Crazy Summer

This summer has been utterly insane and I have been neglecting blog posts. I am ashamed I have done such a poor job updating my readers on the tasty and not so tasty things I have been eating. Soon I will be putting up a lot of interesting posts and they will include reviews from the east coast as well since I have been traveling for the summer. For now I wanted to let everyone know about the Arise Music Festival in Loveland Colorado and The Graffiti Light Project. This music festival is coming up soon and tickets are going fast! I am trying to get there because some of my favorite music groups like The Infamous Stringdusters and Everyone Orchestra will be there. The festival is August 8-10 and I hope to see all of you wonderful people there. There is nothing better than listening to music all day, drinking cold beer, and lying underneath the stars.

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The 7-Stop Boulder Hop

The 7-Stop Boulder Hop

The 7-Stop Boulder Hop

What’s one of the best parts of Boulder? You can walk or ride your bike to multiple breweries and distilleries and even a meadery. This post describes the 7-Stop Boulder Hop drinking tour that runs along the Goose Creek and Pearl Parkway bike paths for all your drinking needs. I visit this loop of drinking establishments frequently because it is so convenient. You can hit up J&L Distilling Company, 303, Boulder Beer, Redstone Meadery, J Wells Brewery, Sanitas Brewing Company, and even Twisted Pine Co. all in a day if you are super motivated and have sufficiently adapted to that Colorado altitude. I have already reviewed J&L and Sanitas Brewing Co. in earlier blog posts so this post will review the rest. Listed below are the seven stops you can make on this tour. Twisted Pine is a little bit further away from the rest of the watering holes. It can also be part of the other drinking tour located farther south in Boulder that I will review soon. The image above is a map of the 7-Stop Boulder Hop with each drinking establishment marked with a star. The order listed was chosen based on location and hours of operation.

#1. Boulder Beer— Open Monday-Friday 11am-10pm and Saturday from 12pm-10pm. A stop at Boulder Beer begins the 7-stop hop drinking tour. Boulder Beer is a must stop on the drinking tour for historical purposes alone. It is the first microbrewery in Boulder and this year marks their 35th anniversary. I recommend taking their brewery tour, which starts at 2pm Monday through Friday and Saturday at 2pm and 4pm. The tour is completely free and includes tasters from everything on draft. Get there a little bit beforehand to sign up and get on that days tour list. They also offer an extensive food menu unlike some of the others on the tour. Get in a good meal here before the real drinking commences, then snack along the way. Website. Facebook2880 Wilderness Pl, Boulder, CO 80301

#2. Boulder Distillery & Clear Spirit Company (303)—Open Wednesday-Saturday 2pm-10pm and Sunday 1pm-7pm. Distillery tours are given Wednesday-Sunday 2pm-5pm. Reservations are recommended. Drinks, dogs, darts. These three words sum up the 303 experience for me. 303 is most known for their potato vodka. The first time I went here, I was not impressed. I didn’t like it and I didn’t want to go back, but I think most places deserve a second chance. Not all places, but most. Especially when I hear great things about a restaurant or bar from a person whose opinion I value. The first time I went to 303 I had an overpriced cocktail ($9) that was not remotely worthy of that cost. The taste and creativity were both lacking and the bartender I ordered from was cold and distant. I do not require an overly friendly chatty bartender but I do expect a cordial one. I mean come on, it is their job to get patrons to feel welcome and want to hang around and buy more booze. This guy was standoffish and unreceptive. The couple of other times I have been to 303, I have learned what to order and how to take advantage of the ambiance. First, I saunter on up to the bar and order the Moscow Mule ($7). Their cocktail menu changes with the season but this has been my go to this past month. My expectations for top-notch service have since been lowered so something above rude seems decent enough. The Moscow Mule is delicious. My favorite Moscow Mule in the city. After getting my drink I either corner up near the dartboard to play cricket or stake claim at a table outside in the Colorado sunshine. Dogs wander about between the parking lot and garage that hosts the distillery and tasting room saying hello. Helping yourself to the free popcorn and array of seasonings is a must. No joke, the taco seasoning makes your popcorn taste exactly like tacos, which can be slightly disconcerting. I am partial to the kettle corn topping. Surprisingly though a light dusting of the taco with the kettle corn makes for a weirdly tasty combo. Last time I went, a friend put too much cheesy garlic stuff on top and the whole table couldn’t stop sneezing. Ooph. Try all of them at your own risk. 😉 Website. Facebook. 2500 47th St. Unit 10 Boulder, CO 80301

