Monday, September 5, 2011

Zudaka, Boulder

UPDATE: This restaurant has permanently closed.

Boulder is known for being one of the healthiest cities in the country so it is surprising to find that it is not that vegetarian friendly. The last time I was here last year was to attend a 7-day intensive at a vegan cooking school and I had the pleasure of dining at the few vegan-friendly restaurants in town. On this trip, I wanted to find a new place at which to eat so I did my usual Google search for vegan restaurants and discovered Zudaka.

I had never heard of Zudaka and my friend, who is vegetarian and lives in Boulder, had never heard of it either! But, we were both interested in checking it out.  It is a small vegetarian Latin dive in a strip of other businesses in downtown Boulder.  When we walked in, it was pretty busy and the host just told us to sit wherever we'd like.  The simple menu consists of appetizers, arepas, entrees, soups, salads and desserts. The best part about the menu is that each dish is marked as to whether it is vegan/vegan-friendly and/or gluten-free. That sure makes ordering a lot easier.  We started off by ordering some drinks. I tried the soursop juice, which was a sweet juice from Venezuela.  We also ordered an appetizer. While there was only one person waiting the entire restaurant, she was very quick and responsive.

Our appetizer was baked yuca, which is explained on the menu as a tuberous root from the potato family that has a delicate flavor and is native to South America. We omitted the sour cream so it was just served with fresh salsa and guasa -- the Venezuelan version of guacamole. The yuca root was very tasty and I loved the guasa - it was similar to guacamole, but creamier.

For dinner, I ordered two arepas, which are traditional Venezuelan cornmeal dough pocket sandwiches. There is a wonderful variety of these sandwiches so I had a hard time choosing. The first one I ordered was the Reina Pepiada, which is meatless chicken in avocado puree.  The chicken/avocado mixture is stuffed in the cornmeal pocket, which is about the size of an English muffin. It was pretty tasty.

I also ordered the Domino, which is black beans and vegan cheese. This one was okay, but not as good as the Reina Pepiada.

Although these sandwiches won't knock your socks off, for about $5 each, they are fairly good and priced appropriately.  This is a very low-key casual restaurant that serves very inexpensive food. It is a great place to grab a quick Venezuelan-style lunch in downtown Boulder.

4457 N. Broadway
Boulder, CO 80304
(303) 442-2717

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