Last month, when I interviewed Robin Baron, executive chef of Udi's Pizza Bar and Udi's Bread Cafe, of which there are four locations scattered across the Front Range, she let on that the Baron family, spearheaded by her father, Udi, a confirmed bread head, were unleashing a quick-casual Middle Eastern joint on the Hill in Boulder. "It's a new concept for Udi's, and I'm very excited. I've been dreaming about doing Middle Eastern food forever. It's my food of choice," Robin told me at the time.
Last week, her dream came true when she opened Pickled Lemon at 1155 Thirteenth Street.
The space, which seats fifty and trumpets a front, streetside patio, is bedecked with Moroccan-style wallpaper and kaleidoscopic tables topped with groovy Mideast pop art. Diners order at the register, take a seat and make a beeline for the counter when their dishes are ready. "Each person can customize their dish by choosing a plate, pita or salad and topping it with falafel, meats and veggies," explains Robin, adding that plates can be accessorized with fresh-made sauces and housemade pickles.
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Everything, notes Robin, is made fresh daily, including the hummus, which is served warm. "I'm also playing around with some Israeli deserts, so I can come with some unique sweets, and to top it off, we have a liquor license, so we'll be serving four different specialty frozen mixed drinks along with beers on tap."
Her pita bread, a recipe that's she's been playing with for the past seven months, is charred on the exterior, puffy and thick. "In Israel, we call this style of pita a 'Yemenite pita,'" she says. "At Udi's, dough is our main thing, and starting from the ground up is the most important part of making a killer pita sandwich."
The Pickled Lemon is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday and closed Sunday. For more info, call 720-353-4442.