Sunday, January 30, 2011

Toyko Joe's

Without Tokyo Joe's, my husband and I would starve to death. 

You think I'm exaggerating.  Well, I am, but only slightly.

Tokyo Joe's opened its doors to hungry Denver fast-Japanese food lovers in 1996.  Today, lucky Denverites such as myself get to experience the joys of their 21 metro area locations.

Tokyo Joe's serves fresh, natural, solid Japanese food at a very reasonable price. The staff is friendly and service is prompt. They also have a punch card system and an "addict club" that lets regulars eat for especially cheap.

Our local Joe's

My husband and I eat here at least several times a week.  We normally get a filling dinner there for under $15.  I usually grab sushi, the Boulder Veggie Bowl, or the Lettuce Wraps.  My husband is boring and prefers the White Chicken Bowl with Oyako Sauce.

4-Piece "Joe's" Roll

The food won't blow your socks off with depth of flavor or unique preparations, but it is good, solid, healthy Japanese food for cheap.  If you don't want to or don't like to cook, Joe's is the pefect place to grab a quick lunch or dinner.

 Ramen Noodle Bowl

Lettuce Wraps


Tokyo Joe's on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

So Little, Yet So Evol

Who knew something so beef-tastic could come out of Boulder?

I would review the other flavors, but I haven't tried them.  I'm too busy wolfing these little nuggets.

For less than $2.00 and 1 minute of your time waiting on the microwave, you too can have a delicious, miniature, 180-calorie shredded beef burrito. I like them for breakfast at work, but I do get some funny looks while everyone else heats up their oatmeal packets.


Monday, January 24, 2011


I remember sometime around 2004 when a friend announced to me that she'd just stumbled upon a great new line of (energy? nutrition? not-granola? not-protein?) bars, made here in Colorado and with only a few ingredients - all raw - in each bar. I was skeptical.  Where was the high fructose corn syrup sweetened "granola" filling, and the chocolately coating made of fractionated palm kernel oil?  

At that time, I was not interested.  However, as I've moved toward eating minimally processed foods, Lara and I have formed a special bond.  I eat these tasty, portable, mostly-date-plus-nuts-and-other-fruit bars about two or three times a week.

Late last year, Larabar debuted new flavors containing chocolate chips in their standard fruit-and-nut backbone. I was a little horrified; the inclusion of added sugar in their bars seemed like a reckless departure from their all-raw, all-vegan roots.  But who am I kidding? I love chocolate chunks in anything I eat.  In fact, I love them so much, that my reviews below have the chocolate chip flavors in a completely separate category. I can't compare apples to chocolate chip cookie dough!

Below, a ranking of all 16 current flavors of "non-chocolate-chippy" Larabars in the order I love them, with my two cents thrown on for many of them:

Note - List was edited April 3, 2011 to include Blueberry Muffin flavor

#1: Blueberry Muffin - See my review of this flavor.
#2: Peanut Butter Cookie - Seriously does (ok, in a peanuts-in-a-date-matrix sort of way) taste like a peanut butter cookie.  And I love peanut butter.
#3: Cashew Cookie - Has anyone ever heard of a cashew cookie? I haven't.  But these are delicious.
#4: Banana Bread - I could eat banana bread by the loaf.  Or by the sack full.  Or by the wheelbarrow full.  But in the absense of a wheelbarrow full of actual banana bread, these are a great substitute.
#5:  Chocolate Coconut Chew
#6: Lemon Bar
#7: Peanut Butter & Jelly - As you can tell from above, I love peanut butter. But I'm actually not a huge cherry fan (cherry is the "jelly" in these bars).
#8: Key Lime Pie - My husband is a huge (real) key lime pie fan, and he loves these
#9 Carrot Cake - I had really, really high hopes for these bars.  But they've let me down a bit. Too much "tropical fruit tart" taste and not enough carrot cake-y ness.
#10: Pecan Pie
#11 : Tropical Fruit Tart
#12: Coconut Cream Pie
#13: Apple Pie
#14: Ginger Snap - WOA this is some strong ginger snap flavor.  Not bad but very intense.  I can only get excited about these once in a while
#15 Cinnamon Roll
#16: Cherry Pie - Really just personal preference that this one is dead last, but I'm not a huge cherry fan. (In Cherry Pie's defense, my husband loves them and was outraged over my negative review).

And the chocolate chip flavors:
#1: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough - WHO KNEW DATES + CASHEWS + SALT = COOKIE DOUGH? Genius. Tastes shockingly similar to the real deal.
#2: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip - Reese's Peanut Butter Cup fused with dates and mutated into Lara form. What's not to like?
#3: Chocolate Chip Brownie - Very strong cocoa taste in the matrix. Wasn't too crazy about these at first but they've grown on me.