Nestled in a North Boulder strip mall at 3303 30th Street just before Iris, and between Vic’s and The Cork, sits Boulder’s first 100% grain and sugar free, Paleo restaurant in Boulder: Blooming Beets.
There’s a lot of heart and soul behind Blooming Beets through the founder and owner, Iva Paleckova. Although she’s never owned a restaurant before, she started eating paleo and finding it necessary to cook so much at home, she wanted a special place for others like her to dine out and enjoy. No stranger to the paleo food world, Iva has a paleo cookbook and paleo blog, so it was her next step in her food venture.
Blooming Beets sits on the foundation of good grass-fed organic meat, organic vegetables, no fats, no processed foods, no sugar (they use honey and maple syrup to sweeten), and they only cook with avocado oil, coconut oil or butter. I loved how the dishes are beautifully presented and it isn’t a throw away dish just because it is aimed at being “healthy”.
When asked about the challenges of maintaining such high quality and working with local purveyors, Iva mentions it’s not that hard and the integrity is to important to her. The only challenge she mentions might be their prices have to be higher than other restaurants restaurants. Although you will see higher prices in their menu, they’re also fair – $20 for salmon for dinner, isn’t unreasonable and if that quality is important, it’s worth what you’re putting in your body. Iva is so passionate about the healthy food, her staff gets 70% off all dishes at the restaurant, to ensure they can always eat healthy and put good food in their body.
Restored paneled wood that are painted grey and white hues, line the wall. A project that Iva (who bootstrapped the whole thing through Indie GoGo) admitted to doing herself with her friends and team, to renovate the space (on a dime). She had her hand in everything from tirelessly cooking dishes day after day with her chefs to find the right recipes, to choosing the menu, to designing the space, to the marketing (her previous work was in social media and marketing with Dell).
She muses that this is her favorite “job” she’s ever had, and in the month they’ve been open, she couldn’t be happier.
The space has a lot of light, and the kitchen is open so you can watch the chefs at work or even sit at the bar, overlooking the kitchen while you eat your meal.
You can tell the restaurant is still getting their “legs” underneath them, as they navigate the rocky waters of opening a restaurant (in Boulder), ensuring the food is consistent, bringing in folks to their unique (slightly hidden) North Boulder location and ramping up the small staff for service. Nonetheless, their effort is earnest and with the bright guidance of Executive Chef Brittany Kerr, there’s a lot of energy behind what they’re doing.
The menu changes frequently, to reflect what’s in season and also rotating dishes that are out performing others as they learn their mainstays. If you’re vegetarian, this probably isn’t the place for you either. Although they look to have one vegetarian appetizer and entree always on, if that’s the way you lean, it might not provide the most options.
When myself, and two friends joined me, we started with the Veggie Kale Hempseed Salad, a salad of greens and seaweed drizzled with hempseed-cashew dressing and a hard boiled egg. The hempseed-cashew provided good protein, and was delicious alongside the nuts.
My entree was the Chicken Marlsala with organic Boulder Natural Chicken Farm breast, immersed in a delicious Marsala wine sauce and served with sage cauliflower puree and chef’s choice of second side. The sage was a bit strong in this dish, but Iva mentioned she’s been working on it being too seasoned, or not enough seasoning. Nonetheless, it was very savory and not heavy.
Around the table we also ordered the Grass Finished Steak with Mushroom Sauce ($25) from Colorado Sustainable Farms covered with Eagle Tree Farm mushrooms, sage cauliflower puree and the Herb-crusted Wild Salmon ($20), crusted in a wine-lemon-butter sauce and shallot tarragon herb blend and roasted root medley.
The “Power for the Hills” chia-seed pudding, is sweetened with honey and a “caramel” comprised of ground almonds, coconut oil and maple syrup was delightful and a great healthy option for dessert. Topped with fruit, it was the perfect amount of sweet and it had a luxurious silkiness to it.
We had to go for the”Killer Queen” no-flour chocolate lava cake made from 100% chocolate as a second choice. It is soft on the inside and made with their signature caramel sauce. It puts any molten chocolate lava cake I’ve had to shame. I was licking the ramekin it came in. The photo hardly does the taste justice.
Upon delighting in many dishes, the food quality was evidently high and a few of the dishes really wowed us. Rounding out their seasoning and consistent flavor profiles are the next steps I see for them, which was my major thought of feedback but it wasn’t enough to dissuade me from coming back. I’ll definitely be heading back frequently. I love being able to eat that food, and feel so light and good after. Not to mention, support such a passionate group.
I’m happy to see an influx of these healthy, organic restaurants in Boulder and Blooming Beets is a warm welcome to that group. It’s well suited for a nice sit-down dinner and unlike some more fast-casual spots around the area, the high quality warrants a nicer lunch or dinner out. Don’t forget their breakfast, as Iva notes it’s hard to find that completely paleo option around town.
Blooming Beets is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, but are closed on Mondays. They open at 8 AM and close at 9 PM for dinner. Find them on them Facebook here.