Boulder Chop House & Tavern
921 Walnut Street
Boulder, Colorado 80302
Hours: Open daily at 4PM
Happy Hour: Monday-Friday 4PM to 6PM in the Bar and Bar Patio
Britain’s former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, now known as Baroness Thatcher, was heard to say “what a magnificent city” when she first visited Boulder.
My own first impression was completely in sync with the right honorable Baroness. Nestled in the awesome scenic foothills of the Colorado Rockies, Boulder is 29 miles northwest of the “mile high city” of Denver. It has a current population of over 91,000 folks thus making it the 11th largest city in Colorado. Long famous as a college town, the University of Colorado at Boulder is here, and it’s not surprising that the town it has a young feel to it. Although Native American’s roamed the area for quite some time it wasn’t until about 1858 that gold prospecting brought the first Europeans when it was part of the Nebraska Territory. Today it is a thriving community, proud and liberal, with an awful lot to attract visitors. A number of historic districts still thrive, including the Downtown Historic District, Chatauqua Historic District, Mapleton Hill Historic District and the University Hill Historic District. Restored, not razed, would be a good motto for Boulder. The Pearl Street Mall, opened in 1977, has been an outstanding success and a benchmark of urban planning. In its four blocks it manages to have quite a diversity and nice balance between retail, restaurants and plazas for people to be “ just people” who relax and relish the experience of being in Boulder. It is life on a human scale.
Well if all of that touring and experiencing life makes you hungry I would suggest that you head over to the Boulder Chop House and Tavern which is about one block south of the Pearl Street Mall. Once inside you will find a salubrious establishment hallmarked by dark wood, glass and brass. Friendlier folks would be harder to find, both patrons and servers. Your reviewer and several business colleagues parked right in front and were warmly greeted. Since it was April there still was a “nip” in the air but the bright lights and smiling faces, plus an extensive menu, were quite warming. The menu is very extensive offering about 11 different starters from Brown Ale Soup at $5.95 to a Jumbo Crab Cake for $12.50. If you are a serious eater you might consider the Chop House Sampler for $27.50-it includes a selection of Calamari, Shrimp, Onion Rings, Chicken Tenderloin and grilled Portobello. There is enough for 4 to share. Our little group decided to forego the appetizers and concentrate on the entrees.
The Chop House Classic selections are 17 in number. They include a 12 ounce Iowa Pork Chop at $21.95, Filet Mignon Oscar at $28.95, Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb at $27.95, Chicken Picata at $18.95 or Maine lobster at market price. All of the “Classic” selections are accompanied by Chophouse salad and a choice of Baked Potato, White Cheddar mashed potatoes, Seasoned Fries or Wild rice pecan pilaf. For a lighter alternative there are 6 Tavern Fare selections including Tenderloin Salad at $12.95, Chop House Burger at $10.95 or a Grilled Chicken Sandwich at $10.95.
Your reviewer opted for the 8 ounce Filet Mignon and Baked Potato at $28.95 The server was quite a pleasant fellow and took sufficient time to explain the variances in cooking and asked for our preference. Shortly after ordering a bread basket arrived, with a crispy sourdough and dipping oil. It’s wise to moderate on the bread if you want to leave room for the “main event”. The salad was of the “mixed variety” and proved to be fresh and tasty. After a reasonable period the meal was served and your reviewer found the meat to be reasonably close to the “medium well “that was ordered. Reasonably in that it was just a “tad” more well than medium but not so well that it was dry or hard to chew. The potato must have had its heritage in the dining cars of the Great Northern Railway because they were exceptionally large. I was only able to eat half, and even that would have been a “whole” elsewhere. A glass of Riesling was at the side of my plate, and contributed to the overall satisfaction of the dinner. From the feedback provided by my colleagues they enjoyed their steaks as well. Though a tempting dessert selection was available, none of us had the capacity to indulge. If one were to do so I would suggest ordering from the Tavern Fare selection. The final score given for this first visit was 3 chews, and a strong recommendation would be made for repeat visits.
Pop Pop’s Score: 3.0 Chews
Subjective rating: Good!
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