India's Restaurant
Courtesy India's Restaurant Facebook
The best love affairs start in the most surprising ways. A glance, a kiss or -- in the case of India's Restaurant -- just one taste of the most delicious, beautiful, shocking boti masala. And from there, things only get better. The dining room, which is decorated as though the owners were determined to shoehorn a thousand years' worth of proud culture onto the walls, is full of the warm smell of tandoori ovens, and the product of those ovens comes out in huge, heaping plates of meats stained deep red by the spices. Every bread is a comfort, every sauce a careful balance between heat and sweetness and cold. And because the menu is so deep, offering a wide array of the diverse regional cuisines of the subcontinent, your affair with India's never has to end.

Chef Jon Pell, the guiding force behind Sunflower, continues to put out the best vegetarian fare in the area -- and he does it at a restaurant that serves meat. That's because Sunflower isn't really a vegetarian restaurant; it just happens to have an award-winning vegetarian chef and a kitchen capable of lavishing as much attention on a carrot stick, broccoli rabe or quivering lump of tofu as it does on the finest steaks and seafoods. The result is a restaurant where vegetarian food doesn't taste like your standard sticks-and-berries cuisine so popular in the Republic of Boulder, but rather like perfect expressions of whatever vegetable happens to be on the plate. Pell and crew labor mightily to use nothing but the best in organic, free-range and artisanal ingredients -- a noble effort that extends even to the organic vodka in the bar's Bloody Marys.

Chef Jon Pell, the guiding force behind Sunflower, continues to put out the best vegetarian fare in the area -- and he does it at a restaurant that serves meat. That's because Sunflower isn't really a vegetarian restaurant; it just happens to have an award-winning vegetarian chef and a kitchen capable of lavishing as much attention on a carrot stick, broccoli rabe or quivering lump of tofu as it does on the finest steaks and seafoods. The result is a restaurant where vegetarian food doesn't taste like your standard sticks-and-berries cuisine so popular in the Republic of Boulder, but rather like perfect expressions of whatever vegetable happens to be on the plate. Pell and crew labor mightily to use nothing but the best in organic, free-range and artisanal ingredients -- a noble effort that extends even to the organic vodka in the bar's Bloody Marys.

Here's how good Denver Woodlands is: You could eat every meal here every day for a week and never realize it's a vegetarian restaurant. That's not a knock against the herbivores in the crowd, merely a measure of how superior cuisine can transcend all boundaries and prejudices, and remind even the most dedicated snob that when you're eating great food, eating is just about eating and doesn't have to have an agenda. The house specializes in dosa -- giant lentil-flour crepes wrapped around a variety of savory ingredients -- but the menu certainly doesn't end there. Instead, it spreads out into a colorful, delectable culinary tour of modern Indian cuisine that draws from across the region, from Bengal to Madras to New Delhi to Bangalore. In addition to being highly authentic, totally vegetarian, very reasonably priced and absolutely delicious, the fare at Denver Woodlands is also certified kosher, making dinner here an honest-to-God sanctified religious experience.

Here's how good Denver Woodlands is: You could eat every meal here every day for a week and never realize it's a vegetarian restaurant. That's not a knock against the herbivores in the crowd, merely a measure of how superior cuisine can transcend all boundaries and prejudices, and remind even the most dedicated snob that when you're eating great food, eating is just about eating and doesn't have to have an agenda. The house specializes in dosa -- giant lentil-flour crepes wrapped around a variety of savory ingredients -- but the menu certainly doesn't end there. Instead, it spreads out into a colorful, delectable culinary tour of modern Indian cuisine that draws from across the region, from Bengal to Madras to New Delhi to Bangalore. In addition to being highly authentic, totally vegetarian, very reasonably priced and absolutely delicious, the fare at Denver Woodlands is also certified kosher, making dinner here an honest-to-God sanctified religious experience.

Little India's particular take on Indian food is an odd mix of regional specialties, all cooked in the tradition of northern Indian cuisine by a Punjabi chef hired by the restaurant's Punjabi owners, the Malhotra and Baidwan families. The regular menu is long and dignified, showcasing the curries and masalas that even casual eaters of Indian food would recognize, as well as seven kinds of saag; specialties of Madras, Danshak, Bombay and Punjab; and even colonial dishes like the vindaloos from Goa -- their brutal heat and strange balance of spices a record of Portuguese occupation, British colonialism and unbroken Indian culinary tradition. For anyone looking for a whirlwind tour of everything available under the variegated blanket of Indian cuisine, Little India's lunch buffet -- with its multiple offerings and ever-changing lineup of spot-on Indian translations -- can't be beat. Here, everything from the most complicated vindaloo to the simplest chutney has the potential to transport a diner to utter bliss.


Little India
Westword
Little India's particular take on Indian food is an odd mix of regional specialties, all cooked in the tradition of northern Indian cuisine by a Punjabi chef hired by the restaurant's Punjabi owners, the Malhotra and Baidwan families. The regular menu is long and dignified, showcasing the curries and masalas that even casual eaters of Indian food would recognize, as well as seven kinds of saag; specialties of Madras, Danshak, Bombay and Punjab; and even colonial dishes like the vindaloos from Goa -- their brutal heat and strange balance of spices a record of Portuguese occupation, British colonialism and unbroken Indian culinary tradition. For anyone looking for a whirlwind tour of everything available under the variegated blanket of Indian cuisine, Little India's lunch buffet -- with its multiple offerings and ever-changing lineup of spot-on Indian translations -- can't be beat. Here, everything from the most complicated vindaloo to the simplest chutney has the potential to transport a diner to utter bliss.
Now safely past the one-year mark, Kabul Kabob still serves the best, cheapest, most amazing Afghan cuisine imaginable. Everything about this slightly ramshackle little neighborhood eatery is wonderful. A party of four can easily get a table any night of the week. The servers are brutally honest about what's good and what's not so good in the kitchen. And most of it is very good indeed: The kitchen turns an expert hand to dishes like bulanee kachalu and mantua dumplings filled with ground beef and onions. And your party of four can sample nearly everything on the menu and still get out for less than fifty bucks.


Jerusalem Restaurant
Danielle Lirette
Now safely past the one-year mark, Kabul Kabob still serves the best, cheapest, most amazing Afghan cuisine imaginable. Everything about this slightly ramshackle little neighborhood eatery is wonderful. A party of four can easily get a table any night of the week. The servers are brutally honest about what's good and what's not so good in the kitchen. And most of it is very good indeed: The kitchen turns an expert hand to dishes like bulanee kachalu and mantua dumplings filled with ground beef and onions. And your party of four can sample nearly everything on the menu and still get out for less than fifty bucks.

Okay, the Bugling Bull is not so much a restaurant as a gas station and general store offering canned goods, cold Cokes, fly kits, bug spray, ammunition, hunters' cammies, radiator fluid and other esoteric sundries of a classic back-road pull-through. And, no, it doesn't have all those conveniences that most restaurants do -- things like tables, a cash register and menus. But every once in a while, when the weather is right and the fellas are feeling frisky, they pull out the box smoker and the big, backyard barbecue grills and spend the day turning out the best ribs, baby backs, burgers and brats any man could ever hope to find while driving around completely lost in the middle of nowhere.

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