#3. Redstone Meadery—Open Monday-Friday 12pm-6:30pm with free guided half hour tours at 1pm and 3pm and open Saturday 12pm-5pm with a half hour free guided tour at 12:30pm. I have not been to Redstone meadery yet so I cannot review it from a personal viewpoint. Below is a link to their website for more information. From what I have read and heard Redstone gets great reviews. If you are into mead or looking to try something new for a change I recommend stopping by here. I will visit very soon and make a thorough analysis in an upcoming blog post. Website. Facebook4700 Pearl St #2A, Boulder, CO 80301

#4. J&L Distilling Company— Open Thursday and Friday 5pm-10pm and Saturday 12pm-10pm. Tours by appointment/availability. Here is a link to my blog post about J&L. This distillery is great for a light tasty cocktail and a magnificent view to boot. Now that the weather has gotten warmer and the distillery is becoming more established Seth and Justin are starting to add more outdoor games to the mix. Last time I talked to Seth, my friend and I suggested that outdoor bowling or corn hole should be added. Website. Facebook. 4843 Pearl St. Boulder, CO 80301

#5. J Wells Brewery—Open Monday-Friday 3pm-9pm, Saturday 12pm-9pm, and Sunday 12pm-8pm.  It is the farthest east stop on the tour. J Wells has a very tiny tasting room but the atmosphere is quite nice. I recommend the Session, a British style wheat beer. They host two dartboards so cricket is a must if you like to throw darts. Sitting outside is always a great option because there are views of the flatirons. I am not the biggest fan of their chocolate milk stout beer. Overall J Wells is a good place to sit back and kick it with your friends for a nice conversation. Website. Facebook. 2516 49th St. #5 Boulder, CO 80301

#6. Sanitas Brewing Co., LLC.—Open Tuesday-Friday 3pm-10pm, Saturday 12pm-10pm, and Sunday 12pm-8pm. Here is a link to my review of Sanitas. If you enjoy good beer, a sound indoor and outdoor ambiance, and delicious tacos this is the stop on the tour for you. According to a very recent article in the Daily Camera, Sanitas is making big expansion plans so expect this brewery to get even more popular soon! Website. Facebook3550 Frontier Ave, Boulder, CO 80301

#7. Twisted Pine Brewing Co.—Open Monday-Friday 11am-9pm, Saturday 12pm-10pm, and Sunday 12pm-8pm. This is the last stop I recommend and the farthest south off of the Pearl Parkway bike path. I have only been to Twisted Pine once. When I went there I got the raspberry wheat beer, which I really like. I buy this and a few of their other brews in liquor stores frequently. When I am craving a sweet lighter more summery beer their raspberry wheat is a great one to reach for. Their Billy’s Chilies beer is one of the most unique brews I have ever had. It is a very flavorful and spicy beer. If you have never tried it, ask for a taster. I think it is one of those things you will either love or hate. I need to check out this brewery at least one more time before I completely formulate my opinion, but from what I remember the ambiance is not anything to rave about. I much prefer the locations and openness of J&L, 303, and Sanitas. They are also much closer to my house so it makes sense I visit them regularly.  Website. Facebook. 3201 Walnut St. Boulder, CO 80301

Stay tuned for Boulder’s second drinking tour (The South Six) another bicycle friendly drinking loop!! ©

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The Glenn–Charleston, MO

Every once in a while I travel outside of Colorado and of course I eat! Yet it is only ever so often that I need to make a shout out to a place. This blog post is a shout out to a restaurant in the small town of Charleston, Missouri named The Glenn. I was thoroughly impressed by this dining experience. Charleston is a hub of southern hospitality, but not a town for foodies who like to eat out at restaurants. The food served at The Glenn is fantastic. I ordered the fried green tomatoes as a starter plate and had the rib eye medium rare with mashed potatoes and green beans for my main course. Wow! The fried green tomatoes were delicious, the steak was one for the books, and the mashed potatoes were out of this world. Seriously, I need to get that potato recipe. I could eat them everyday. I was also lucky enough to try the catfish and it was great. It melted in my mouth like haddock from New England does. I honestly wish I could transport this restaurant to Boulder. I would visit them weekly. I hope they are able to stay in town and if by an unlikely chance of fate you are ever driving through Charleston stop here. Or maybe you should drive there just for them. 🙂 Facebook. ©

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Four Quick Reviews

This post will briefly discuss a few restaurants in Boulder I have recently visited.

