Dave Query has several theories on the meaningless need for raccoons in this world and the obscene challenges of not drinking a delicious Top Rope beer with cereal in the morning. If he were only allowed 5 spices/herbs in his kitchen, he would choose fresh basil, fresh bay leaves, hot curry, New Mexican red chile powder and freshly cracked black pepper. If you are sitting in your chair wondering why you should care about this-you need to get out more. Dave Query is the brilliant man behind some of the most delicious restaurants in Boulder.
Query was blessed with a great cook for a mother who constantly had all her children outside of their food comfort zone. Right off the bat, Dave got his foot in the door and there was no looking back:
“My first job was at Mustard’s Last Stand and that was it, I was hooked. Still the best damn dog in the universe.”
After attending The Culinary Institute of America in NY and eating his way around the world, Dave came back to Boulder to start his legacy:
Boulder is appealing to anyone for anything. It is hands down the greatest town in America. Not to say that there aren’t a lot of really kick-ass cities in this US of A, but in my humble opinion, Boulder is at the very top of that list. Actually on the top of the page before the list. From a food standpoint, it has developed in leaps and bounds over the last decade with the increase of really intelligent restaurants and chefs in those kitchens who are really raising the bar. Boulder is serving food in some of it’s kitchens that could hold it’s own next to the most celebrated restaurants of the east and west coasts. Smart, intelligent customers who are well traveled and are demanding more and more from local restaurants. This town is fantastical.
I, and I’m sure the entire town of Boulder along with me, am thankful for Dave. Without his culinary genius, I wouldn’t be able to indulge myself on ZoLo’s seared tilapia tacos (after spending 20 minutes trying to refrain from ordering everything on the menu). As the founder of Big Red F, Dave strives to come up with new concepts that don’t have a presence in Boulder. ZoLo came to be from the sad fact that there wasn’t a Southwestern food scene. There wasn’t seafood so Jax was born. His latest idea, The Bitter Bar, was built to introduce the perfect cocktail to the people of Boulder:
“Well, The Bitter Bar was the first bar in Colorado devoted to the art of craft mixology and it’s two founding barkeeps have both won national and international awards and the third is killing it in regional competitions, so I think we are competing pretty successfully. But what we are trying to do now to be competitive is to take all of the lessons and wisdom learned in building perfect cocktails, and trying to do it with our heads up and smiling and in about 10 minutes less than everyone else.”
Dave and Big Red F stay committed to serving the most outstanding food and offering the most gracious hospitality, something their restaurants have done for years and will continue to do for years to come. In addition to wowing the customer with taste and variety, all of Dave’s’ restaurants excel in their environmental practices. Every disposable product is recyclable or compostable and their electricity is offset with wind power. Natural beef, chicken and pork are found in every restaurant along with fish that have come from environmentally conscious
fisheries and purveyors. Herbs are grown in their own garden boxes and whenever it’s possible, they buy local. If that’s not enough to get you out of your door and on the way to one of his restaurants then I have 3 words for you: Lobster Macaroni Gratin. Are you drooling yet? I’m talking about pipe rigate shells, Gruyere, bacon, herbed bread crumbs combined with some culinary magic that creates a dish so delectable that Zeus himself would feel unworthy of this godly dish.
Worthy or not, eating at one of Dave’s restaurants is a must for any person visiting or living in Boulder. As a life long hater of avocados, I never thought I would like any guacamole that was put down in front of me but Lola’s guacamole made tableside proved me wrong. Even a picture of it is enough to get me drooling.
The menus you will find at all of his restaurants have unique items that you won’t be able to get anywhere else. So be daring and order the smoked tender belly pork shank or the green chile hush puppies, I promise you will never be disappointed.
The Big Red F restaurants include Zolo Grill (2525 Arapahoe), Centro Latin Kitchen (950 Pearl), Jax Fish House (928 Pearl), Lola (1575 Boulder St, Denver), The Bitter Bar (9th and Walnut) and The West End Tavern (926 Pearl)