To Boulder, and Beyond!


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.

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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!

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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.

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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

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  1. I love your pink shirt!

    The photos are stunning, as always. It is taking me away to CO right now.

    That halibut looks amazing. Jealous of Ben!

  2. Daisy 07.13.2012

    Boulder is so much fun, I ate at centro when i was there, too! I still have to visit Denver, what a stunning meal you had at table 6.

  3. Krista f. 07.13.2012

    You are giving me a new view of my home. Thank you! I love when visitors are excited, makes me so happy to live here. I may have to leave my bubble to try Table 6. Looks fabulous!

  4. Sarah 07.13.2012

    I grew up in Nederland and I think it’s funny that you referred to it as a city :) Anyway, your pictures are making me homesick while I am here in Missouri. Hope you enjoy, I miss CO so much.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 07.13.2012

      Hahaha – TRUE! Although, it is compared to Eldora, right?! ;)

    • Lisa 11.02.2012

      I thought that, too! I’m originally from Boulder, now living in Kuala Lumpur (oil wife).

      As for choosing Centro over The Kitchen – big mistake! The Kitchen is a phenomenal restaurant and everything I’ve ever had there is amazing. Boulder is definitely a foodie town, so it’s hard to go wrong there.

  5. Agnes 07.13.2012

    I’m so happy to hear Boulder isn’t burned down to the ground by the forest fires I’ve been hearing about :). My husband and I are celebrating our one year anniversary there in September!! We’re from the flatlands of Chicago and we love to go visit the mountains any chance we get. I love your pictures! Looks like you guys had a great time :) Even more excited to go to Boulder!!!

  6. Vanessa 07.13.2012

    The Kitchen IS that good. I moved from Denver to Seattle last year and you’re making me miss my home state!

  7. Debbie 07.13.2012

    Love your blog! Have been totally enjoying following you through CO.Your photos are breathtaking too!!

  8. Kirbie 07.13.2012

    Would love to see Colorado as you have the last couple of days! All of the dishes look amazing as well.

  9. Emily 07.13.2012

    The hubby and I moved to Denver not too long ago and are still getting to know the place. We would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see your brother’s dining list! Would he/you mind sharing!?

    • Iowa Girl Eats 07.13.2012

      Sure! Here you go!

      – Jelly (local, good scrambles)
      – Lucile’s (dynamite!)
      – Mona’s
      – Steuben’s
      – Pete’s Cafe
      – Wild Eggs

      – The Market (cafe)
      – Masterpiece Delicatessen
      – Bagel Deli
      – City O City (vegatarian)
      – Jax (seafood)

      – Table 6
      – The Kitchen
      – Olivea
      – Potager
      – Watercourse (vegetarian but really good)
      – Linger (call ahead, it gets really busy)
      – Rootdown
      – Euclid Hall
      – Beatrice and Woodsley
      – Osteria Marco (my favorite restaurant in Denver)
      – Sushi Den

      • Emily 07.13.2012

        Add Snooze to the breakfast list! They have the most creative pancakes, and their egg dishes are great, too.

        • Iowa Girl Eats 07.13.2012

          Agreed! Went there a couple years ago and it’s still the best breakfast I’ve ever had!

      • allison 07.21.2012

        NEXT TIME you are in boulder, you MUST go to the MED for happy hour .. right on walnut street; their sangrias and tapas will not disappoint. om nom nom

        i’ve been living in denver for a year now and LOVE it here- so beautiful and so much tasty food. those mountains never get old!

  10. I think didgeredoos are much more random (and more difficult to spell!)

    That dinner looks absolutely fabulous. Love me some good scallops :-)

  11. Emily 07.13.2012

    Thanks for awesome list! We’ll keep you posted on the best ones! :)

  12. Mary 07.13.2012

    The Kitchen opened a restaurant in downtown Denver – it’s got great good and a cool atmosphere – you check it out!

