Rags treated us to dinner here on our second night in Boulder to celebrate our engagement :D I never knew that people got engagement presents, but it’s really nice to celebrate it with people who matter and who think it’s a big deal. He’s the second person we’ve celebrated our engagement with after Chris and Rich. Rags is vegetarian, so he took us to try this vegetarian restaurant just around the corner from Foolish Craig’s on Pearl St, linked to Aji (the non-vegetarian branch of the restaurant that does tapas like food I guess).
He started me off with a martini – this is probably the only friend we have for whom it’s practically necessary to carry our passports around with us all the time because of the frequency at which we get carded. Boulder, being a university town like Ithaca, is extremely strict on carding even though I think we none of us look 21 anymore. This cocktail is essentially honey/lemon flavoured vodka.
The rest of the food are small plates from their happy hour menu, which is half off their regular menu! Food in Boulder is really affordable because of all the happy hours.
We had the jalapeno cheese poppers – unlike any we’ve ever had. The cheese in here is legit (not some velveeta mix), and they were served on a bed of pretty spicy tomatillo salsa.
We also shared a bowl of sweet potato fries. I have craved this ever since leaving the States so every chance I get I’ll order a side of these. They are especially good with sweet and sour sauce (the American kind), but would work with remoulade, ketchup, or aioli.
We also got a burger slider and a crab cake slider. These tasted really meat-like! I suspect it’s cause there’s a bunch of stuff in real crab cakes (egg, celery, mayonnaise), none of which are crab, and if you slather tartar sauce on it, it’ll taste like something from the sea just by association.
Sweet pea gnocchi. I liked this, even though I’m not normally a fan of gnocchi. It seems to be done salad style with pine nuts and carrot sticks, and the miso dressing was really nice.
Cheese and spinach spanakopita cigars. I know Mrs Fujimoto has a really interesting recipe for Spanakopita cups, which was where I first learned about spanakopitas. These had too little cheese I think but were still pretty good with the dip.
After the first round of small plates, we were still a bit nibblish (R eats a lot! I guess tall people need more energy to move their limbs)
So we got a small plate of fried hominy (this is where we start ordering the things with weird names we weren't super familiar with on the menu because we don't get these in singapore) which was like fried grits. Hominy is basically zhng-ed corn kernels and it’s pretty crispy (particularly since this was breaded and fried).
We also got their harissa tofu which was glazed with a sort of hoisin sauce. This was amazing! I liked this the best, because of the crispy saucy exterior and the creamy tofu-ey interior. You don’t even have to like tofu to like this, but I like tofu so it was a double plus for me.
For desserts we had the flourless chocolate cake – a kind of dense, slightly-harder-than-mousse textured cake that isn’t really similar to a regular flourless chocolate cake which is leavened with egg whites. Still, it was not bad.
We also had a banana mousse parfait with granola, which the boys liked but I didn’t so much.
Thanks for dinner, Raghu! I never knew an all-vegetarian meal could be so enjoyable. I’m usually vegetarian only half the time.