  1. Hapa: Boulder,CO—This sushi restaurant is consistently good and not too expensive. I really like their miso soup and if I go with one other person ordering three rolls to split between the two of us seems adequate. They are located on Pearl St. and used to be located on the hill but that restaurant has since been renamed Hana when it was bought my new owners in 2012. Website.
  2. Sloans: Edgewater, CO—This restaurant is located in Edgewater, Colorado outside of Denver. I have been here a handful of times for brunch after a night out of drinking. Their bennies and burgers are good. The highlight of Sloans is the bloody bar, the pickles kept tableside and the large mason jars of water. These three things make for a perfect hangover cure. The bloody bar is fantastic. They bring you the glass of vodka (now they have a couple of infused choices) and you go up and add all of the fixins’ you could imagine. Don’t be like some of my oblivious friends though and pick up the vodka and drink it straight as if it were your water glass. You may think this is a ridiculous thing to do but I have been witness to two such occasions with different people. Oh my. Website. Facebook.
  3. Tsing Tao: Boulder, CO—I tried this restaurant hoping to finally find some good Chinese in Boulder. Unfortunately, that still does not exist. The vegetarian egg rolls were only stuffed with a bunch of pepper and cabbage. I don’t understand why there were no other vegetables inside. Talk about a rough appetizer. I also got the crab cheese wontons to try which were better than the eggrolls but not by much. The ratio of wonton was much greater than the filling, which is also a minus. The moo shu pork was alright. The pork was pretty wet and mushy and the dish could definitely have used more vegetables but was not inedible. The biggest disappointment overall though was the fried rice. It had absolutely nothing added to it. I took ten minutes at home to doctor it up and made it taste phenomenal. Some salt, pepper, onion, fried egg, and a little soy sauce goes a long way. Good fried rice is rather elementary and the fact they couldn’t pull that off is a huge red flag. Website.
  4. Drakes Haus: Boulder, CO—This is a relatively new (they have been open for a year) burger joint in Boulder, boasting the phrase “home of the merlot burger”. They are located in the shopping center north of The Dark Horse on Baseline Road. All burgers are 3oz. You can purchase one for $5.25 or two for $8. The premade choices are inspired from different countries and states. I tried Boulder Burger (Vegetarian) with grilled Portobello mushroom slices, goat cheese, caramelized onions, and arugula. I obviously added a merlot beef patty. Yum. It was quite tasty. The location of the place throws me for a loop though. It is right next to a McDonalds and The Dark Horse, two restaurants that serve burgers. They do have a different concept then both of them and also offer a full bar so we shall see if competition becomes a problem in the future. I also ordered the Med Fries, which are hand-cut and tossed with sea salt, lemon juice, feta, and fresh basil. I wish there was some way to infuse the potato with the feta so that each bite had a consistent feta taste. I am a feta freak! Overall I think that the food here was good and I would go back again, but come on The Dark Horse will always call my name louder.  Facebook. ©
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The Three Bs

This blog post is about three different restaurants in Boulder. The Bohemian Biergarten, Bramble and Hare, and The Bitter Bar.

The Bohemian Biergarten:

The Bohemian Biergarten was established in 2013 and near the beginning of this month turned one! In that short period of time it has become a popular spot for people of all ages to pop in and have a liter or two of beer and a bite to eat. The interior is meant to resemble biergartens from the 1900s. There are long wooden tables with bench seats that are meant to be shared with other patrons, black and white drinking photos from what appears to be from the 1920’s, the czech flag dangling from one wall, and a whole host of neat paintings along the walls. The whole place makes you feel as if you’ve left the Boulder bubble and have entered into a different era and country. I love it! The back room has many more tables, the grill, a back bar, and a stage. Tons of events are held at the Biergarten throughout the week. From comedy shows, to wine pairings, to dance offs. They truly keep things from getting boring. Check out their Facebook page for all current happenings.

The beer list contains mainly Czech, German, and Polish beers. Considering the name Bohemian Biergarten, where Bohemia is a region in the Western Czech Republic, it makes sense that most beers on tap are Czech. Also many of the waiter and bartenders are Czech which is awesome. They all have fantastic accents and speak impeccable English. The pretzels here are fantastic. They come out piping hot and each of the wooden bench tables have a tray of one ketchup and three different spicy mustards to try from. The mustard is delicious and will open up your sinuses for sure. I have also tried their sausages which are good. They have a full service food menu with daily specials, salads, small plates, snacks, etc. to choose from. If you are just looking for a quick snack with some beer I recommend going in and ordering a half liter with a sausage or pretzel for $10. I think this special may only happen during certain hours, I got it at 5pm on a weekday. I looked for more information on their website to no avail. Next time I go in I will write it down and add it on here. If you haven’t had the pleasure of going here yet, check them out. Prost!

