Saturday, April 9, 2011

My first restaurant (well, coffee shop in this case) review: The Laughing Goat, Boulder, Colorado

One of the things I'm constantly in search of is a coffee shop that offers a tasty menu as well. This is actually a good bit harder than it might appear. I don't really want a coffee shop that offers a full menu, in fact, the food doesn't even need to be made on premises; I'd much rather the place focus on good, high quality coffee and good service. I'm fine with a light menu, after all, if I want a more full meal, there are plenty of restaurants that offer full fare. Tasty pastries, maybe a few  sandwiches or some soup/chili are all that a coffee shop really needs to offer.

A place that offers both high quality food and high quality coffee is rare. Fortunately, Boulder's Laughing Goat Coffeehouse is one of those. Offering both locally made food and locally roasted coffee, "The Goat" as it's known by the locals, is located on the eastern end of Pearl Street, well out of the rush of the touristy Pearl Street Mall.

The Laughing Goat has become a regular stop on my Saturdays in Boulder. After running my various errands, I stop by there for a quick lunch or snack and cup of coffee. My favorite meal is a cup of Kaladi Brothers Coffee (one of four local roasts that I like out of the several roasters that exist in the Denver/Boulder area...more on that soon), a caprese sandwich, and a big old slice of chocolate pie. The sandwich and pie are made by Boulder bakery, Breadworks.

The coffee is rich, almost decadently so, and a splash of cream makes it perfect; no sugar necessary. The sandwich is light and offers a variety of textures and flavors from the chewy bread to the roasted tomatoes balanced out nicely by the cool pesto and greens, then finished off by the smooth mozzarella cheese.

The pie is...well, addictive, especially when paired with the coffee. Not too sweet at all, but speaking of rich, the pie is an absolutely perfect compliment to the coffee, creating an explosion of intense mocha in the mouth that comes dangerously close to short-circuiting the brain. Reasonably priced, there are very few ways I'd rather spend an early Saturday afternoon.

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