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Tiffin's, an all-vegetarian Indian joint, opens in Boulder

Seems that the Boulder granola set may be finally tiring of tofu. At least that's what Justin Patel, co-owner of Tiffin's, an all-vegetarian Indian joint in Boulder, gleaned when he canvassed the city's earth muffins. "I kept talking to vegetarians in Boulder who were complaining about finding protein -- they're bored with tofu -- and that motivated me to open a vegetarian Indian restaurant with prolific proteins," says Patel, who opened Tiffin's, a fast-casual restaurant whose name is British slang for lunch," on August 1.

And South Indian street food, points out Patel, who hails from Gujrat, India, is surprisingly uncommon in a town that bows to vegetarian cuisine. "What we're doing here is homestyle vegetarian street food from Southern India, which is definitely something that was lacking in Boulder," he notes, adding that 80 to 90 percent of the bodies walking through the door are Indian students attending the University of Colorado.

"That's the bulk of our clientele so far, but as more and more people find out about what we're doing here, I'm really hoping that we can get a solid vegetarian base," he says.

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His menu, which trumpets lentils in several guises, along with samosas and samosa chat; soup; potato fritters; dosas; pav bhaji, a potato and cauliflower curry; a hodgepodge of chutneys -- tamarind, cilantro-green chile, mango-habanero, riata, and a bell pepper and garlic -- and desserts, is brief but focused, and Patel says he'll gradually expand it as business continues to grow. "We were pretty overwhelmed to start with, but there are lots of items that I want to put on the menu, which I'll do in time, and once we get organized," he adds, "We'll think about expansion, because I definitely think that it's doable."

There's no liquor license, but Patel does pour sodas and lassis. Tiffin's is open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, and for lunch only on Sunday. For more info, call 303-442-2500.

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