Bramble and Hare:

This quaint restaurant is located on 13th and Pearl, very close to the biergarten. Bramble follows a farm to table concept similar to their sister restaurant, The Black Cat, which is situated right next door. All of the meat and produce served here are locally grown and raised. The menu is handcrafted daily to reflect what is being harvested on the farm each season. The food although expensive is delicious! I cannot afford to go in here all the time but when I do I go here for happy hour between 5 and 6pm. Their happy hour menu has a short list of small plates to choose from, a couple of beers, a house red and white, and a couple of cocktails each listed at $5. I recommend the mac and cheese or a farm greens salad. If you are looking to deviate from these drink options I HIGHLY recommend asking Griffin the bartender to whip you up a handcrafted cocktail that he thinks you would enjoy. Trust me, he knows what he is doing. Hopefully someday I will have enough money to go here and be able to enjoy a full dinner meal because all of the options sound absolutely wonderful. There is also a piano tucked into the corner so that any passerby can come in and play, which I love. Here is a link to their website for more info. Also check out their Facebook page for daily updates on their farm happenings.

The Bitter Bar:

The last B I am going to review is the Bitter Bar. This place is a cocktail bar. Drinks are the main event and the food is secondary. Yet I would not consider the food second rate. In fact I rather enjoy the contemporary American eats and that is what worries me. One of the original partners of the Bitter Bar James Lee has just bought out the Big Red F Restaurant Group and a revised Bitter Bar is to open on May 1st. One of the changes that will accompany this new ownership is the food. It is unknown how much will change but according to the Daily Camera, “the new Bitter Bar will have pre-made items such as sandwiches, cured meats and desserts” instead of what they have now. I understand that the vision for the Bitter Bar is that it will remain a cocktail bar where no reservations are needed but I am hoping that the food will still be as yummy as it is now. Having fried brussels sprouts, gnocchi, and crispy potatoes as options are all part of the draw for me to the Bitter Bar. Of course I love their Blue Coin Margarita and other cocktails, but I want to be able to enjoy a delicious and nutritious original snack with those drinks. Maybe this new vision will be more affordable and a little less pretentious which could be exactly what Boulder actually needs. And on that note I look forward to going in May and giving y’all an update. Till then. http://www.thebitterbar.com. For pictures and updates go to their Facebook page. 

Link to Daily Camera Article.

Don’t forget to like this post and follow me! ©

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Sanitas Brewing Co.

I guess I have been drinking more beer recently than I even realized. The weather is starting to get nicer. We are finally officially in spring, which means BEER. I mean summer, fall, and winter also mean beer but hey I have to rationalize the spike in my brewery visits somehow. Let’s review. Sanitas Brewing Co. is a newish brewery to Boulder. I believe it was founded in 2013, but I am not quite sure because their Facebook page has conflicting info. Like many other breweries in Boulder it is located in a random warehouse/office depot. I visited here again for my third time last week and am still a fan. The space is large, open, and inviting. It will definitely be even more fun to visit during the day when the weather is consistently nice because they have an outdoor patio and grassy lawn. Last week I had two of their beers. First I had the Boulder Common which I really enjoy. It is a pale lager and doesn’t leave a bitter after taste like a lot of beers, but has a smooth consistent finish. I would get this beer on the regular. The other beer I tried was the Homestead Ale which is not currently listed on their website. Yet you can conveniently find their current draft list on their Facebook page.

This beer had more of that tart after taste affect which I do not enjoy as much but the overall body of the beer was very interesting. It tasted somewhat like peaches but what I really kept tasting was agave nectar. Strange. Foodwise Sanitas partners with McDevitt Taco Supply. They have a taco stand outside the indoor seating area/bar that you can order food from. They have  chicken, pork, vegan, and daily special options which change daily. I highly recommend the chicken taco. They are only stationed at Sanitas on Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday. All week, not including Sunday they can be found on Pearl Street instead. Per usual here are links to the websites to get more information about the food and bevs.

P.S. Sanitas is closed on Mondays aka TODAY. Don’t be disappointed though, tomorrow will be here before you know it! ©

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Backcountry Pizza & Taphouse

The first time I went here I ordered the wrong beer–it was way too sweet and I did not like the food. This past visit I got smarter. I decided to try their pizza-I mean they are called Backcountry Pizza and if I wasn’t sure about a beer I got a taster first. The pizza was good, nothing too outstanding, but the beer selection here is like nowhere else. According to their website they have “60+ beers on draft, new rotating taps daily, and more than 200 bottles” at their restaurant. In fact there are so many it can be completely overwhelming. I narrowed the choices down with a simple algorithm. Beers that were $6 or less, had a high ABV (at least 5% but usually higher than that), were a beer I had not tried before, and were for the most part beers I thought I would enjoy depending on their description and location. Listed below are the four that I had while there. I was most pleasantly surprised by The Soft Parade which is a fruity rye ale. I thought it might be too sweet and it definitely was sweeter than most beers but the after taste had enough of an offset bitter taste that it was thoroughly enjoyable. This is definitely a beer where you want to try a taster before committing to it completely. Unless of course you trust me. 😉 

http://backcountrypizzaandtaphouse.com/index.php

Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale

The Soft Parade

Insane Rush IPA

Telluride Brewery Face Down Brown

For the most up to date tappings and draft listings visit their Facebook page.

**Side Note** Check out the phone app called Beer Hunt. It is similar to the phone app Untapped but in my opinion has much better graphics. This app was created in 2013 so it is still relatively new and does not have every beer catalogued. Yet, it is a great way to keep track of what beers you try and where they are from. Plus if you have friends who also use the app you can compete for points. Check it out and join the hunt! ©

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Snooze. My favorite breakfast place. Ever.

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Breakfast Pot Pie with Hashbrowns

It is hard for me to believe I have yet to review Snooze in Boulder. This breakfast restaurant is the bomb. If anyone visits from out of town or if I cannot possibly fathom making myself an omelet or bowl of cereal at home, you WILL find me here. I only have one problem with Snooze. Everyone else loves it too. Which means if you are not an early riser you better be ready to wait a long time before you hear your name called. Especially if it happens to be the weekend. Don’t fret too much though. While waiting you can saunter up to the bar and order a great big Bloody Mary. I recommend the original spicy bloody or the Bangkok bloody. I always ask for a side of pickle juice that I can then intermittently pour into my bloody to my taste. In regards to the menu I gravitate towards OMG! French Toast, Breakfast Pot Pie, and a couple of their bennies. Some of their bennies are consistently on the menu while others come and go with the seasons. The service is great so if you ever go in and things are not up to par let them know and they will do everything to make things right! Here are a few pictures from my numerous visits. Enjoy!

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Good Vibes and Messages

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OMG! French Toast

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Badass Bloody

For more information on various locations and everything else you could possibly want to know visit their website. ©

 

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D Bar

Molten cake thingy everybody has…(but ours is gluten free)

D Bar Restaurant is a dessert bar located in Denver. I went here about a month ago and still crave going back. According to their website they have closed their location on 17th Street where I went and are opening a new location this summer on 19th in One City Block. It may be for the best, because if they were open right now I might just have to jump in my car and head over. I thought I had lost my childhood sweet tooth and moved on to a more sophisticated salt induced palate. Alas, I was lying to myself and D Bar let me know so. Not only are their desserts beyond tasty but presentation is impeccable. I have been dropping the ball on taking pictures of my food, but D Bar’s presentation made it impossible not to pull out my phone.

 

Banana's Foster

Faux foster banana imposter 2.0

Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate

As always here is a link to their website for more information. Don’t forget to like my post! ©

 

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Cannonball Creek & GCB

Today I am playing catchup and posting a bunch of reviews that I have been meaning to do. This post is dedicated to two breweries in Golden, CO. For those of you unfamiliar, Golden is about 35 minutes south of Boulder, CO and is the home of the Coors factory. But I am not here to talk about Coors, this post is about two local microbreweries. First let’s discuss Cannonball Creek Brewing Company. This brewery was founded a little over a year ago in January 2013, but I only went there for the first time a couple of weeks ago. Of course after experiencing it once I went back again almost immediately. My Golden friends have been talking about this place nonstop since it opened and now I get the hype. The beers are delicious. They carry the best red beer I have ever had. It is hard to try others when I know how good this one will be every time. They constantly rotate their seasonal beers though, so you can count on something new to try depending on when you drop in. Today on Facebook they just posted that their Rosemary Sourdough Saison is back on tap. They do not serve food at Cannonball but instead are frequented by different food trucks. Do I feel a visit to Golden happening in the near future? I don’t even think that’s a question.

Mesa views, adorable dogs, fire pits, patio seating, unique craft brews. These words describe Golden City Brewery. Although no one calls it that. Three perfect letters G C B sum up this tiny brewery in the heart of Golden. On a beautiful day this is the place to be. My favorite brew from here is Molly’s Brown Ale. This beer is a darker brew but has a nice light malty quality to it. Be warned though, they are only open until 6:30pm so you want to get there midday. They serve pretzels and pretzel brats and allow any other food that you bring with into the beer garden as well. Damn, now I’m definitely getting down to Golden. Who knows maybe I’ll see one of you guys there. Cheers! Links to their website & Facebook page. ©

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