The Southern inspiration at Julep comes from a big swath of the U.S., from the Mid-Atlantic to the Mississippi Delta. Among other regions, Cajun and Creole influences have appeared on chef/owner Kyle Foster's dinner menu, and now he's serving lunch New Orleans-style, too.
The new lunch menu, served from 11 a.m. until the sandwiches run out every Wednesday through Friday, even has its own name: Pirate Alley Po' Boys, named for a narrow passageway in the Big Easy's French Quarter. The roster is simple — just three po' boys built on crusty bread from City Bakery and filled with either shrimp, smoked turkey or roast beef debris (a classic, gravy-laden New Orleans sandwich filling); an entree-sized salad with shaved root vegetables; and a deep-fried hand pie that Foster calls the Pirate Pocket.
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The Pirate Pocket is the result of Foster's travels in the South as well as in Japan, where he encountered kare pan, a deep-fried hand pie coated in breadcrumbs and filled with curry. The chef replaces curry with Julep's house gumbo — rich with tasso ham and pork trotter — and uses enough panko breadcrumbs to form a solid, crunchy shell around the soft bread-dough pocket. A side of pickled green beans adds a tangy, garlicky punch.
Each table is set with a roll of paper towels (that Pirate Pocket can get a little messy), a bottle of Crystal hot sauce and a shaker of "sandwich sprinkles," a blend of benne seeds, Korean chile flakes and nutritional yeast. Sweet tea and Kool-Aid are available to drink, and the bar is open during lunch for beers and cocktails. In fact, customers who order a lunchtime cocktail can plunder a miniature pirate's chest for a take-home trinket.
Julep's bar is now set up so that customers can order and pay for lunch, take a number and grab a table or a bar stool. Once warm weather returns, you'll be able to order directly through the roll-up window on the patio. Julep is located at 3250 Larimer Street. For more details, call 303-295-8977 or visit the restaurant's website.