  13. Elizabeth 07.13.2012

    This makes me so excited!! I have followed your blog for about a year and I went to school at CU where I met my boyfriend who is from Iowa!! You definitely have to visit the Kitchen next time! They just opened a new location in Denver! AND you have to try the Med!

  14. Jenn B 07.13.2012

    You definitely should hit The Kitchen.. If you don’t want to commit to full up dinner (which can be pricey there) you can go in the doorway to the right and go to The Kitchen Upstairs for apps and drinks! Or go back for their fabulous brunch! They very into local produce and seasonal menus, so I think you’d love it and find good inspired eats to recreate! Have fun, I miss it so much! Maybe the Air Force will send us home one day!

  15. Jessica 07.13.2012

    Dang, your brother is HOT!
    Your food looks SO good.

  16. Amber 07.13.2012

    Love Boulder! Denver is a fun city. My hubby’s aunt and uncle live here and we just drove out in April. We spent the night at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, did a day in Boulder, a day in downtown Denver and a day at Red Rocks. So beautiful! And that restaurant looks amazing. If you want to try similar amazing food next time you come to Minneapolis check out Travail.

  17. That meal looks amazing! Colorado looks beautiful. I have only flown through Denver. Now I really want to stop and explore.

  18. Lauren 07.13.2012

    Oh goodness, that dinner looks outstanding! Love the idea of shrimp fried rice balls! Glad you’re having a good time!

  19. Shannon @ A Fork In Each Hand 07.13.2012

    I used to live in Denver and worked for a company whose offices were on Pearl Street Mall. I loved it there and miss it tons! I’m so glad you liked it too!

  20. Bek @ Crave 07.13.2012

    When I went to New Zealand I was also awestruck with the perfect beauty of the mountains. It was unreal and I couldn’t grasp the raw perfection of them- it was freakishly too perfect. (Overuse of the word perfect?) Your dinner looks so good! Pfft unnecessary? Dessert is always necessary! Hehe. How cute that your brother typed you up a list of restaurant recommendations, and even categorised it!

  21. Susannah 07.13.2012

    It’s a toss up. I don’t know what looks better – your brother or the food!!!

  22. Michelle 07.13.2012

    Colorado is do besutiful!! I’ve been to Denver and Boulder nearly every year for the past 7-8 yrs, ever since by BFF moved there. I’ve been to some of the places you’ve been this week. I’ve never heard of the kitchen in boulder but The Sink is a must!

  23. Liesl 07.13.2012

    Ummm, I do hope you will be trying to re-create some of those dishes on your blog soon. :) Especially the Chocolate Beignets with Salted Caramel Sauce and maybe the scallops. And corn croutons? Sounds DELISH! My aunt lives in Henderson, CO…I’m going to ask if she’s been to Table 6. As always, LOVE IT!

  24. The views are gorgeous, as are the meals! Glad you’re enjoying your trip! :)

  25. Sarah 07.14.2012

    Ahhh, I’m so jealous! My husband and I just went there in June! We went all around Colorado from Fort Collins down to Colorado Springs, but didn’t get the best views of the mountains because of the High Park Fire. You’re trip looks beautiful!

    P.S. I’m the one who tweeted to you about eating at Snooze in Denver, I’m still dreaming about those pancakes…

  26. Ok, so your brother looks like Scott Disick, in the best way possible. Totally cute :)
    I have always wanted to go to Boulder!

  27. Cindy 07.14.2012

    I am originally from Iowa and have lived in Denver for 13 years. Yes, The Kitchen in Boulder is a must next time you are here. And Table 6 … A.MA.ZING! One of my favorites. Love your blog and enjoy hearing about the Des Moines Farmers Market. We love going there when we come home in August. I love living in Colorado but Iowa will always be home:)

  28. Michele 07.14.2012

    Your brother is gorgeous! He looks like a model. Is that the story behind the face? Would love to hear it! :)

  29. […] morning Ben and I got up bright and early, and headed back to Boulder Canyon Boulevard. We drove through the town of Nederland, then Eldora (population: 250 – seriously epic, […]

  30. Janis 07.14.2012

    Just discovered you via Whole Foods, and the timing is perfect! We’re heading to Boulder,Dillon/Frisco/Breckenridge and Denver in two weeks to hike in the day and tour microbreweries in the afternoon/evening. I’m excited about your restaurant recommendations. Where did you stay in Denvver? Awesome view!

