I’ve always been a huge fan of a good curry, the complexity and depth of flavor are at once delightfully exotic and surprisingly comforting…like a wonderful home-cooked dish. Eat Drink Boulder has taken an interest in the topic as well, we even held a head-to-head testing of all Indian food establishments in Boulder a while back (Link)!
I am really excited to announce that Colorado’s famed Biju’s Little Curry Shop has just opened a Boulder outpost in Whole Foods on Pearl St.! While Indian food is some of the tastiest around, it can often be somewhat of a commitment of time and stomach-capacity, as many of the restaurants around either offer a buffet option (which I still Love and often over-stuff myself at), or the traditional dinner with one dish accompanied my the wonderfully fragrant basmati rice and equally addictive naan bread smothered in luscious ghee.
So how does Biju’s differ? The shop that I visited in Denver recently, where they started out, embodies the rapidly growing fast-casual concept; A departure from our ideas of fast-food, which conjure ideas of mass-produced questionable meat items sandwiched between two bread-like items with fried items on the side. From their mouthes: “We are a made from scratch, fresh, bright & healthy restaurant serving food inspired by the south of India.” Think the innovative idea that Chipotle pioneered, ‘real’ food, made daily with ‘real’ ingredients, assembled at your pleasure. Biju’s offers several different curry options:
-Vegetarian Combo: Cashew & Date Biriyani with Spiced Lentils, Pan fried potatoes, Sauted cabbage and the featured veg. Finished with shallot & ginger yogurt + chutney for more heat!
-Coconut Curry Chicken: Cashew & Date Biriyani,spiced Lentils, Coconut Curry Chicken with sauted cabbage, Herb Yogurt & a splash of Cilantro & Mint Chutney with crushed papadam
-Extra Hot Vindaloo Chicken Bowl: Steamed Basmati Rice, spiced Lentils, Chicken with Lemon, ground ginger & extra hot spices. Finished with our Herb Yogurt & pepper slaw
– Masala Beef: Garlic, Ginger & spice braised beef served on steamed Basmati rice with spiced lentils, potatoes, yogurt, ground coconut samandhi & crushed papadam
-Naddan Bowl: Steamed Basmati rice with curry lentils, your choice of coconut or Vindaloo chicken, beef, potatoes and sauted cabbage. Finished with yogurt, your favorite chutney & a warm chapati. “a bit of everything”
From my experience, the coconut chicken and the chicken vindaloo were , quite possibly, better than many indian restaurants that I’ve been to in Boulder. Although in theory, the recipes for these dishes shouldn’t vary dramatically from one establishment to another, they do. The coconut chicken was complex and savory; many coconut dishes can be quite thick and sweet, but I found the flavors balanced and nuanced. One thing I love about fast casual, beyond the price point… is that the recipes are consistent and quality is expected and adhered to. The biriyani, a rice dish prepared with spices, cashews and sometimes meat (but not in this case), was cooked to perfection, the spices, in no way, overwhelmed the main dish which is ladled atop the rice and topped my your choice of vegetables, crushed papadam ( a traditional crunchy bread similar to a cracker), cabbage, spices, herb yogurt and other options.
“Staying true to south Indian food, Biju’s Little Curry Shop focuses on bringing a new style of Indian cuisine to Denver. Freshly made every day, we combine true southern style ingredients and throw in a little spice to give it a kick. Add some protein or keep it vegan, it’s your call, but we’ll make sure your visit is full of flavor.”
I’ve got to say, on a day-to-day basis, I’m far more likely to grab something quick and healthy from Biju’s than to sit down at a restaurant. At times, we desire that experience…to linger over a meal that was meticulously prepared, indulge in a glass of wine to offset the spice, but at times we need something quicker, lighter and less time-consuming, that’s where Bijou’s come in…the quality has not diminished, but the complication has. Staying true to Boulder’s somewhat demanding population of foodies, pro-athletes and starving students, Bijou’s caters to the refined palate and the health conscious alike, tantalizing with flavors and nourishing the mind and body with whole-foods. Did I mention that Biju’s Little Curry Shop is a new addition inside the Whole Food’s on Pearl Street at 30th? Good going Whole Foods, thanks for supporting another local establishment and bringing more delicious dishes to us every day.
For Shannon, traveling and exploring new places and foods is a passion and priority. A University of Colorado graduate in Fine Arts Photography, she studied and interned with photographers in France and San Francisco, where her culinary interests began to expand beyond her Austin roots and foundation in American cuisine. She is now in a perpetual search for all that is new and exciting in Boulder's food scene. In addition to writing for EDB, she handles our social media efforts; if you tweet us, she will most likely be your respondent!
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