Boulder has evolved into a destination for dining, and it deserves it. But there is more to life than dining, right? There’s eating. You know, just disregarding everything but the chow. I hope to show you a few divey type places that you may have missed, starting today. Not the fanciest, not the latest, but sometimes the best. If you are hungry, but in no mood to be impressed, check them out.
Village Coffee Shop
The Village Coffee Shop has been around pretty much since the Flatirons used their tectonic might to muscle out of the ground. And during its exceptionally long tenure, Village Coffee has cheekily refused to bend (much) with the fads of the day. The posters of ancient football glory, the tangy orange Formica table tops…the bacon pile; they’ve scarcely changed in twenty plus years. Like a lot of things, their old school style has actually come a full circle and is now retro hip.
Watching the massive steel grill that dominates the space, you see mountains of raw potatoes transforming into crispy, shimmering sheets of crunchy brown; squadrons of yolks marooned in individual islands of bubbling white; griddle cakes slowly rising in hopes of a timely flip, and whole barnyards of sizzling, popping pork.
The service is friendly, casual and fast: no names, no specials, no faux relationships. The crowd is a mix of folks wearing John Deere tractor hats (without irony), happy but hung-over students, and wide-eyed out of towners. Newspaper racks and concrete sidewalk “decorate” the outside, and inside is simple space, jammed with booths, and a long dining counter, just like old times. The coffee may be Folgers (I’m not sure) but it’s hot and continuous, the sauces are your basic Tabasco, ketchup, syrup and foil wrapped butter pats. Put it all together and stuff it in an unassuming, slightly shop-worn strip center on Folsom (across from McGuckins) and you have an authentic Hole In The Wall joint. The prices are refreshing, if you know what I mean. Try the Pancake Combo: 2 eggs, 2 bacons, 2 links and a massive pancake for seven fiddy.