  31. Joanna Gehrke 07.14.2012

    Ummmm, your brother is mega hot!

  32. Dan Ferguson 07.14.2012

    Hi Kristin,
    I’m one of the owners of Table6 and an Iowa boy from Tipton. Thank you so much for the kind words. I friend of mine from high school tipped me off to your blog. I’m glad you enjoyed your experience at T6. Next time your coming to Denver email me and stop by I’d love to meet you.

  33. Esther 07.14.2012

    I love your blog, but even more today with the post of Boulder, my home town. It is such a special place, and I think you captured it well. Love your recipes, your humor, and most everything about your blog. Thank you.

  34. Joanna Gehrke 07.15.2012

    Ok now I have time to comment further :) Was in a hurry earlier but had to blurt that out! Kristin, I LOVE your blog! I have been following it for awhile now and I feel so proud that you are an Iowa girl :) You inspire me. Go Hawks and keep the great blogs comin!

  35. Sarah Feddersen 07.16.2012

    Next time definitely put your foot down and go to The Kitchen!
    I also read your hike blog and have done the same hike, so beautiful! I recommend the bloody mary’s at the Sunshine Cafe in Nederland as a post hike treat!

  36. Dawn Chen 07.16.2012

    Your pictures of the dishes at Table 6 made me drool – so I definitely had to book a reservation there for a couple weeks from now when I’ll be visiting Denver! Can’t wait to check out the food and patio!

  37. […] guess there was something about the crisp mountain air and healthy outdoor lifestyle we experienced in Colorado that had me craving light and fresh dishes […]

  38. Sarah 07.16.2012

    We were between the Kitchen and Centro last time I was in Boulder too! My boyfriend wasn’t feeling the kitchen and I was bummed. Hoping to check it out when I head out there next week — I’ll let you know! I love your Colorado adventures! It has become my second home since my boyfriend moved out there this year. Great scenery, great outdoor activities, great beer and great food!

  39. Sarah 07.16.2012

    Oh yeah! If you head to Fort Collins at all make sure you go to Odell’s for their brewery tour and spend some time in the taproom! It is my favorite of all of the CO breweries we’ve been to so far! And Mary’s Mountain cookies is incredible!

  40. Rosa 07.16.2012

    Your brother is gorgeous!!!

  41. Michele 07.16.2012

    Love your reviews!! I live in Estes Park & it is heaven up here! But we do get to Boulder very often and are going to go to Centro for lunch VERY soon!! Your lunch looked fantastic!! The Kitchen is really that good, next time you’re here you will have to put your foot down. Thanks for the fantastic list of restaurants in Denver, will venture out & try a few. You shed new light on great food in our area, sometimes we need to see it thru “new” eyes :) Thank you! will be following your blog.

  42. Emily B 07.18.2012

    Kristin – loved your post about Coloarod and love your blog! GO HAWKS – I’m from Iowa City and moved to Denver 7 years ago. The Ped Mall at U of I was modeled after Pearl Street in Boulder – isn’t that a cool spot! Reminds me of home when I go over for visit, and definitely check out The Kitchen, I think you would love it. You did a great job picking out some fabulous spots – I will be revisiting Table 6 soon after ready this!

  43. Lauren 08.13.2012

    Oh, Boulder. Maybe it’s because I was born there and grew up playing on Pearl Street or graduated from CU, but of all the places in Colorado, Boulder is my favorite. If you go back, GO TO THE MED for happy hour! It’s my very favorite restaurant and the happy hour can’t be beat. Lucille’s on the other hand, is horrible.

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