’s Southern Café in Longmont and Lafayette; Huckleberry in Louisville, and Cora Faye’s Café in Denver. Send your suggestions to: email@example.com.
Boulder’s best-known chefs are rarely seen in the same place but they’re converging May 15 to benefit chef Ann Cooper’s effort to revamp the food program in Boulder Valley schools. Hugo Matheson (The Kitchen), Hosea Rosenberg (Jax), Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson (Frasca), Mark Monette (Flagstaff House), Bradford Heap (Salt, Colterra) and others will cook a five-course, farm-to-table dinner at Pastures of Plenty Farm. Cost: $150. Register: tinyurl.com/27q76ks. …Culinary Connectors is offering a foodie tour of three noted Boulder eateries on May 15. Details: culinaryconnectors.com. …The social dining opportunity of the week, the Wednesday evening Boulder County Farmers Market, is open for the season. …Join me for Radio Nibbles, my weekly food conversation and commentary, at 8:25am. every Thursday on KGNU (88.5 FM, 1390 AM, and KGNU.org) …Our favorite local flavor emporium is getting national attention. Mike and Janet Johnston, co-owners of Savory Spice Shop, host the Spice & Easy cooking show 7:30am. Saturdays on the Food Network.
“As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.”—From A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway.