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Everything posted by katzenjammy

  1. Yeah, losing my mind is where I've been, no doubt. Q4 has been a bear. But it's off to Mexico next week, yay! Gonna make vacation count. Moongate is just east of the Borders bookstore on east Pearl, between 16th & 17th. They still have no liquor license, but proximity to the Mountain Sun means we can get happy hour microbrews and then walk a block to dinner. I've been back for lunch twice (they've been "discovered" and it gets busy at noon) and dinner twice (still pretty quiet). Pocket review: the dishes can tend toward the sweet side; "hot and spicy" isn't (though there's a killer chili paste available on request). But it's still some of the best Asian cooking in Boulder -- though Khow Thai and Ping's remain on my list of Good Cheap Places to Eat. Cheesy music as in: music last popular when I was in high school/college (and the '70s was not a high point of popular culture). Not quite "Muskrat Love," but close.
  2. Moongate Asian Bistro, which is apparently a popular joint in Denver, has opened a Boulder location in the former Moshi Moshi Bowl space (1628 Pearl). We stopped in for dinner tonight -- had a decent plate of Drunken Noodles and an amazing dish called Saigon Crab, two soft-shelled crabs lightly breaded in panko and fried, then dressed with a spicy Hunan-style sauce and served with rice and a bunch of perfectly stir-fried vegetables. (In the interest of full disclosure: I'm a sucker for soft-shell crabs.) At $13, I am tempted to see how many days in a row I can eat this dish before I get burnt out on it. It's the tastiest thing I've eaten in a long time -- by far the best Asian dish I've eaten in Boulder. They don't have a liquor license yet, which is a bummer. But prices (especially at lunch) are very reasonable. The decor is groovy, the service attentive, the Muzak cheesy. I'm looking forward to checking out the other menu options...once I get my fill of the crabs. It could take a while.
  3. With my dubious status as (in Mondo's words) a serial backer-outer, I have no standing to suggest the next eGullet venue. But maybe with a new Longmont person on board I can revive interest in a trip to Angkor Cambodian Restaurant. My meal there (too many months ago) was fantastic; I'm dying for an excuse to go back.
  4. FWIW, here's what a foodie friend emailed me: "I ate there the second night and it was, of course, fantastic. But eat before you go or bring your line of credit.""
  5. During the summer I prefer iced coffee, and the several toddy threads on eGullet suggested that toddy might be improvement over my usual grind-brew-and-refrigerate routine. So I bought a toddy outfit a few months ago at World Market. (Clearly I paid too much.) My first attempt involved home-ground beans and turned out tasty but weak. Spouse suggested that maybe the premium beans I use for hot coffee were overkill for toddy, so I bought a pound of traditional ground coffee (brand name suppressed to avoid lawsuit) and was rewarded with undrinkable swill. I'd forgotten just how bad robusta is. For the third try, I bought a 12-oz can of ground arabica (Whole Foods house brand). Adjusting water quantities appropriately, I used hot tap water for the first stage (there's a word for the initial wetting of the grounds, but I have forgotten it) followed by cold water for the second stage. This method produced a stout yet tasty concentrate, and it's the method I continue to use. I sweeten the toddy slightly before refrigerating it. For consumption, I mix 25% toddy with 75% skim milk in a pint glass of ice. It's good enough to tempt my green-tea quaffing husband. For what it's worth, I live at ~5300 feet. My tap water is pretty darn chilly, and the hot isn't nearly as hot as it would be at sea level.
  6. Great review, RLM. I was in Glenwood with friends & family this weekend, and so the restaurant recommendation was fortuitous. Carbondale had some kind of massive crafts fair on, with associated tourist mobs, but we were able to get seats at Phat Thai's long communal table Saturday night. Between four-and-a-half of us, we had the two entrees you described, as well as the pho and the red curry. The kitchen even accomodated the fussy 12-year-old "half" with a bowl of plain chicken and rice. Apps were a tasty green papaya salad and a thing called something like "10 flavors" (my memory is fuzzy; I think I was still deep in a hot-pool-induced state of well-being). This consisted of ramekins of dried shrimp, chilies, mint, Thai basil, cilantro, fish sauce, and similiar strong "tastes" accompanied by serrated-edged leaves of that herb/lettuce often served with certain sushi (I forget what it's called). The idea was to roll up tasty bits in the herb and consume like a tiny handroll...fun but not altogether satisfying. (Though we were happy to have the extra chilies for the rest of the meal.) Service, though harried and hectic, was attentive and competent. I can't say it was an altogether authentic Thai dinner, but it was very good indeed. Especially the green curry, mmmm. And speaking of authentic...it was really interesting observing the vast increase in the number of authentically ethnic establishments in the Roaring Fork Valley...and the people that have support them. The store next door to Phat Thai was a Mexican/Central American grocery, well-stocked with giant bags of masa and dried pinto beans and featuring the usual services (cash transfer, calling cards, etc.). As I waited on the sidewalk for the rest of the crew to emerge from the restaurant, I noted many youngish Norteño (to judge from the spiffy ranchero styling) guys walking by in groups of three to five. Driving through Carbondale, I saw a carniceria, a couple of taquerias, and someone selling tamales out of the back of a truck. And back in Glenwood, there are now three authentic taquerias, one of which also features central American favorites like puposas. The change is striking. And welcome; our lunch at a Glenwood taqueria was excellent. Apologies for the scattered nature of this report; I'm off to Oshkosh, Wisconsin in about 12 hours and have to unpack, do a mountain of laundry, and pack again before then. If anyone can recommend something good to eat in that neck of the swamp, I'm suspect that I'm gonna be desperate.
  7. The Fryfest was a great success, at least to judge from the monumental hangover exhibited by the guest of honor/birthday boy the following day. He blames his sad state on the stealthy but dangerous properties of the liqueur-enhanced sno-cones, a last-minute addition to the menu. I blame it on the two kegs of beer and the fact that we gave blood the previous day, thus reducing our party-hardiness. Given the magnitude of the party and the chaos level, I pretty quickly lost track of what was being cooked and consumed. Lots of folks brought fryables. And after the first three hours, appetites diminished rapidly and it became harder to recruit fry-cooks (thanks, afoodnut!). Thus certain much-anticipated items (fried pickles and squid come to mind) sadly never made it into the fryer. Of the items that I personally cooked and/or consumed, the gorgonzola-stuffed saffron risotto balls were yummiest. About 2 million fried potstickers (is that an oxymoron?) were fried and happily gobbled up. Chicken tidbits and catfish chunks rolled in hot buffalo sauce were well-received, as were a great many beignets. Marshmallow fritters were surprisingly good (and I hate marshmallows). At dusk, a small mob of blotto Scots and their accomplices commandeered the fryer and cranked out fried candy bars, which they pronounced wonderful (though I couldn't bring myself to eat another bite at that point, and even my 12-year-old wouldn't touch one). It was a fine time. And I'm glad we only do it once a year.
  8. And your point is....? Don't let's start dissing each other's vices -- that sort of thing gets ugly real fast.
  9. Ack -- we three won't be able to make it after all, due to sudden a influx of family and resulting juggled travel plans. It's almost enough to make one long for the slow, dark days of winter. (But not really.)
  10. New taqueria in Boulder: Tortillaria Rey on Valmont just west of 30th now serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Half a dozen tables, limited but expanding menu (currently traditional soft tacos, burritos, tortas) and both Mexican Coke and horchata. We had two plates of tacos (5/$4.99) -- carnitas, which were fantastic, and adobo, which were OK but nowhere as good as the carnitas. They'll be adding chilaquiles to the menu soon, mmmm.
  11. We're in for three. Any friend of Mongo's is . . . probably an interesting dining companion. Bring 'em on!
  12. Indeed. When you follow that link, the relevant featured product is an Anvil brand fryer, which the same brand we bought (mail order) some years ago when we decided to make the fry party an annual event. When the fryer arrived, it had been poorly packed for shipping and had acquired a trapezoidal shape. We applied a little judicious pressure and returned it to square (or at least rectangle), then took it for a test run (so to speak). First we found that the thing kept shutting itself off, making it impossible to hold the grease at frying temperature. Seems there was an excessively aggressive thermal overload switch; we disabled it. Then we stuck in a deep-fry thermometer and discovered that the built-in thermometer was grossly inaccurate. Recalibrated it....and finally we were ready to party. The fryer has worked fine ever since. But what a pain in the ass! ____________ Party day is this Saturday, and we've settled on a menu: Meats Alton Brown corn dogs Squid Fried catfish on a stick Coconut shrimp Coxinha (Brazilian chicken-filled fried dumplings) Breads & Starches Hush puppies Saffron risotto balls stuffed w/gorgonzola Polenta "fries" Beignets Fruits & Veggies Veggie tempura Dill pickles (and other pickles…artichoke, carrots, okra) Jalapeno slices Ethnic Spinach pakoras Chinese dumplings Sweets Mini candy bars Stuffed sweet potato balls in sesame crust Fried custard If there's any interest, I'll post pix of the various items are they're prepped over the next few days. [edited to add menu]
  13. Here's a quickie review of happy hour at Fiasco's Mexican Grill in Boulder: We stopped by yesterday seeking a snack, a beer, and free wireless access. A happy hour deal offered $2.50 pints of Fat Tire or Dos Equis, but the beer tap was out of commission, and no deal was forthcoming for the bottled beers. (It took a while to extract this information from the deadpan and frankly clueless counter person.) We paid the premium price for a couple of beers and ordered an appetizer billed as "guacamole, ceviche, and salsa with a basket of chips." Guac was decent, salsa was unremarkable, and the ceviche contained no seafood other than tiny pink cocktail shrimp. The chips were a bit greasy and so stale that they were tough to chew. I asked for, and received a new basket of chips, but they weren't any better. While we were eating, a managerial-seeming person arrived and began walking the staff around the restaurant, berating them over the large number of dirty tables. The wireless, on the other hand, was indeed free and worked fine. Anyone have any better experiences there?
  14. Especially with the Southern Sun just upstairs--great beer, better (and cheaper) food.
  15. I'm so glad you liked it! Efrain's is my favorite Mex place; good food and lovely people. You're not the only Mexican Coke junkie in Boulder. And yes, they'll sub in the green chili, no problem. A (very, very large) friend ordered Efrain's Special Manly Burrito once, but he gobbled it down so quickly I didn't have a chance to see what was in it. Which is perhaps a good sign.
  16. (we really need a ROTFL icon.) There's a thing called the Boston-Boulder-Berkeley nexus. To wit: vast numbers of freaks pass through Boulder on their way to/from the other B-towns. Be assured that there's no shortage of freaks in bucolic Boulder. And Mongo, be sure to order the corn/fish-cakes at Lulu's. (Appetizer, comes with blackened salmon -- give the salmon to someone else and eat all the fish-cakes yourself.)
  17. dammit! you're in boulder, right? any of these places in the 80304 or 80305? I actually was in Westminster (80234) and am now in Erie (80516). Anyway, I can't think of any great Mexican off the top of my head in Boulder. But in my little town of Erie there's Mina's which started as a tiny hole in the wall and is now a bigger one and is quite good. Just be prepared to wait a while for your food. In Denver I like Jack-n-grill (not exactly Mexican, more New Mexican) is great. I also like Tacos Jalisco. Tortillaria Rey on Valmont (between 28th & 30th) now boasts a taqueria. I haven't eaten there yet, but it's probably reasonably authentic; when I've bought tortillas there in the past, I've had to do so in Spanish. I've said it elsewhere, but again: Efrain's on 63rd north of Arapahoe; order the #2 (green chile, beans, rice, tortillas). And Lafayette's La Familia has the best chili rellenos I've ever eaten. Get 'em "smothered on the side". Or just go downtown and drink a couple (no more than two or you'll be sorry) of the Rio Grande's killer margaritas--instant attitude adjustment, which you may need; the forecast is for continued rain/gloom. (Note that I do not recommend eating at the Rio.)
  18. Ha! Boulder is the only town where a Hooter's has failed (used to be in the building on Arapahoe between 28th & 30th where The House currently is). Though I think it failed less for PC reasons than because you can find better beer and prettier nekkid women elsewhere in town. And those heavy-duty Hooter's pantyhose are SO not sexy....
  19. Mmmm, potato chips. You can keep your ice cream, foie gras, heroin. Just hand over the chips. While trying to track down the name of the bizarrely wonderful chips I had in Mexico awhile back (Doritos Mysterioso flavor, kind of curry-ish) I came across what must be the Mother of All Potato Chip Reviews Sites (sample: Walkers Pickled Onion Flavour Crisps, Zweifel Original Provencale Chips, The Original Atlantic Lobster Flavoured Chips). Go up a level and they have reviews of every imaginable junk food (sample: Snacks Shaped Like Cheese Puffs That Don't Actually Have Cheese, Snacks Shaped Like Things, Unusual Flavors [the mind boggles]). Oh, oh, oh!
  20. Mongo, pardon me if you've covered this elsewhere, but have you found an Indian restaurant in Boulder that meets your exacting standards? I've heard good things about Saffron (where Mijbani used to be on 18th @ Pearl) but haven't been yet.
  21. It's a fairly dry curry -- 2 T ghee and one ripe tomato for a pound of chicken livers. The cookbook itself is still in print; the author is Australian, not American, but I imagine it's not much easier to find goat liver in Sydney. The cookbook's "comments" section at Amazon include this one from the author: "The publisher keeps reminding me that there are folks out in woop-woop (Australian slang for back of beyond), who would still have to rely on dried or canned ingredients, so we didn't re-write the recipes, knowing that any keen cook would make their own adjustments." (Like many of the other commenters, my own 25-year-old copy is comprehensively stained and held together with duct tape.)
  22. Long ago, when I was a college student in Lubbock, Texas, there was no Indian restaurant within several hundred miles. My dad had recently introduced me to Indian food in Houston, and I had developed a jones. So I bought the closest thing to an Indian cookbook I could find in that benighted place (Charmaine Solomon's The Complete Asian Cookbook ) and taught myself to cook. There was a chicken liver curry recipe in there that I probably made every other week for a couple of years. Still would, if chickens hadn't become such scary foul industrial products. Does Whole Foods sell organic chicken livers?
  23. katzenjammy

    boulder, colorado

    The Oasis used to run a brewing and bottling operation w/tasting room out on Walnut at 32nd Street. Twisted Pine bought it, and the tasting room is open again -- a bar, a few tables and billliards, nothing fancy, but nice folk and decent beer. They're open 3-8 weekdays and noon to 8 (I think) on Saturdays.
  24. I know! I know! 'Cause they tore down the gas station that used to house Dot's Diner and built a foo-foo garden shop/bakery/whatever. The funky old building that used to house KGNU and the Aristocrat Steak House (greasy spoon greek-style diner) is now home to Baby Gap. Where Hannah Kroeger's New Age Foods used to be, there's an up-scale chain clothing store. The Wrangler II (once home of great BBQ ribs) is now Vitamin Cottage. And so on. The most recent boom time brought a ton of building and renovation to Boulder, especially in the historic/downtown area. Commercial rents skyrocketed, driving a lot of home-grown small businesses out. Dot's lives on -- in a strip mall on 28th Street. And we have The Cheesecake Factory squatting across the street from the groovy deco courthouse on the Pearl Street Mall. Boulder County Commissioner Paul Danish got it right in 1999: "The broader truth here is a point Jane Jacobs made in her classic book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities: Basic, beat-up old commercial buildings with affordable rents and short-term leases are the incubators of new business. New commercial buildings and gentrified old ones may look nicer, but new businesses can't afford the rents and long-term leases." Thus when the much-loved Mountain Sun brewpub opened a new location, they did so in the decaying strip mall in Table Mesa. ___ And while on the subject of Boulder/Why, you might check out Mondo Boulder's Unbridled Dictionary.
  25. Really, really good...and I don't even like beef that much.
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