The past couple of times Ben and I have visited Denver, we’ve gone anywhere and everywhere within a one hour’s drive, except for the city of Boulder, CO, nestled right in the base of the rocky mountains about 45 minutes northwest of Denver.
On Wednesday we decided to change all that, and hit the road to see what all the fuss was about!
Boulder is home to the University of Colorado’s Boulder campus and, as we quickly found out, has tons of shopping and dining options, plus more parks, bike trails, and walking paths you can shake a stick at. That is to say, it’s extremely beautiful, and very visitor friendly!
After arriving into town, we parked and headed straight to the uber-popular Pearl Street Mall to start exploring.
Pearl Street Mall is a hoppin’ 4-block ped mall with lots of funky shops, awesome restaurants, and local musicians playing everything from didgeridoos, to harps. (Can’t decide which one was more random, or we liked best!) ;)
The weather has been picture perfect during our time out here, so after strolling through the ped mall for about an hour, poking in some shops here and there, we decided to dine al fresco at Centro Latin King for lunch.
(Boulder-ites – I wanted to eat at The Kitchen but Ben wasn’t feeling it. Is it worth putting my foot down for next time?)
The menu at Centro sucked us in and had our mouths watering almost immediately. I had a hard time choosing between their homemade avocado salsa, Mahi Mahi ceviche, and griddled shrimp tacos, but was in the mood for something super light and the Grilled Mahi Mahi Arugula Salad sounded perfect.
I’ll admit, I was disappointed at first to see such a small piece of fish but I’m sure it was a standard 4oz serving, and pretty much everything looked small compared to our meals at Sam’s! Either way, the mahi mahi was tender and moist, the jicama sticks were sweet and crispy, and the crunchy yet creamy corn croutons were off the chain.
Ben got the daily special which was a deconstructed, layered Pork Enchilada Skillet. Think thick corn tortillas, seasoned rice and beans, slow cooked pork, and tons of roasted veggies smothered in enchilada sauce and cheese. So yum!
After lunch we hopped back in the car and headed into the mountains above Boulder for a nice, scenic drive.
Driving in the mountains is one of my very favorite things to do in Colorado. There’s something about their untouched rawness, beauty, and sheer scale that is just so thrilling.
We drove along Boulder Canyon Boulevard, a twisty, curvy road hugging the side of the mountains that runs from Boulder all the way to the city of Nederland about 17 miles away (which is near where Ben and I went hiking all day yesterday – details to come!) There’s a rapid creek running on one side, and sheer cliff faces on the other. It is a breathtakingly beautiful drive!
About 20 minutes in, we pulled off to take in Boulder Falls, which was a short, 1/4 mile (if that) hike off the side of the boulevard.
Boulder Falls is a small but mighty waterfall whose crashing waters can be heard before the hike even begins, and is an awesome sight to see in person!
Its cool, mountain water mist was a welcome feeling on a hot summer day.
Colorado is so cool. :)
After the falls, Ben and I hopped back in the car to get back to Denver to hang out and have dinner with my bro.
Bless his heart, he had typed up an entire restaurant recommendation list for Ben and me before we got here, categorized by breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so we took him up on his suggestion for Table 6 for supper.
Table 6 is a small, neighborhood restaurant that serves extremely creative seasonal dishes which had our heads spinning.
Ben and I will remember this dinner for a LONG time!
After settling into our table on their cozy outdoor patio, we all cheers’d to family…and hair…and the face. Long story. ;)
The boys chose a crisp Rosé, while I opted for a cold local beer. Kind of backwards, but the thirst wants what it wants!
After consulting the menu, we immediately knew what we’d be starting with.
Roasted Pig Block Pancetta, Watermelon, Mint & Oyster BBQ Salad. This is HANDS DOWN the best restaurant dish I may have ever had in my entire life – and so creative. Ben and I are still talking about it 2 days later! The watermelon was cold, crispy, and sweet, while the pancetta was hot and melted in our mouths. Fresh mint was a genius touch, and the slightly sweet oyster sauce put it way over the top. I would drive to Denver just for this dish!!
I was afraid the entrees wouldn’t live up, but Table 6 knocked it out of the park with the Scallops, Eggplant, Basil, Shrimp Fried Rice, and Cashew Vinaigrette I ordered.
The scallops were expertly seasoned and seared, and cut like buttah. I LOVE when scallops are done right!
The shrimp fried rice balls were a hoot! They were like amped up tator tots, but…not…you know? :)
Ben raved over his Seared Halibut with Lamb Bacon, Peas, Laughing Bird Shrimp, and Chimmichuri. The man will order anything with peas, I tell ya’. ;)
While my little bro devoured his Smoked Brisket, Alleppo Fries, Blue d’Auvergne (bleu cheese, y’all) and Beef Jus. Well he didn’t eat the fries. Amateur.
We ended the epic meal by splitting Chocolate Beignets with Salted Caramel Sauce for dessert.
Completely unnecessary, but when you have a meal as good as we did, you’ve got to see it through to the end. :)
Table 6 is one of the best restaurants I’ve ever eaten at – if you live in or are visiting Denver, be sure to make a stop at this super cute place, and ask for Lee! ;)
Full and exhausted, we strolled home and capped the night off with a seat and a view of downtown Denver on our balcony.
Viva vacation! :D